Is Bread Bad For Your Health?
A big slice of white bread will spike your blood sugar. Whole wheat bread also will raise your blood sugar. You might as well be eating a big spoonful of sugar. Another way of saying this is that most bread has a high glycemic index. You need to find high-fiber whole sprouted grains, even flourless breads, and no-yeast breads.
Wholemeal bread usually also contains more fibre and nutrients like vitamin B, calcium and iron, which tend to be lost in the white flour refining process – although some of these ‘micronutrients’ must now by law be put back into white flour after milling.
Salt is needed to control yeast growth, make the dough more stretchy and enhance flavour.
And factory-baked loaves may contain additional ingredients such as sugar, oil, vinegar, preservatives and flour treatment agents; but you can leave these out if you bake your bread at home!
Bread and the Battle of the Bulge
Is bread to blame for your extra pounds? Maybe.
“When you’re stressed, you reach for bread, not carrots. But the more you eat, the more you want.” — Heather Bauer, RD
If your diet requires you to eat a specific number of calories per day, one or more pieces of bread might put you at risk of exceeding your calorie guideline. Bread is often high in calories. One slice of white or wheat bread has between 70 and 80 calories, which means the bread in a sandwich can account for around 150 calories. White bread doesn’t provide much nutritional value and can cause a rise and fall in your blood sugar that often leads to a craving for more food. This craving, in turn, can lead to overeating. If you do decide to include bread in your diet, choose whole-grain breads rich in fiber and stick to the recommended one-slice serving size.
Bread Contains a Lot of Gluten
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.
Some people cannot tolerate gluten because they have celiac disease. Their immune system mistakes gluten as dangerous, triggering a reaction that attacks the body. For people with celiac disease, avoiding any source of gluten — found in many products besides bread — is an absolute must.
Different breads have different properties. Instead of avoiding bread altogether, knowing what is in each slice and watching how much of it you eat each day is usually the healthier course.
Go with the whole grain. Choose breads that list “whole” grain as the first ingredient, such as whole wheat, white whole wheat, or whole oats. “Wheat bread” or “multi-grain” is not necessarily a whole-grain product.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
The information in this site is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
In the event the reader uses the information for his own health, he is in fact prescribing for himself, which is his own constitutional right, and for which the author assumes no responsibility.
If you suffer from a medical condition, consult your doctor. If you have questions as to the application of this information to your own health, you are advised to consult a qualified health professional.