We have a tendency to pick alternatives that are easily available. For instance, when we don't have any rotis left to eat with the curry, we choose to have brown bread instead, because you may think it is the next best option. Thanks to bread making companies who have introduced a variety of breads including white bread, brown bread and multigrain bread, we consider these as great alternatives to our homemade Indian bread - roti. While breads are handy, rotis take time to make and hence, it becomes even more easy to choose between the two. But this time around, when you reach out for that slice of bread to replace the roti, think again.
Which one is healthier?
It is important to know that brown bread and roti are completely different foods and cannot substitute each other. According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, Shilpa Arora, "There is no comparison between the two breads, as roti is definitely better than brown bread. While roti is made of whole wheat flour and does not have yeast added to it, most breads available in the market are made of refined flour which can play havoc with your health. The yeast added to make the bread fluffy is extremely unhealthy." Roti is a much healthier option to consume as it is made with whole grains which are filled with fibers rich in carbohydrates, soluble fiber and proteins. These fibers help boost your energy, promote healthy blood circulation and fill up your stomach. It is easy to digest it as the soluble fibers dissolve easily and pass through the intestines.
According to Shilpa, the yeast present in bread dehydrates your body. Moreover, the brown bread that you get in the markets may not be made out of whole wheat flour completely instead coloring agents may be added to give it a brown colour and there's no way a regular consumer would know.
(Also read: How to Make Brown Bread at Home?)
Brown breads have preservatives and are fermented and processed
Here are some reasons that make brown bread a poor alternative to the Indian bread roti:
1. Rotis are made of whole wheat flour that are full of dietary fiber, on the other hand, brown breads that are believed to made of whole wheat may be partially made of refined flour (maida), which makes it as unhealthy as white bread.
2. There is no fermentation; processing or preservatives included in roti, therefore the nutrient content of the roti remains intact. Besides, brown breads go through a lot of processing with added emulsifiers and by the end of it may not any nutrition to offer.
3. Brown breads stay fresh till about a week while rotis can become stale easily. The considerable amounts of preservatives in breads increase their shelf life while rotis are made and consumed fresh.
4. The yeast present in bread to make it fluffy may not be good for your digestive system.
Rotis are made and consumed fresh
So who wins?
It's easy to guess that rotis are way more nutritious than brown bread. We aren't asking you to stop consuming bread but be careful where you buy it from and don't use it as a replacement for freshly, cooked food. According to Rajiv Sehrawat, Health and Wellness Coach, Diet Clinic, "Even if you are having brown bread, avoid eating it in isolation. It must be eaten in the form of a vegetable sandwich to add some kind of nutrition to it."