Bread is undoubtedly the most common food used by most people worldwide.
Many varieties of bread are available, but most need to be more nutritious and healthy.
The most popular type of bread is packaged and pre-sliced white bread’ which contains highly processed carbohydrates made of refined grains. This is the worst type of bread for consumption because of its poor nutritional value and side effects on health.
In this article, we will look at five main reasons why bread is bad for health. We shall also discuss which type of bread is comparatively good and how to choose the best quality bread.
Is Bread Bad For Health?
Bread is high in carbs, low in micronutrients, and gluten. The antinutrient contents in bread may cause health concerns for some. However, it’s enriched with extra nutrients and tasty ingredients.
The whole-grain or sprouted varieties may provide several health benefits. Bread may be good for health if consumed in moderation and less frequently.
Let us look at the five major reasons why most types of bread may become bad for health.
1. Most Types Of Bread Contain Plenty Of Gluten
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, spelled, rye and barley.
This protein’s glue-like element makes the dough viscoelastic in nature.
Unfortunately, most people have a body constitution sensitive to gluten. When a person eats gluten-rich bread, the digestive tract could become repulsive or intolerable to the gluten protein.
The gluten protein can even damage the walls of the digestive tract and cause celiac disease in people. It causes tiredness, irregular passing of stool, stomach pain, and bloating.
Gluten protein found in bread (especially in wheat bread) can even lead to the development of severe brain disorders like cerebellar ataxia and schizophrenia.
A majority of people are sensitive to the gluten protein.
2. Bread Contain Ingredients Which Are Unhealthy
Almost all commercial types of bread are enriched with added sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup and other added flavors for better taste.
The high-calorie added sweeteners in bread will become critical for developing diseases like Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
The bread made of grains contains phytic acid, which is an antinutrient.
Phytic acid is a molecule that strongly binds and prevents the absorption of essential minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
3. Bread Is Mostly Made Of Refined Grains
Refined grains lack most of the nutrients and fiber originally present in whole grains.
Gluten intolerance is also higher with bread made of refined grains. All the white bread is made of highly processed gluten-rich grains.
It is always better to use something other than bread made of highly processed/refined grain as it does not have much nutritional value and is also bad for your health.
4. Bread Spikes The Blood Sugar Levels Because Of the High Carbs Present In It
The bread, usually made of highly processed grain flour, contains a lot of starch that is easily digestible and quickly enters the bloodstream.
The sugar and insulin level quickly rises in the blood after consuming the bread.
In most people, when the blood sugar level rises rapidly, it will quickly go down to low sugar levels within an hour or so.
The sudden decrease in the sugar level will result in feelings of hunger and the need to eat too soon again. This happens with all high-carb foods like bread and grains.
Regular elevation of blood sugar levels leads to the development of Type-2 diabetes. This can also cause glycation at the cellular level because of the reaction between sugar and protein.
It is important to avoid high-carb grain-based foods like bread by those affected by diabetes. It is also bad for those concerned about weight loss.
5. Bread Has Only Very Little Amount of Essential Nutrients
The bread made from grain flour mostly contains only carbs and few nutrients.
Even whole wheat bread needs more nutrients than it is generally considered.
The worst part of bread is its lack of nutrients and the phytic acid. Phytic acid blocks the absorption of minerals from other foods.
The gluten present in the bread also can damage the intestinal lining, further decreasing the absorption of nutrients.
The bread-eaters need to depend on other foods like vegetables and fruits to meet the nutrients the body requires.
The protein from the grains is very insignificant, and the bread-eaters need to look for essential amino acids in other food sources like meat and fish.
Some studies say that the fiber found in whole grain bread can lead to faster exhaustion or burning of Vitamin D stores in the body, resulting in Vitamin D deficiency.
Another serious drawback of whole wheat bread is its impact on increasing the blood’s LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
How To Choose The Good Bread?
White bread made of refined grain is the most harmful to health.
However, whole-grain bread is comparatively healthy and good for consumption.
“Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions.”
The term “whole grain bread” means the bread made of processed grains contains the same rich balance of nutrients found in the original grain.
In other words, the ‘whole-grain bread’ contains 100% of the original kernel, namely the three parts of the whole grain; the bran, endosperm, and germ.
The first step to finding good quality bread is to look for the “whole grain” label on the wrapper or package. If the label is not found, look at the list of ingredients printed on the bread wrapper and see that “whole grain” is included.
Please note that ‘whole grain’ is not to be confused with the ingredients in bread listed as multigrain, wheat bread, organic flour, bran, wheat germ, unbleached wheat flour, 100% wheat, etc.
The list of fancy names on the list of ingredients may sound very healthy, but not necessarily healthy.
The bread made with sprouted grains is another healthy option. The sprouted grains usually have more protein, fiber, vitamin C, Folate, and other nutrients.
Some studies have shown that sprouted grains are rich in nutrients and also in a form that is easily digestible and readily available to the body.
The US’s popular Ezekiel brand of bread is made with only sprouted grains and no flour.
Make sure the bread is fresh, and a minimal amount of preservatives are used in it. It is better to use fresh ‘daily bread than those with extended shelf-life.
It is better to avoid using bread that has added sweeteners like corn syrup, artificial flavors, and color.
Bread, in general, is not good food for regular consumption. However, certain varieties of bread made of ‘whole grain’ and ‘sprouted grain’ is comparatively good and healthy for consumption.
White bread made of refined grains is mostly bad as it causes a sudden spike in blood sugar, creates bad cholesterol, and causes obesity.
White bread has a poor amount of nutrients, leading to gluten intolerance and health-related issues in most people.
Bread is also bad for health as the gluten present in it can damage the intestinal wall, decreasing nutrient absorption.
It is always good to substitute bread with healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains that are better for health.