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The scientific evidence shows that the less bread we consume, the better

The truth is that, even on news and news, the advantages over white bread consumption have sometimes been heard. Headlines such as “bread not fat” makes many people confirm the belief that continued consumption of bread is something healthy in our diet.

Joining this fact, initiatives by associations of bakers, such as Pan every day, do nothing but strengthen the alleged benefits of bread. But is this something true or simply an advertising strategy? To answer this question the scientific evidence has wanted to demonstrate that the less bread we consume, the better.

Before we begin with the analysis offered by the scientific evidence, regarding the consumption of bread and how it affects our health, we want to clarify that for this we have based only the corresponding scientific work and analysis, without ever entering into a personal analysis. From here reduce the consumption of bread will be your choice.

“Bread is not fattening”

Surely all of you, as I said before, you have heard this headline in amount of means. To begin with, what is more than clear is that bread, like any other food, of course it is fattening, so we will understand this recurrent headline as “bread consumption is not linked to weight gain” (which I assume is what is meant by this rather ill-explained statement, but much more commercial).

Well, although we try to correct this statement and make it more meaningful, the scientific evidence completely collapses this argument, since all published studies associate and link white bread consumption with weight gain.

The consumption of white bread and its impact on health

White bread is a food with a high glycemic index, so much so that it is taken as a reference value in measuring the glycemic index of other foods. This data indicates the relationship between the consumption of white bread and the values ​​of glucose and insulin concentration in blood.

In contrast, the efficacy of diets with low glycemic load to counteract problems of overweight or obesity, as well as favorable changes in health indicators, has been demonstrated , which leads us to assess the conclusion of several systematic reviews and meta-analyzes that relate food of high GI with problems of being overweight.

But foods with high glycemic indexes or loads have not only been linked to problems of overweight or obesity, but studies link this type of food with the increased risk of other diseases such as endometrial, breast, colorectal or gastrointestinal cancer (studies 1, 2, 3 and 4), type 2 diabetes (studies 5, 6 and 7), inflammatory markers, risk of cataracts or even chronic diseases.

Nutritional role of white bread

If something is considered white bread is precisely because it is a potential source of energy, glucose necessary for the proper functioning of the brain (although I remember that is not the only option). In fact, according to the recent ANIBES studio, white bread is the food that gives the most energy, one of the countries with the highest consumption rates, covering approximately 12% of the daily calories consumed.

But the truth is that there are a multitude of foods rich in carbohydrates that can provide us with the energy necessary for our metabolic functioning and what is more important, reducing their glycemic contribution, as is the case of fruits, vegetables, vegetables or legumes and on the other hand fats and proteins.

What do we mean by this? That if we attend to the scientific evidence regarding the intake of foods with high GI and its repercussions, we do not need precisely crammed with foods such as white bread, which, moreover, does not have a nutritional value that is too remarkable, being clearly surpassed by the rest of nutritional alternatives of which we have spoken.

The role of whole wheat bread

As a consequence of all these evidences, official entities with international prestige have advocated the replacement of refined carbohydrates by the integrals, as in the case of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, or by the direct recommendation to minimize the consumption of white bread, as the Harvard School of Public Health has done.

As we see, some official recommendations to which we arrived when we analyzed one of our last post on the disastrous official pyramid on which we base our diet.

Although the evidence that supports the consumption of whole foods is still moderate, it is based on up-to-date studies (1, 2) that show much more beneficial properties than refined grain products.

According to statistics such as the one carried out by MERCASA, with data from the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, although the evidence clearly supports the consumption of whole wheat bread on white bread, the trend is minimal. In fact in our country the consumption of fresh whole-grain bread barely registers 5% of total bread consumption.


If something is clear is not only that the bread fattening, but the consumption of white bread should be limited exponentially based on the scientific evidence that have been carried out in recent years and have put it at the head of risk diseases.

Reducing its consumption and replacing it with whole grain bread and whole varieties, may be a perfect choice knowing the benefits that are obtained in recent work.

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