Bread and your health

Bread contains many ingredients good for health. Eating bread with every meal is a simple way to obtain energy, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Whole grain

Whole grain is grain with no parts removed, even the husk. It can be as fine or coarse-ground wholemeal flour, flakes, crushed or the entire grain. A bread is wholemeal if it is baked with at least 50% of its dry weight as whole grain.

Whole grain is good for many reasons:

  • It contains a lot of fibre.
  • It gives structure and chewiness to the bread.
  • It is an important source of iron and B vitamins.
  • Has a positive effect on blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
  • May reduce the risk of diabetes, coronary and vascular disease.

According to the plate division model, each should have starch, such as bread, and vegetables. A simple way to find products with whole grain is to look for the keyhole mark.

Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre is the carbohydrates from plants that are not broken down in the body, but reach the large intestine largely intact. Dietary fibre is useful as it provides a comfortable feeling of fullness without providing the body with energy.

Fibre is good for:

  • Normal stomach and intestinal function
  • Making you feel sufficiently full
  • Fibre-rich food means a slow increase in blood sugar rather than a rapid spike.



Fat is important to help growth and wellbeing. It is energy-dense and helps the body create cells, keep you warm and create hormones. In baking, there are numerous advantages to fat. It makes bread taste better, gives it a more even structure, with fewer crumbs, and stays fresher longer.

Bread is also lower in fat compared to many other foods, such as cold meats and many dairy products.

All fats contain a combination of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. For the products we bake with oil, we mostly use rapeseed oil, made from Swedish-grown rapeseed. Pågen never uses vegetable oils or fats which contain trans fats or hydrogenated fat.

Our view on palm oil

The environmental and social impact of large-scale palm oil production has emerged as a major issue for the food industry, and increased demand for palm oil has been at the expense of valuable tropical forests. This is not something that we at Pågen want to contribute to. We comply with the WWF’s recommendations not to boycott palm oil because it is part of many people’s livelihoods and is a resource-efficient crop if it is grown in the right way. We are naturally also a member of the WWF’s Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RPSO) initiative, which seeks to promote sustainable production of palm oil. During 2016, we have switched to solely using palm oil from certified plantations, i.e (Certified, Segregated Palm Oil (CSPO).


All bread contains a small amount of sugar. Sugar is found naturally in flour and other ingredients used in baking, such as syrup or malt. As all bread contains sugars, no bread can ever be sugar-free. The amount of sugars will vary from bread to bread, but generally it is relatively low compared to other foods.

Unsweetened bread

A bread is considered as unsweetened if it has not had any sugar added to it other than the amount necessary for yeast nutrient and does not therefore contribute to the sweetness of the product. An unsweetened bread has no sugar added to it for taste - a common occurrence in Sweden! However, a bread can never be completely sugar-free, as flour always contains some sugars. This is why unsweetened bread may contain sugars in its nutritional information table but not in the ingredients list.


Salt gives bread many positive qualities, such as a good taste and better volume. Salt also helps shelf life and to enhance other flavours. When we bake, we never add more salt than is needed.

Additives and E numbers

A food additive is a product used in small amounts to improve the nutritional value of a food or to improve its shelf life, consistency, colour or taste. In baking, we primarily use additives to affect the bread's consistency and shelf life. Even when baking at home, mostly for buns and cakes, you will often use additives to improve consistency and increase shelf life.

E numbers are the same as additives and the initial letter E followed by the numbers denotes that it is approved by the EU. The only approved additives are those that have a value to the consumer and are necessary for processing the foodstuff and making the food safe. The E numbers are indicated for your benefit, so you can feel safe in what you are eating.


The benefits of baking bread using sourdough are numerous. Sourdough develops the bread's smell, keeps it moist and fresh for longer as well as improves the uptake of key minerals. Almost all the bread that Pågen bakes uses sourdough, as the bread is tasty, moist and has a relatively firm structure, which means a denser crumb. The sourdough also contributes to a longer shelf life.

In our bread products, the sourdough is a really good complement to other flavours. We have no bread products in our range where the sourdough dominates with its acidic taste. We are careful to declare the amount of sourdough on our packaging, in order for you to be able to choose what you prefer.

Bread contains many ingredients good for health
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