5 Flaws of Bread
A while ago, most of us switched to 100% whole wheat/whole grain, soon as we learned white bread is not nutritious or healthy. But our beloved bread has been taking some legit heat lately, eventhough the agriculture industry keeps hammering away the benefits of it. Whole wheat bread maybe convenient, filling and require little prep time, but it also is:
1- Low on essential nutrients.
Breads may contain heart-healthy, cholesterol-reducing fiber along with a handful of B Vitamins, and minerals such as Iron, Magnesium and Selenium. But, guess what? There is NO nutrient in whole wheat bread, you can’t get from other foods, specially vegetables, in even greater amounts.
Vegetables are perishable, can’t be patented, and a poor money making enterprise. Corporate manufacturers aren’t involved much with vegetables, so we don’t hear about their nutritional benefits through mainstream media. However, we do hear about the measly amount of minerals in bread over and over and over again.
- Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER): Measures the of overall effectiveness of protein for animal growth.
- Biological Value: Compares the nitrogen used for tissue formation to the nitrogen absorbed from food for a measurement value of how efficient the body utilizes protein consumed in the diet. A food with a high value correlates to a high supply of the essential amino acids. Animal sources typically possess a higher biological value than vegetable sources due to the vegetable source’s lack of one or more of the essential amino acids.
- Net Protein Utilization: Is similar to biological value, but measures nitrogen retention from nitrogen ingested rather than absorbed.
- Amino acid corrected digestibility: Expresses the limiting essential amino acid of the test protein compared to a standard.
According to the final results, wheat protein scores lowest on all the scales, and therefore, is a poor source of protein.
3- High in carbs & spikes blood sugar levels.
Although it could fuel the exercise sessions of an athlete by providing an easily accessible source of carbohydrate, bread is easy to overeat and gain weight on.
If you look at the glycemic index table provided by Harvard Medical School, the common commercial whole wheat bread (@ 71) raises blood sugar even faster than a candy like M&M peanuts (@ 33) .
To make bread, grains are pulverized into very fine flour, which reserves the nutrients, but yields a product that is digested rapidly and enter the bloodstream just as fast. Glucose overload causes a blood sugar spike followed by an insulin spike that facilitates it’s uptake and storage . The quick clearance of glucose from the blood leads to a sensation of hunger and a cue to eat again, a positive feedback loop responsible for the infamous blood sugar roller coaster.
4- Potentially harmful.
- As with most other processed foods, most commercial types of bread contain some sugar or high fructose corn syrup, along with a cocktail of unnatural, dubious ingredients courtesy of the department of Chemistry.
- Wheat contains a good dose of gluten, which 30% percentage of the population may have digestive and immunological sensitivity to (gluten sensitive & celiac disease). Read here for more details.
- All plant foods contain some kind of anti-nutrient that inhibit the absorption of a number of important minerals. Grains (especially wheat) in general contain the most potent anti-nutrient, phytic acids and heat-resistant lectins, that humans are not adapted to.
5- Relevantly new evolution wise.
In the history of evolution of mankind (1.5 million) we have been eating grains for only 11,000 years. Because of the gluten sensitive/celiac disease population, it is clear we have not been eating grains long enough to have adapted to them. (Read more here).
As you can see bread has received some well deserved objections, and it would be well worth the effort to reduce it’s intake. Theoretically, we could meet all our nutritional needs with a well rounded eating plan that excludes bread, but in reality, majority of diets are inadequate and could use a little help from bread. This is why I do not champion All or Nothing views or diets.
Pay attention to your cravings and learn to distinguish cues for physiological needs from psychological wants. If you ‘need’ bread, then have some, but there are plenty of other good carb sources for you to enjoy.