When I ask people what they eat they usually tell me that they are eating healthy whole grains. For many people this means that they are eating whole wheat pasta or bread as opposed to white bread.
They are often surprised to learn that whole wheat bread or pasta may actually be worse for them than the white version and worse than table sugar (sucrose). The reason is that the label "Whole Wheat" doesn't necessarily mean healthier. Nor does it meant that it has lower carbohydrates. In fact, the opposite may be true.
According to Dr. William Davis who is the author of "Wheat Belly" (1):
People are usually shocked when I tell them that whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a higher level than sucrose. Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar.
This information is not new. A 1981 University of Toronto study launched the concept of the glycemic index, i.e., the comparative blood sugar effects of carbohydrates: the higher the blood sugar after consuming a specific food compared to glucose, the higher the glycemic index (GI). The original study showed that the GI of white bread was 69, while the GI of whole grain bread was 72 and Shredded Wheat cereal was 67, while that of sucrose (table sugar) was 59. Yes, the GI of whole grain bread is higher than that of sucrose. Incidentally, the GI of a Mars Bar nougat, chocolate, sugar, caramel, and all—is 68. That’s better than whole grain bread. The GI of a Snickers bar is 41—far better than whole grain bread.
For most people I recommend eliminating most breads or pastas but if you choose to continue to eat them make sure to check the label for the carbohydrate content. You may be surprised.
At Murdock Health I am aiming to work with individuals wherever they are in life to foster future health and prevent disease down the road. We have a weight loss program that is free for Murdock Health Premium Members or can be purchased outside a membership. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-929-2411 for more information.
1. Excerpted from Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. Copyright© 2011 by William Davis, MD. Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.
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