Bread is undoubtedly the most common food used by most people all over the world.
There are many verities of bread available, but most of them are not so nutritious and healthy.
The most popular type of bread is packaged and pre-sliced ‘white bread’ that 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 are going to look at five main reasons why the 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 have a 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 type of protein found in wheat, spelled, rye and barley.
The ‘glue’ like element present in this protein makes the dough viscoelastic in nature.
Unfortunately, most people have a body constitution that is very sensitive to gluten. When a person eats gluten-rich bread, the digestive tract could become repulsive or intolerable to the gluten protein.[1,2,3]
A majority of the people are sensitive to the gluten protein.
2. Bread Contain Ingredients Which Are Unhealthy
All most all commercial types of bread are enriched with added sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup, and other added flavor for better taste reasons.
The high calorie added sweeteners in bread will become critical for the development of diseases like Type-2 diabetes and heart diseases.
The bread made of grains contains phytic acid that is an anti-nutrient.
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 that are originally present in the whole grains.
Gluten intolerance is also higher with the bread made of refined grains. All the white bread is made of highly processed gluten-rich grains.
It is always better to avoid using the bread made of highly processed/refined grain as they do not have much nutritional value and at the same time bad for your health.
4. Bread Spikes The Blood Sugar Levels Because Of High Carbs Present In It
The bread that is usually made of highly processed grain flour contains a lot of starch that is easily digestible and enters the bloodstream very quickly.
In most people when the blood sugar level rises rapidly, it will also 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.
5. Bread Has Only Very Little Amount of Essential Nutrients
The bread made from the grain flours mostly contains only the carbs and very little amount of nutrients.
Even the whole wheat bread does not have enough nutrients as it is generally thought to be.
The worst part of bread is the lack of nutrients and the phytic acid present in it. The phytic acid blocks the absorption of minerals from other foods.
The gluten present in the bread also can damage the intestinal lining that will further decrease the absorption of the nutrients.
The bread-eaters need to depend on other foods like vegetables and fruits to meet the nutrients required by the body.
The protein got 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 of the studies say that the fiber found in whole grain bread can lead to faster exhaustion or burning of Vitamin D stores in the body and which will result in Vitamin D deficiency.
Another serious drawback of whole wheat bread is its impact on increasing the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood.
How To Choose The Good Bread?
The white bread made of refined grain is most harmful to health.
However, the 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.”
By the term “whole grain bread” it means the bread made of the processed grains contain the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain.
In other words, the ‘whole-grain bread’ contains 100% of the original kernel, namely the three parts of whole grain; the bran, endosperm, and germ.
The first step to finding a good quality of 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 wrapper of the bread and see that “whole grain” is included in it.
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 like very healthy, but not necessarily healthy at all.
The bread made with sprouted grains is another healthy option. The sprouted grains usually have a higher amount of protein, fiber, vitamin C, Folate and other nutrients.
Some studies have shown that sprouted grains are rich in nutrients and also in a form easily digestible and readily available to the body.
The popular Ezekiel brand of bread in the US is made with only the sprouted grains and no flour.
Make sure the bread is fresh and a minimal amount of preservatives are used in it. It is best to use the fresh ‘daily-bread’ than those with an extended shelf-life period.
It is better to avoid using bread that has added sweeteners like corn syrup, artificial flavors, and color.
The Bottom Line
The bread, in general, is not good food for regular consumption. However, there are certain verities of bread made of ‘whole grain’, and ‘sprouted grain’ is comparatively good and healthy for consumption.
The white bread made of refined grains mostly is bad as it causes a sudden spike in the blood sugar, creates bad cholesterol and causes obesity.
The white bread has a poor amount of nutrients and leads to gluten intolerance health-related issues in most people.
Bread is also bad for health as the gluten present in it can damage the intestinal wall that will decrease the absorption of nutrients.
It is always good to substitute bread with healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains that are better for health.