The Truth About Bread

#3. Bread Is Not as Addictive as You Think

Remember William Davis, the author of Wheat Belly? Yep, the one who tried to capitalize on America’s obesity epidemic by blaming it all on bread. Among other things, Davis claimed that bread made with modern wheat is loaded with gliadin, a supposedly addictive protein that pretty much turns people into uncontrollable bread-seeking zombies.

He also stated that the amylopectin in wheat is different (in a very bad way) from the one found in other carb-rich foods like potatoes, and eating it too often will inevitably give you type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, nutritional science has easily debunked this outrageous claims.

Here’s the truth: gliadins are actually present in all grain lines and it has been found that certain ancient grains contained a lot more gliadin than modern ones. Furthermore, the human gut can’t absorb the opioid protein portion of gliadin. As for amylopectin, the type or amount found in wheat doesn’t differ in any significant way from that found in any other carb-rich food. Period.

#4. The good side of white bread

On the surface, there aren’t many good things to say about white bread – it’s had the fiber stripped away from it and can therefore shoot insulin levels through the roof when consumed by itself. However, a study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that white bread can significantly boost the growth of the friendly gut bacteria called lactobacillus that helps protect our guts from digestive disorders.

Of course, when given the choice between white bread and whole-grain bread, a health-conscious individual will almost always opt for the second one, and that’s great. But just in case you start feeling guilt after enjoying a culinary delicacy made with refined flour, know that your meal wasn’t a complete waste of your gastric acid – at least you’ve enhanced the beneficial work of your gut bacteria.



#5. Know Your Bread!

For starters, there is a big difference between ‘wheat bread’ and ‘whole-wheat bread’. Hoping to jump on the fad dieting bandwagon, some manufacturers have begun using the ‘wheat bread’ title to make white bread sound a bit more appealing to health-conscious consumers. ‘Wheat bread’ merely means the product is made of refined white flour, i.e. flour that has been stripped of its fibrous bran and nutrient-abundant germ.

That’s not to say that some of these products won’t offer some other nutritional benefits, but those will certainly differ from the health benefits of whole-wheat bread. ‘Whole-wheat bread’, on the other hand, means that the bran, the germ, and the endosperm of the wheat kernel have all been left intact, so this is the healthier choice you’re looking for.

So how is ‘whole-wheat’ different from ‘whole-grain’? Whole-wheat bread is only one type of whole-grain bread. Breads labeled as ‘whole-grain’ usually include other grains besides wheat, such as barley, oats and rice, which provide additional nutritional value to the product. However, keep in mind that unless the loaf bears the 100% stamp, you can’t be sure that all of its grain ingredients are whole.

Then we have ‘white whole-wheat bread’, which is made from an albino wheat grain and thereby has lighter taste and paler color than traditional whole-wheat bread varieties. This makes white whole-wheat bread equal to whole-wheat bread in terms of nutritional value, so it’s a great choice for anyone who loves the taste of white bread but also wants the nutrients and fiber found in whole-wheat bread.

Finally, there’s the ‘multi-grain bread’, which sounds like a great healthy choice, but unfortunately this label doesn’t guarantee that the product is free of refined grains – it only means that it contains more than one type of grain. Various grains in multi-grain breads are often processed to remove their bran and germ, so you need to check the ingredient list to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

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