The Terrible Truth About White Bread


In theory, bread should be a healthy, whole-grain food. But the process that transforms healthy whole grains into the white bread found on most grocery store shelves destroys their nutrients and adds a variety of dangerous chemicals.

The Terrible Truth About White Bread Most breads are produced from flour; they are not natural forms of whole-grain wheat. They require yeast cells to expand them with gas, gluten to bind them together, and preservatives to slow the inevitable growth of mold. Most common brands also add high fructose corn syrup, molasses, and dextrose to enhance flavor.

The Refinement of White Flour Removes Nutrients

Wheat is a seed like any other. It consists of an outer covering (the bran), an embryo (the germ), and a fuel supply (the endosperm). In the case of white bread, the bran and germ are removed and only the soft endosperm is milled into flour. As the initial food supply for the growing seed, the endosperm contains mostly simple carbohydrates. These simple carbohydrates break down into single units of sugar almost immediately, causing hazardous spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

Wheat’s vitamins, minerals, fiber, tocopherols, antioxidants, and proteins are found predominantly in the germ or bran.[1] The removal of these nutrients is the reason why white breads and pastas must be “enriched” after processing. Unfortunately, these added vitamins typically constitute an extremely small percentage of the recommended daily values.

The Bleaching Process Adds Toxins to the Flour

The flour that is made into white bread is bleached with benzoyl peroxide. The bleaching process does nothing to clean the flour. It has no purpose other than to make the product more visually appealing, so that consumers will be more likely to purchase it. This agent oxidizes the yellow flour to make it appear whiter. In the process, benzoyl peroxide creates free radicals and benzoic acid.[2] Free radical species are well known to contribute to DNA damage and aging, and benzoic acid can cause contact irritation, discomfort, weakness, and malaise.[3] When ingested, the agent can cause headache, nervousness, nausea, and vomiting.[4]

In addition to the health effects mentioned above, benzoic acid also contributes to the destruction of beneficial intestinal bacteria.[5] In fact, this antibiotic action is what makes benzoic acid useful as a preservative. Any disturbance to the body’s natural balance of intestinal flora can lead to an overgrowth of parasites or pathogenic bacteria.

9/8/2014 9:55:57 AM

It's commonly believed that we didn't eat grains before the agricultural revolution. In fact, not only did pre-farming mesolithic and neolithic people gather and eat grains, but so did paleolithic Neanderthals, whose genes are an average of 2% of most modern genes, up to 40% of their genes being in one or another modern. It was previously thought that Neanderthal people ate mostly meat, like modern Paleos or Atkins people. Among the many ideas of how to eat bread, there is a popular German diet including only sourdough rye. Others prefer sprouted grains, though many loaves sold have added gluten. I've tried 2-day wheat sprouts mushed up with whatever (no added yeast) in a food processor, flattened and soured for some hours. My sole victim seemed to like it.

Melissa Zaleski
4/28/2014 1:47:24 PM

I disagree with the views on wheat. Thanks to Agribusiness instead of FARMING they have modified wheat for mass production , it resulted in producing a “supercarbohydrate” wheat plant that is far less healthy than its predecessor. It aint your Grandmas wheat! Even whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar to an even higher level than a candy bar can because of its high glycemic index. Ditch bread all together (At least MOST of the time) . There is no nutritional need for it.It is just another cheap filler that does more harm than good.

4/6/2014 3:08:17 PM

I happen to like some white loaves, particularly homemade, but I limit my intake of them. I prefer whole grain loaves, but at the end of the day one simple truth must be faced, humans were never designed to digest grain products.

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