Matza is more fattening than you think

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How is this bread different from all other breads? It contains almost twice as many calories
by TOI STAFF | Mar 29, 2018

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people complain about weight gain during Passover, a festival defined by the eating of unleavened bread, when a single matza contains almost twice as many calories as a slice of plain white bread.

Each matza contains 130 calories, which is only slightly less than two slices of regular white bread (which contain 70 calories each), according to dietitian Dr Maya Rosman.

Whole-wheat matza is only slightly less fattening, containing 120 calories.

Matza famously contains only flour and water, whereas bread may contain many additional ingredients, including yeast, salt, sugar and preservatives.

There is no real difference between matza and bread in the amount of dietary fibre they contain. But due to the short rising time and small amount of liquid in matzas, it is more difficult for some people to digest them. The solution is to drink extra water, Rosman said.

The situation only gets worse when one eats matza-based foods. A single slice of matza-layered chocolate cake contains 300 calories – equivalent to three energy bars.

Two slices of matza fried with an egg, oil and milk – a delicacy known as matza brei – amount to about 480 calories, which is the same as one would get from eating a full meal of chicken breast with potato, vegetables and soup.

Kosher-for-Passover rolls contain about 200 calories each.

And worst of all? A single slice of matza with chocolate spread. Given the large surface area of matza, a lot more spread is required, clocking in at an impressive 400 calories per matza. This is the same number of calories as a pita, an omelette, yellow cheese and salad.

The average person needs between 2 000 and 2 500 calories per day.


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