On a personal note: coming from an Italian family, it was extremely difficult to eliminate bread from this writer’s diet. This stereotype is absolutely true: Italians adore their bread! However, it happens that bread is something that is quite unhealthy, something that was realized when even slight dietary changes – including the elimination of bread – resulted in a period of significant weight loss.
Most bread is unhealthy for a variety of reasons, but the way that the product is processed is a significant factor. Years ago, bread was predominantly created using whole ingredients and prepared in a homemade style. Now, bread is heavily processed and contains far fewer natural ingredients.
Inexplicably the “food pyramid,” published by the United States Department of Agriculture, hasn’t changed. This pyramid is often taught in schools as a reference to what types of food we should be eating in in what quantities. It is plausible that such misguided information is contributing to the obesity epidemic currently existing in the United States.
Well, we’re here to set the record straight on this.
Here are 5 signs you should stop eating bread immediately:
1. Your blood sugar rapidly spikes
The way that bread is processed allows glucose to enter the bloodstream much quicker. This is because the flour contained in bread is often reproduced into a powder, and powder is much faster to digest. The end result is that blood sugar spikes and plummets, a physiological dynamic that causes hunger pangs and cravings for sweet and salt foods.
Unreal as it may sound; the Glycemic Index (G.I) of bread is actually higher than many types of candy – definitely not an inherent property of bread that many are aware of. The higher that the G.I index is, the more likely fat will be produced. This characteristic, combined with the cravings that bread induces, leads many to a cycle of eating a typical meal, only to feel hungry a short time later.
2. Brain fog
Disregarding the multitude of negative health properties, bread is not a very nutritious food, especially when compared to other sources – such as eggs, meat, fruit, fish and veggies. But consumption of bread is a double-edged sword: not only is it non-nutritious, it reduces the absorption of other food’s nutrients. When this occurs, our brain often does not receive the necessary supplementation required to function normally.
An example: we’ve decided on a good size portion of fish for dinner to add some essential fatty acids into our diet – a terrific habit for our brain. To “balance” out the meal, we bought some freshly baked bread from the local convenience store. What is the result? Well, we’ll indeed digest some fatty acids, though not nearly as much as we’d like, since the bread essentially blocked and reduced the absorption of fatty acids and other brain essentials. The result is a decrease is cognitive ability.
3. High cholesterol levels
Whole wheat bread has been found to increase LDL cholesterol by up to 60 percent over a 12 week period. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol type that is linked to various heart conditions, including heart disease. This surprising statistic is the result of high amounts of wheat and flour in most bread types. Wheat and flour have been directly linked to an increase in cholesterol levels.
Bread is an excellent example of a foods ability to raise cholesterol levels without technically being high in fat content. In fact, breads impact on bad cholesterol levels is currently igniting a debate between nutritionists and other medical professionals. Some nutritionists continue to argue that fat has the most significant impact on bad cholesterol levels, while research continues to be produced that indicates otherwise.
4. Intolerance to gluten
Gluten is the substance that gives dough its elastic texture. Consisting of two different types of proteins – gliadin and glutenin – gluten can cause an adverse immune response, damage intestines, and reduce nutrient absorption. These are very common symptoms of both gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.
Gluten intolerance affects nearly 1 in 140 people. In addition to experiencing the symptoms described above, those intolerant to gluten – including those with Celiac disease – are usually stricken with bloating, digestive system damage, constipation and extreme fatigue.
5. Weight gain
While rather self-evident by now, bread isn’t the preferred food for maintaining a healthy weight. Excessive amounts of flour, gluten, preservatives and other unfavorable substances contribute to the weight gain many experience when eating bread.
Bread is a rather deceiving food, nutrition-wise. Most bread is low in fat, and moderately low in calories – two properties that can be conducive to weight loss. However, the counterproductive properties of bread – low nutritional value, diminished absorption of nutrients from other foods, rising of cholesterol levels and high glycemic content – are not beneficial to maintaining a healthy weight.
If you do want to continue eating bread, we highly recommend those with sprouted grains, and as few ingredients as possible.