What’s So Bad About Eating White Bread?

Slice of white bread

Craving white bread, but you’re worried about your waistline?

Is it so bad to eat a slice or two?

According to experts, white bread is anything but healthy. Loaded with empty calories and carbs, it has a high glycemic index and little or no nutrients. Compared to whole grain bread, it’s much lower in fiber and causes insulin spikes.

The Truth About White Bread

White bread has been called “The mother of all carbs” for a good reason. This bread variety is made with refined flour and treated with bleaching agents like benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide. It consists mostly of carbs and has no nutritional value. The fiber is removed during processing, so the sugar goes directly into your system.

Most types of white bread have about 15 grams of carbs, two grams of protein, 0.8 grams of fiber, and 80 calories per slice. Whole wheat bread, on the other hand, boasts 12 grams of carbs, four grams of protein, two grams of fiber, and 70 calories per slice.

Some varieties are enriched with fiber, omega-3 essential fats, or protein. White bread and whole bread have a similar nutritional profile, but whole varieties contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Bagels, baguettes, pizza dough, sandwich buns, and other types of white bread are digested and absorbed quickly, causing blood sugar spikes followed by crashes. Over time, this can increase your risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.

Additionally, the extra sugar is stored as fat unless you burn it for energy right away. The fluctuations in blood glucose also increase hunger and cravings, so you’ll be reaching for a snack soon after eating your meal. Because of its high carb content, white bread messes up your hormones, causes mood swings, and leaves you fatigued.

Are There Any Substitutes For White Bread?

Quitting white bread will not only help you shed pounds, but also lower your risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. If you can’t give up bread completely, stick to whole varieties.

  • Homemade Oopsie Bread
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Rye Bread

These are rich in fiber and protein which cause a lower rise in blood sugar compared to white bread. You may also opt for corn tortillas, which are gluten free and can be used in wraps, sandwiches, and burgers.

Choices For Low Carb Dieters

A Beef Lettuce Wrap

A Beef Lettuce Wrap

If you’re following a low carb diet consider the following as a replacement for white bread.

  • Lettuce wraps
  • Cooked sweet potato slices
  • Cauliflower bread
  • Grain-free bread varieties made with butternut squash, cheese, eggs, or potatoes
  • Another option is sourdough bread, which can be made at home from fermented grains

Be aware that most whole bread varieties found in stores are heavily processed. Just because they have the word “whole” on the label and look brown, it doesn’t mean they’re healthy.

The same goes for breads labeled “100% natural“, “seven-grain“, or “multi-grain“. Most times, the first ingredient listed on the package is white flour, wheat flour, or unbleached enriched flour.

Make Your Own Bread

The best thing you can do is to make your own bread. It’s really simply and you only need a few basic ingredients, such as water, oat flour, eggs, and baking powder. If you’re short on time or you simply hate cooking, look for bread varieties with labels that say 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat.

Some brands are gluten free, which makes then ideal for celiacs. Others are low in carbs and high in protein, so they’re perfect for those who wish to lose weight.

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