Bread and Weight Loss – Why Wheat Does Not Support Weight Loss
I know what you’re thinking, do we have to give up bread??? It’s not that bad surely. Just look at those gorgeous, delicious looking crusty loaves. Isn’t it okay if it’s made using whole grains? Why can’t bread and weight loss go together?
These thoughts run rampant when we discover what keto really means…letting go of those really yummy carbs.
Unfortunately, these foods will have to remain in the past, which isn’t so bad once you can let go and find acceptance with the why. Let’s take a look at what makes bread and losing weight in particular keto a not-so-good combo.
Many things can contribute to a multitude of health problems, but the majority of issues over the past 50 years have come from the national food guidelines in western countries. The link between these guidelines and population health has shown a consistent increase between excess carbohydrates and increased health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart conditions, rise in autoimmune diseases, cancer etc. Carbohydrates such as wheat consumed in excess over a prolonged period of time has contributed to these health concerns. Once our health is compromised changes have to happen to improve our health. Then we have to examine what is contributing to these health problems.
A Wheat Problem
The problem with wheat is that it causes too much insulin to be released when eaten frequently.
This leads to insulin resistance. When high levels of insulin is needed over a prolonged time frame to convert carbohydrates, too much pressure is placed on our insulin receptors. This causes damage to the receptors. Then the pancreas needs to do so much more work as a direct result of carbohydrates entering the body. This creates too much pressure on the body’s ability to convert the carbohydrates to energy, thus creating insulin resistance. This is how Type 2 diabetes occurs. The cycle continues if no change occurs which leads to significant health concerns over time.
Bread has become so ‘ingrained’ in the western diet, it’s a huge psychological and practical adjustment to adapt to.
Age also impacts on our ability to respond to carbohydrates. As we get older, our bodies become less tolerant to wheat and less able to handle carbs than children and younger people. With age, people become increasingly prediabetic and develop insulin resistance (Type 2 diabetes) as their bodies become less tolerant to carbohydrates.
Those who know
Wheat Belly by William Davis MD (cardiologist)
From the wheatbelly.com website…
‘the simple fact that, with few exceptions, foods made of wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods. Yes, that’s true for even whole grains. More than table sugar, more than a Snickers bar. Organic, multigrain, sprouted–it makes no difference.’
Dr William Davis shared that up to 80% of his patients are either pre diabetic or diabetic as a direct result of consuming too many carbohydrates containing wheat. He says that even if the bread is made of whole grain, multigrain etc, it has the exact same effect on your body, it releases an insulin response.
This insulin can only keep up for so long. Over time, our body’s insulin response has to work harder to do the job it did as a younger person. This is why the risk of diabetes increases as we get older. When insulin isn’t able to work as effectively as it used to, it isn’t able to convert the glucose that carbohydrates are. It leaves the blood sugar higher than if insulin converted it to sugar, creating the issue of diabetes.
To do your own research and find out for yourself, get a copy of your own book from Amazon.
Grain Brain by Dr David Perlmutter
David Perlmutter has also shared his views on how grains affect our body in his book Grain Brain.
Essentially, he highlights how consuming grains impacts and has a significant effect on a range of things including anxiety and depression, weight gain and chronic conditions and cognitive decline. Grains include wheat, rice, sugar among others. I know that if my brain depends on not having grains, I plan on avoiding it for life. From personal experience, I have also found that I’ve lived with anxiety for a big chunk of my life, and since quitting wheat and all grains, the anxiety has reduced to where I don’t have it much any more. I have also quit sugar which this book also discusses how sugar impacts the brain and gut and consequently our health.
The book also talks about the ketogenic diet and the value of high fat to burn ketones instead of glucose. If you’re still on the fence with the impact of grains on your body and health, get a copy of your own book to learn for yourself. Personally, I had to do a lot of research to get my head around what all this talk of low carb high fat diet was. Do yourself a favor and get access to more helpful information on the impacts of grains.
Too Many Carbs
When following a ketogenic diet, the goal is to consume 20 grams of carbohydrates per day to allow your body to burn ketones and fat instead of carbohydrates to get your daily energy needs. If you were to consume only 2 slices of bread in a day, you would not achieve ketosis, and therefore not be in a fat burning state. Here’s more information about the ketogenic diet to help you get your head around what it means.
Notice in the table below how high the carbohydrate content is in each wheat based product. You would not be able to achieve ketosis if you were to have any of these foods. This will not allow your body to get into a fat burning state if you were to have any of these during the day. I’ve also included the net carbs. Note, even though some are below 20 grams, this is for only one slice and who eats only one slice?
Contributes to Health Conditions
- Type 2 Diabetes – this is the result of a lifestyle of high carbohydrates. These carbohydrates including bread lowers the insulin response over time. Type 2 Diabetes happens when the increased sugars aren’t converted by the insulin.
- Cognitive Decline over time. Increasing research shows a direct link between bread and wheat and alzheimer’s. It has often been referred to as Type 3 Diabetes.
- Irritable bowel – Many people are allergic to the proteins in wheat but don’t realise it. Flatulence is a common symptom of an intolerance to bread.
- Celiac Disease – wheat triggers a very sensitive response when someone has celiac disease. It causes intense pain, but if left untreated can lead to poor nutrient absorption. This causes malnutrition, bone loss and lactose intolerance. Irritable bowel syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed as Celiac Disease. If left untreated can lead to lymphoma and bowel cancer.
Bread also has minimal nutritional content, and those that do, will generally consist of artificial nutrients added claiming to contain those nutrients, they aren’t natural sources.
Grains have an effect on the lining of the bowels. They scratch and irritate it which also contributes to pain for many.
When bread became a common staple among industrialised populations, the movement to mass produce wheat took off to the point where the wheat farmers gained momentum and monopoly over the market. Since bread is so convenient westerners have really embraced it leading to increased demand for wheat. Which has consequently become our health’s nightmare!
This is big business baby, hence having high influence on what ends up on our tables becoming ‘ingrained’ our lifestyles.
Unfortunately it’s not the best ingredient for our health.
Over time, our bodies can’t handle the ongoing insulin response or gut irritation. Creating numerous conditions including diabetes, heart conditions, allergies and irritable bowel syndrome.
Wheat Bread Alternatives
Protein Bread – For us Australians, I didn’t realise that Aldi now stocks Protein Bread – $4.99 per loaf in Australia! It only has 2 grams of carbs per 2 slices. And it’s actually edible without being too heavy. The only drawback is it’s on the small size. But hey, if it means you don’t have to bake a loaf and saves you time in the kitchen, it’s worth it.
The Low Carb Bread Company – If you are missing bread, fear not, there are options for those of us on a low carb diet. The Low Carb Bread Company has our back so if we don’t have time to make your own bread click here.
Bread Rolls – One of my favorite bread rolls are over at the Diet Doctor’s website. It will help if you can put a bit of time aside and do a big batch of them and freeze them for the week.
White Bread Loaf – This requires separating the egg and whip the egg whites till they form soft peaks. This creates air pockets so it doesn’t feel too dense. For this recipe go to this link.
Cloud Bread – A very popular bread alternative is the Cloud Bread or better known as Oopsie Bread. It is usually made using cream cheese, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can use this recipe replacing it with sour cream instead.
Naan Bread is another fave of mine, here’s the recipe I use.
Garlic bread is another bread that I have truly missed. So here’s the link to the recipe I have fallen in love with.
Key Points to Consider
So the key here is to swap out the wheat in your recipes and find a low carb or keto alternative to help you feel like you’re not missing out.
Consider how many carbs are in the wheat based food item you’re about to consume and ask yourself if you can find an alternative to it, or can you find something else to have instead. Low carb is growing in its popularity, not because it’s a fad, but because science is showing how damaging high carbs are on our health. If you’ve tried numerous times to lose weight before, why not try the ketogenic diet. It might just help you reach your weight loss goals, as well as various other health aspects you hadn’t even considered.
If you have been missing bread while doing the ketogenic diet, how have you compromised and worked around this? I would love to hear about your experience.
Happy Keto’ing friends
17 thoughts on “What’s So Bad about Bread – Bread and Weight Loss”
Ccol read for sure. I had read some stuff about Keto in the past but not realised that certain food groups like wheat didn’t go well with it and could have a negative effect on your body and how Keto interacts with it. So this was very helpful indeed. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Kenny, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.
Thanks for your post. I've been reviewing the ketogenic diet with my husband. We both like anything made with dough!
I've seen multiple views on the diet. The most recent view I read stated that people do lose weight on the ketogenic diet which is the Atkins diet repackaged, but that it is difficult to keep the weight off as the diet is difficult follow for the long term.
I've also noted that bread is used in all civilizations around the globe and many do not suffer the same ill effects that the Western diet produces with regard to Type 2 Diabetes. I like my facts to agree so I will be doing more research for myself.
I was intrigued by the Cloud bread, but there wasn't a like for the recipe! Do you have it?
Wow,this is really informative and educative.I must follow you for good health tips.I really learnt after reading this because I was never aware of anything called Type 2 diabetes, neither the cause and effect although I'm familiar with the popular word diabetes.I will strongly share this post for my friends to get educated and informed.
Hi there, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It sounds like even though you've heard the word diabetes, you weren't really sure what it meant. I'm pleased to hear that you will share with your friends and family. The more we can spread the word about healthy eating and what's not good for us, the better.
Nice article on avoiding bread for the Keto Diet. In general one should avoid grains carbohydrates in total to achieve better results with this diet. 2019 has arrived and all of us have to start making a good effort to lose the weight we gained enjoying our meals during the holiday season. I enjoy the suggestions that you made for low carb bread alternatives. My wife is really addicted on bread and I will get her to read this article. My weakness is for rice. When I eat protein and veggies I do well with Keto diet. As soon as I introduce carbs like pasta, rice or bread my progress gets halted. One has to have the necessary discipline and will to make this journey. There is diabetes in my family so it is helpful for me to avoid taking in too many carbs.
Hi Jake, thanks for sharing. It makes sense that your progress would be halted when you introduce pasta, rice and bread, as these make your body work harder with using insulin to convert carbs to glucose while also kicking you out of ketosis. Many Asian countries (except Japan) are also experiencing high levels of diabetes within the population, due to the high consumption of rice.
One trick if you must have rice is to add a portion of brown rice as this slows down the release of carbs so it lowers the GI of the rice. Not that I'm advocating rice, but this might be a way to manage your body's response if you do find yourself eating rice. All the best.
Wow, this is a very informative and helpful article. Actually, I like your website. While I am not trying to lose weight, I have been trying to confirm that my current diet is not causing me harm. After discovering your website, I realize that I have been already been on a keto diet for about a year now.
This post explains why I have felt so much better now that I've drastically reduced the amount of bread and pasta that eat. I now realize that the wheat was causing irritating my bowls and causing flatulance. Whenever I eat bread or pasta, I end up gassy. When I don't, there is not a problem. As time elapsed, I rarely get the urge for bread or pasta even though it used to be a key component of my diet. After all, flatulance is not fun thing for an adult female to be dealing with.
Well, I am bookmarking your website. I want to try out some of your recipes. Thanks!
Hi Sondra, thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you've been very intuitive with your body and noticed what was triggering your body's pain and bloating. Well done! You've also been leaning towards what's healthy for your body which is inherently a keto way of eating. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Very informative article. I had no idea that bread has such an effect on anxiety and depression, as well as weight gain and other chronic conditions. It seems that it would a good thing to avoid bread for anyone not just for people who are interested in Keto. I will have to try to avoid bread from now on, I did not know that it had such an effect on a persons mood. I am so used to eating bread that I will have to try to cut down from now on and eventually just eliminate it all together.
Hi Andy, yes, even if not following keto woe, it will definitely benefit not consuming bread. Our health has become so neglected with such a strong influence in our pantries and diets that if you can drop just bread and possibly wheat based pasta if you eat that too it will be interesting to see how you feel and if there are any changes. All the best and feel free to come back and leave a comment if you do notice anything different when you cut out bread.
Thank you for sharing with us this great post on bread and keto.Bread became our daily food for breakfast but it is the most dangerous food to our hearth.
I am happy that we can find bread which can be harmless to our health like White Bread Loaf and I found it is not difficult to make it.
Your article has certainly opened my eyes to something I never thought about. Wow!. I used to eat wheat bread a lot and I thought I was doing the right thing. I didn't know I was really causing great harm to my system. Those times, I could buy a whole wheat bread the full length and eat all. Sometimes eating it raw.
It got to a time when I started having issues with my bowl movement. I definitely agree with you that as we get older, our bodies become less tolerant to wheat and less able to handle carbs than that of children and younger people.
I was scared when you mentioned of the fact that foods made of wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods. And this is true since the bodies insulin is pressure to work extra hard, thereby leading to diabetes if it is not able to convert the carbohydrate into the glucose the body needs.
Even though I have reduced my intake of bread, I think if possible, I should stop eating it at all.
Thanks so much for sharing this useful information with us. I have bookmarked this article for future reference.
Hi Stephen, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I'm glad you've found useful information here to take away with you. It's interesting that you noticed your own issues with your bowels. It does help to notice instead of ignore warning signs that our body gives us and to make the appropriate changes to improve our health. Well done for noticing and gaining awareness around this.
This article shocked me because I eat bread at every meal. I know this might sound crazy, but I did not know that bread was not good for health! I thought bread was healthy since it gives me energy but I learned that bread has little to no nutritional value! I try to stay health and this post gave me a lot of useful information about healthier bread alternatives! I am going to start watching my bread intake and eventually kick my bread habit! Thanks for the knowledge!