Buns are yeast-leavened bread products that are highly accepted globally for their soft texture, good taste and versatile utility. Therefore, buns are one of the most highly consumed food products. With their growing popularity, many types of buns are available in the market. However, the primary ingredients remain the same with little changes in the added ingredients with slight variation in the taste. Traditionally, buns are usually round and small, but today, they are available in many shapes and sizes.
Bun originated from the city of Hamburg in Germany. The history of buns goes back to the 18th CE. People ate it with meat, and it was popular with German workers. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the government passed the law that bakers could only make hot cross buns on Easter and Christmas. It was illegal to sell spiced buns on any other day.
Many people confuse buns with bread. However, they are different. Bread is a loaf which yields many servings, whereas a bun is a single-serving baked product. The primary ingredients in the bun are flour, milk, yeast, and a small amount of sugar or butter. However, a sweet bun has more sugar and some nuts and fruits. In addition, the name, taste, size, and shapes vary in different regions. Some examples are dinner rolls, cinnamon buns, hot cross buns, croissants, kaiser rolls, pizza rolls, Italian panini buns, ciabatta buns, etc.
Nutritional Properties of Buns
As per USDA, 100g of bun serving contains the following nutrients:
- Energy: 256 kcal
- Protein: 9.3g
- Carbohydrate: 48.84
- Fat: 3.49g
- Fibre: 2.3g
- Sugar: 6.98g
- Sodium: 465mg
Note: The properties mentioned above are for a white hamburger bun, which is pretty popular.
The HealthifyMe Note
Not all buns have the same nutritional properties. Nutritional properties in buns can differ depending on their type and the ingredients. The difference in values of micronutrients and macronutrients also depends on the size and kind. For example, 100g of cinnamon buns will have more sugar than hamburger buns.
Types of Buns
There are multiple kinds of buns available in different forms. However, some popular types of buns are listed below:
- A dinner roll is a small, round piece of bread served as a side dish as a part of the meal.
- Cinnamon buns are often called cinnamon rolls. It is a sweet roll with a cinnamon flavour, commonly served in North America.
- Hot cross buns are spiced sweet buns made with fruits. Earlier, people only consumed it on Good Friday. Therefore, it has a cross mark on the top.
- A croissant is a buttery crescent-shaped roll made with yeast-leavened dough. It is more like puff pastry or danish pastry.
- Panini buns are traditional sandwich buns that have filling inside. It mostly has a pork filling.
- Ciabatta buns are bread with wheat flour, yeast, olive oil and salt as the primary ingredients.
- A plain bagel is bread which looks like a doughnut. Its preparation differs from the other products.
- Pretzel is a knot-shaped bread, which is usually salty.
- Scotch bap bread is very soft and round. It is also oval and square sometimes. It is flat on top and dusted with flour.
- Crumpet is common in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. It is a small griddle bread prepared from milk, flour and yeast.
- English muffin is a small, round yeast-raised bread. It is generally light in colour and served at breakfast. It is trendy in Britain.
- Hot dog buns are soft long buns that typically contain sausage.
- The Hamburger bun is a round bread made to hold a patty. First, the bakers slice it in half and then add fillings.
- Whole wheat buns are made from wheat flour. It is high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
- Sprouted whole grain buns are made from the sprouted whole grain. Sprouting them adds to their nutritional value.
- Oats buns are made from oats flour. It offers several health benefits, including cholesterol-lowering benefits.
- Flax bun has omega-3-rich fatty acid that promotes good heart health. In addition, Lignans is a compound in these buns that helps protect against certain cancers.
- Sprouted rye buns are high in fibre. As a result, they help slow the digestion of carbs and decrease the body’s insulin response.
Health Benefits of Healthy Buns
Instant Source of Energy
Buns can boost energy levels due to their carbohydrates and calories. Since healthy buns are a good source of carbohydrates, they can instantly provide energy. However, regular buns made of refined flour are not a good source of complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are not always detrimental to health.
Instead, it is necessary to fuel the body. In addition, carbs help the brain to function correctly and enhance mood. Buns include sugar, starch, and fibre that provide energy.
Buns, especially ones prepared with whole grains, whole wheat flour, seeds, and nuts, are rich in fibre. The fibre in buns helps reduce the risk of gut-related health issues like constipation.
In addition, according to studies, rye buns possess nutrients that can lower cholesterol. Fibre also helps lower bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Buns may also assist in weight loss due to their fibre-rich composition.
The fibre present in the bun acts as a prebiotic. A prebiotic is a compound that increases the growth of beneficial bacteria. These microorganisms protect the digestive system. It also keeps our bodies safe from harmful bacteria and fungi. Healthy bacteria feed on prebiotics, which come from carbohydrates and fibre.
Studies show that gut bacteria support our immune system function, improve depression, and address obesity.
Enriched with Micronutrients
Each type of bun can have its unique benefits. Besides regular buns, several healthy options are fortified with essential nutrients. Fortified foods have added nutrients added to them, boosting their nutritional benefits and making them more nutritious. Generally, fortified foods have added vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients.
White hamburger buns have a significant amount of iron. Some bakers also fortify buns with minerals like iron, niacin, and calcium, making them nutrient-rich and healthy. Studies suggest that iron is vital to producing haemoglobin, essential for producing red blood cells that transport oxygen to various body parts. Iron is also necessary to make certain hormones.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, helps the digestive system, skin, and nerve function. Calcium is a mineral most often associated with bones and teeth. Calcium plays a vital role in blood clotting, helps muscles contract, and regulates normal heart rhythms and nerve function. White hamburger buns have a significant amount of these nutrients.
The HealthifyMe Note
Buns do not offer any significant difference. Instead, they are high in carbohydrates and calories. Although they may provide instant energy, overconsumption will bring more harm than benefits. However, eating buns made using oat flour or whole grains can offer some health benefits.
An Easy Home-Made Bun Recipe
- Servings: 22
- Rising time: 2 hours
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 15 minutes
To Proof Yeast
- Instant dry yeast: 1 tbsp
- Sugar: 1 tbsp
- Warm water: ½ cup
To Make Buns
- Warm Water: 2 cups
- Unsalted butter: ½ cup
- Granulated sugar: ⅓ cup
- Salt- 1 tbsp
- Whole Wheat Flour: 6-7 cups
- Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a liquid measuring cup.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
To Make Buns
- In a huge bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of warm water, butter, ⅓ cup sugar and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture and stir to mix.
- Put the bowl in the stand mixer, and then put the dough hook on the machine. Of course, you can also knead it by hand.
- Add flour (one cup at a time) and combine before adding more.
- Add up to 6-7 cups of flour total. However, add it gradually at the end until the dough becomes smooth and does not stick.
- Then, place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
- Set in a warm spot and let rise until it doubles (about 1.5 hours).
- Uncover dough, punch down, and roll out 20-24 rounds.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise (you don’t have to cover them) in a warm spot for 30 to 90 minutes until doubled.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.
The HealthifyMe Note:
One must make sure that the buns are fresh before buying them. Verify the expiry date and manufacturing date. Also, check the packets’ ingredients, whole grain, and nutritional value. Food manufacturers may add molasses and food colouring to give their refined buns a darker look. Select whole-grain bread products which comprise at least 3 g of fibre.
Possible Adverse Effects of Buns
Weight Gain and Diabetes
Buns, mainly white and refined buns, have a high carbohydrate content. Unfortunately, such varieties of buns also have a high glycemic index.
Therefore, consuming too many buns can result in a spike in blood sugar levels. In addition, the high calories can make you gain weight if the other ingredients are not healthy.
Buns have a very high sodium content. Hence, if you consume them in excess, it may lead to hypertension. Therefore, you should always eat them in moderation.
People allergic to wheat must avoid buns or ensure that the bun they are consuming does not have wheat. In addition, people with celiac disease should also avoid consumption. Symptoms of wheat allergies vary from person to person. Skin rash, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, runny nose, sneezing, and asthma are common signs of allergy.
Buns are best when consumed fresh. However, you can also store them. Store the buns in a container with a tight lid at the bottom of a cabinet where heat and direct sunlight will not degrade their quality. In hot weather conditions, keep it in a container inside the fridge to keep it pest-free and safe.
Bakery products like buns are well-liked all over the world. Buns contain several ingredients, which differ from the varieties. It also includes different procedures in its preparation. However, they do not provide any significant benefits. But, whole-grain or oat flour buns made from whole grains are healthy.
You can consume them with other healthy foods to make them a part of your healthy meals. For example, if you want to use your buns for breakfast, you can choose a whole grain bun and club it with some veggies and protein like egg, chicken, or cottage cheese.
Bread making is a very sophisticated process and requires patience. However, the ingredients used to make buns are very easily available. Therefore you can make them at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are buns healthy?
A. Buns are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, preventing deficiency diseases. However, the primary nutrients they offer are carbohydrates and fibre. Various buns are enriched or fortified with nutrients. However, buns made from refined or regular flour are not healthy.
Q. What is a bun in nutrition?
A. Bun is a yeast-leavened baked bread product. There are wide varieties of buns available worldwide. Although buns primarily contain carbohydrates and fibre, buns made with ingredients such as brown rice, oats and other healthy products increase the nutrient content.
Q. What is the healthiest bun to eat?
A. Some examples of healthy buns are sprouted whole grain, wheat whole grain, oat bun, flax bun, sprouted rye bun, and nutritional gluten-free bun. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
Q. Is a white bun good for health?
A. No, the highly processed flour and additives in white buns make it unhealthy. Consuming too much white bread can lead to increased weight. It also increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, consuming limited amounts will have less or no significant adverse effects on a healthy individual.
Q. Does the bun contain eggs?
A. The traditional bun recipe does not include eggs. However, eggs are a common ingredient nowadays. In addition, some of the bun bakers add eggs to soften the texture. Hence, it is best to check the product label before buying or consuming it.
Q. A bun contains how many calories?
A. A bun usually has a significant number of calories. For example, a small plain bun has 120 calories. However, buns made using healthy ingredients have fewer calories.
Q. What are the symptoms of high BUN levels?
A. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is a test that provides information about kidney function. Some symptoms of high BUN levels include fatigue, itching, frequent urination, poor appetite, trouble sleeping, back pain, joint and bone pain, swelling, discoloured urination and muscle cramping.
Q. Does bun have protein?
A. Yes, healthier buns will have a good amount of protein (around 8-9 g per 100g). Protein is necessary for building and repairing body tissues. Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in one part of the body that help coordinate activities and communicate with other areas. It promotes immune function, energy, and enzymes.