food loaf of bread

White bread was the staple of the American diet for many years until the media, friends, and nutritionists told us it could be a health risk. For example, Medical News Today reported most white bread holds little nutritional value and gives us no fuel. “Highly processed carbohydrates like white bread, refined pasta, cakes, donuts and candy bars are like cheap fuel - they are digested very quickly and may give you a quick surge of energy, but you are left feeling hungry, drained or craving more fuel soon after.” Americans agreed and an estimated 56 percent admitted they were scaling back on white bread. Some restaurants refuse to offer bread rolls since customers were avoiding them.

What can be done to save white bread and to bring it back to the dinner table? The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel compared the effects of treated white and artisanal whole wheat sourdough and pointed toward a new criterion. Eran Elinav was the senior researcher on the study and found different people react differently, even to the same foods. "To date, the nutritional values assigned to food have been based on minimal science, and one-size-fits-all diets have failed miserably." He also explained white bread was not the enemy, it was the kind of white bread ingested. This could be the preservatives used in the mixing process or the sensitivity to the product itself. Information often gets around without being verified like the situation with white bread.
Here are 4 myths to examine when it comes to our once favorite staple during meals.

It makes you gain weight.

If you eat enough carbohydrates you will gain weight regardless if it's white bread or whole wheat. Eating anything in moderation along with a balanced diet will keep the weight off. Yet, people need to be mindful of the kind of white bread they're consuming. Many commercial and mass-produced bread products are loaded with chemicals and sugar. Look for whole grains in the natural state like whole wheat, whole oats or rice bread. Choosing these types of bread will give you the boost and help you with appetite control. “Whole grains provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined. But overdoing whole wheat bread can add pounds, too. So account for it in your daily calorie budget,” WebMD reported. You can't blame bread entirely for weight gain, but you can blame having an unbalanced diet.

It's worse than brown bread.

Brown bread is only better if the ingredients are pure. Conversely, if the white bread you're buying is not processed with chemicals, it would be the better substitute. Some of the healthier versions of bread can be equally as bad with white as they're processed with sugar and coloring to make the appearance darker. Bread can be loaded with calcium propionate which helps prevent mold and bacteria growth and this leads to headaches. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) is another chemical used to preserve the shelf life of products and it could cause confusion, dizziness, nausea and it can injure the kidneys over time.
Sulfur Dioxide is mixed with the flour and serves as a bleaching agent and causes allergies. You want to look for healthy bread with an ingredient list which is transparent and with fewer ingredients no matter what the color of the bread is.

It increases the risk of diabetes.

Any processed foods will spike sugar levels. Bread is a carbohydrate, and when eaten alone it can raise insulin levels and lead to low energy. But any kind of bread or carb can do this. Author and Editor Taylor Anderson explained to combat this spike you need to add a protein. "Combining your bread with high protein or fat options, like hummus, nut butter or cheese, can reduce the glycemic load of that meal (the rate at which it is absorbed into your bloodstream)." White bread is not solely the blame as a diet high in sugar, including genetics and lifestyle, put you at risk for diabetes and other health problems.

It causes bloating.

Gluten remains highly consumed and is found in many goods containing flour. The gluten protein is found in rye flour, wheat flour and barley flour. Foods made from gluten-containing grains may be a problem for those who have gluten allergies. People with celiac disease or people suffering from a fructose malabsorption could experience bloating when eating bread. Also, some manufacturers use the Chorleywood process bread process for its efficiency in production and this includes adding additives and enzymes into the flour. You know when you eat bread and it sticks to the roof of your mouth? The chemicals through the Chorleywood process is the culprit. Bloating may be the body's reaction to these preservatives. Additionally, many wheat-based products are hard to digest and cause bloating in some people. If eating bread makes you feel bloated, talk to a doctor about your observations.

White bread is not the problem, it's the processed bread you're consuming. If you read through ingredients that are undefined, move on. Always check the label and be suspicious of mass-produced bread and avoid bread stripped of minerals and vitamins. Supermarket bread, for the most part, will have little nutritional value compared to a local bakery. Most likely, the bakery will have fewer preservatives in their bread.

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