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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow Is Garlic Bread Healthy? Nutrition Facts 101

Is Garlic Bread Healthy? Nutrition Facts 101

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 28, 2023
5 min read 1471 Views 0 Comments
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Garlic bread is a spicy and delicious snack, but if you’re following a weight loss diet, is it better to steer away completely or indulge on occasion? In this article, we take a closer look at if it’s possible to add garlic bread to your diet without remorse.

is garlic bread healthy

Garlic is a great addition to any kitchen as a flavor-enhancing ingredient and for its number of health benefits. However, when combined into a buttery spread on toasted bread, it does come with some drawbacks that need to be considered if on a diet or caloric deficit.

The Heath Reporter team has analyzed its nutritional profile and compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages of eating garlic bread. If you’re curious about a healthier snack option, keep reading to find a homemade garlic bread recipe.

Is Garlic Bread Healthy?

Unfortunately, garlic bread cannot be considered healthy due to its high carb and high saturated fat content.

Garlic bread is usually made with maida, a white wheat flour without fiber, though it can also be prepared with pita or sourdough. The saturated fats from butter combined with the carbs from the different bread types result in an unhealthy meal option.

However, you can prepare your own garlic bread by selecting quality ingredients such as whole-wheat bread and olive oil.

5 Health Benefits of Garlic Bread

#1 Improves gastrointestinal health

One way of improving your gastrointestinal health is to consume between 25–30g of fiber daily. Eating quality whole-wheat bread gives you 6g of fiber per serving, which, combined with garlic’s digestive benefits, improves your overall intestinal well-being.

#2 Is heart-healthy

People at risk of cardiovascular disease may benefit from eating garlic, which helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This is true for both raw and roasted garlic.

#3 Reduces the risk of potential diseases

Garlic has many antibacterial properties, including its sulfur compounds allicin and thiosulfinates. It also contains a wide range of active ingredients that could positively impact your health, though their effectiveness is still being studied.

It is important to note that these benefits are obtained by consuming significant amounts of garlic, so if you’re snacking on garlic bread, make sure there’s a good concentration of garlic paste spread on it.

#4 Increases the number of antioxidants 

Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidation, which may help fight premature aging and cell damage that causes degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

#5 Garlic can support the fight against cancer

Numerous studies have been conducted on the cancer-fighting effects of garlic. Some relevant findings link it to the reduction of cancer cells in cancer located in the digestive tract, mainly stomach, oral, larynx, esophagus and colon cancer.

These studies were conducted following the administration of raw garlic and concentrated garlic supplements for a long time. However, it is always positive to consume foods that contain multiple benefits as is the case of whole wheat bread with garlic.

3 Downsides of Garlic Bread

#1 Weight gain 

Despite its great taste, garlic bread is full of saturated fats and carbohydrates. It is recommended to limit your snack calorie intake to 250kcal, and as a 100g serving of garlic bread contains 350kcal, it should be avoided on a weight loss diet or consumed in moderation.

#2 Bad breath 

Hiding the fact that you have recently eaten garlic is difficult, so be sure to brush your teeth well after eating garlic bread.

#3 Garlic can cause allergies

Garlic bread can cause allergies in those sensitive to garlic and the rest of the lily family, which includes onions and leeks. If you frequently suffer from allergies after eating and have already ruled out some options such as lactose, gluten or nuts, try removing garlic from your diet to investigate if it is the culprit of your discomfort.

The symptoms you may have are typical of food allergy: rash, sneezing and even swelling of the lips. But, garlic can also cause food intolerance so you may suffer from stomach upset and heartburn.

Nutritional Facts of Garlic Bread

Nutritional value per 100g

Calories/ Nutrients (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)350
Net Carbs (g)39.2
Fiber (g)2.5
Sugar (g)3.69
Fats (total)16.6
Protein (g)8.36
Cholesterol (mg)0

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167939/nutrients 

High in calories

While garlic bread usually goes as a side dish with seafood or pasta, it is important to remember that a single slice of it contains 206kcal. That, in addition to the main course, may make you go over your calorie budget.

High in fats

Garlic bread contains butter, which has a lot of saturated fat. Even if substituted with olive oil or clarified butter called ghee, the fat content is still too high.

Though, it’s worth noting that both of the substitutes mentioned are much healthier options. While extra virgin oil does have saturated fat, the highest percentage of its fat is monounsaturated. Ghee is thought to be a healthier alternative to regular butter as some experts suggest its omega-3 content could provide anti-inflammatory properties. However, ghee’s effectiveness is not yet fully confirmed.

High in carbs and sugar

Bread is high in carbohydrates and, depending on the type, may contain a lot of sugar. It is important to select quality bread that is sugar-free and high in fiber to enhance the nutritional benefits of garlic bread.

Additionally, it is best to avoid frozen garlic bread products as they contain artificial garlic flavorings – by consuming them, you miss out on the benefits of eating fresh garlic.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Garlic, whether whole or as a roasted paste, has a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including sulfur compounds and antioxidants, which are highly beneficial for your health.

Garlic Bread vs. Alternative (Texas Toast)

Garlic breadTexas toast
Usually prepared toasting slices of French bread and baguettesPrepared grilling a very thick slice of white bread
Garlic butter is spread on one side of the sliceGarlic butter is spread on both sides of the slice
Contains 39.2 g of carbohydrates Contains 34.8g of carbohydrates
Contains 16.6g of fatContains 15.2g of fat
Has a lower amount of protein – with 8.36g per servingHas 10.9g of protein per serving because of the added cheese
Prepared with fresh crushed garlic most of the timeMostly prepared with garlic powder mixed with butter

Healthy Garlic Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 small tomato, skinless, cut into cubes 
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of oregano

Directions

  • Mix the minced garlic with the clarified butter and fresh parsley. Add a little sea salt and set aside.
  • In a small frying pan, sauté the tomato with olive oil until reduced. Press lightly with a fork until you get a paste with chunks of tomato.
  • Spread both slices of whole-wheat bread with the garlic butter and tomato, and sprinkle a little oregano on top.
  • Toast your whole-wheat garlic bread and enjoy.

If you are looking for more recipes, we would recommend checking out the best nutrition apps for a healthier lifestyle!

FAQs

Is garlic bread fattening?

Yes, garlic bread contains carbohydrates and saturated fats that promote weight gain if consumed without moderation.

Is garlic bread good or bad for weight loss?

Classic garlic bread is not recommended when on a weight loss diet. However, you can prepare your own homemade garlic bread using whole-wheat bread and olive oil while monitoring how many slices you eat to ensure you don’t consume too many calories.

A Word From a Nutritionist

To avoid unnecessary calories when eating out, ask the waiter whether they have other options instead of garlic bread. You can opt for a salad, roasted vegetables, or even a refreshing iced tea without sugar. Any of these alternatives are healthier and satiating and won’t add any unwanted calories to your meal.

If you still want to indulge in garlic bread from time to time, make sure to snack on it at the end of your meal. This way, you will avoid overeating from hunger and enjoy a balanced meal.

Conclusion

Finally, is garlic bread healthy? The short answer is no, but garlic bread can be eaten occasionally if made from quality ingredients.

Avoid frozen garlic bread and the varieties offered in restaurants, and always prepare it at home so you can enjoy its benefits.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 28, 2023
5 min read 1471 Views 0 Comments
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