Is eating bread bad for your health?
Consumption of white product linked to kidney cancer, obesity
IS eating bread good for your health? In recent times there has been claims and counter claims on the health effects of bread and other wheat products.
However, an Italian study published in the International Journal of Cancer has found that eating large quantities of white bread increases the risk of developing kidney cancer.
Scientists from the Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, studied more than 2,300 Italians to determine the link between eating white bread and developing cancer. Nearly 770 of the participants had the disease already, while more than 1,530 did not.
The researchers gave the participants detailed questionnaires about their dietary habits over the previous two years, and found that those who reported eating the most white bread ran the highest risk of developing renal cell carcinoma.
The participants who ate 35 slices of white bread per week — five slices per day — were nearly twice as likely to develop the cancer compared to those who ate 11 slices a week. Those who ate high quantities of poultry, meat and vegetables ran a low risk of kidney cancer.
Meanwhile, the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) warns that eating bread produced with potassium bromate is dangerous to health. Potassium bromate has been used for baking since 1914. The problem is that bromides are endocrine disruptors that block the thyroid from absorbing its primary nutrient, iodine.
After some Japanese studies showed bromides to be highly carcinogenic in lab rats, many nations banned bromides in bread. Also, a study in Spain determined a direct link between consumption of white bread two or more time a day and obesity.
Head researcher Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, a professor at the University of Navarra in Spain, and his colleagues followed 200 Spanish college graduates for five years.
Many ate whole-wheat breads and some mixed both white breads and whole-wheat breads. Most of them showed no major tendency toward obesity.
But those who ate only white bread two or three times a day showed a 40 percent increase in obesity. Megan Ware RDN LD in a study published in Medical News Today wrote: “Present-day packaged and pre-sliced white bread is made of highly processed simple carbohydrate, which is digested quickly without providing many nutrients or benefits to the body. “Bread is made mostly of carbohydrate.
Despite their bad reputation in the dieting world, carbohydrates are our bodies preferred source of fuel. “The healthiest sources of carbohydrate – fruits, vegetables, beans and minimally processed grains – also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals.
“‘Simple’ carbohydrates (also known as refined carbohydrates) spike the blood sugar soon after eating and have no nutrient or fiber buffer to help keep us full or satiated. A high intake of simple carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and other lifestyle-related chronic conditions.
“Almost a century ago, sliced white bread became a huge success, a popular household staple, and a cultural phenomenon. It was actually a sign of wealth if you could afford processed bread.
“The grain is processed to remove the bran and the germ portions in white bread. Whatever its shape or size, white bread is always made with refined flour.
“To make white bread or white flour, the grain must be processed to remove the bran and the germ portions, leaving only the endosperm.” “In this process, the product gains a finer, lighter texture, and shelf life is extended, but in turn you lose most or all of the fiber, vitamins and minerals. The remaining endosperm provides quick-digesting carbohydrate but little else.
“When certain widespread nutrient deficiencies became evident, “enriched” flours were born. Manufacturers fortified the processed white flour with some of the missing nutrients using supplements like folate and other B-vitamins.
“However, supplemental vitamins are not as good as the real thing. Our bodies cannot absorb or utilize nutrients as well as when they come from the real, unprocessed source. “When choosing store-bought bread, look for the word “whole” as the first word in the ingredient list. This ensures that all three parts of the grain are contained in the product.”
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