5 Reasons Why Bread Is Bad

Bread: Good or Bad?

B-R-E-A-D: A one-syllable, five-letter noun that evokes various thoughts and emotions both good and bad. Ever since the re-birth of lo-carb diets, bread has come under intense scrutiny with many health conscious, fitness fanatics opting for eggs and bacon instead of toast in the morning.

On the other hand many Mediterranean diet followers strongly sing the praises of the staple and happily enjoy a freshly baked loaf. Whatever the case may be one thing is for sure, there is no shade of grey when it comes to bread, you’re either a lover or hater.

Let me begin by saying I’m not one to demonize food, mostly because I think it has the potential to be far more damaging to the mental psyche than any physical consequences the body may suffer. I’m guessing this attitude formed after spending my youth being trapped in an all girls’ high school and witnessing friends obsess over their weight, appearance and basically anything that fell outside the realm of perfect.

In other words it’s really not in my nature to criticize diet. I’d rather spend my time focusing on the effects of healthy food choices. Although even that is somewhat ambiguous nowadays, with many people charting their own definition of “healthy”.

So this week I thought I would unearth some of the mystery behind bread and bring you five facts about the seemingly harmless staple that you may not have known.

Increases blood sugar levels: Wheat contains amylopectin A, a type of molecule that is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate. While it’s true CrossFitters love efficiency, this kind of efficiency is not so desirable. After the consumption of wheat your blood sugar levels increase and in a matter of 2-hours you’re bound to be foraging through the fridge once again in an effort to satisfy your appetite. Wheat consumption puts the body through a series of highs and lows, where the body becomes stuck in a vicious cycle of constant hunger.

Addictive: It seems in life we only crave the forbidden and bread is no exception to this rule. Researchers from the National Institute of Health discovered that the gluten found in bread tickles the brains opiate receptors eliciting a sense of euphoria when consumed. Meaning quite simply, the more we eat it, the more we want it.

Mucus forming: Bread is part of the refined grain family joining other grains like barley, oats and rye all of which produce mucus in the body. Mucus is the body’s natural defense mechanism to protect our cells, tissues and organs from the harmful acid found within bread. While mucus forms as a means of protection it is not side-effect free. A build up of mucus often means the lungs and nasal passages become congested and digestion is hindered.

Difficult to digest: Bread almost always contains gluten, a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and other grains. Gluten is very difficult for the human body to digest and it requires a very strong acid in the stomach to process it. It can sometimes take as long as 4-weeks to digest a meal containing mostly wheat.

Nutritionally deficient: During the refining process, bread is stripped of its healthy elements including bran and germ. This means most of the vitamins and minerals are lost leaving you with nothing but a mucus forming, addictive slice of bread to butter your toast in the morning. Not the ideal way to start the day.

All in all, I guess it’s easy to see why bread has become the food villain for health campaigners in recent times. The idea of breaking Paleo for a slice of mucus producing, anti-digesting, nutrient deficient slice of bread just doesn’t seem all that tempting anymore.

Emma Nicole

Emma Nicole

A former competitive ballroom dancer, Emma is currently studying English and education. Her love of CrossFit is only surpassed by her love of high heels, dark chocolate and red wine. Emma is currently a contributing writer to the CrossFit Games and the CrossFit Community website. If she is not watching episodes of The Bachelor she spends her time denying she watches episodes of The Bachelor.
Emma Nicole
Emma Nicole

Latest posts by Emma Nicole (see all)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1171232814 Ryan Lang

    i cut out bread a while ago, and i haven’t looked back. i’ll still have the occasional burger with a bun, but overall i try to stay away from it. i always have a difficult time explaining to my coworkers why they shouldn’t eat bread, and now i can direct them to this article :-) thanks emma!

  • afto

    man, there has has been some good articles on here lately! this one is the important because one of single best and easiest changes one can make in their diet.

  • BlakThundar

    Any chance of getting links/citation of sources?

  • Nels

    Great article for beginners! I love the mix of more advanced topics and basic concepts both being discussed on here.

    • http://therxreview.com/ Michael: The Rx Review.com

      Thanks Nels. We’re doing our best to bring the right mix

  • Guest

    Would love to see links to sources or citations if possible.

  • Philip

    Check out Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution. He goes into pretty good detail.

    • http://therxreview.com/ Michael: The Rx Review.com

      Robb is the man. Love his site.

  • ErickDiazSoto

    Good article. Have anyone tried Paleo-Bread? http://www.paleobread.com/

    • http://therxreview.com/ Michael: The Rx Review.com

      I saw this awhile back Erick and wanted to try is ever since

      • ErickDiazSoto

        It’s good but a bit expensive. They have almond and coconut.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brett.woodward.5 Brett Woodward

      I have seen an article where a customer put their low-carb bread through some testing and the results were quite different from the label. 23 carbs vs 13 on the label. Proceed with caution.

      • ErickDiazSoto

        Thanks for the heads up!

  • Scott

    What about gluten free bread?

  • http://www.facebook.com/donas1987 Dan McDonagh

    blah to bread.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Frisbeekid Cj Agatep

    What about Ezekiel bread? Do sprouted grains make it any better?

  • Kari Grace

    May I please have permission to post this information on my blog?

    • http://therxreview.com/ Michael: The Rx Review.com

      Whats the blog Kari?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.murstig Ryan Conor Murstig

    Almond bread is the way to go

    • http://therxreview.com/ Michael: The Rx Review.com

      I found that once before and love it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657401153 Jason Dimaio

    I believe in a lot of this stuff, but I would really also like to have some sources to back this up when trying to share.

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  • guest jp

    where are you credentials on this subject? Do you have a degree in nutrition? what evidence is your argument based on? is the evidence valid and is the research up-to-date? is the researcher a credible researcher?

  • Sarah

    just one phrase that joins in the “refined grain family” oats, barley and rye gives out a totally bogus low-quality amateurish content. FYI oats, barley and rye are NOT “refined grain family.” Unless it is some 1-minute quick cooking oats, oats, barley and rye are very healthful, especially, oats and barley.
    Moreover, gluten being difficult to digest is true only for gluten-intolerant people. Otherwise, it has its own health benefits – please, read up on it.
    First, you should have qualified WHAT kind of bread is “bad.” Wheat bread vs. other grain breads.
    And secondly, you should have researched some more WHY that kind of bread is “bad.” The main reasons for its harmfulness have to do with the fact that today’s wheat is not the same wheat our ancestors ate, because it’s GMO. THAT’S the main cause of wheat bread’s harm.
    Very, very inaccurate information, to put it mildly.

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  • guest

    Then there is that whole silliacs disease…

  • Guest

    That part of “tickles the brains opiate receptors” got me. It’s what’s inciting me to go buy a lot of bread right now, when I’d save my money for other foods.

    • http://therxreview.com/ Michael: The Rx Review.com

      Agreed. I had some today :)

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  • Guest

    does bread bind your stomach? True or False

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