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The Good, The Bad, The Bread: Is Bread Healthy?

By Sara Butler

How many times have you sworn off bread in an effort be healthier? Many people think that carbohydrates are the source of all their problems, especially bread, and that the first step to a newer, healthier you is to give it up for good. That's simply not true.

Bread is often seen as the bad guy, but you need carbohydrates in order to be healthy. You simply need to know what to look for when it comes to buying bread!

Why Bread Has a Bad Reputation

People have been making and eating bread for centuries. The ancient Egyptians were big fans and bread was a staple in their diet. During the industrial revolution, bread picked up even more steam when a new era of mass production made making bread about as easy as slicing it.

In the early 2000s, however, bread fell from grace. That's because low carbohydrate diets, as well as gluten-free diets, became the rage. Since bread contains both gluten and carbohydrates, it was seen as bad for your health and blamed for excess body weight.

While some bread that's highly processed (we're looking at you, white bread) isn't as good for you as the whole grain version, your body needs carbohydrates to be healthy.

Why Carbs are Important

While some diet plans call for very low carbohydrate intake, it's important to recognize that your body needs carbohydrates to stay healthy. In fact, carbohydrates are an essential nutrient and are the energy source your body prefers. Your brain by itself needs 130 grams of carbohydrates per day to function optimally. If you deprive your body of carbohydrates, you may notice your waistline shrinking, but your cognitive function may decline right along with it.

Of course, too many carbohydrates aren't healthy either. Many highly refined carbs lack the nutrients your body needs, such as important minerals and vitamins. That's why you should choose the most nutrient-dense carbs for your diet.

Healthy Bread You Should Try

If you want to continue to make carbohydrates a healthy option, then choose whole grain bread that supports your health. These include:

  • Spouted grain - This type of bread is full of Vitamin B, protein, and fiber
  • Sourdough - This bread doesn't use yeast but instead uses a fermentation reaction between lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast to leaven the bread and degrade the gluten, making it easier to digest and lower on the glycemic index
  • 100 percent whole wheat - This bread uses the entire grain, helping to keep its nutrient profile intact and making it higher in fiber and protein

You don't have to avoid bread. As long as you know how to find grains that are healthy for you, then don't shy away from making it a part of your balanced diet.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.

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