The not-so-healthy whole wheat bread
A recent study published by a researcher at the University of Guelph finds that the type of bread we eat in the mornings can affect how the body responds at lunch. Now I've always been told that the darker the bread, the better for you. Generally speaking I think it's safe to say that the majority of us believe this to be true; when ordering whole wheat bread you feel as though you've made the healthier choice. To my surprise, the following research findings show otherwise.
Prof. Terry Graham, a scientist who specializes in carbohydrates, has been looking into the health benefits of various types of bread.
"One of the surprising things in our work is that whole-wheat products turned out to have the least healthy responses of all, and this is not what we expected," he said in an interview.
Using white, whole wheat, whole wheat with barley and sourdough white breads, Graham and his team of researchers examined how subjects responded after eating the bread for breakfast and again just hours after eating a standard lunch.
The 10 male subjects, who were overweight and ranged between 50 and 60 years old, showed the most positive body responses after eating sourdough white bread. Those positive responses remained even after eating a second meal that didn't include bread.
"With the sourdough, the subjects' blood sugar levels were lower for a similar rise in blood insulin," says Graham, whose findings are being published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
"What was even more interesting was that this positive effect remained during their second meal and lasted hours after."
He says that it's likely that the fermentation of the sourdough changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.
And while sourdough came out on top, the whole-wheat varieties used in the study came out on the bottom, even below white bread.
The whole-wheat bread caused blood sugar levels to spike and these high levels lasted until well after lunch.