Bread is, and has been a staple in most Americans life for years and years.  It’s readily available, easy to create meals with, and has a decent shelf life making it a purchase on every grocery store trip.
But, with recent trends and more and more people trying to lose weight, bread has been cut completely out of the everyday diet so you stay away from those EVIL CARBS.

But, is bread actually bad for you?

In short, no.  No it’s not.

There are a ton of different styles of bread; multi grain, white, wheat, sourdough, wonder etc and while variety is nice, not all breads are created equal.

Some bread types are MUCH more nutritious than others.  So how do you make the healthy choice?

BREAKING DOWN BREAD

  • Eating moderate amounts of bread will NOT lead to weight gain
  • Gluten-free breads should be consumed by people with allergies, but not necessarily the healthy choice
  • White bread is stripped of most healthy nutrients and has excess calroies
  • Whole grain bread contains healthy grains packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals

Should I should eat whole grain bread?

Whole grains contain all the naturally occuring nutreints of the grain itself which means there is absolution no processing being done.  Since the whole grain contains all it’s essential parts its full of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, fiber and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Wait, bread can reduce the risk of obesity?!

Whole grain bread, not white or multi grain or any other option.

So, when you are purchasing your bread, make sure the word ‘whole’ is the first word in the ingredients list.  If not, its a phony!

These products are often confused for healthy but are NOT whole grain:

  • Multigrain
  • Wheat bread
  • Organic flour/bread
  • 100% wheat flour
  • Unbleached wheat flour

Having ‘whole’ as the first word in the ingredients list is only the first step!  Some whole grain breads can have 15 or 20+ ingredients in the list and that leads to processed ingredients and tons of preservatives.

When bread becomes unhealthy

If the whole grain has something added to it (preservatives or processed materials) it can no long advertise as a ‘whole grain’ because it take the wholeness of that food and turns it into something else. This process strips the grains of the essential vitamins and minerals and is basically how you make white bread.

White bread is a highly processed form of bread.  To make white bread the whole grain is processed to remove the bran and germ (nutritious parts) leaving only the white leftover.  Bread companies will do this because it extends the shelf life.  But, even though this will make the bread last longer on the shelf, it strips the grain of flavor leaving it very, very bitter forcing bread manufactories to pump sugar making it an even unhealthier choice.

As a side note – Ezekiel bread is the newest trendy food item and is much like whole grains in the ‘healthy’ sense, but is instead made with sprouted grains.  Sprouted basically means that the grain is easier for the body to digest and makes nutrients more available for the body to absorb.  This is also a good option for an individual that can’t really tolerate flour, because it is flourless.

Of course bread consumption will vary on your goals, body type and activity level.  Someone who is trying to lose weight should only have bread a couple times a week, in or around workout time so the carbs can provide energy and recovery.  Endomorphs should avoid having bread everyday where as mesomorphs can handle the carbs easier and can eat it as they see fit.  Finally, someone who is super active should use the whole grain bread as a source of energy and to help aid in recovery and muscle breakdown.

Let me know what you think of bread and how you utilize it in your everyday meals!

Jeremy@dupontwellness.com