Getty Images

No, Dancers Don't Need to Swear Off Bread

Despite what you might think, there's no reason for dancers to be afraid of bread.

"It's looked at as this evil food," says New York State–certified dietitian and former dancer Tiffany Mendell. But the truth is, unless you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, bread can be a healthy source of carbohydrates—our body's preferred fuel—plus fiber and vitamins.

The key is choosing your loaf wisely.


Scrutinize the label for ingredients, fiber, carbs, calories and sugar.

To pick the healthiest, most nutrient-dense bread, Mendell suggests checking both the nutrition facts and the ingredients:

  1. Make sure the first ingredient is 100 percent whole-grain or whole-wheat, not enriched or refined, flour.
  2. Each slice should have at least 2 grams of fiber.
  3. Slices should have no more than 15 to 20 grams of carbs.
  4. A good portion size is around 80 to 100 calories.
  5. Ideally there should be 0 or only 1 gram of sugar per slice—and watch out for artificial sweeteners like stevia or sucralose, "which just don't belong in bread," says Mendell.

a whole grain loaf sliced up into pieces

Getty Images

Whole grain will give you a lot more bang for your bun.

A whole grain consists of three parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. When a grain is refined into white flour, the bran and the germ are removed—stripping away naturally occurring protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

"Food manufacturers are required by law to add back in a few B vitamins and iron, and that's what's called 'enriched flour,' " says Mendell. "It sounds healthy, but it's not."

Buy your bread fresh, if possible.

For fewer preservatives, dietitian Rachel Fine, founder of To the Pointe Nutrition, recommends getting fresh bread from a local baker, or buying the Ezekiel brand in the frozen section of the supermarket.

Incorporate bread into one meal per day.

Mendell recommends including bread in just one meal per day to make sure you're getting enough variety in your diet. For a balanced meal, combine bread's carbohydrates with lean protein and healthy fat.

Breakfast idea: Toast a piece of whole-grain bread and have it with avocado and an egg.

Lunch idea: Eat a turkey sandwich with avocado, baby spinach, tomato and cucumbers.

Mid-performance idea: Fine says a piece of white bread (paired with a bit of protein) can give you a quick boost backstage because it releases sugar into the bloodstream quickly.

Latest Posts


Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS

Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
contest
Enter Our Video Contest