Cheap bread meets mixed response from experts

By Amy McGillivray

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A BUCK'S WORTH: Angela Frieswyk, a Tauranga nutritionist, is concerned that supermarkets selling white bread for $1 will encourage people to eat too much of it.
A BUCK'S WORTH: Angela Frieswyk, a Tauranga nutritionist, is concerned that supermarkets selling white bread for $1 will encourage people to eat too much of it.

An offer of cheap, white bread has been welcomed by a budget advisory service, but a Bay nutritionist says it is an unhealthy food option.

Countdown yesterday sparked the move to selling loaves of white bread for $1, which was matched quickly by New World and Pak'nSave.

Tauranga Budget Advisory Service co-ordinator Diane Bruin said she would welcome any moves to make a staple food more affordable, despite it not being the most healthy option.

"At least they've got something they can afford to make some sandwiches for the kids," she said. "If it's a difference between having food or not, we'd welcome it."

Tauranga nutritionist Angela Frieswyk said she recommended most clients stay away from bread, especially white bread, as much as possible.

"For white bread to be encouraged as a staple, it's at the complete opposite end of the nutritional spectrum to what I would advise," she said.

"I would prefer to see places like supermarkets discount veges."

Ms Frieswyk said most people should avoid eating more than a couple of slices of bread a day.

Good-quality wholegrain breads were a better option, but should still be eaten in moderation.

New Zealand had become a wheat-based culture, with many people starting their day with wheat-based cereal, having a muffin for morning tea, sandwiches for lunch and crackers for afternoon tea, Ms Frieswyk said.

Such a high wheat intake caused more gluten intolerance, as well as a raft of other health issues.

"It encourages leaky gut syndrome, where the intestinal lining is damaged.

"That's a different situation to the allergy that's a problem for coeliacs," she said.

"It can cause all sorts of problems, from excessive bloating to changes in the bowel processes, which could either be constipation or diarrhoea."

White bread was particularly bad because it lacked all the micronutrients of wholegrain bread.

"There's a big loss in B vitamins and some of the minerals and a lot lower in fibre content.

"A lack of fibre clogs up the bowel," Ms Frieswyk said.

Brookfield New World owner Brendan Good was not able to say how much had been sold yesterday, but expected it to be selling well.

"It's a good price and it's on a staple product that everybody needs," he said.

"I don't expect people will change their buying habits.

"It's more just rewarding people that are buying that product already."

Mr Good said there was a wheatmeal option for $1 as well.

"Coca-Cola and chips are pretty popular as well and they are not very good for you."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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