Personal trainers, competitive bodybuilders and bodybuilding magazines present nutrition for bodybuilders as a complicated process. Incorporating supplements, powders, seemingly bizarre eating habits and precise measurements of nutrients, a bodybuilding diet can appear somewhat intimidating. Looking at the nutrients in everyday foods such as buttered toast, however, reveals that such drastic changes to your diet need not be necessary.
Butter vs. Margarine
As "buttered toast" can generally refer to toast topped with either butter or margarine, it is important to know the potential nutritional benefits of both of these spreads. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database, there are few differences between unsalted butter and unsalted margarine in their total fat, calories, vitamins and minerals. Due to its milk content, however, butter has approximately 10 times the protein of margarine by weight and contains calcium and vitamin D, both of which are vital to developing your bones along with your muscles. While margarine lacks these compounds, it does contain approximately four times the vitamin E, which helps to prevent damage to healthy muscles; twice the vitamin A, which aids bone growth; and much less saturated fat than butter. As both have their pros and cons, the choice between butter and margarine largely depends on your dietary needs and preferences.
White vs. Whole Wheat
While the choice between butter and margarine is not obvious, the differences between white and whole-wheat breads make for a much easier decision. Both types of bread contain marginal amounts of fat, vitamins and minerals, and both have approximately the same amount of calories and carbohydrates, according to the USDA nutrient database. Despite these similarities, whole-wheat bread contains more than twice as much protein by weight and four times the fiber of white bread. As both of these nutrients are vital to building lean muscle and shedding fat, whole-wheat bread is a better option for bodybuilders than white bread.
Using 1 tbsp. of butter and two slices of whole-wheat bread, buttered toast contains 254 calories, 13.6 g of fat and 25.6 g of carbohydrates. With 8.3 g of protein, 4.6 g of fiber and 294 mg of sodium, buttered toast can contribute significantly to your diet with little unwanted nutrients. Although its fat content is somewhat high, eating buttered toast with breakfast can help you to concentrate most of your essential fat consumption in the morning. This leaves you with the rest of the day to burn off these fats and to eat high-carbohydrate, high-protein, low-fat and nutrient-rich foods.
As Part of a Meal
Although it can be a great way to meet your daily fat requirements while adding significant amounts of protein and fiber, buttered toast should not be eaten as a meal. As part of your breakfast, you should aim for eating one serving of protein, one serving of dairy and at least one fruit and one vegetable with your buttered toast. Topping a vegetable-loaded omelet with tomato and drinking a glass of skim milk with your toast, for example, can be a great way to meet many of your daily nutrient needs at the start of the day. While your bodybuilding goals may require additional foods and supplements, eating a large, nutrient-rich breakfast can be a great way to avoid post-exercise crashes and hunger pangs throughout the day.
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Matthew Lee has been writing professionally since 2007. Past and current research projects have explored the effect of a diagnosis of breast cancer on lifestyle and mental health and adherence to lifestyle-based (i.e. nutrition and exercise) and drug therapy treatment programs. He holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Carleton University and is working toward his doctorate in health psychology.