It’s a dense and hearty loaf that’s packed with seeds, has a devoted celebrity following and comes with a hefty £22 price tag.
But the ‘legendary’ Happy Tummy Loaf, made in Ireland, has not convinced nutrition experts.
The bread contains 15 ingredients — including almonds, linseed and walnuts — and has been nicknamed ‘Magic Poo Bread’ for its ability of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to its artisan baker Karen O’Donoghue.
But scientists say there’s much cheaper ways to get the same benefits, such as by eating nuts and seeds on their own.
However, they note that the ‘very expensive specialist bread’ does have more fibre and beneficial fatty acids than standard supermarket varieties.
Made with alternative flours like buckwheat and teff — a type of grass seed — as well as chia seeds, ground linseed, nuts, eggs, lemon juice, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar, it certainly contains more than your average loaf
With each slice coming to £1, it’s more than 10 times more expensive than your average loaf.
It fans include American actress Goldie Hawn and Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand Goop, which described it as ‘legendary’.
So, how does it compare to your average slice of white or brown bread?
It’s heavier — weighing in at 1.1kg compared to an average 800g supermarket loaf.
Made with alternative flours like buckwheat and teff — a type of grass seed — as well as chia seeds, ground linseed, nuts, eggs, lemon juice, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar, it certainly contains more than your average loaf.
What does the ‘Happy Tummy Loaf’ taste like? MailOnline’s review
Happy Tummy Loaf
On first glance, the rustic loaf looks heavy, dense and very much on the healthy side.
But despite containing extra virgin olive oil, an egg, lemon juice and water, the loaf is still has a dry crust.
However, the centre of the loaf is much softer and more moist — though very grainy, while not unpleasant, with a texture similar to haggis or black pudding.
Its sweet cinnamon notes and mix of nuts make it more of a cake — minus the sugar — than a loaf of bread.
The crumbly texture makes it a challenge to use as the base of a sandwich and it’s difficult to imagine that it would hold up very well if dunked in soup.
So spreading it with a bit of butter or jam is probably the best way to enjoy it.
According to the company’s website, the baking process, which takes up to two days, allows ‘the grain varieties, nuts and seeds to soak and sprout before (baking) so that they enter your gut ready to digest and bring you maximum nourishment’.
The artisan loaf is 326 calories per 100g, almost 100 calories more than supermarket favourites.
It has less sugar (1.9g) and salt (0.3g) than other cheaper brown and white loafs.
For comparison, Warburtons Farmhouse White Bread contains 2.2g of sugar and 0.98g of salt per 100g, which is the equivalent to two slices.
The Happy Tummy Loaf is full of healthy fats due to the inclusion of almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts.
In fact, it has about 10 times more fat than either the Hovis Granary Wholemeal Bread or the Warburtons Farmhouse White Bread.
But this 23.4g of fat is mostly monosaturated fat, a type of ‘healthy’ fat that helps protect your heart by maintaining levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood, the NHS says.
It’s found in olive oil and nuts, which are key ingredients in this pricy loaf.
The pricey bread also has a third more fibre (9.3g) than Hovis Granary Wholemeal Bread (6.8g), but the same amount of protein as Warburtons Farmhouse White Bread (9g).
The NHS recommends adults should have 30g of fibre per day, meaning two slices of The Happy Tummy Loaf accounts for two-thirds of your daily fibre intake.
However, experts aren’t convinced and say the £22 price tag for a health kick is a bit too expensive.
‘£22 seems to be a little bit on the expensive side; there are much cheaper ways to get this much fibre’, says Professor Gunter Kuhnle, an expert in nutrition and food science at the University of Reading.
He said: ‘It’s definitely a long way away from the usually more minimalistic “flour, water, yeast and salt” approach of bread.
‘It includes a lot of fat from nuts and seeds, having much more fat and fewer carbohydrates than other breads.’
The dense and hearty loaf made with a combination of 15 ingredients is said to alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to its artisan baker Karen O’Donoghue
It has less sugar (1.9g) and salt (0.3g) than other cheaper brown and white loafs. For comparison, Warburtons Farmhouse White Bread contains 2.2g of sugar and 0.98g of salt per 100g, which is the equivalent to two slices
|Bread (per 100g)||Calories||Sugar||Salt||Fibre||Protein||Fat|
|The Happy Tummy Loaf||326||1.9g||0.3g||9.3g||9g||23.4g|
|Warburtons Farmhouse White Bread||243||2.2g||0.98g||2.3g||9g||2.5g|
|Hovis Granary Wholemeal Bread||236||2.4g||0.98g||6.8g||10.6g||2.4g|
The extensive ingredients list, which includes an egg and nuts, could exclude people who have allergies experts say. But when solely comparing the ingredients with other supermarket bread, experts say the Happy Tummy Loaf is the ‘healthiest’
Food scientists suggest you can get the same fibre and healthy fat content from simply eating nuts and seeds and your average wholemeal supermarket bread
So what’s in the ‘Happy Tummy Loaf’?
According to the Happy Tummy Company its signature 15-ingredient loaf contains:
- Wholegrain teff flour
- Wholegrain buckwheat flour
- Ground almonds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Ground linseed
- Chia seeds
- Flaked brazil nuts
- Flaked walnuts
- Regeneratively farmed egg
- Lemon juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Irish orchard syrup
- Achill sea salt
However, he believes that healthy food doesn’t have to break the bank.
In fact, he suggests you can get the same fibre and healthy fat content from simply eating nuts and seeds and your average wholemeal supermarket bread.
He said: ‘Nuts and seeds have some health benefits, but one could get them cheaper separately.
‘Some people believe that a long fermentation and sprouting might have some beneficial effects, but long fermentation is something that can be achieved with standard breads as well.
‘Likewise, one could achieve a high fibre intake from other sources.’
For example, fruit, vegetables and pulses are packed with the carbohydrate.
He also adds that the extensive ingredients list, which includes an egg and nuts, could exclude people who have allergies.
But it is worth noting the loaf is gluten free and there is also a vegan option.
However, when solely comparing the ingredients with other supermarket bread, he does suggest the Happy Tummy Loaf is the ‘healthiest’.
Professor Kuhnle said: ‘Looking solely at ingredients, the “Happy Timmy Loaf” is probably the “healthiest” as it has more fibre and also some beneficial fatty acids from nuts and seeds.
‘But I don’t think it is a fair comparison as this is a very expensive specialist bread – wholemeal breads contain much more fibre (about 6g/100g), and one can buy seeded breads with many of the same benefits for a much lower price.’