The first known to us bread appeared on our table more than 7,000 years ago, thanks to hard work of Egyptians. And ever since then, it is difficult to imagine at least one person who has never eaten bread in his or her entire life.
The Egyptians were the first people who discovered that if you add yeast or sour milk, it makes bread more delicious, puffy and nutritious. This bread recipe was borrowed from the Egyptians by the Greeks, from the Greeks by the Romans, and by the beginning of our era, the Romans spread their own bread recipe all over the conquered territories.
It was the time when bread was very expensive, and only the rulers or very influential people could afford that product. In ancient Greece, bread was considered to be a completely separate dish, and it was served separately. The richer the house and the nobler the master, the more abundant and generous he regaled his guests with wheat bread.
Over time, wheat bread became available for the common people. Bread was treated with awe and reverence and it was considered that bread possessed healing properties: freshly baked bread treated colds while the stale one – diseases of the stomach and intestines.
It was widely believed that people that ate their food without bread, committed a great sin and they would be punished by the gods. In India, the perpetrators were punished by f bread for a certain period of time; the harder a crime was, the longer was a punishment.
Disrespect for bread was equated to the most terrible insults, which could be applied to humans. But nonetheless, according to many modern scientists, the times have changed and there are several key reasons why wheat bread is not recommended to remain in your diet.
Why have things changed nowadays and bread, especially wheat bread, is being so widely criticized?
Over the last decade or so, many well-known scientists and nutritionists have said that all bread types are very bad for the human health, and wheat bread had it the worst. Let’s figure out whether the wheat bread is really that bad for the human health or not.
It all started with a study, which was conducted by more than 60,000 middle-aged women. The results showed that women who consumed wheat bread and products made of flour suffered from diabetes three times more often than those who included in their diets foods rich in fiber, and with a
Mass media immediately picked up the hot news, and that’s when wheat bread became one of the most dangerous products in the world. Regular consumption of wheat bread and other products made from refined flour contributes to the development and exacerbation of cardiovascular, endocrine, diseases especially diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, and cancer – this is an example of the typical media statements.
According to many scientists, there are three main reasons why wheat bread should not remain in your diet:
- Wheat bread doesn’t contain any vitamins and minerals, but is rich in starch and easily digested calories.
- Wheat bread has a high glycemic index, and immediately causes an increase of glucose in the blood and as a result, a lot of insulin is produced and the fat splitting process is terminated.
- Wheat bread contains an insignificant amount of fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugars, improves the work of intestines, lowers cholesterol and also reduces the risk of bowel cancer tumors.
Well, I could’ve easily believe in all these, but then I thought to myself: then why do the Italians and the French, who cannot go a single day without a baguette, ciabatta and croissants, remain slim and healthy, while low-carb fans from the United States and the UK suffer from obesity?
Let’s take an average Italian and American for example. The Italian starts his every day with a cup of coffee and wheat bread with jam. The day of the American starts with bacon and scrambled eggs and cup of coffee.
The Italian can afford pizza, pasta, bruschetta, crostini, grissini, and ravioli without any harm to the body. While the American refuses to eat burger or sandwich and is satisfied with a steak and salad, but he still has to run on a treadmill to exhaustion in order to burn off excess calories. There are a lot of reasons why this happens, but the following three seem to me quite reasonable:
- Our food must conform to our lifestyle and the needs of the body.
- The main thing is not what you eat but how much you eat.
- Food should be varied and any product should not hold a dominant position on your table every day.
However, don’t think that wheat bread is all that bad for you. No, wheat bread also possesses positive properties for the human body.
Do you know that it is recommended to feed children with wheat bread? Or the fact that many athletes eat a piece of wheat bread with a little bit of condensed milk before workouts and after them?
Generally, wheat bread – is the bread baked from the flour of high grades. Such flour contains mainly starch and gluten. Any product made of flour belongs to the category of easily digestible carbohydrates, which are especially necessary for people who lead a very active lifestyle.
Children and athletes fall into this category of people. Kids, in addition to the active growth, are in constant motion, while athletes and bodybuilders before training and competitions need high-calorie and highly digestible food. Wheat bread perfectly satisfies the needs of these two groups of people.
And let’s face it: rye bread or bread made of whole meal flour cannot replace it. Firstly, it cannot be absorbed by the body as good as wheat bread, especially in children, and it also requires much more time to digest. Secondly, these types of bread put stress on the stomach even before having received a sufficient number of calories necessary for active growth and / or activity.
The main thing to remember that excessive use of anything, whether it’s alcohol, sugar or wheat bread, leads to the inevitable health problems.
One good friend of mine shared with me his personal story about wheat bread. When he first said that he wanted to give up wheat bread for good, I didn’t believe him at first – because I know this guy. ‘There is no way the guy who has been shoving baguettes into his mouth every day for the past 10 years is going to give up wheat bread,’ I thought to myself.
But turns out I was wrong. His goal was to lose weight and for that purpose, he excluded from his diet both wheat bread and sugar. However, he couldn’t abandon these foods right away, so I advised him to do it slowly and gradually.
First, instead of crispy and delicious-smelling loaves of wheat bread rolls, he started buying rye bread. However, he decided to not torture himself at first and bought bread made from rye flour mixed with wheat.
For several months, he was eating that bread. However, if at some party or in the café there was wheat bread, he still didn’t mind eating it. At the same time, he tried all sorts of rye bread. And gradually he started liking it. After some time, he noticed that he didn’t crave wheat bread anymore.
He then began eating foods without bread, sometimes he allowed himself a few rye crackers. However, he didn’t have a strict prohibition on the bread. He could still allow himself to sometimes eat bread.
The most important thing – his addiction to bread disappeared. It disappeared after about three months. Slowly but surely. Now he can happily live without bread. Without suffering, as he says. Sometimes he allows himself to eat a slice or two of bread, but no more than that.
And as a result, he lost about 10 pounds in three months without giving much effort into it. And he is not the only example of people easily and surely losing weight after giving up wheat bread. Just Google it: ‘wheat bread and weight gain’. You will be amazed how many people around the world find the correlation between their excess weight and regular consumption of wheat bread.
So here’s what I have to say in conclusion: if you can do it easily, exclude wheat bread from your diet completely. You’ll be better off with rye bread. Or no bread at all. It’s your call after all. However, you can still allow yourself to eat wheat bread sometimes. Like at a café with friends once a week or two. But there is no place for wheat bread in your everyday diet.
Now, I’d like you to share with me your own stories about wheat bread. Has any of you managed to lose weight or improve the general state of health by excluding wheat bread from your diet?