June 1, 2014
Eating White Bread Instead Of Whole Grain May Increase Obesity Risk
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Consuming white bread instead of whole-grain bread could increase a person’s chances of becoming overweight or obese, according to new research presented last week as part of the 21st annual European Congress on Obesity (ECO 2014) in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The study’s author, nutritional expert and University of Navarra professor Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, studied the eating habits of over 9,000 Spanish university graduates to gauge the impact of bread type in a culture where it is a dietary staple. He had each participant complete a 136-item food questionnaire, and then continued monitoring them for a five-year period.
According to UPI reporter Alex Cukan, he found that those who consumed at least three slices of white bread per day were 40 percent more likely to pack on extra weight than those who only ate one portion each week, and that mixing white and whole-grain bread did not increase obesity risk.
Martinez-Gonzalez told Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor for The Telegraph, that whole-grain bread consumption was not associated with obesity. Likewise, he said that no link was found between weight gain and whole-grain bread consumption, because the products contain dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates that make people feel as though they are full for longer periods of time.
“Refined grains such as white bread start to taste sweet in the mouth almost as soon as you eat it. That is the starch being broken down into sugar. It is this feeling that leaves you wanting more,” he told Smith. “When white bread is a staple food, eating at one or two main meals a day then this is a lot of extra calories on a daily basis.”
In an interview with of The Independent’s Charlie Cooper, Martinez-Gonzalez added that the eating white bread “is equivalent to a high consumption of sugar,” that the process is similar to what occurs with soft drinks, as “their sugars are rapidly transformed into fat an organism [sic].”
White bread loses fiber during the refining process, which is part of the reason that medical experts have been debating the nutritional value of white break for several years. Cooper noted that scientists have suggested that there is a link between diets high in white bread consumption and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
When asked about the study by the Daily Mail, Professor Jason Halford, chairman of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity, said: “I would say white bread is a concern because it is generally lower in useful nutrients such as fiber and it can contain added sugar and sometimes contains higher levels of salt.”
“The message is clear, go for whole grains instead of white bread when eating your meals,” Martinez-Gonzalez told The Telegraph. He added that the general trend suggested that consuming whole-grain could help combat weight gain, since it not only contained additional fiber and was broken-down and absorbed more slowly, but it also contains more vitamins and minerals than white bread.