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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why is Bread Bad For You? The Shocking Truth

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.

Bread is High in Carbs and Can Spike Blood Sugar Levels

Even whole grain bread usually isn’t made out of 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  .
When blood sugar goes up rapidly, it tends to go down just as quickly. When blood sugar goes down, we become hungry.
This is the blood sugar roller coaster that is familiar to people on high carb diets. Soon after eating, they become hungry again, which calls for another high-carb snack.
Elevated blood sugars can also cause glycation at the cellular level when the blood sugars react with proteins in the body. This is one of the components of ageing .
Studies on carb restricted diets (which eliminate/reduce starches and sugars) suggest that individuals who are diabetic or need to lose weight should avoid ALL grains  .
Bottom Line: Most breads are made of pulverized wheat. They are easily digested and rapidly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to the notorious blood sugar “roller coaster” and stimulate overeating.

Bread Contains a Lot of Gluten


Wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten.
This protein has glue-like properties (hence the namegluten) responsible for dough’s viscoelastic properties.
Evidence is mounting that a significant percentage of the population is sensitive to gluten  .
When we eat bread that contains gluten (wheat, spelt, rye and barley), the immune system in our digestive tract “attacks” the gluten proteins .
Controlled trials in people without celiac disease show that gluten damages the wall of the digestive tract, causing pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and tiredness  .
Gluten sensitivity is also associated with some cases of schizophrenia  and cerebellar ataxia   – both serious disorders of the brain.
Gluten is probably harmful for most people, not just those with diagnosed celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
The only way to really know if you’re gluten sensitive is to remove gluten from your diet for 30 days and then reintroduce it and see whether it affects you.
Bottom Line: 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.

Bread Contains Other Harmful Substances


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.
Phytic acid is a molecule that strongly binds essential minerals like calcium, iron and zinc, preventing them from being absorbed .
Soaking grains before baking can degrade the phytic acid, which should improve the availability of minerals.
Bottom Line: Most breads contain sugar, which is extremely bad for you. They also contain “anti nutrients” that block the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron and zinc.

Bread is Low in Essential Nutrients


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.
  • Calorie for calorie, whole grain breads contain a low amount of nutrients compared to real foods like vegetables.
  • The phytic acid blocks absorption of minerals like iron, zinc and calcium  .
  • By damaging the intestinal lining, gluten decreases the absorption of all nutrients  .
  • Grains do not contain all the essential amino acids and are therefore poor sources of protein for humans  .
  • Wheat fiber may cause your body to burn through its Vitamin D stores much faster and contribute to vitamin d deficiency  , which is associated with cancer, diabetes and death  .
Bottom Line: Most breads aren’t very nutritious and the proteins in them aren’t of much use. A damaged intestinal lining along with phytic acid reduces availability of nutrients. Wheat may also exacerbate vitamin d deficiency.

Whole Wheat Raises The Bad Cholesterol


In one study, 36 men were randomized into two groups.
They were instructed to eat either whole oat cereal or whole wheat cereal  .
After 12 weeks, the researchers measured blood lipid levels in both groups.
The oat cereal decreased LDL cholesterol and small, dense LDL. Basically, whole oats significantly improved the blood lipid profile.
However, the whole wheat cereal increased total LDL cholesterol by 8% and small, dense LDL by a whopping 60%.
Small, dense LDL is the type of cholesterol that is strongly associated with heart disease  .
What this means is that whole wheat significantly harms blood lipids and may drastically raise your risk of heart disease.
Yes, that slice of “heart-healthy” whole wheat bread may be killing you.
Bottom Line: Eating not-so-”heart healthy” whole wheat may raise small, dense LDL cholesterol by a whopping 60%. This type of cholesterol is strongly associated with heart disease.

Whole Wheat is Just “Less Bad” Than Refined Wheat

It is true that whole grain breads are better for you than breads made with refined grains. They contain more nutrients and fiber. 
However, they’re just the lesser of two evils. It’s like comparing unfiltered cigarettes to filtered cigarettes. Filtered cigarettes are less harmful, but that does not make them healthy.
If you really must include bread in your life, then there are some options that aren’t quite as bad.
Bread made with soaked and sprouted grains may be less bad for you than regular bread. Preparing it this way reduces the amount of phytic acid.
Ezekiel bread, for example, is made of sprouted grains. This probably makes it less unhealthy than other breads. Gluten-free breads may also be healthier than those made with gluten grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley.


Bottom Line: Whole grain breads are better for you than breads made with refined grains, but the best option is no bread at all. Breads made with soaked and sprouted grains may be less unhealthy.

9 comments:

  1. Oh please, bread is found in every culture on this earth going back far into our history. Bread has kept many people over the millennia from starving to death. Everything in moderation, including bread, will help you live a long and healthy life. Even Jesus ate bread, probably everyday of his life, He even had it as His last meal.

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    1. Awesome comment!

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    2. I'm with you Anonymous. However this article as well as most here, have some good information. Like a mini nutrition class. And yes, I'll be having bread tomorrow.

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  2. It's good to know that there are potentially harmful properties of pulverized wheat flour, but I have some comments and concerns about the post and how it's written...

    Does the fiber content in whole wheat bread offset the process so that the blood sugar doesn't actually spike? I wonder if there is an issue with the wheat flour that we get, since we get the pulverized flour and not whole grains... That may also not matter if it's part of a balanced meal that offsets any potential blood sugar issues (there are other foods, such as apples, that can spike blood sugar levels if not eaten at the proper time or if eaten apart from other things).

    "When we eat bread that contains gluten (wheat, spelt, rye and barley), the immune system in our digestive tract “attacks” the gluten proteins ."

    This is a very general statement, though this section appears to apply only to gluten-sensitive people (and the immune system attacking something is the basic sign of a sensitivity; that doesn't happen in healthy non-sensitive people).

    "The only way to really know if you’re gluten sensitive is to remove gluten from your diet for 30 days and then reintroduce it and see whether it affects you."

    Doesn't this only apply if you're having some issue that might become absent during the 30-day trial?

    "Most grains also include the “anti nutrient” phytic acid."

    The post doesn't appear to list examples of which grains do and don't, the latter of which should be easy, since most grains apparently do contain phytic acid (so the list of those that don't would be shorter).

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

    Doesn't it only reduce the absorption of nutrients if it contains phytic acid? Doesn't that mean that it's not possible to make a universal statement about all bread reducing absorption of nutrients?

    "By damaging the intestinal lining, gluten decreases the absorption of all nutrients"

    Doesn't it only damage the intestinal wall if you're sensitive and your immune system attempts to attack the gluten?

    "Grains do not contain all the essential amino acids and are therefore poor sources of protein for humans."

    Don't most foods not contain all essential amino acids? Isn't this why people eat a variety of foods, to have a balanced diet?

    "Wheat fiber may cause your body to burn through its Vitamin D stores much faster and contribute to vitamin d deficiency."

    How does it do this, and is it only certain kinds of bread (such as that made from wheat containing phytic acid)? These things would be good to know.

    "They were instructed to eat either whole oat cereal or whole wheat cereal."

    What kind of whole wheat cereal? This certainly doesn't show that every cereal claiming to be made from whole wheat is bad and that every cereal made from whole oats is better than every cereal made with whole wheat. And isn't the problem coming form using massively pulverized whole wheat, anyway? Was using wheat in the most healthy way possible even measured? This doesn't sound like the very best study (or perhaps the study was conducted well taking into account all possible variables or only focused on one specific situation and the post merely used it to make universal statements about all bread being unhealthy).

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  3. To continue (the post was too long to enter in its entirety):

    "Whole Wheat is Just “Less Bad” Than Refined Wheat"

    Didn't the author say at the beginning that whole wheat is only bad if prepared the wrong way?

    Bread made with soaked and sprouted grains may be less bad for you than regular bread. "Preparing it this way reduces the amount of phytic acid."

    Is it less bad, or is it not bad at all and simply not quite as good as other food that could be eaten? The only things that I see in the article are that sensitivities to gluten can cause damage if gluten is consumed, pulverized wheat has unhealthy properties, and using whole, soaked grains doesn't have the only bad property associated with wheat where using whole, soaked grain is mentioned, which is phytic acid (leaving me unsure what other properties make bread using whole, soaked grains bad). What else is bad about whole, soaked wheat grains in bread?

    The following article from WebMD appears to contradict the assertion of this article that all bread is always bad (although some is less bad):

    http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/truth-about-gluten

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  4. Bread has been eaten for milennias HOWEVER, the breads that people ate many years ago had other things in it like unprocessed wheat, potato starch and ground vegetables. Many people overseas make bread like this. The modern bakeries we have now are not interested in making us healthy, just make us a buyer to make them MONEY! So too the grocery stores, with all sorts of things called food and tempt us to buy. People with problems: hyperglycemia or hypo, obesity, alcoholism or many other health problems find it very hard to get groceries and not come home with items we are not supposed to have. Soy is the latest thing that causes all sorts of hormone problems and shouldn't be used as food but it is in everything.

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  5. Please read Wheat Belly; it changed my life. The doctor very clearly researched that the wheat we have today is so processed as to be completely different from the bread of Jesus' day. Therein lies the problem with today's bread.

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  6. Most items in the supermarket contain gluten (by other names), a lot of bread on the market adds gluten to make it soft and easy to eat. Most Americans do not care for breads with the grain kernel included or a more coarse or compact bread. We have become lazy eaters. Bread recipes today add gluten even the fresh ground grain recipes have your add gluten to make it soft and fluffy as well as most bread machine mixes and recipes. It is no wonder this has become a problem in our society.

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  7. Agreed, Anonymous, this is bunk. Bread has sustained humanity for millennia. Gluten has become the boogieman of the 2000s. These quacks gave us disinformation that butter was bad for us in the 70s (margarine is far worse), sugar substitutes are safe in the 80s (raw sugar is much better), and numerous other fairy tales. Eat in moderation what God has provided for us here on earth. If you are eating a loaf of wonder bread a day, your health issue is not with your waistline, its above your neck.

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