If you’re a bread lover, chances are you have a love/hate relationship with this kitchen staple. We curse bread, rolls, and bagels for disrupting our health, but they are among the top calorie sources in our diets.
Bread supplies our bodies with carbohydrates and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals that many people don’t get enough of, including iron and folic acid. Yet some experts blame this nutritious food for excess weight and other health issues.
So is bread a foe or a friend? Here’s what you should know.
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Bread and the Weight Loss Struggle
If you love bread and you’re overweight, your bread habit could be part of your weight control problem.
When you’re hungry, tired, or stressed, you tend to reach for bread products, not carrot sticks. Problem is, the more you eat bread, the more you want.
White bread, crackers, pretzels, and other highly refined grains tend to be on the no-no list, but luckily, research shows that eating whole grains (which include some bread products) is a sound weight loss strategy.
In one study, people on a lower-calorie diet that included whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, lost more belly fat than those who ate only refined grains, such as white bread and white rice.
Nutrition experts prefer whole grains because they provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined. But overdoing whole wheat bread can add pounds, so account for it in your daily calorie allowance.
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