Is Bread Really So Bad For You?

Monday, 01. February 2016

Is Bread Really So Bad For You?

Bread makes you fat, stupid and sick....In recent years, similar statements have haunted the depths of the Internet and the media. Is bread really so bad for you as it is portrayed to be?

Recently, a wave of skepticism about cereal products has spilled over from the US to Europe. Overseas, grain hostility has reached new heights. Books with bold titles like "Dumb as Bread" are bestsellers. What is actually written in these books? Is the high bread consumption in the USA responsible for the rampant obesity?

If you look at the numbers, the bread consumption in Germany is higher than in the US. As a result, there ought to be more overweight people in Germany. That's not the case. However, a carbohydrate heavy diet for the long term can lead to cerebral diseases and make you fat.

There are also recognized diseases that are triggered by grain consumption (allergies, Celiac Disease).

On the other hand, the rumors about consuming too many grains are often exaggerated. The more popular and widespread something is, the easier it can be to criticize. 

Bread is not the devil. A healthy diet comes down to a conscious awareness of the things that we eat daily. It makes a difference what kind of bread you eat. White bread or products made with white bread flour are not wrongly called empty carbohydrates. This means that you only receive energy from them, as the body converts carbohydrates into sugar immediately. All the healthy ingredients of the grains are not used. In white flour these grains were removed, which is why it does not contain vitamins, minerals, etc.. Whole grains are therefore healthier.

Processing also plays a role. As a rule, the slower and more carefully the processing is done, the better. Genuine sourdough bread needs sufficient time for fermentation. During this process, gluten is degraded, flavors arise and the usability of the ingredients for the body increases.

Paleo diet followers should also take note: tools found in Italy, the Czech Republic and Russia show that bread was baked as far back as 30,000 years ago. Prehistoric Homo sapiens not only hunted and collected, but also made baked flour products. So if you want to a Stone Age diet, put your ham on a slice of bread rather than eating it plain.

You really don't need to panic. Grains are, strictly speaking, not unhealthier than lettuce, broccoli or pears. Everything should simply be eaten in moderation. Too much meat eventually increases the risk of cancer, but so does too much vitamin A.

Grains are a major source of B vitamins, minerals and fiber. It makes little sense to abandon them completely. Still, it never hurts to bring variety to the kitchen! Have fun experimenting!