Isn’t that the most insane thing you’ve ever heard? Why don’t people say “candy bars make you fat” or “fast food makes you fat”. No, they blame that mixture of whole wheat, water, sugar, salt and yeast. It makes me cringe and ready to go on the attack when I hear people say that.
I was sitting next to a young man on a plane coming back from Savannah and he said this very thing. His confidence in his lack of nutrition knowledge was commendable. Unfortunately, he should have studied harder in Nutrition 101. He also was taking every supplement under the sun because the guy at GNC told him to. Why on earth would a healthy and active 19 year old need to take single vitamin supplements? Oh, to be 19 again and know what I know now, I would have loved my body so much more. He could not answer a single question correctly when quizzed on his supplements. That’s a problem and it’s dangerous. You should always know why something is going in your body.
I just happened to hear this phrase again the other day and I had to contain my inner attack dog. Who on this earth thinks that bread makes you fat? Apparently a lot of people. If you eat bread and only bread and then eat some more bread and then proceed to sit on the couch and watch TV all day, yes, you will probably start to look a little thick in your midsection. Your muffins will most certainly give you a sweet “muffin top”.
Do you know about all of the natural nutrition in your bread that’s good for you? Now, I’m not talking the gleaming white bread that we used to eat when we were kids. I’m talking about caramel colored whole wheat bread, the kind with substance. Commercially produced white bread holds no nutritional value whatsoever, unless you’re desperately seeking carbs and can find them in no other place – doubtful.
When looking for “wheat” bread in the grocery store, you have to look at the ingredients. It must say “whole” wheat or “100% whole” wheat. Wheat flour is just a fancy dancy name for white flour. Those manufactures will try just about anything to trick a consumer.
But it’s still processed, you say. Well, yes – it is still processed. Now, I LOVE making my own bread as much as the next Martha Stewart wannabe, but unless you have many hours in the day that are not taken – not in my house – then you are buying your bread. You have to decide what is the lesser of two evils.
Whole wheat bread, and whole grains in general, are an amazing source of fiber (which most American’s are not getting enough of, B vitamins (remember the 3 from Nutrition 101 – thiamin, niacin, riboflavin), magnesium, selenium, and manganese. There are so many others that I should just post the USDA analysis, or you could just take my word for it.
What about enriched or fortified you ask – there are vitamins in white bread. True, they were put in there by manufacturers. White bread has been stripped of its goodness and must have vitamins added back in, that’s enrichment. Fortification is a different story. If the vitamin was never there in the first place, or in very small amounts, that’s fortification. The U.S. fortifies its bread with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Whole grains do not naturally contain large amounts of folate.
So, I’ll keep the rest brief. Bread doesn’t make you fat and stop letting people tell you that. If you’re an exerciser, you need complex carbohydrates to keep you and your brain in peak condition. Be smart about what you eat and don’t overindulge.