White bread could be making you fatter, and contributing to your ill health, according to a recent study by Spanish researchers. The eating habits of university graduate students were analyzed, and the findings might surprise you. Eating just two or more servings of white bread a day could increase your risk of becoming obese by as much as 40 percent.
The fault does not lie in the grains used to prepare the bread, but rather “in the types of carbohydrates present in white bread,” according to a member of the research team, Professor Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez at the University of Navarra in Spain, who added “it is equivalent to a high consumption of sugar.” The sugar acts like the sugars in soft drinks, transforming to fats in the human body. Switching to bread made from whole grains is a much healthier alternative, according to the results of the study.
The eating habits and weight of 9,267 Spanish graduate students were monitored by the research team during the five-year-long study. Those students who ate both whole grain and white bread had no higher increased risk of becoming obese, while the grad students who ate two or more portions of white bread a day and no whole grain bread demonstrated a 40 percent increased risk of becoming overweight and obese.
Professor Martinez-Gonzalez suggests that the fiber of whole grain bread might be the reason behind why the graduate students who ate both types of bread showed no increased risk of becoming obese. However, there was “a significant direct association with the risk of becoming overweight or obese,” and the grad students who ate “two portions of white bread per day or more.”
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, in The Lancet, warns that the population of the world is getting fatter. According to the findings of the study, 10 countries contain over half of the obese population of the world.
Especially for people who are trying to lose weight, according to Professor Martinez-Gonzalez, a diet combining whole grain breads and white bread, or one just including whole grain bread, is recommended as opposed to one that just includes white bread.
While a factor to the rise of obesity is the increased availability and affordability of unhealthy foods, according to Roland Sturm, PhD, the lead author of a study called CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the main factor is really “the excess availability and affordability of all types of food.”
People just gravitate towards some of the food choices that are more unhealthy due to a combination of reasons. One of the reasons is that some food companies that sell food choices that are higher in sugars and carbohydrates pay supermarkets to place their products in areas of stores which are at eye level, or are placed at the eye levels of children, and which research has shown that consumers more frequently head towards when they shop.
The details of the recent report on Spanish grad students eating white bread vs a diet of both whole grain and white bread were presented in front of the European Congress On Obesity. White bread is considered to be a major part of the Spanish diet. During the processing of white bread, much of its natural essential fibers that help prevent fat deposition in the human body are lost. If you are a person who just eats a diet including white bread, after consulting with your personal care provider, you might want to include more fiber in your diet to compensate, or switch to a diet that also includes whole grain breads.
Written by: Douglas Cobb