Bread bad for health?

The Whiter The Bread, The Sooner You’re Dead?

Multigrain, wholegrain, wholewheat or no wheat: which bread is best?

It's one of the world's oldest food products, eaten around the globe, and while it's had a bit of a bad rap lately, the humble loaf of bread still has a lot going for it - as long as you look a little further than the whiter-than-white, sugar-laden, over-refined slice.

So what should you be looking for when selecting a bread with nutritional value? Wholegrain, wholewheat or multigrain? (And no, they're not all the same thing) Or should you give the glutenous little wheat grain the flick altogether?

New Zealand registered nutritionist Bronwen King gives us the loaf low-down.

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Bread: The nutrition facts

“The Whiter The Bread, The Sooner You’re Dead.”

It has been known for a long time that white bread and refined grains in general aren’t particularly nutritious.

Nutritionists and dietitians all around the world have encouraged us to eat whole grains instead.

But grains, especially gluten grains like wheat, have been under intense scrutiny in recent years.

Many respected health professionals now claim that bread and other sources of gluten grains are unnecessary at best and potentially harmful, writes research-based publication Authority Nutrition.

Even whole grain bread usually isn’t made with actual “whole” grains.

They are grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour. Even though this process reserves the nutrients, it causes these products to be digested rapidly.

The starches in bread get broken down quickly in the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream as glucose. This causes a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels.

Even whole wheat bread spikes blood sugar faster than many candy bars.

In addition, most breads are made of gluten grains. Gluten causes an immune response in the digestive tract of susceptible individuals. This can cause digestive issues, pain, bloating, tiredness and other symptoms.

Most commercial types of bread contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, just like other processed foods.

Sugar causes many adverse effects and eating processed foods that contain it is likely to have detrimental effects on health.

Most grains also include the “anti nutrient” phytic acid , a molecule that strongly binds essential minerals like calcium, iron and zinc, preventing them from being absorbed.

There is no nutrient in bread that you can’t get from other foods in even greater amounts.

Even whole wheat bread isn’t as nutritious as you may think.

Not only is it low in nutrients compared to other real foods, it literally reduces the absorption of nutrients from other foods.

And finally, eating wheat may raise small, dense LDL cholesterol by 60%. This type of cholesterol is strongly associated with heart disease.

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