“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 name gluten) 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.
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 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.
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.
Top 5 Supplements for Gluten Sensitivity