Bread – white or brown – is a staple diet for most of us. Period. We literally love those sandwiches with extra mayonnaise and French toasts, that face a tough competition with our desi anda-toast (bread-and-omelette) and bread pakoda.
But ignorance is not always a bliss. And so, before you reach out for that tempting sub, go through these fact checks:
1. Causes weight gain
Yes, consumption of bread leads to weight gain, thanks to the carbs, salt, refined sugar and preservatives content.
A Times Of India article cautionsagainst excess bread eating to avoid pounding up and suggests replacing breads with a healthier substitute.
2. It increases risk of diabetes
Your blood sugar level goes for a toss even if you bite into a slice of it. This is because bread is processed carb which leads to surging insulin flow.
An article published in gnet.org says bread has higher G.I. (Glycemic Index) score than most chocolates available in the market.
3. There is nothing ‘wholesome’ about ‘whole grain’ bread
This is an age-old marketing strategy. There is no real nutrient in bread – white or brown.
All the nutrients are sucked up by the machines in the bread-making process.
4. Don’t go by the “fortified/enriched with vitamins and minerals” tag
The makers claim that they add vitamin E, calcium, iron and fiber to the bread.
This is another marketing tactic because these ingredients are so highly processed that our bodies don’t absorb them at all.
According to Forbes, the “enriched” tag actually means all nutrients have already been stripped from the bread.
5. Not good for your gut
Eating bread causes inflammation. Think a slice of bread as a piece of sponge and the fluids in our stomach as water.
What happens when you soak a sponge in water? It absorbs all the fluid and swells up.
Same thing happens inside our stomach when we eat bread, leading to bloat, acute gastric issues and acidity.
According to Healthy Eating, the high fructan content in breads leads to irritable bowel syndrome and digestion problems.
6. Contains too much salt
And this can cause a disbalance in your body’s sodium level.
The Daily Telegraph reported that even popular brands of bread contain as much hidden salt in each slice as is in a packet of potato chips.
7. Increases cholesterol
If you want to save your heart, let go of the bread. Research has shown that eating bread regularly can shoot your LDL (the bad) cholesterol by 60 percent.
According to MyGov.in, “…whole wheat significantly harms blood lipids and may drastically raise your risk of heart disease”.
8. Nothing called trans fat-free bread
Even if the label mentions the above, bread contains “hidden” trans fats in the forms of partially hydrogenated oils DATEM and Mono- and- Diglycerides. These do not require to be mentioned in labels.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.