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