It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people complain of weight gain of Passover, a festival defined by the eating of unleavened bread, when a single matzah contains almost twice as many calories as a slice of plain white bread.
Each matzah 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, who spoke to Channel 2 in an interview aired Saturday.
Whole-wheat matza is only slightly less fattening, containing 120 calories.
Matzah 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 matzah and bread in the amount of dietary fiber they contain. But due to the short rising time and small amount of liquid in matzahs, 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 matzah-based foods. A single slice of matzah-layered chocolate cake contains some 300 calories — equivalent to three energy bars.
Two slices of matzah fried with an egg, oil and milk — a delicacy known as matzah 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 matzah with chocolate spread. Due to the large surface area of matzah, a lot more spread is required, clocking up in at an impressive 400 calories per matzah — the same number of calories as a pita, omelette, yellow cheese and salad.
The average person needs between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day.