Is bread actually bad for your health?

Even though bread is a basic food and has been mentioned several times in the Bible, throughout the past years and decades, there have been ongoing rumours and theories that bread isn’t actually that crucial for the human diet, and even more that bread could be harmful to man.

Even though white bread and refined grains have been considered a not-so-healthy dietary choice for some time now, and people have been encouraged to replace them with whole-grain bread and products instead, just recently it has been suggested that all grains and especially those which contain gluten are harmful for the human organism. This is one of the reasons why the gluten-free diet is becoming ever so popular.

One of the claims which has been made in regard to the harm of all types of bread includes the fact that even whole-grain bread and products are not really whole grain, but rather are made from ground flour. This causes the bread to be digested rapidly, and the starches to be broken down very quickly entering the bloodstream as glucose, and causing a spike in the blood sugar levels.

Such rapid blood sugar spikes lead the person to become hungry again very soon, and to crave for more of that high-carb food and snacks. Needless to say, this causes overeating and eventually weight gain, obesity and all the dangers which result from this, including: type II diabetes, coronary disease, angina, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunctions and the danger of strokes, heart attacks and death.

This is the reason why a large number of doctors as well as a number of studies conclude that the best diet for people who are diagnosed with type II diabetes or want to lose weight should not include any grains whatsoever.

In fact, patients diagnosed with type II diabetes or those with a risk of developing it are advised to eat less bread, sugary drinks and sweetened products, red meat and processed foods as a whole.

While originally only people suffering from celiac disease were prescribes a gluten-free diet, it later on became clear that other people have some sort of intolerance to gluten as well, and feel a lot better when the gluten in their diets is limited or avoided altogether.

Gluten is a protein which makes up wheat and is similar to glue, and there has been a growing number of people who have been discovered to suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In fact 1 of 100 people has some form of this sensitivity according to the latest findings. This sensitivity causes pain and abdominal bloating, as well as fatigue, and more and more people have given up eating gluten because they feel better in general.

The reason for this gluten sensitivity and in cases of people with celiac disease-intolerance is because the human digestive system attacks the gluten proteins which enter the body and this can cause the above mentioned symptoms, as well as damage to the digestive tract wall.

A relation between some serious disorders of the brain such as schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia and gluten has also been suggested by a number of independent studies as well.

It is suggested for those who want to find out if they have some sort of gluten intolerance, to follow a gluten-free diet for 30 days, and watch for any side effects after re-introducing wheat and gluten foods back into the diet.

Apart from the gluten, the bread which we buy from the stores usually also contains other harmful substances as well, one of which is sugar or high fructose corn syrup. And we all know how sugar can affect the weight and the overall health of people.

Another ingredient which is commonly found in commercial bread is phytic acid, which hinders the proper absorption of essential minerals in the body, including: zinc, iron and calcium.

Supporters of the theory that bread is bad for us also claim that the nutrients which humans get by consuming bread are actually very few as compared to other basic foods such as vegetables and fruits. Plus that bread and other grains do not contain all the essential amino-acids and thus are not a great or an irreplaceable source of protein. And that not only is it insufficient in nutritional value as compared to other food, but also bread is most often quite high in calories, with a single slice of white bread having about 70-80 calories.

Another argument against white bread is that it leads to the increase of “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood, and this increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, heart disease and other serious health conditions.

As it turns out, even though most of us have heard that whole grain bread is much healthier and better than white bread, there have been certain theories that the whole grain bread is not as healthier as it was assumed to be until recently. In any case, if you need to choose between breads, choose the whole grain version, bread made of soaked or sprouted grains or better off go for gluten-free bread.

True, bread has been essential for human survival and evolution, and has been mentioned in the Bible, but today’s wheat is in the majority of cases nothing like the ancient wheat. It has been genetically improved to give higher yields and be more weather resistant, faster-growing, etc.

These genetic modifications which started last century are triggering autoimmune diseases, and other health problems, according to the anti-genetically modified organisms movement.

Results from the latest study suggest that something other than gluten in the wheat is causing symptoms in people, that don’t have celiac disease.

One thought on “Is bread actually bad for your health?

  1. I have celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and presently discovered that there is this thing called fructose malabsorption which I also have. The last one is thought to be caused by damage in the intestines from years of gluten consumption without knowing it was causing all my issues.

    Regardless, I have a relationship with sugar. Table sugar, berries, potatoes, corn, and maple syrup. Try as I might every morning I crave sugar almost more than caffeine. I weaned myself off of sugar in my coffee to drinking I black… only to put a more sugary breakfast next to the cup.

    I try to limit the breakfast sugar but more often than not I fail. Example… I just bought a waffle maker. I was having insane cravings for waffles but store bought gluten free waffles are full of fruit juice, apple or grape, that is high in fructose which I cannot have or it will make me sick. So, I am making waffles at home and having a single serving of berries with it… But I know the large amount of Carbs aren’t any better.

    I started making iced coffee in the morning to help with the bitterness, but that lead to making Thai tea with a tablespoons of sugar in each glass. I feel like I am losing the battle with sugar. I have given up caffeine before and felt amazing, which decreases my sugar in take, only to “fall off the wagon” after a couple nights of bad sleep. I am now keeping a detailed food journal to map out the exact amount of sugar and carbs I consume.

    I am hoping I can find a way to make better breakfasts for myself and one that I can stick with. Pancakes, waffles, cereal, granola, are all carbs and added sugars. But they can be ready for a breakfast on the go way easier… Help?

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