Does Toasting Really Affect The Nutrition Of Your Bagel?

It can sometimes feel difficult to stick to a healthy diet, which is why making small changes to your eating habits over time can help some people eat a little healthier without feeling overwhelmed. There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to find useful hacks to reduce one's daily calorie intake. In fact, it can be a smart, healthy way to implement long-lasting diet improvements without feeling hungry or deprived. This can sometimes mean cutting out empty calories like soda, adding extra vegetables to your plate, or swapping out one food item for a similar food that has fewer calories.

However, not all diet hacks are created equal. There is no shortage of bad health advice out there, and all too often, some people can end up believing certain myths about healthy eating that turn out to be false. One such hack that has gained some traction recently is the belief that toasting bagels — or really bread of any type — will lower the number of calories in each slice. As the myth goes, toasting the bread creates a chemical reaction that causes some of the calories to evaporate or otherwise disappear. It may have also stemmed from the simple fact that brown bread is generally thought to be healthier than white bread, so since toasting browns the slice, it must make it healthier.

Toasting bread does not necessarily make it healthier

Unfortunately, the myth is completely untrue. While it might be nice to believe that simply heating up bread means we can enjoy more carbs with less guilt, it is simply not the case. Bread is bread, whether it has been warmed or not. Toasting a baguette, bagel, or any other type of sliced bread will not reduce or otherwise affect its calorie count, nor does it affect its gluten content or number of carbohydrates, according to Livestrong. "If bread is lightly toasted, the differences in calories would be too insignificant to mention," nutritionist Julie Mancuso told the outlet.

While the bread does undergo a chemical reaction called a Maillard reaction when it goes in the toaster, that simply causes the amino acids and sugars on the outer surface of the bread to caramalize, while the heat evaporates the excess water, but not the calories, according to Science ABC. However, it turns out toasting does have one substantial effect on the nutritional content of bread. Studies conducted by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that toasting bread may actually lower its glycemic index, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar, as WFMY News 2 reported.