Is Garlic Bread Good for You?

Whether you’re eating Italian, barbecue, or a homemade dinner, everybody loves a good piece of garlic bread. What’s not to love about toasted bread smothered in butter or oil with delicious garlic topping it. That being said, you may wonder, “Is garlic bread good for you?”

Garlic bread is typically not good for you. While garlic has a number of health benefits, garlic bread is typically made with white bread smothered in fat like butter. White bread and butter have been linked to increased chances of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

That’s not to say all hope of guilt-free garlic bread consumption is lost. Garlic bread is only as good for you as its ingredients. These can be healthy depending on the type of bread and fat you choose.

The Three Parts of Garlic Bread

Garlic

Garlic is the ingredient that you shouldn’t skimp on in garlic bread for health reasons alone. Garlic is reported to have a wide variety of health benefits. Studies have shown that it boosts the immune system, decreases blood pressure, and improves cholesterol levels.

Fat

Fats are where the health benefits of garlic bread start coming into question. Fat is no longer the villain of the health media’s diet, but whether fat is good for you depends on the type. The two main types of fat put on garlic bread are butter and olive oil.

Butter

Butter is comprised of saturated fat which has been linked with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Though it does have important nutrients like calcium and Vitamin A, butter is incredibly high in calories. Just one tablespoon contains 102 calories.

The American Heart Association recommends that only ~5% of your calories should come from saturated fats. On a 2,000 calorie diet, that comes out to 100 calories, just shy of a tablespoon! That means one piece of garlic bread topped with butter could go well over what’s considered heart-healthy. Talking about garlic bread, learn how to reheat garlic bread..

Olive oil

Olive oil, unlike butter, is mostly monounsaturated fat. This type of fat has been proven to lower dangerous cholesterol and improve the body’s overall cholesterol profile.

Studies have shown that olive oil has a wealth of health benefits. It contains antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and is anti-bacterial. It has been linked with reducing the risks of heart disease and strokes.

That being said, olive oil is still oil, meaning fat. It’s extremely calorie dense at 119 calories per tablespoon.

Bread

Processed white breads, which are used in most garlic bread, have no health benefits and are linked with heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

There are healthier bread choices out there. Choosing unprocessed bread, whole wheat, or sprouted grains means the bread will contain more nutrients and fiber. Bread is still calorie-dense and high in carbohydrates.

Conclusion

While garlic and olive have a number of health benefits, garlic bread is typically made with butter and white bread. These ingredients are linked with heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.