The Truth About White Bread: Why It’s Time to Switch to a Healthier Alternative

The Truth About White Bread: Raise your hand if you can’t resist a loaf of bread drizzled with real butter? Or a sandwich cut into neat triangles and topped with your favorite filling? Ready for some breadcrumbs to dip into a delicious poached egg?

The Truth About White Bread: Why It’s Time to Switch to a Healthier Alternative

Bread is one of the world’s staple foods and is a staple of many lunches and brunches. But if our favorite bread is white bread, it is more harmful to our health than we think.

Here’s why white bread may be the surprising culprit behind your health problems and how you can transform your health by switching to a healthier whole-grain alternative.

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What is white flour and how does it differ from wheat flour?

White flour is processed or refined flour, used to make everything from white bread and pasta to cakes, pastries and cookies.

All flour is made from the seeds or kernels of a cereal plant. For bread, this grain is usually wheat. But flour can also be made from rice, rye, barley, oats and quinoa. However, all grains have three distinct parts: endosperm, germ, and bran. The endosperm is the central part of the seed and contains mainly starchy carbohydrates. Germs are rich in protein, good fats and vitamin E. The outer part is bran, which is rich in fiber and B vitamins.

The whole wheat flour used to make whole wheat bread is made by grinding the entire seed, which is why the terms “whole grain” or “whole wheat” are often used to describe whole wheat bread. It contains “complex” carbohydrates, which are difficult to break down.

White flour, on the other hand, is made from seeds that have had most of the germ and bran removed during processing or refining. Removing the germ and bran makes the flour more appealing to the 21st century Western palate, and even more pleasing to the eye. (A Victoria sponge cake made with whole-wheat flour isn’t as satisfying as one made with white flour.) But it also removes many healthy nutrients.

Therefore, whole wheat bread is an excellent source of carbohydrates, but also proteins, good fats, fiber and vitamins B and E. White bread is a source of carbohydrates and nothing else. In addition, the carbohydrates in white bread are considered “simple” and are broken down quickly by the body during digestion because there is little fiber to keep them around for long. That means blood sugar is flowing, and the glycemic index comes into play.

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What is glycemic index?

When we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into their basic components (sugars) during the digestive process. These sugars enter the bloodstream. The glycemic index, or GI, is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates in our food affect our blood sugar levels. A lower GI has less impact on blood sugar levels.

Pure sugar has the highest GI with a score of 100. When we eat pure sugar, our blood sugar levels rise almost immediately. The body must act quickly, releasing a hormone called insulin to lower blood sugar levels.

Foods like green beans, cauliflower, lentils and chickpeas have a very low GI of 20 to 30.

What effect does white bread have on blood sugar?

White bread has a GI of 75 to 90, so it is close to pure sugar and therefore has the same effect on blood sugar levels. Shortly after peaking, these levels drop and we crave more sugar for an immediate energy boost.

Whole wheat bread has about 65 GI and is considered a medium GI food. Therefore, it still has an effect on blood sugar levels, but the effect is more gradual and provides a more sustained, slow-release energy.

Foods that cause blood sugar to rise quickly have been linked to high calorie intake, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes, or if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is important to seek advice from your medical team and your nutritionist. However, because white bread has a dramatic effect on blood sugar spikes, it’s best to consume it in moderation or avoid it altogether.

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What is a healthy alternative to white bread?

A few slices of buttered white toast now and then won’t give us diabetes or make it dangerously worse in the long run. But to control our blood sugar levels and support our overall health, we recommend limiting our consumption of white bread occasionally. As with other white flour foods such as cookies, cakes and pastries.

Instead, we recommend opting for whole wheat bread or pumpernickel bread, which has a more manageable and less unhealthy impact on blood sugar.

We think wheat bread is just as interesting, and you’ll notice your palate change after a while and love the flavor and longer staying power of white bread. So go ahead and get started!

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