Monthly Archives: September 2012

White Bread is Bad Bread

There are so many foods that we habitually eat day in and day out that are not good for us. Yet we continue eating them without any regard for what they might be doing to our bodies. Take white bread as an example. This is a staple for millions of people around the world, yet it is actually really bad for us!

The “bad” part about it stems initially from its composition, being mainly the high Glycemic refined white flour and because of the link between bread and obesity. The problem is in the way in which the body deals with sugar and how fast its processed into glucose for energy.

High GI Carbs

High Glycemic Index (GI) carbohydrates cause the body’s digestive process to rapidly release the sugars and convert them to glucose, which is then flooded into the bloodstream. Because that glucose is not rapidly used up by the muscles thanks to the fact that most people that eat white bread are not about to embark on an intense aerobic workout soon afterwards, but more likely to sit still and let it digest, the body releases large amounts of insulin which has the job of removing the unused glucose from the blood.

That unused glucose gets processed into brown fat, some of it visceral which is stored for later use. You can see how a person who eats a lot of white bread and does little exercise can gain weight steadily over time!

Not Just Bread

Actually, it’s not just white bread that causes this problem, although it is a big contributor because of it popularity as a daily staple in sandwiches, rolls and buns etc. Any product that is made from refined white flour will have similar properties. Products such as cakes, cookies and biscuits, pastries and other confectionery as well as pasta and noodles all contain a large proportion of refined white flour.

As well as the obvious offenders, there are also many processed ready meals that are “bulked out” with white flour to improve their texture and increase their weight (read more profit for the manufacturer). And if you eat a lot of these items each day, you will compound the problem.

The Solution

The simple solution if you do have a weight problem brought about by eating too much of the kind of products that are laden with this flour is to find alternative things to eat. Instead of white bread, you can switch to whole grain breads which are lower on the Glycemic scale. They will still release sugars into your body, but it happens more slowly. Plus you get more nutrients and fiber from whole grains than you get from the sterile processed flour that has almost no food value apart from bulk.

If you must have pasta, you can buy pasta made from whole grain flour (brown pasta) which tastes similar and some say it tastes better than its bland a cardboard-like white cousin! You can even get rice pasta, which is an interesting change to experience. Well worth it in my opinion.

Alternatives to sweet desserts are to ditch them altogether in favor of fresh fruit. That’s not always so easy to do, but nothing is impossible if you really want to make a difference to your weight and also to your health.

The bottom line is to make sure you are selective about what you eat and stick to things that are healthy. Bread is not very healthy and in fact you really can live without it if you try!