Is bread bad?


One of the most popular questions to get asked as a personal trainer is "Is bread bad?". But why?

Bread has been a staple of the human diet for hundreds of years.

Primitive people baked flat breads 12,000 years ago by mixing flour and water and baking them in the sun. Then, the Egyptians discovered how to make bread rise with a starter made from wild yeast. Bread was the one!

In 1972 Atkins came out with a diet that would dramatically change our love affair with bread: low carbs. Today, bread is known as the devil carb source that makes people fat, and is often the first thing thrown out by dieters. 

No one had a problem with bread for hundreds of years, so why is it so bad now?

First, let’s define what we mean by “bad”. Have a look in the dictionary.

Something that is “bad” is of poor quality or a low standard, unpleasant, harmful, or undesirable.

Not sure about you but this is still open to debate. There is definitely good quality bread out there (both homemade or shop/bakery bought), it depends on the individual if it’s unpleasant or undesirable. And harmful? Only to those that have medical conditions linked to the consumption of bread.

Let’s talk strictly calories here for a second.

Whether you eat 1500 calories of bread or 1500 calories of green smoothies, that’s still 1500 calories, right?

So why do so many people cut out bread in order to replace the same amount of calories with a nicely coloured, Instagram friendly green smoothie?

Everything in moderation!

I'm sure you've heard about the Glycemic Index of carbs, this is bad, that's good etc. There are a  number of people out there who like (or need) to know which are the quick and slow release carbs. Some people really need to differentiate, for diabetes or when training/competing etc.

But if you are exercising for fun, or just trying to lose a few kilos, this really doesn’t matter! Calories are calories at the end of the day, and there’s no real need to be monitoring the GI index of carbs. Enjoy life, and stop fussing!

Read a little deeper here if you're really curious

Most lifestyles that promote long-term health and optimal weight have key things in common: realistic portion sizes, balanced diets (vegetables, grains, and proteins), and plenty of exercise.

Foods rich in carbs, like bread, give our bodies vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. There are so many studies out there showing that long-term restriction of carbs can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and more! 

If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

So have a little think for a second, is bread bad?