Is bread bad for you?
Do you love bread but always trying to cut it out from your diet? Do you bloat when you eat bread? What is the reason to this? It’s not the bread! Bread is actually good for you!
IS BREAD POISON?
Bread is often demonised as a bad carbohydrate which make us sick and destroys our digestive track. That’s simply not true. It’s not bread itself that makes us sick. It’s the quality of the actual wheat in the bread!
It is true that some people react to bread, and few people suffer from celiac disease ( a hereditary autoimmune condition).
I met Benjamin Lebwohl, a gastroenterologist from New York. I met him at the World Medical Congress in Paris back in 2019. During the Congress days he was giving a presentation saying that he sees patients every day. Many of his patients are on a gluten-free diet. In his opinion they don’t need to be.
In other words, they are on the “no bread and no gluten diet” because they believe it to be healthier, but it’s not. What’s the problem then? Is bread bad for you? And if not, then why do so many people bloat when eating bread?
IS BREAD BAD FOR YOU?
In reality most of us can digest bread really well. In fact, a recent study found that 86% of people who believed they were gluten allergic, could tolerate gluten and bread.
In Ayurveda we consider bread to be an important part of our diet. It’s not a food that is bad for you. However, if you’re someone who bloats after eating bread it’s could be because of:
- Low quality wheat
- White refined flour used in the bread making
- Low quality whole-wheat flour
- Industrial supermarket bread
- Bleach in the flour
- Emulsifiers (often used in bread to improve the size of bubbles in the bread dough)
Most bread today is made of “high speeding” mixes and emulsifiers, which means that the there’s less protein in the wheat. If you are someone who buys bread from the supermarket or bread from a local bakery, you can be sure that the bread is of low quality wheat with preservatives to keep the bread moist.
Many bakeries sell whole-wheat bread but often the bread contain 80% white wheat and 20% whole-wheat. That makes bread bad for your digestive system and overall health!
NOT A NORMAL HUMAN DIET
It’s rarely bread you react too, but more likely to the type of bread you consume (low quality wheat, quick production methods, overuse of yeast and emulsifiers). Next time you eat bread, be aware of what bread you consume and where it’s been produced.
If you react to the bread you eat and it doesn’t feel healthy for your system, then bring your own bread to work or buy bread from a good quality bakery. Ask your local bakery how much whole-wheat is used in the bread. If the bread you buy says “whole-wheat” and looks healthy it doesn’t mean it contains 80% whole-wheat. It might very well only contain 20% good wholesome flour!
The best bread for human health is always: 100% rye bread, barley bread, 100% whole-wheat or sourdough bread.
If you have done tests which shows you are severely celiac, then avoid bread, and choose a diet which feels good and easy on your digestion. But if you’re someone who isn’t celiac but bloat a lot, then it’s most probably the quality of the wheat being used in the bread you eat.
STRESS AND BLOATING
Stress puts pressure on the digestive system. In Ayurveda it is very common to see Vata Dosha or people with a Vata imbalance suffer from bloating, stomach aches, constipation and other digestive issues.
What I often notice with clients is:
- It’s often stress and anxiety that causes stomach bloating, and very rarely the foods they eat.
- When the Agni (digestive fire energy) is balanced, the client digest foods easily.
- When the system is anxious or stressed the client often digests food poorly, and feels bloated.
- When low quality wheat is in the bread or the client consumes supermarket bread of fast sandwiches ,they often bloat
Bread is healthy and good for you because it’s full of nutrients and fibre. Bread is bad for you when you consume low quality wheat or if the bread you eat is “whole-wheat” but in reality contains 20% whole-wheat and 80% white processed wheat.
Bread that contains emulsifiers, processed wheat and bleach can damage your health and provoke stomach bloating.