You’ve no doubt heard all the bad mouthing that carbs are getting. Although the carb-free trend seems to be dwindling, many people still feel that nixing carbs is the best way to lose weight.
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While your body does need some complex carbohydrates just to function, you definitely should limit or avoid the simple carbs, which you can find in white bread and other similar items. At the same time, perhaps you choose whole grain
At the same time, perhaps you choose whole grain breads because you feel they are a healthier choice. That might not be the case for all people. Here are some compelling reasons why bread might not be the health food you have been trained to think it is.
Wheat Isn’t Healthy
Although most medical professionals will tell you that there is no reason to avoid wheat unless you have an allergy or intolerance, wheat might not be a good choice for other people either.
According to some research, wheat is grown much differently than it was in past generations and that difference could be affecting people’s health reaction to it. There are studies that show that wheat can lead to a variety of health issues that you’d rather avoid.
The best way to find out if you should be avoiding bread is to keep a food journal for several weeks. Write down what you eat and any side effects or negative consequences that happen. Over time, you should be able to see a pattern that helps you see if bread is the problem. Take this journal with you when you see your doctor.
Because many types of bread are simple carbs, they do contain a large number of calories. When you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, it’s important not to take in more calories than you can burn, which will result in weight gain. Even whole wheat bread contains calories, and if you’re not balancing your intake with other foods, you could be overdoing it.
In addition, the bread you buy at supermarkets often contains quite a bit of added sugar. Sugar contains calories as well, and the more you eat, the less room you have for nutrient dense foods that support good overall health. That sugar also raises your blood sugar, making you feel hungry, despite having just had a meal.
Home-baked bread might be a better bet because you can control the sugar content, but you’d still be getting the wheat. Figuring out whether it’s the wheat or the sugar that’s causing weight gain can really help.
Carbohydrates, when eaten in large amounts, contribute to cholesterol build-up in your bloodstream. This is a big contributor to heart disease. Even if you exercise on a regular basis, you could still suffer from an elevated risk when you eat large amounts of bread. Not only can this contribute to heart disease, but it also increases your risk of developing diabetes too.
One of the best ways to ward off heart disease is to eat plenty of fiber and watch your fat intake, which makes fruits and vegetables an important part of any meal plan and a healthy substitute for the carbs in bread. Additionally, fruits and vegetables help fight off heart disease because they contain lots of antioxidants, which boost immunity and fight free radical damage.
As mentioned above, too many carbs from bread can increase your risk of diabetes. One reason is that bread contains sugar, and too much of the sweet stuff increases your insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of diabetes. Combine that with the weight gain risk of eating too much bread and you have a recipe for disaster, since being overweight also puts you at risk of diabetes.
Additionally, many wheat farmers grow genetically modified organisms, which means you could be exposed to toxins or other substances that alter the proper usage of glucose in your body. Limiting your bread intake helps control your risk and is an easy way to stay healthy. If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, talk to your doctor about how much bread is appropriate for your health.
Wheat Is Hidden
While bread, bagels, tortillas, pasta, crackers and cereal are the top culprits when it comes to wheat content, it can also hide in other foods. If you’re sensitive to it, you could suffer the negative consequences listed above when you eat those items as well. That includes things like soy sauce, salad dressings, condiments, frozen potatoes, soup and much more.
It’s important to read labels to be sure you are avoiding wheat in your diet if your doctor says it’s a necessary step. Wheat doesn’t always show up called as such, so you’ll need to educate yourself on which ingredients contain wheat or wheat by-products.
How To Replace Wheat
Once you’ve made the decision to stop eating wheat, you’ll have to find ways to replace the nutrients in bread. That includes things like iron, B vitamins, fiber and the complex carbs you need for energy. You can find the good carbs and plenty of fiber in fruits and vegetables, but you’ll need to round out your meal plan with alternative grains to cover those B vitamins. Choose from items like millet, quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat. Iron can be found in lean meats such as beef, pork and fish.
Anytime you cut a food from your diet, it’s vital to make sure you are making up the difference with other foods. Before doing this, you should make an appointment with your doctor to be sure you are doing so in a healthy way. This is especially important if you have any kind of health condition. When it comes to food prep, use lettuce leaves instead of bread, or substitute cornmeal in recipes that call for bread crumbs.
When you eliminate wheat from your diet, you can improve your health in several ways, but only if you use caution to cover your bases with other items. At the same time, it’s important to note that you can still enjoy a bit of bread from time to time and still remain healthy. The trick is to choose 100 percent whole wheat bread and avoid eating it all the time.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends balancing your grain intake with other grains, but you also need to balance bread with a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy. That means that your diet shouldn’t be heavy on bread but can still include moderate amounts.
If you have a wheat intolerance, celiac disease or a wheat allergy, you must avoid all kinds of wheat all the time to prevent adverse health complications. Talk to your doctor if you need more help developing a healthy meal plan with, or without, bread. You’ll be so glad you did.