Is the Bread Crust Less Digestible than the Inside?


People have strong opinions about whether bread crusts are worth eating. I was surprised to learn that people have been questioning the value of bread crusts for a long time. Here’s a question and response that I found in a hundred-year-old magazine:

Is the Crust of Bread Less Digestible than the Inside?

No! The crust is satisfactorily digested when properly chewed. Part of the protein of the crust is present in a more soluble form and some of the starch has been partly digested to dextrin through the action of the heat in baking. The crust is fully as nutritious as the crumb or the inside of the loaf.

Ladies Home Journal (February, 1917)

36 thoughts on “Is the Bread Crust Less Digestible than the Inside?

  1. There always was a competition in our family to see who’d get the heel. And now I’m remembering all those party sandwiches with the crusts cut off. We kids weren’t allowed to eat any sandwiches until after the party, but the crusts were ours.

  2. I was never a crust eater or even a bread eater. I thought it was interesting that bread was included in all the meals for the pregnant ladies. It seems it was important to get everyone to eat lots of it and all of it.

    1. It seems like bread was considered to be a more important part of meals in days gone by. Today there are lots of people don’t eat gluten and who avoid most breads.

  3. Never knew that the crust was a ” topic of nutrition “. Crust were always enjoyed around this household… at least the homemade bread,it’s more buttery than the other pieces.

    1. I find it intriguing that people wondered whether the nutritional value of the crust differed from the rest of the loaf. I never really thought about it until I read the Q&A in the old magazine – but I think that I always just assumed that it was the same.

        1. Thanks for researching this. Now that you’ve explained it, it makes a lot of sense. I bet that with the wood and coal stoves that were used years ago that it was even more difficult back then to keep the bottom from burning.

  4. What comes to mind here is what I’ve heard about cooking vegetables too long; it affects the nutritional value. Could it be that or just the texture? I happen to love crust…even the upper crust. πŸ˜‰

    1. In addition to thinking about the nutritional value of foods, people a hundred years ago seemed to worry a lot about whether a food was difficult to digest or easy to digest.

    1. So would I. Somehow I find it difficult to imagine that anyone would think that there was much nutritional difference between the crust and the rest of the loaf.

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