4 Reasons Bread is Bad For Your Health
It has been known for a long time that white bread and refined grains in general aren’t particularly nutritious. Nutritionists and dietitians all around the world have encouraged us to eat whole grains instead.
But grains, especially gluten grains like wheat, have been under intense scrutiny in recent years. Many respected health professionals now claim that bread and other sources of gluten grains are unnecessary at best and potentially harmful.
Bread is High in Carbs and Can Spike Blood Sugar Levels
Even whole grain bread usually isn’t made with actual “whole” grains. They are grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour. Even though this process reserves the nutrients, it causes these products to be digested rapidly.
The starches in bread get broken down quickly in the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream as glucose. This causes a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. Even whole wheat bread spikes blood sugar faster than many candy bars.
When blood sugar goes up rapidly, it tends to go down just as quickly. When blood sugar goes down, we become hungry. This is the blood sugar roller coaster that is familiar to people on high carb diets. Soon after eating, they become hungry again, which calls for another high-carb snack.
Bread Contains a Lot of Gluten
Wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten. This protein has glue-like properties (hence the name glu-ten) responsible for dough’s viscoelastic properties.
Evidence is mounting that a significant percentage of the population is sensitive to gluten. When we eat bread that contains gluten (wheat, spelt, rye and barley), the immune system in our digestive tract “attacks” the gluten proteins.
Controlled trials in people without celiac disease show that gluten damages the wall of the digestive tract, causing pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and tiredness. Gluten sensitivity is also associated with some cases of schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia – both serious disorders of the brain.
Gluten is probably harmful for most people, not just those with diagnosed celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The only way to really know if you’re gluten sensitive is to remove gluten from your diet for 30 days and then reintroduce it and see whether it affects you.