Could there be a food more loved and feared in the Western world than bread?
The perception of bread as a diet-wrecker has permeated through popular consciousness, and even into memes like this one–
But why are we so frightened of bread? Surely something that has been revered for over 30,000 years (Thanks, Wikipedia) in dozens of cultures can’t be that unhealthy.
My thinking is that the fear of bread has the same roots as the current fear of sugar – we can probably blame Dr Atkins for his bogus diet recommendations back in the 70s, which, although they have softened over the past few decades, are still based on the premise that cutting carbs is the key to weight loss. If you’d like to read my thoughts on the Atkins diet, click here (here’s a hint: Dr Atkins died in 2003 from heart disease and was clinically obese, not a ringing endorsement for his health recommendations).
The fact is, diet pushers generally make their money by focussing on one key food or nutrient that is ‘killing us all’ and must be avoided at all costs. And as much as we might like to think this works, if any of these diets’ claims were provably true, they would have become part of mainstream recommendations by now.
So if you don’t like bread, no problems. But if you do? Don’t stress. Bread is a wholesome and nutritious food, and as long as it’s not stuffed down by the loaf (or regularly consumed in the form of pizza and finger buns), it will NOT cause you weight gain.
Some other things that are good about bread:
- It’s naturally low in fat and sugar
- It provides a good source of dietary fibre, keeping you full and feeling satisfied
- It contains energy in the form of carbohydrates, the body’s most preferred energy source
- Almost all breads in Australia (aside from organic breads) are mandatorily fortified with Iodine, Folate and Thiamin – important nutrients that are otherwise difficult to eat enough of
It’s recommended that men and women aged 19-50 consume around 6 serves of grain foods each day, with one slice of bread equating to one serve. So please, don’t feel guilty about eating bread!
Categories: fact or fiction