I know there is a book entitled ‘Bread is the Devil’ but I thought In this week’s blog I would give my own take on why I believe bread is the devil. When I say bread is the devil I mean that it has little nutritional value to you. It’s bad for you and is probably making you put on weight.
Before I get into why I believe bread is bad for you I want to give you some bread facts.
- Bread is the number one consumed food in the UK with 19 million loaves of bread sold every single day.
- 99% of households buy bread
- Men in the UK eat more bread than women – 44% of men eat bread twice a day compared to 25% of women.
- 76% of all bread consumed in the UK is white bread
The last fact is where the problem lies. The vast majority of bread consumed in this country is white bread. But why is white bread so bad? Well for starters white bread is highly processed. It’s pretty much man made in a factory and mass produced. You can easily find a list of the ingredients in all white breads via the food label or online. A white loaf of Warburtons bread for example, contains all the ingredients you’d expect to find in bread including, wheat, yeast, water, salt etc. But also contains a lot you wouldn’t expect or want in your loaf of bread. Such as E numbers, added enzymes, man made preservatives and other ingredients which aren’t listed on the label or site but can be requested. For me these added ingredients sound alarm bells. However I know why they are there. They are there for making money. With the additives and hidden extras, companies such as Warburtons can give their products longer shelf lives, make them extremely tasty and because they use less natural ingredients it costs them less to make the bread.
So why is bread making you put on weight and why is it not very nutritious? Well I’ve already explained the processing and mass production of bread. Let me explain about what bread is and why it can be unhealthy for you. Bread is a carbohydrate, carbohydrates provide us with energy. If you’ve read any of my other blogs or seen my YouTube videos, I have often explained about the storage of body fat from unused carbohydrates. When we consume any carbohydrates our body will use them for energy to perform any bodily function from breathing to doing a marathon. However sometimes we don’t perform a strenuous enough activity to use up all of the energy from the carbohydrates we’ve consumed. A lot of the unused carbohydrate is stored in the body as glycogen which is a fat store. So if you’re eating a lot of bread and not doing much activity or live a sedentary lifestyle you are more susceptible to storing more fat. This doesn’t mean that because you exercise 3 times a week you can fill your boots and eat as much bread as you want. I’ve already told you that bread contains little nutritional value so it won’t benefit your overall health.
You’re probably thinking yeah but I eat brown bread that’s good for me!? This is another problem. The vast majority of brown bread is actually just as processed as white bread. A lot of it is even white bread disguised as brown bread. Crazy or what? What I mean is that if you buy a wholemeal loaf of bread it will usually be made by combining white flour with the bran and wheatgerm removed when milling. So technically it’s not a whole grain it’s just white bread in disguise.
I understand why you and the rest of the nation may consume bread on a regular basis:
- It tastes so darn good… I occasionally eat bread as a treat, so I know how tasty it can be. I sometimes have to contain myself when I smell the bread in the supermarket. Then I remember it’s not going to benefit me other than it tasting great and the reason why it tastes so great is so you buy more (and because it’s man made).
- It’s convenient. A sandwich is a quick fix. It takes very little preparation and bread doesn’t require any cooking time. You can also pick up a sandwich or bread based product pretty much anywhere.
- It’s relatively cheap. Although research shows a loaf of bread has increased in price by 11,000 % in 100 years. Many families nowadays are on a budget. With the average loaf coasting £1.35 it’s a cost effective option.
- You probably don’t know that bread is the devil and think that it’s healthy and nutritious to eat bread regularly.
So what are your alternatives? OK i’m going to contradict myself a little bit here because if you are a bread monster there are some bread’s that are on the ‘safe list’, so to speak. If you believe you can’t go without bread of some sort, then the first thing to do is check the ingredients. You want to buy a bread that contains a mix of whole grains such as barley, millet, rye or rolled oats. These grains have a higher nutritional value and benefit to your health. Many of these grains are high in anti oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Look out for E numbers and crazy words like poly-dextrose. If you read the label and don’t know what that ingredient is, the chances are it’s an unnecessary nasty, so steer well clear. Check the fibre content. If the loaf is high in natural dietary fibre that’s a good thing, as it will aid your digestive system and keep your heart healthy. Most people in the UK don’t get enough dietary fibre.
Your best option though, is to ditch the bread and have it as a treat every now and then. There are many other grains that you can consume that will have a greater impact on your overall health. Try different carbohydrates such as buck wheat, Bulgar wheat, oats, millet, spelt and barley as healthier alternatives to bread. This will also make your eating more varied and enjoyable. Even if you love bread surely eating toast and sandwiches everyday must get boring!?
I wish you luck in battling the devil that is bread and I’m sure if you eliminate it from your diet, after a few weeks you won’t even miss it. Treat yourself to bread don’t let bread treat itself to you!