Many grains also contain phytic acid, which is considered an ‘anti nutrient’. Phytic acid strongly binds to essential minerals like calcium; iron and zinc which can in turn inhibit their absorption (1).
Bread is a large source of carbohydrates.. and not much else. Thereby while it could be beneficial for some athletes to ensure they are getting enough fuel, for many it is simply unnecessary. To put it simply carbohydrate intake is activity dependent and therefore the modern day office worker just does not require the level of fuel as say a marathon runner. Therefore if you are not an overly active person and are interested in losing body fat you will probably get enough carbohydrates from berries, vegetables, small servings of fruit and maybe a little bit of kumara- leaving not much room for bread!
The debate that we have been consuming bread for thousands of years is interesting. Yes it is true that a lot of populations included bread as a staple in the diet, but the simple truth is that bread today just isn’t what it used to be. Traditional bread contained three ingredients (flour, water and salt) and it was left out on the bench for a considerable amount of time to ferment. Go to the supermarket and check out the bread there- anything from 10-30 ingredients per loaf! The advantage of a long fermentation is that it improves digestibility making it potentially easier on your stomach to digest.
If you love bread that’s great- but see it for what it is, a treat! There is no reason why you can’t buy the occasional loaf of good quality sourdough and enjoy it. However occasional is the operative word!
Food is supposed to be enjoyed but be realistic with what serves us and what doesn’t and alter your diet accordingly.
The bottom line: if you are wanting to lose weight, ditch the bread!
1. Lopez HW, Leenhardt F, Coudray C, Remesy C. Minerals and phytic acid interactions: is it a real problem for human nutrition? International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 2002;37(7):727-39.