BREAD, AND WHY AVOID MOST OF IT
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© February 2011, The Center For Development
Wheat bread, especially made of white flour, is one of the worst foods on planet earth. Here are the reasons to avoid it altogether:
1. It is a wheat product. Unfortunately, wheat is no longer a healthy food for anyone. Even organic, whole wheat is greatly hybridized and is not healthful. Wheat tends to inflame the intestines due to its high glutamine content today, and it is also much lower in protein and in many essential minerals than it was in the past, say 100 years ago.
This fact is well-documented by the US Department of Agriculture and by many scientists as well. It is truly a shame, because wheat was a fine food, and it is used in thousands of prepared food items as a thickener, in flours, and in other ways as well.
2. If it is white bread, the best part of the wheat flour is removed and fed to the pigs and other farm animals. Whole wheat is not healthful, but at least it is rich in various vitamins, minerals and fiber. To make white bread, however, the germ and the bran of the wheat are stripped away.
This leaves a product that has almost no fiber, almost no vitamins and minerals, and is mostly just starch. It is sometimes called ‘empty calories’ for this reason. It is basically just calories that put on weight, without providing any micronutrients such as minerals at all. It is truly an empty food. The cardboard box of a wheat cereal may contains as much nutrition as the cereal itself, if not more. This is how bad white flour is.
Do not be fooled because the label says the flour is “enriched”. The reason it is enriched with 3 or 4 vitamins and iron is that around 1945, scientists realized how gravely deficient white flour was, and a law was passed forcing the baking companies to at least add back a few of the vitamins that are stripped away when whole wheat flour is refined into white flour. However, this is paltry and not nearly enough. It is as though someone just robbed you of $1000.00 dollars, and then decides to “enrich you” by giving you back one or two dollars.
3. Chlorine toxicity. Almost all white flour is usually bleached with a highly toxic chlorine bleach. This is another horrible insult to the basic wheat grain. The same agent is used to bleach the wheat flour as is used to bleach clothing. It is then baked and the concoction creates extremely toxic chemicals in the bread that irritate the intestines.
The bleaching of wheat flour is purely cosmetic and never needed for any other reason. One or two bread companies such as Pepperidge Farm use unbleached wheat flour, which is somewhat better, although all the other problems with flour are still present.
4. Iron toxicity. One of the worst features of enriched white bread is the addition of iron to the bread. Not only is too much iron put back into the bread. The form of the iron is also not very available to the body, and this is another insult. The iron can build up in the body in a toxic form that is extremely irritating and inflammatory. It can contribute to every possible disease from diabetes and arthritis to cancer.
5. Bromine toxicity. Completely idiotic laws in most nations require bread companies to add bromine to bread instead of iodine. It helps the yeast rise or has other effects. Bromine is highly toxic for human beings.
6. Food chemicals and additives. Almost all bread contains a number of additional food additives. The most common is refined sugar or some other sweetener, as it not only gives the bread a sweet taste, but acts as food for the yeast as well. Sugar is not helpful for one’s health in any form.
Other common chemicals include dough conditioners, yeast food, preservatives, flavors, coloring and many others that may or may not be listed on the label. Bromine, used to enhance the rising of the dough, is one of the worst and is not required to be listed on the label.
7. Cooked at high temperature. In general, the higher the temperature a food is cooked at, the more damage is done to certain nutrients. Bread is baked at 300 degree F. or higher, and this is more damaging than steaming or stir-frying your food, for example.
8. A toxic and sometimes lethal concoction. For all of these reasons, enriched white bread is one food to avoid completely. The only way I suggest eating white flour, and only on occasion, is in the form of pasta. This is a little better because it has no added chemicals, it is not bleached, and it is cooked at a lower temperature that damages the wheat less. It may be eaten safely once a week, although I suggest rice, corn or quinoa pasta in place of all wheat pasta.
So if you have some white bread in the house, use it to clean up a mess on the floor, or to wipe down a counter top, but don’t’ eat it.
WHAT ABOUT ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT BREAD OR MULTI-GRAIN BREADS?
These are a bit better. However, all wheat is imbalanced today and causes intestinal irritation. So even whole wheat is best avoided completely for optimum health. This is especially true if one has impaired digestion at all, or any inflammatory condition in the body, such as joint pain, stomach discomfort, headaches or any “itis” such as arthritis or bursitis.
WHAT ABOUT WHEAT-FREE BREADS SUCH AS 100% WHOLE RYE BREAD OR SPROUTED GRAIN BREADS?
Wheat-free products are far better, in general, though they may still contain some toxic chemical additives. Some people are also allergic to all gluten-containing grains, which includes rye, barley and oats in any form whatsoever.
Sprouted, non-wheat breads tend to be the best if you must eat bread. However, once again, be sure your bread does not contain wheat, which is usually the main ingredient. Even sprouted wheat is not healthful today and is best avoided, in my view. The only wheat product I suggest consuming is a little wheat grass juice, up to 2 ounces daily.
Also, make sure your bread is free of preservatives, additives, sugar, honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners, and of course free of other chemicals that are often hidden in bread and not disclosed on the label.