For expert advice on all things nutrition.
Hello, I am Angie Jeffereson (RD RPHNutr) one of the UK’s leading nutritionists with over 23 years’ experience in the NHS and commercial sectors. Over the years many of you have asked me various questions on nutrition and the Burgen range so I thought I’d share my expert advice on some of the common themes I am often asked about. I hope this advice helps answer your particular dietary query.
Please see if your query has already been answered below. If you can’t find the answer to your specific question here, you can submit your own question using the link at the end of this page.
1. I suffer from bloating; will eating any of the Burgen breads help?
The term bloating can be used to cover anything from feeling slightly full after eating to being uncomfortably bloated with a measurably distended stomach. Bloating can be due to a sluggish digestion, rather than a specific food or nutrient in the diet. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and choosing whole grain or higher fibre foods, which would include Burgen breads, whole grain breakfast cereals and brown rice and drinking plenty of water each day should help to keep your digestive tract working well and reduce any bloating that you may experience. However if your bloating is severe or accompanied by any pain then I would suggest that you contact your GP who can diagnose your symptoms and if necessary put you in touch with a registered dietitian, who would be able to advise for your specific circumstances.
The fibre contents for Burgen are set out below:
• Burgen Soya & Linseed 800g: 11.4g fibre per 100g
• Burgen Buckwheat & Poppy Seed: 5.1g fibre per 100g
• Burgen Sunflower & Chia Seed: 6.3g fibre per 100g
2. I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, what bread should I eat?
The recommended diet for type 2 Diabetes is essentially the same healthy eating diet recommended for the whole population - one that is high in fibre, low in fat and saturated fats, with reduced salt and sugar intakes. Ideally you should look for high fibre bread but this doesn’t necessarily have to be wholemeal; some people like Burgen Soya & Linseed because it is high in fibre and has a lower salt content than some breads, but you need to find out what works for you. Your Practice Nurse or GP should be able to give you some good advice on your diet and you can also ask to be referred to a dietitian for a detailed review of what you are eating.
3. What is a healthy diet for someone going through the menopause?
While HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is the proven effective way of dealing with symptoms of the menopause, diet and lifestyle can help too. This is the time to look after yourself so make sure you have a balanced diet, are active on most days and get enough sleep. It’s also good to take some time out to relax; we’re all so busy nowadays.
Make sure your diet contains a variety of types of food, including lots of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, wholemeal or high fibre bread and breakfast cereals; some protein-rich foods such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and pulses; and some lower fat milk and dairy foods.
For more information why not visit Burgen’s menopause page below:
4. I am trying to lose weight, what bread should I choose?
Well the good news is that you don’t have to cut bread out of your diet, but choosing the right one is important. Go for whole grain or higher fibre breads, but do watch the amount of spread and types of toppings and fillings you use as these can all add to the calorie count.
To claim that it is a source of fibre, any food must contain at least 3g of fibre per 100g. The fibre contents for Burgen breads are set out below:
• Soya & Linseed 800g has 11.4g fibre per 100g
• Buckwheat & Poppy Seed contains 5.1g fibre per 100g
• Sunflower & Chia Seed includes 6.3g fibre per 100g
For comparison, a typical white bread would have a fibre content of around 2.8g per 100g and a typical wholemeal bread around 7.0g per 100g*
We all know that to lose weight we need to have a balance between reducing how much we eat and increasing the amount of exercise we take. Increasing your fibre intake can help too, so try eating lots of fruit & vegetables (think about making these up to two thirds of your plate), choosing brown rice or pasta (or try a half and half blend with your normal white pasta while you get used to the higher fibre versions), as well as eating high fibre breads and breakfast cereals. As you increase your fibre intake make sure you drink plenty of water as well, to help keep your digestive system working efficiently.
Try to include some physical activity every day such as walking, cycling or swimming, but even gardening and housework can help with burning calories.
For more information, visit the Burgen healthy living page below:
*Reference: McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods Version 7
5. I have been advised to watch my cholesterol level, which bread should I choose?
The biggest thing to watch should be the amount of saturated fats in your diet as these can increase your cholesterol levels. Most pre-packed foods are clearly labelled with this information (look at the back of pack nutrition information) and try to choose foods which are low in saturates (less than 1.5g per 100g).
Experts also advise to base meals around high fibre carbohydrate foods such as wholemeal bread, potatoes, brown rice, chapatti, wholemeal pasta or whole grain breakfast cereals.
From the Burgen range, both Soya & Linseed (800g) and Sunflower & Chia Seed breads are high in fibre, with 5.0g and 2.6g of fibre respectively per slice. Sunflower & Chia Seed bread is also a great source of plant based omega -3 oils which can help to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.
Of course you need to watch the amount and type of spread you use with your bread as these can be high in saturated fat (look for unsaturated or cholesterol lowering options).
For more information about maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, click on the link below:
6. Is soya good for you?
Soya is a pulse from the same botanical family as peas, beans and lentils, and is recommended as part of a normal healthy diet. It is especially useful for vegetarians as a source of protein, for men and women alike.
7. Which foods are good sources of vitamin D?
As you know, vitamin D is essential for the efficient use of calcium by the body. Most vitamins cannot be made by the body, so we have to get them from the foods we eat. But vitamin D is different because the best way to top levels up is to get 10 minutes of sun exposure to your bare skin, once or twice a day (depending on skin type), between the months of May to September, without sunscreen and taking care not to burn. Unfortunately the British summer doesn’t always help us with this, but luckily there are some food sources of vitamin D. Try oily fish (like salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs, butter, fortified margarines and fortified cereals and breads. With this in mind, Burgen Buckwheat & Poppy Seed bread has 1.3µg of vitamin D in a slice (so just two slices provides 50% of the Reference Intake).
For more information on vitamin D and bone health, click on the link below:
8. Which foods are good sources of calcium?
As a basic guide, eating around 3 portions of low fat dairy foods a day will provide us with a good calcium intake. A portion includes a glass of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, a standard pot of yogurt or a matchbox sized piece of hard cheese. Non-dairy sources of calcium include calcium-fortified soya drinks, tofu, beans, almonds, sesame seeds, tahini paste, canned salmon & sardines with the bones, green vegetables, bread and even hard water. Just 2 slices of Burgen Soya & Linseed (800g) or Burgen Buckwheat & Poppy Seed bread provide 30% of the Reference Intake of calcium.
If you don’t eat dairy foods and are unsure about whether you are getting the right amount of calcium in your diet it’s worthwhile discussing this with your doctor or practice nurse as you may need to take a supplement.
If you wish to know more on calcium and bone health in general click on the link below:
9. Are any of the Burgen breads wheat free?
We have two loaves which are wheat, gluten and dairy free:
• Burgen Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free Sunflower & Chia Seed 500g
• Burgen Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free Soya & Linseed 500g
10. Are any of the Burgen breads yeast free?
All of the Burgen breads are made with yeast, so unfortunately none of them would be suitable for a yeast free diet.
11. Are Burgen breads low in carbohydrate?
While there is no official definition of 'low carbohydrate' in the UK, I don't think any of the Burgen range could be considered 'low carb', although Soya & Linseed may have slightly less carbohydrate than some standard breads.
The carbohydrate contents for Burgen are set out below:
• Burgen Soya & Linseed bread has 25.0g per 100g (11.0g per slice)
• Burgen Buckwheat & Poppy Seed has 38.6g per 100g (17.0g per slice)
• Burgen Sunflower & Chia Seed has 35.2g per 100g (14.8g per slice)
For comparison, most white and wholemeal breads have 36 - 46g carbohydrate per 100g.
12. Which of the Burgen breads has the lowest GI?
Burgen Soya & Linseed 800g has a GI (Glycaemic Index) rating of 49. The other breads in the range have not been tested as they were not intended to be low GI loaves.
[Based on a scale of 1 to 100, the Glycaemic Index (GI) is simply a ranking of carbohydrate foods according to the rate at which they raise blood glucose levels. The lower the figure, the more slowly a food releases its carbohydrate into the body].
13. How much salt is in Burgen breads?
Salt is an essential ingredient in bread. As well as contributing to the flavour, the Food Standards Agency has acknowledged that salt plays a key role in controlling yeast fermentation, so we couldn’t make good quality bread without salt. Salt contents do vary between bread brands and so the best approach is to compare the ‘per 100g’ figure on the back of pack. Foods that are high in salt have more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium), while those that are low have 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium).
• Burgen Soya & Linseed bread has 0.75g salt per 100g
• Burgen Buckwheat & Poppy Seed bread has 0.77g salt per 100g
• Burgen Sunflower & Chia Seed bread has 0.80g salt per 100g
If any of these answers hasn’t quite covered what you were hoping for, feel free to contact me directly by asking a question in the comment box below: