Bread is a major staple in many people’s diets around the world. I do enjoy a really delicious, freshly baked, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside kind of bread. But, I also know it doesn’t help my waistline, my blood sugar, or my digestive tract so much and therefore, i limit it to only special occasions. On the Strong, Safe & Sexy My Diet is Better Than Yours meal plan, there are 21 days of gluten-free living with little to no bread, and I follow this plan when I am getting camera-ready or when I’m just looking to reset my body.
In my latest Livestrong.com article, I give you: 10 Easy Ways to Cut Bread From Your Diet, so you too, can reset, lose some weight if needed and see if your body is intolerant to gluten as well.
As a nutritionist with a private practice, I’ve seen far too many clients who eat some type of bread product two or three times a day.
It’s easy to do that when you start the day with toast, waffles, pancakes or cereal, grab a sandwich for lunch and eat pizza or pasta for dinner. That’s a lot of wheat in a single day!
In the last few decades, bread has really gotten a bad rap. But what’s wrong with a little bread?
Well, for people with celiac disease, wheat, barley and rye is completely off limits. When gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley and rye), is ingested, it sets off an immune response that attacks the small intestine and impairs nutrient absorption.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, it’s estimated that 1 in 100 people worldwide are affected by this autoimmune disease.
But for most people without celiac disease, a little bread isn’t harmful. But the American diet is overflowing with bread and other wheat products like cereals, bagels, pastries, pizza, pancakes, and more.
Commercially made bread today has very little nutritional benefits and many store-bought breads usually contain added sugars, artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives.
What’s Wrong With Eating Bread?
There are three major concerns about eating a diet high in bread and wheat products: glycemic load, daily carb intake and the inflammatory effects of wheat.
The glycemic index measures (and ranks) how a food that contains carbs affects your blood glucose levels. Foods that rank above 70 are considered high glycemic because they spike blood sugar and insulin levels. In large amounts, these foods can contribute to weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
The glycemic index of most store-bought breads — both white and whole wheat — is 70 or above, making them a bad choice if you’re trying to manage your blood sugar levels.
Processed Carbohydrates and Daily Carb Intake
To maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to watch your daily carb intake and be aware of the overall percentage of carbohydrates you are consuming.
Everyone has a different ideal percentage of macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein) in their ideal diet according to their lifestyle and biochemistry.
For example, some people may need a diet that contains about 50 percent of calories from carbohydrates. Ideally, most of those carbohydrates should come in the form of whole foods like vegetables, some fruit, legumes and whole grains.
If you’re using most of those calories on eating processed foods like bread, you’re leaving very little room for the occasional splurges that come with a balanced life (think: a glass of wine or chocolate).
Inflammatory Effects of Wheat
Chronic inflammation in our bodies has been linked to an increase in sugar intake and to a high consumption of cereal grains, namely wheat.
Inflammation can feed diseases like cancers and heart disease, so cutting back on inflammatory foods can help prevent these types of conditions.
If you’re looking to lose weight and decrease inflammation, cutting back on bread and wheat products is a smart strategy.
10 Ways to Cut Bread From Your Diet
1. Instead of cereal, bagels, waffles or pancakes, swapping in protein-filled eggs is a great way to start your day and keep your blood sugar levels steady. If you’re used to eating eggs with toast, try substituting with a half of a baked sweet potato or a side of steamed broccoli.
2. Greek yogurt is another protein-packed breakfast idea that’s quick, easy and bread-free. One cup of Greek yogurt contains approximately 15 grams of protein, which will help you feel satiated for hours afterward.
3. Can’t live without your morning pancakes? Try whipping up an easy batch of flourless pancakes that contain just banana and eggs.
For lunch and dinner ideas, see the rest of the article at Livestrong.com….