Bread, bread, bread, bread, bread…. It’s everywhere! Every main shopping district, transport hub and educational facility is saturated with sandwich shops and pastry houses. It is no wonder we have turned into a carbohydrate crazed nation where many a breakfast consists of a coffee with toast and jam, followed by a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. With obesity rates on the up and up, more and more lethargy, higher incidences of diabetes, food allergies and notable vitamin and mineral deficiencies, bread has a lot to answer for!
When asked by my clients what is the one thing they could change about their diet that would help them drop a few pounds instantly the answer is easy, kill the bread!!! Or at the very least limit it to 1 slice a day.
Why is bread so bad? Well there are a number of reasons but here are a few to ponder as you take a bite of your toast.
Problem One: The degree of processing that takes place before the flour even makes it to the bakery has deprived us of most of the grains nutritional content. During processing up to 80% of the wheat’s nutrients are removed and are subsequently synthetically replaced by chemicals. That’s right, conventional breads you find on the supermarket shelves are filled with chemicals. The idea that my bread is made from chemicals doesn’t sound too appetizing to me and not only that but our body often holds onto these chemicals in our fat cells for a long time. Feeling a little Toxic?
Problem Two: Most bread rapidly raises our blood sugar levels as it is metabolized very quickly into glucose. In response to this high blood sugar level the body secretes large amounts of insulin to cope. Because there are only two things the body can do with glucose, 1. use it for energy or 2. store it for later, any excess is stored as fat. These large peaks and valleys in blood glucose levels leave us fat and tired. When our blood sugars plummets it makes us feel worn out, tired and looking for the next pick-me-up usually in the form of caffeine or more carbohydrates. For some this cycle goes on all day and plays havoc with their insulin sensitivity. So bread equals sugar, which equals weight gain and lethargy.
Problem 3: most bread contains wheat’s natural protein, Gluten. Many people due to excess processing and refinement have become sensitive to gluten and have developed intolerances. Gluten intolerance can vary from one person to the next but in my experience most people will have some problem with it. Often you will be unaware of your intolerance and go on as usual but deep down this gluten is disturbing your inner workings. If you have a strong intolerance then you will probably suffer from internal bloating, wind and stomach upsets. We often become so used to these symptoms that it is only when we stop eating wheat and then return to it 30 days later that we realize the huge impact it had made on us.
Try cutting wheat out of your diet for 30 days and I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Better yet, try a 30day Paleo challenge!