There exists quite a common conviction, according to which, when we want to lose weight, we should eliminate bread, together with noodles, from our diet. This belief is connected with the conviction, that bread supplies large dose of carbohydrates in a form of starch and that it contains gluten. These factors cause thinking that bread and noodles have negative influence on our health and shape. But there are some people who are not able to resign from eating bread. Do they really have to?
You should definitely read:Is bread really fattening?
There is a common belief that eliminating carbohydrates in reduction diet is a must. In reality, scientific studies confirm that low-carb diets may be efficient in fighting against excessive amount of kilograms. But, practically speaking, it turns out that it's crucial to eliminate or limit refined sugar – sweets, table sugar, or sweet beverages. Resigning from carbohydrates totally is unnecessary. Studies also show that high-carb diets are effective, especially in case of physically active people.
We should not worry about carbohydrates too much. Introducing unprocessed carbohydrate products to diet, such as groats, rice, potatoes or fruit, may contribute to achieving better results of diet.
What about gluten?
There are many controversies about gluten nowadays. It is a mixture of plant protein, glutein and gliadin. It is present in the grains of some cereals, wheat, rye and barley. Even few years ago only people suffering from celiac disease avoided gluten. Nowadays, gluten-free diet has become very popular. Human body can react to gluten and/or wheat in 3 ways: allergy for wheat, celiac disease and non-celiac oversensitivity to gluten.
People who suffer from celiac disease cannot eat gluten. Their body reacts by creating immune reaction for this group of proteins. In extreme cases, the result of this disease is the intestinal villous atrophy, and so, it is impossible to absorb nutrients.
Additionally, there is the non-celiac oversensitivity to gluten. It may concern even 7 to 10 times more people than the celiac disease. Sensitivity to gluten may go far beyond the digestive tract and cause, among others, nervous system disorder.
It is estimated that about 1% of society suffers from the celiac disease, and from the non-celiac oversensitivity to gluten about 7-10%. It means, that about 10 out of 100 people do not tolerate gluten, and eliminating it from diet may be positive.
What about the rest of people? In case of healthy individuals, who have efficient intestines and lack any autoimmune diseases, gluten seems safe. But let's take under consideration the fact, that nowadays, more and more people cope with autoimmune diseases and/or suffer from digestion problems.
It's good to remember about the fact, that diet, which eliminates gluten, is not deficient or dangerous for health.
Does elimination of gluten mean total resignation from bread?
Not necessarily. It's good to eliminate wheat, which is a rich rource of gluten, from diet. But we have other grains to choose from. Rye bread made from sourdough may be interesting. This product doesn't contain much gluten, and it's a tasty and healthy element of diet, if we tolerate rye.
How to choose bread?
We already know that bread can appear in our diet. But the choice is the key matter here. You can find many kinds of dark bread in the shops. However, it turns out, that it's really difficult to buy a good-quality rye bread. Unfortunately, majority of bread with darker colour got it from additives, such as malt or caramel, and not wholemeal flour. So, if we buy bread, we should pay attention to its ingredient list. It's good to avoid the one achieved from purified wheat flour, which contains colourants, sugar and preservatives. Avoid such additives, like guar gum, emulsifiers, sugar, caramel, barley malt, wheat gluten, or plant fat. Good loaf of bread should contain only flour, salt, water and sourdough.
What's in the supermarket bread?
You should definitely avoid bread from supermarkets. It is usually hot and crunchy, but it has nothing to do with the fresh one available in the real bakeries. The secret is how such bread is created. In the supermarkets, the dough is deeply frozen, which can stay in the warehouses even for half a year and then it may go to the oven. There are a lot of amendments or preservatives, such as calcium propanoate (E-282), which is given against mold, or potassium sorbate (E-202) as a preservative. Both components may cause allergic reactions. As you can see, “fresh bread straight from the oven” is mainly the marketing catch.
Bake it yourself
Nowadays it's quite hard to buy a good-quality bread. If you don't have a trusted bakery around, or other source, it's a good idea to bake bread yourself. You can find many recipes on the Internet with really interesting bakings. An attractive alternative for rye bread are bakings from buckwheat flour or buckwheat groats.
To sum up, reduction diet doesn't have to mean eliminating bread. However, it's good to pay attention to the quality of the one you eat. Always read the content, avoid products made from wheat flour and bread from supermarkets.