With an increase in lifestyle-related diseases in today’s world, there’s a rising demand to eliminate all kinds of processed foods, flour, and sugar from our daily diet. More people are turning to wheat bread, which is a healthier alternative compared to bread made of refined white flour. But what seems like a healthy option to many may not be healthy at all, say experts.
Wheat bread is made of flour prepared by processing whole wheat grains. The commercial process of extracting and refining flour from the whole grains involves the use of bleaching and chemical agents. Hence, the extracted processed flour loses all the beneficial constituents.
Wheat, though a commonly consumed grain all over the world, can have destructive effects on your body. Some of the risks associated with wheat consumption are increased insulin resistance, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, depression, migraine caused by gluten sensitivity, and even cancer, to name a few. The additional ingredients added to make that fresh bread in the bakery can wreak even more havoc on your body and brain health. Wheat bread sourced from the markets is laden with preservatives and additives like soy lecithin that are added to increase the shelf life.1
Side Effects Of Eating Wheat Bread
1. Wheat Bread Can Cause Allergies
Gluten is considered to be an essential component of wheat that makes the bread soft, spongy, and fluffy. But gluten sensitivity causes allergic reactions and inflammation in the body that may lead to autoimmune diseases in the long run. Avoiding wheat can alleviate a lot of conditions that are associated with inflammation and also mood disorders like anxiety and depression, which are related to gluten sensitivity.2
2. Wheat Bread Can Mess With The Hormones
Early puberty is a common problem that is found in most young girls today. Along with hormone-laden milk and eggs, wheat can also be the culprit behind hirsutism, which causes excess growth of body hair due to hormone changes. Serious hormonal imbalances may lead to infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and early onset of menopause as wheat flour additives with a high glycemic index can worsen these conditions.3
3. Wheat Bread Can Make Your Bones Weak
Wheat may not be a healthy choice for developing strong bones as the gluten in wheat can damage your bones. Osteoporosis, a degenerative condition that causes loss of bone mass from the bones, is found to be directly linked to gluten insensitivity. Eliminate wheat from your diet if you want strong bones to go on hikes well into your old age.4
4. Wheat Bread Can Cause Sugar Spikes
Eating food made of refined flour that is high in carbohydrates can result in a sudden surge in sugar levels in your blood. A perfect balance in sugar levels is extremely important for the proper functioning of internal organs such as the pancreas and kidney. The pancreas, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, gets affected by the constant fluctuation of sugar levels in the blood and can affect the kidney function as well. Insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes is an indicator of impaired kidney function.5
So, don’t give in to the fresh aroma of wheat bread when you go past the bakery next time! Instead, opt for more fiber-rich foods made of grains like buckwheat and rye. Else, bake your bread at home with ingredients that suit you best!
|↑1||De Punder, Leo Pruimboom. The Dietary Intake of Wheat and other Cereal Grains and Their Role inflammation. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||De Punder Karin, Leo Pruimboom. “The dietary intake of wheat and other cereal grains and their role in inflammation.” Nutrients 5, no. 3 (2013): 771-787.|
|↑3||Gluten and Hormone Imbalance. Gluten Free Society.|
|↑4||What People With Celiac Disease Need to Know About Osteoporosis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, April 2016.|
|↑5||Juntunen, Katri S., David E. Laaksonen, Karin Autio, Leo K. Niskanen, Jens J. Holst, Kari E. Savolainen, Kirsi-Helena Liukkonen, Kaisa S. Poutanen, Hannu M. Mykkänen. “Structural differences between rye and wheat breads but not total fiber content may explain the lower postprandial insulin response to rye bread.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 78, no. 5 (2003): 957-964.|