A healthy diet is key to leading a long and healthy life. The food we eat goes a long way in shaping our health and lifestyle. When it comes to selecting the right kind of food, nutrient and energy values are quiet essential just as much as the calorie content. Consuming food with too much or too little calorie content may do more harm than good to our health and fitness levels in the long term.
As per dietary guidelines, the food pyramid is an effective guide in helping us decide what types of food are required to be included in our diet and in what quantities. At the base of the food pyramid we find grains, cereals, breads and yams. These foods are all starchy and rich in carbohydrates, which cater to the nutrition and energy needs of the human body.
However, we need to ensure that we are consuming the right amounts of these starchy foods, because these foods are usually very high in calorie content, compared to other food types and overconsumption of food high in carbohydrates and calorie content may have negative health impacts.
Breads are a major source of starchy and carbohydrate rich foods. When it comes to bread, there are different varieties of breads such as rye bread, flatbreads, brioche and others. The Pita bread is one of the most common types of flat breads consumed by people around the world.
The Pita bread has its roots in the Mediterranean region and is well known for being a rich source of energy since the medieval times. It is made from a mix of flour, yeast, salt and water.
The Pita bread is quite a common choice of a meal, be it for a main meal or a snack but have you ever stopped to think about how many calories does a pita bread contain? How does the Pita bread satisfy your nutrition and energy needs? Does the consumption of Pita bread help towards maintaining a healthy body weight? Looking for quick and easy recipes using Pita bread?
Keep reading to find out more about this popular kind of flatbread; the Pita bread.
NUTRITION FACTS OF A PITA BRAED
According to a research study published by the USDA, a serving of one pita bread of 28 grams prepared using enriched flour is known to contain the following calories and nutrition content:
· Calorie Count – 77 Kcal
· Carbohydrates – 16g
· Protein – 3g
· Dietary Fiber – 1.01g
· Fat (Lipid) – 0.65g
· Cholesterol – 0mg
Different types and serving sizes of Pita bread are known to have different calorie contents.
According to statistics, the calorie content of whole wheat Pita Bread published by the USDA is as follows:
There is 73.4 kcal of calories in a small sized serving of 28g Pita bread.
A medium sized serving of one 57g whole wheat Pita bread has a calorie content of 149 kcal.
223 kcal of calories content is in a large sized 85g of whole wheat Pita bread.
Carbohydrates are one of the key sources of energy and are available in the form of sugar, starches and dietary fibers. The primary ingredient in Pita bread is wheat flour, which can either be whole wheat or enriched wheat flour.
Wheat flour is very rich in carbohydrates and pumps glucose which in turn provides the much-needed energy to support the smooth functioning of the human body.
Whole wheat Pita bread is generally considered a healthier source of carbohydrates as there are less chemicals added to refine and process the wheat.
The calorie content in whole wheat Pita bread is at 73.4 kcal while in enriched wheat it is at 77 kcal which makes whole wheat Pita bread a low calorie and healthier choice of bread.
Pita breads are a wheat-based product and are rich in plant-based protein. Although plant based proteins are considered to be lower in quality compared to animal based sources due to the relatively low amino acid content, there is a significant amount of plant based protein in wheat.
The average protein content in bread products range between 7.6% and 10.4%. One small serving of Pita bread of around 28g is known to contain around 2.5g-3g of Protein.
Dietary fiber is an essential part of our diet as it has many health benefits ranging from lower risks of contracting coronary diseases to assisting in weight loss. The recommended dietary fiber intake for children and adults is around 14g per 1000 kcal.
Pita bread also contains dietary fiber of around 1-5 grams depending on the serving size since wheat flour is used as the key ingredient in Pita bread and wheat flour is known to contain dietary fiber.
Fats are essential for the smooth functioning of the body. Pita bread prepared from wheat, which is a plant-based product, contains moderate amounts of unsaturated fats.
According to a research study published by the American Heart Association, unsaturated fats were considered to be healthier than saturated fats, therefore Pita bread which contains unsaturated fats of around 0.65g-2g would be a great addition to your daily diet that provides a healthier source of unsaturated fats.
TYPES OF PITA BREAD
There are different varieties of Pita Breads available which are prepared using different ingredients and cooking methods although the base ingredients remain the same. Below lists out some popular types of Pita bread that are commonly available.
1. Greek Pita Bread
The Greek Pita Bread is a common delicacy in the Mediterranean regions where the main ingredient used is ground barley flour. Greek Pita bread is served both as an appetizer and a main meal. Greek Pita bread is a carbohydrate dense food that provides a high level of energy. A serving of one Greek Pita bread of 80g is known to contain 250 kcal.
2. Whole-Wheat Pita Bread
Whole Wheat Pita Bread is made from unrefined wheat flour and is generally considered a healthier low-calorie choice of Pita bread. A serving of one small whole wheat Pita bread of 28g contains a calorie level of 73.4 kcal. Whole wheat Pita bread is low in calories compared to most other types of Pita breads and is ideal for those looking for weight loss.
3. Toasted Pita Bread
Toasted Pita bread is simply the toasting of regular pita bread using an oven or a toaster until it becomes hard and crisp. Toasted Pita bread is great to be served as an appetizer with a dip and is often considered a healthy alternative for chips and dip. A serving of one small Pita bread of 28g contains a calorie level of 75.5 kcal.
PITA BREAD PRODUCTS AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET
Pita Bread Sandwiches
Sandwiches were first introduced in the west, and over time sandwiches have become a preferred choice of both a main meal and a snack. Sandwiches were traditionally prepared from regular white bread but now, people seek out healthier options. Pita Bread sandwiches are a common and healthy fix for a quick meal.
Pita bread sandwiches can be served similarly to regular sandwiches with a filling of your choice consisting of assorted vegetables, cheese or meat. Pita bread is considered a nutrient dense and low-calorie alternative for regular white bread. The calorie content in a slice of white bread is 100 kcal whereas for a small whole wheat pita bread is much lower at a calorie content of 73.4 kcal.
Pita Bread Pizza Crust
Pizza has its origins in Italy. However, it is a popular choice of a meal in the western parts of the world such as the USA. According to a research study published by the USDA, about one in eight people consume pizza on any given day.
Pita bread can also be used as an alternative to the traditional pizza crust and offers a healthier and low-calorie option. In a similar manner to the traditional pizza, the bread can be topped with a pizza topping of your choice including cheese, meat, vegetables and sauce.
An individual pizza crust of 65g would contains 170 kcal whereas a pita bread crust of 28g would have a calorie count of only around 73 to 77 kcal
Pita Bread Chips
Thin and crispy pieces of pita bread can be consumed as a snack or appetizer. Pita bread chips are made by baking, frying or roasting pieces of pita bread and dusting it with salt. Pita bread chips would make a healthier choice of an appetizer and can be served with hummus or cheese dip.
Pita bread chips are definitely a healthier alternative to the traditional potato chips. The calorie content of one small serving bag of pita bread chips amounts to only 128 kcal whereas a similar bag of potato chips contains 150 kcal.
LOW CALORIE PITA BREAD RECIPE IN THE MARKET
Fajita Style Pita Bread with Chicken Filling
Try out this fajita styled pita bread with chicken filling which makes a quick and delicious meal that is both nutritious and low in calories. This fajita style pita bread with chicken filling recipe serves four and makes a great meal for a family of four or a snack to be shared. The total calorie content for is 389 calories.
- Mix together the olive oil, lime juice and tomato ketchup in a bowl and leave it aside.
2. On a heated large cast iron skillet add the pita breads and toast until it turns light brown.
3. Increase the temperature of the skillet to high and then add some oil. Next, add the chicken and bell pepper and let it cook for around five minutes.
4. Once the chicken and bell pepper have cooked well, add in the zucchini, salt and pepper and the sauce mixture. Mix everything together and let it cook for a few minutes before taking the chicken and vegetable filling off the skillet and placing it on a dish to cool down.
5. Stir together the sour cream and a drizzle of tomato ketchup.
6. Fill each pita with lettuce and the chicken and vegetable filling. Top it with a drizzle of sour cream sauce and serve immediately.
NUTRITION FACTS (4 SERVINGS):
389 Calories, 38g Carbs, 32g Fat, 4g Fiber, 4g Sugar
Oven Baked Pita Chips
If you’re on the lookout for a healthy and low-calorie snack or appetizer then these oven baked pita chips will be perfect for you. These oven baked pita chips can be used as a healthy replacement for fried potato chips or crackers and you can spice things up by serving it with a dip of your choice. This recipe serves 32 servings and has a calorie content per serving of 97 kcal.
- Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius.
2. Spray 1 side of each Pita bread with cooking spray and paprika powder.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cut the Pita bread into triangles and place it on a baking tray.
5. Bake until the bread turns crisp.
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and then serve. Your pita chips are ready. Enjoy!
NUTRITION PER SERVING:
Each serving has 97 kCal, 4g Carbs, 1g Protein and 37.79mg Sodium.
Chicken and Avocado Pita Bread Sandwiches
Sandwiches are everyone’s favorite choice of a meal or snack. Try out this delicious and healthy recipe for Chicken and Avocado Pita bread sandwiches which serves four and has a total calorie content of 504 kcal.
1. In a small bowl combine the plain yoghurt and salt and pepper and leave it aside.
2. In a skillet, cook the chicken with a splash of oil until it has turned a golden brown.
3. In another bowl set aside the diced pieces of cherry tomatoes, avocados and cilantro and coriander leaves.
4. Add the chicken filling to the Pitta and top with a drizzle of yoghurt mixture and the add in the diced tomato and cherry tomatoes.
5. You can serve your chicken and Pita bread sandwich cold or grilled.
NUTRITION FACTS (4 SERVINGS):
Each serving has 42g Carbs, 22g Protein, 29g Fat, 8g Saturated Fat, 746mg Potassium and 921mg Sodium.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CONSUMING PITA BREAD
Boosts Energy Levels
Carbohydrates are essential to boosting energy levels. Pita bread is rich in carbohydrates which boost the production of glucose which in turn boosts the energy levels in our bodies.
Carbohydrates are key nutrient found abundance in pita bread. Therefore, consuming food rich in complex carbohydrates such as pita bread would keep energy levels at its peak. Hence, Pita bread would provide you with a steady flow of energy and contribute towards leading a healthy, fit and active lifestyle.
Aids Weight Loss
Pita bread is a rich source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber which makes you feel fuller for longer periods of time. This is because the whole wheat used as a primary ingredient in pita bread will take longer for the carbs in the food to be broken down into glucose. Therefore, consuming Pita bread is likely to make you feel fuller for longer periods of time and avoid unnecessary snacking or binge eating.
Also, pita bread is one of the healthiest types of flatbread that is rich in energy and nutrient values whilst being low in calorie content too. On average, one small serving of pita bread contains calories ranging from 73 kcal to 77 kcal whereas four slices of white bread amounting to 100g would contain a total calorie count of 261 kcal.
Reduces the Risk of Chronic Illnesses
Pita bread being a product made from whole wheat grains is a rich source of plant protein. While proteins are necessary for the development of bones and skin as well as to gain body mass, most animal based proteins are associated with side effects such as higher risks of contracting chronic diseases and reduced longevity.
Research studies indicate that plant-based protein is effective at combating and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases whilst contributing to a longer and healthier life. Therefore, medical experts have recommended the consumption of plant-based proteins which contribute towards the growth and development of the body while reducing the risk of chronic illnesses. Hence, the regular consumption of pita bread will satisfy the protein needs of your body as well as reduce the risk of contracting any chronic illness.
HEALTH RISKS OF CONSUMING PITA BREAD
While Pita bread can be a healthier option compared to most breads, there are health risks associated with the over consumption of Pita bread as outlined below.
Higher Risks of Contracting Diabetes
According to a research study in 2018, around 10.5% of the USA population suffer from diabetes and this trend was forecasted to increase due to the increasing reliance on processed and starchy food. Pita bread is rich in carb content and is considered a starchy food.
While carbohydrates are essential for the production of energy, over consumption of carbohydrate rich foods increases the risk of contracting diabetes. This is because excess carbohydrates will be stored in the body as glucose.
If the glucose levels are higher than the insulin production needed to convert the glucose into energy, this will boost sugar levels in blood, leading to diabetes. Therefore, one needs to ensure that even a relatively low calorie type of bread like pita bread is consumed in the right amount to avoid contracting diabetes.
Allergic Reactions to Gluten
Gluten is a natural protein found in wheat and certain other grains and binds food together. Pita bread is made from wheat flour containing traces of gluten. Gluten may lead to allergies or negative reactions in some people such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea and intestinal damage. If you are a person prone to gluten allergies, you might have to keep away or limit the consumption of Pita bread.
In conclusion, pita bread is indeed a healthier and low-calorie choice of flatbread but the overconsumption of pita bread can have negative health consequences.
It contributes positively to our nutrition and energy levels and makes a great addition to your healthy diet, provided it is consumed in the right quantities.
QUICK ANSWERS TO CALORIES IN A PITA BREAD
How many calories are in a small sized 28g pita bread?
A small sized serving of 28g pita bread contains 73.4 kcal of calories on average.
How many calories are in a medium sized 57g pita bread?
A one 57g medium sized serving of whole wheat pita bread has 149 kcal of calorie content.
How many calories are in a large sized 85g pita bread?
223 kcal of calories are in a large sized 85g of whole wheat pita bread.
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