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Is White Bread Bad For Your Health?

No food is inherently good or bad, but some foods should be more heavily incorporated into our diets, in order to achieve optimal health, than others. Eating too much of any food is not beneficial for your body. Everything should ideally be eaten in moderation and with keeping in mind the nutrients we need to consume for our bodies every day. In order to make an educated decisions about whether white bread should be incorporated in your diet, here are some interesting facts.

Unless you explicitly buy or make gluten-free bread, bread contains gluten, which can be difficult for some people to digest. If you have difficulties digesting gluten, which is characterized by diarrhea, painful bloating, indigestion, nausea, etc., then you may have a gluten sensitivity or you may even have Celiac Disease. In this case you should look for a gluten free alternative.

White bread contains a lot of carbohydrates, or carbs. Carbs are broken down into glucose in the body. Glucose provides quick energy but is also expended very quickly in the body. Thus, foods high in carbs are not filling and can lead to increased hunger quickly after eating. Carbs also tend to be followed by a crash in energy and an increase in blood sugar. Diets filled with a lot of carbs, and little exercise, leads to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolism issues, a higher BMI, and heart problems [1][3].

White bread is made of refined grains, which are low in the anti-nutrient, phytic acid, but, unfortunately, they are also low in fiber, iron, protein and B vitamins. Wheat breads typically contains more fiber and protein than white bread, which prevents a sugar spike in the blood, but wheat breads are higher in phytic acid. The best alternative to white bread, which contains more fiber, less phytic acid and more nutrients, like folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, etc., is sprouted grain bread [1][3].

It was recently found that white bread can negatively affect post-menopausal women, by increasing the likelihood of depressive symptoms, mood swings, and increase fatigue. Studies have tied this to the spike in blood sugar that occurs after white bread consumption (3).

According to a study done by Mano, Ikeda, Joo, etc. (2018), which compared the fiber in white rice and white bread, found that even though white bread has very little fiber, it does have more fiber than white rice, and thus was more digestible than white rice. Meaning, white bread might be a better side dish alternative than white rice [2].

As previously mentioned, everything can be comfortably consumed in moderation, but it is important to note that white bread is snuck into a lot of foods without the consumers’ realization. Often, Pizza, bread baskets at restaurants, baguettes are all made of white bread with refined flour. So, it is pivotal to stay informed on what type of bread and how much of that bread you are consuming.

[1] Link, R. (2018, October 23). Is bread bad for you? Nutrition facts and more. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from

[2] Mano, F., Ikeda, K., Joo, E., Fujita, Y., Yamane, S., Harada, N., & Inagaki, N. (2018). The Effect of White Rice and White Bread as Staple Foods on Gut Microbiota and Host Metabolism. Nutrients, 10(9), 1323.

[3] Steinhilber, B., Manning, J., Kennedy, K., Groth, L., Bedosky, L., Iacovelli, J., & Mast, F. (2015, August 13). Reasons to skip white bread for good: Everyday health. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from

Blog Contributors

Author- Katrina Peavy

Editor- Sophia Galvez

Public Health Scientist- Hira Mughal


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