What could be tastier than soft, freshly baked bread? For millions of people, bread is a feast for the stomach, and the staple food is indispensable.
There is a wide variety of bread: white, whole grain, black, yeast-free and with various additives. But is it so harmful to eat bread every day?
It all depends primarily on what type of bread you eat and in what quantity.
Whole grain bread, made from whole wheat grains, retains fibre and important nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
In turn, white bread is made by stripping the wheat kernel from its nutrient-rich germ and bran. This can make it tastier and more shelf-stable but reduces its nutritional value.
Despite its infamous reputation for the popularity of low-carb diets, bread can be very beneficial.
The benefits of bread in the human body
Increases fibre intake
By consuming bread every day, you can replenish your fibre stores, which is needed to normalize bowel function, lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels.
According to experts from the Institute of Medicine, women over 50 need to consume 21-25 grams, and men over 50 need about 30-38 grams of fibre daily. However, most people consume only half of the recommended amount of fibre.
Whole-grain slices of bread and oats are excellent sources of fibre.
Just two slices of whole-grain bread with eggs in the morning will provide you with your daily dose of fibre. It is also rich in folic acid, thiamine and iron. This does not mean that you need to eat half a ton of bread right away. Don’t forget about moderation.
Blood pressure improves
The daily consumption of bread can regulate your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
In just 12 weeks of consuming whole-grain bread and cereals, systolic blood pressure decreases by 5 mmHg. But, again, this is whole grains, not refined white bread.
How does this type of bread fight hypertension? Whole grains contain phytochemicals and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, and fibre to lower blood pressure.
Reduces cholesterol levels
If you want to lower your cholesterol levels, try to eat bread daily.
A 2015 meta-analysis found that consuming whole grains, including whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals, lowered bad cholesterol by 3.5 mg/dl and total cholesterol by 4.6 mg/dl.
Remember that this only applies to whole-grain bread, not white flour bread with various additives, preservatives, and sugar.
Helps to lose weight
Some people see bread as the enemy of weight loss, especially with the growing popularity of low-carb diets. For this reason, many try to eliminate bread from their diet in order not to gain weight.
However, nutritionist Angela Ginn-Meadow explained that the cut carbohydrate diet could only be a temporary measure. If you want to maintain weight, it is important to find a healthy eating plan.
What’s more, studies have shown that people who eat whole-grain bread tend to have less body weight and a narrower waist.
It is recommended to consume 1-2 slices of bread a day. One slice of bread contains fewer calories and less fat but is rich in B vitamins, folate and fibre.
Promotes feelings of fullness
It is not for nothing that bread is a very popular product. It is not only affordable and economical but also delicious.
Eating carbohydrate-rich bread every day will make you feel fuller. After all, our bodies need carbohydrates to keep us feeling energized and focus on important things.
If you forbid yourself to eat bread and other sources of carbohydrates (pasta, rice, cereals), the opposite effect may occur. Your body will crave them with unfulfilled cravings, and as a result, you will tend to disrupt your eating plan more often.
You will overeat less often
By accustoming yourself to eating delicious foods every day, you train your brain to regulate the amount of carbohydrates, thereby reducing the likelihood of overeating.
In fact, by consuming a few slices of bread daily, you will be better able to make better food choices, and you will not feel a loss of control over the bread.
Restrictions are one of the main reasons for overeating. Therefore, if you love bread but completely deny yourself in it, you may lose your head one day and instead of a few slices, eat half a ton of bread.
Your mood will improve
According to a survey by the Cereal Foundation, bread and pasta are the most popular foods we eat for comfort.
So if you feel like having a slice of bread every day improves your mood, that’s perfectly normal, and you don’t need to feel guilty.
Feel more energized
Bread can give you the energy you need. But, according to experts from Harvard University, it is important to eat a balanced diet, including whole grains in your diet.
If whole-grain bread becomes an essential part of your diet, you will feel more energized.
At the same time, cutting back on carbs will make you more tired. However, it is difficult for our body to function without carbohydrates, so bread is becoming one of the most rational food choices.
At the same time, it is important to keep track of the amount of bread you consume, as controlling portion sizes is an important part of a healthy diet.
Reduces the risk of many chronic diseases
Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are among the leading causes of death globally, so do not give up bread if you want to prevent their development.
Consuming whole grain bread reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease by about 20 percent and cancer by about 10-15 percent.
In addition, consuming any bread has its benefits, reducing the risk of dying from any cause by 20-25 percent.
Reduces the risk of developing diabetes
Although bread is often not recommended for diabetes, it is not as simple as it seems at first glance.
A 2017 meta-analysis found that consuming whole grains (often in baked goods) significantly reduced post-meal increases in blood glucose and insulin. So by adjusting your glucose and insulin levels, you can fight diabetes while keeping your portion size in check.
At the same time, it is worth noting that white bread contains a lot of starch, and it is quickly absorbed into the circulatory system, having the same effect as refined sugar.
Useful in preparation for pregnancy
Bread is one of those foods that induce cravings in pregnant women, but it can also be beneficial for those planning to get pregnant.
Getting ready for pregnancy is not an easy task, and it’s worth starting with proper nutrition. One of the important nutrients found in bread is folic acid, which reduces the risk of congenital disabilities in the fetus in the early stages of pregnancy.
Don’t worry about guilt – eat a slice of bread and enjoy the benefits.
Effects of Bread in the human body
There is a risk of inflammation
Of course, the daily consumption of bread can have undesirable consequences.
In general, this applies to white bread containing refined carbohydrates. When the condition of our intestines is imbalanced, inflammation occurs in the body.
This has several consequences, such as hormonal imbalances, inability to lose weight, increased blood sugar levels, and the risk of various diseases.
Can raise blood sugar levels
If you monitor your blood sugar levels, you are not advised to consume white bread daily.
A large percentage of the simple carbohydrates in refined grains are absorbed into the bloodstream much faster than the complex carbohydrates in whole grains, leading to a rapid spike in blood sugar.
Severe spikes in blood sugar due to foods with a high glycemic index can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
You can gain weight
The most important thing is eating bread in moderation. The simple carbohydrates found in white bread fill you well, but it’s all too easy to eat a few slices along with a full meal.
Over time, this habit can lead to excess weight.
At the same time, it is worth remembering that we do not recover from one type of food, such as white bread. Rather, excess weight is the result of consuming more calories than our body uses for energy.
Can disrupt the intestinal microflora
If white bread, which is low in fibre, constantly displaces whole grains in your diet, it can lead to problems with your gut microflora.
An imbalance in the intestinal microflora is associated with irritable bowel syndrome and its inflammatory diseases.
On the other hand, whole grain bread, which is rich in prebiotics, supports a healthy microflora and positively affects bowel function.
And since a healthy gut is the foundation of our health, from improving our mental health to lowering our risk
Not all bread has the same benefits. For example, daily consumption of refined flour bread may increase the risk of inflammation in the body and the risk of heart disease, obesity, and other disorders.
Cholesterol levels and blood pressure may also rise.
Therefore, it is important to choose whole-flour bread, and of course, to keep it in moderation.