Is Today’s Bread The Same As Grandma Used To Eat?
How different is the bread great Grandma ate to today’s bread?
We’ve been eating bread for hundreds of years, so why is it being linked to so many health issues?
A few years ago, I asked the same question.
I’ve been a Dietitian for over 25 years, and had my own struggles with abdominal pain, gas and bloating. But it wasn’t until I got breast cancer at 48 that I sat up and did some more research.
Bread is a carbohydrate. It is made up of glucose molecules, a type of sugar that the body uses for energy.
Over the last 10 years, we have come to realize that sugar and simple carbohydrates raise our blood glucose levels and this makes it very hard for us to lose weight.
Modern bread is a simple carbohydrate, but it didn’t use to be.
Prior to 1930, there was a mill on nearly every corner. Households would buy freshly milled whole-wheat flour every few days. The dough would be left to proof over a 24-hour period. This fermentation process would break down many of the proteins in the grain and make it easier to digest.
Around 1930, manufacturers discovered how to separate the fibrous husk and the oily wheatgerm from the white stuff. They were excited because this white stuff could sit on the shelf for months and not go rancid.
After a few years of using this white stuff (white flour), some vitamin deficiencies started to appear. Many people were showing signs of a lack of vitamin B. So, they added a few of the missing vitamins. Two to be exact.
Not only did we remove healthy fat by removing the wheat germ plus all the fibre from the flour, we removed 23 nutrients.
Manufacturers now take 3 hours to make a loaf of bread. No more fermentation process breaking down proteins to make them easier to digest.
The second difference is the gluten content.
Gluten gives bread is rising properties. So, more gluten means stronger bread and a better rise.
Grandma’s bread had about 5% gluten, today’s bread has about 80%.
Gluten has been linked to leaky gut. A condition where the tight junctions in the intestinal tract become lose. This means that instead of only single molecules being able to get through into the bloodstream, now groups of 2 or 3 can get through.
The body does not recognize these larger molecules, and an immune response is triggered.
A few hours later, you get a headache, feel unwell, bloated, gas, aches & pains. Any or all of these symptoms could appear and you will be thinking, ‘surely not my sandwich’.
Or in most cases make absolutely no connection between what you have eaten and how you are feeling.
But the story doesn’t end there.
The highly-processed bread that we eat today, raises our blood glucose quicker than a mars bar.
I want you to read that last statement again.
Let it sink in.
When we remove the fibre from whole foods (like juicing fruit) you speed up the rate at which glucose can enter the bloodstream.
I have lost count of the number of times I have heard clients say, ‘I always lose weight when I stop eating bread’.
And yes, that is great if that is what you are trying to achieve. However, I am about nourishing your body. Why would you want to eat ‘white stuff’ that has no fibre, vitamins & minerals, and raises your blood glucose, and keeps you in that addictive cycle of cravings, constant hunger & yo-yo dieting?
Today’s bread can be replaced by nutrient dense, fibre-packed carbohydrates, with vegetables being at the top of the list.