While it is no secret that garlic bread is more or less empty calories with a little garlic smothered on top it doesn't mean that you can't enjoy it once in a while. If you are going to make it, why not take a few simple steps to at least make it somewhat healthy for you?
Before we get too deep into this, why don't we sit down and figure out exactly why garlic bread generally isn't the healthiest for us?
Garlic bread is essentially made up of three ingredients, bread, butter and garlic. While garlic is an unbelievably healthy herb, the other two ingredients, especially in their cheapest rawest forms tend to be nothing but empty calories that are responsible for us having to exchange our smaller pants for bigger ones every few years.
So let's dissect the negative aspects of Garlic bread so we can understand exactly how to improve the health factor of this absolutely scrumptious side dish.
Unhealthy Garlic Bread Ingredients
Unfortunately for our health, the majority of garlic bread is made on giant loafs of white bread. White bread is packed full of starchy carbohydrates dominated by bleached flours. Eating a few slices of this toxicicty will yeield you a ton of carbohydrates that are going to break down into glucose extremly quickly resulting in an insulin spike. Insulin is a storage hormone which is going to shuttle all that excess glucose from that bread straight into your fat cells.
I'm sure you don't really need to much explanation why butter is bad for you. While butter is absolutely delicious it is also jam packed full of saturated fats that are going to clog your arteries and make your belly a little bit bigger. Every gram of fat contains 9 calories and a tablespoon of butter is most likely going to land you at least 100 calories worth of butter. Think about how much butter is generally slathered all over garlic bread and you quickly realize that the butter calories are adding up really quickly.
Making Garlic Bread Healthy
So, now that we know exactly why white bread and traditional butter is bad for us, what can we do to improve the quality of the food, and keep the integrity of our health in tact?
Simple, replace the bread with a healthy alternative such as flax bread, or a twelve grain loaf. While this meal will definitely not be low carbohydrate, the time these carbohydrates take to break down into glucose is going to be dramatically longer, resulting in less of an insulin spike. You will also get some much needed fiber and whole grains.
The butter isn't as tricky as you'd probably think. I would recommend getting an olive oil based margarine. Pay very careful attention and DO NOT get a hydrogenated margarine as the trans fat levels are extremely h igh. Pick a non-hydrogenated olive oil based margarine that is reinforced with Omega 3 fatty acids. The base of olive oil margarine is made up of monounsaturated fats that are healthy for your body and will not clog your arteries. Monounsaturated fats are important in hormone production amongst other things. The polyunsaturated fats from the Omega 3s that have been added will help combat cholesterol problems by aiding reduction of trans fats and saturated fats from your artery walls.
Obviously, when making garlic bread it is always healthiest to use fresh garlic, but to be perfectly honest the garlic on the unhealthy garlic bread was never the problem, the other ingredients were.
To sum everything up, garlic bread is a delicious food, we are all perfectly aware of that. While it may not be the best for us to eat, the fact of the matter is there are healthier alternatives if you are going to indulge in a few slices with your dinner. Just because you are eating something that is healthier does NOT mean that it is a good idea to increase the portion size. Keep your portions small, your diet varied and limit the amount of unhealthy foods you eat and you will feel healthier and energized.