Is Bread Really the Enemy of Good Health?
Pass the bread, please.
Yes, that's right, you do have permission to eat bread, rice and pasta! In fact, eating a few more carbs may help you live longer! Just be sure to enjoy them in moderation.
A study published in August 2018 found that both low-carb and high-carb diets raise the risk of early death.
The greatest risk of mortality was associated with diets that had less than 40% or more than 70% of calories coming from carbs.
What's so alarming about these results is that with the recent popularity of paleo & keto fad diets, many people have started cutting their carbs well below 40%, with some even striving to go as low as 5-10%!
What Makes Low-Carb Unhealthy?
Eating too few carbs, usually means whole grains are missing from your diet.
Not only do whole grains supply us with essential vitamins & minerals, they are also one of our main sources of fiber. Fiber helps prevent constipation, control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.
Carbohydrates also provide energy for every cell in the body and are the preferred fuel for the brain, nervous system and heart.
What's the Healthiest Range?
The study showed the lowest risk of early death in diets with 50-55% of calories coming from carbs. This finding supports the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends 45-65% carbs.
If you're wondering how to eat the right amount of carbs and still lose weight, check out the AAY! Meal Plan Program for simple, easy-to-follow meal plans that contain 45-55% calories from carbs.
But Won't Carbs Make Me Gain Weight?
Eating bread (or rice or pasta) will not make you gain weight. In fact, no single food or nutrient causes weight gain. Rather, it’s eating excess calories that are the issue.
When it comes to bread, the culprit is often how much you eat and what you put on it. Anything in large quantities is not good for you, so watch your portions.
What to Look for in a Bread:
It is important to choose good quality bread. Read the ingredient list and make sure the first ingredient is a whole grain. For example "whole wheat flour" not "wheat flour."
Then check the Nutrition Facts and make sure each slice contains:
at least 2 grams of fiber
at least 3 grams of protein
no more than 110 calories
no more than 4 grams of sugar
zero grams of saturated fat
Bread has been a nourishing staple in many countries for centuries, and there is no need to deprive yourself of it.