Is Bread Really Fattening?

Is Bread Really Fattening?

Popular nutrition plans like Paleo, low-carb and gluten-free diets taught us that we could lose a lot of weight by cutting out bread. But for years – our doctors and other experts have maintained that bread is a vital part of the five main food groups and that we need several servings each day.

So what’s the truth about grains anyway? Is bread really fattening?

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How Bread Can Be Fattening

Just like with anything you put in your body: moderation is key. For this reason, bread can definitely be fattening if you eat too much of it – and unfortunately, that’s way too easy to do with the grain food group.

This is because when we’re hungry, our bodies crave carbohydrates to refuel quickly. But instead of reaching for carrot sticks or other healthy carbs, we tend to grab for bread products like crackers, pretzels, potato chips and other highly refined grains.

When bread or other grain products are refined, the majority of essential nutrients and fiber are often removed in the process. In their place, manufacturers add sugar, high fructose corn sugar and other ingredients that may make the products taste good – but they won’t be so good for your body.

Bread can also be fattening if you eat the wrong kind. In a recent study, researchers found that individuals on a low-calorie diet lost more belly fat when they incorporated healthy whole grains, as opposed to those who ate the same amount of calories but ingested white bread and white rice.

Recommended Grain Intake

Cutting too many carbs out of your diet can not only be psychologically difficult – it can end up causing more harm than good. Our body needs carbs for energy and when it doesn’t get enough of them – it starts to crave them for physiological reasons. This can quickly lead to overeating.

Keep your body fueled up by eating the proper amount of calories and incorporating the perfect amount of bread products. If you follow the average 2,000-calorie daily diet, then you should plan on ingesting about six servings of grains each day. This equates to about six ounces of grain group foods – but that doesn’t mean you should load up on pasta and bagels. Make healthy choices when it comes to bread products and other grains. It’s easy when you follow the tips listed below!

Simple Healthy Grain Suggestions

1) Choose Whole Wheat.

Look for bread that lists whole grain as the primary ingredient. Remember that just because something says “wheat” or “multi-grain” in its name doesn’t make it good for you.

Always flip the product over and scope out the ingredient list on the back. This is also the same reason you can’t shop simply based on color. Everyone knows white bread isn’t the best for you – but just because it’s brown doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Some food manufacturers add molasses and food dye to make refined bread appear to be darker.

2) Eat Smaller Portions

Bread gets a bad rap because people eat more of it than they actually need and large portions are usually to blame for this. Try substituting bagel thins or just one half of a regular whole grain bagel for your morning breakfast.

3) Fill up on Fiber

This will help you feel fuller longer, plus get more nutrients from your grain group foods. Look for whole-grain products with three grams of fiber or more per serving.

Conclusion: Is Bread Bad for You?

So is bread really fattening and something you should avoid in your daily diet? No – as long as you stick to the daily recommend amount and make smart choices when it comes to each serving.

Remember: it’s easier to stick to the suggested six servings each day than it is to cut them out entirely. Your body needs the fuel and depriving it can easily lead to overeating. However, if you must cut calories or carbs, reduce your portion size in each one-ounce serving. It can be as simple as cutting a bagel in half!

Eating the best kinds of bread is also crucial to fighting fat and preventing weight gain. Don’t pick bread products just because they’re brown or say “whole grain” in their name. Always read the product labels when grocery shopping and select items that list whole grains as the primary ingredient. It’s also important to pick products that contain fiber so you can get the most nutrients out of each serving.

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19 thoughts on “Is Bread Really Fattening?

  1. It was nice to see your post. Bread has gotten a bad rap for being a fattening food to stay away from at all costs when it come to any of the diet plans. And I agree just about anything in moderation is OK.

    I absolutely love my carbs. Homemade bread, wheat pretzles and everything bagels are my favorite

  2. I really enjoyed readying your site, very clean and easy to read. You even got me to to get up and look at the kind of Whole Wheat bread I am eating. I would of been really sad if the first ingredients were not whole grains. hehe

    Keep up your great post!

  3. Good points! I heard somewhere our bodies have not got used to handle with foods containing grains during human evolution. Maybe that is why there are lots of e.g. allergies/gluten intolerance and other problems. It is hard to skip those products from your daily diet, but like you said, changing from white bread to whole wheat bread is a good start. 🙂

  4. thanks for your post, i agree with you in that moderation is the key …i tried to cut off the bread and carbs but after two days my mood changed, i couldn’t make any effort in home and work.. so i decided to eat carbs but in moderation and usually in the morning and that kept me in good mood and health and didn’t affect my weight.

  5. Hi Chris, I can only speak for myself here and my own personal experiences, but I believe bread is pretty bad for us.

    I’ve been on a low carb diet for 2 years now, before I started I was a 42″ waist and could barely walk 100 yards. I now walk 5 miles a day and run 10 miles 3 days a week and I’ve lost close to 80lbs in weight.

    I had terrible problems with IBS and all the doctors I ever saw told me to eat more grains and loaded me with more medication, which never worked. Nothing changed for close to 30 years. Within a week of going low carb the stomach pains stopped and the excess weight literally fell off me.

    Now this isn’t to say I’m completely against bread, but what I am against is a lot of the chemicals and the fructose that’s being put into our food, which is the real culprit. One of many.


    1. Hi Jay, thanks for your opinion!

      I opt to make my own bread – I never buy it from supermarkets due to the reasons you highlighted in your comment. Maybe you should try investing in a bread maker and controlling what goes into your bread?

      Cheers for stopping by! 🙂

  6. I love to eat bread. Before this I’ve read somewhere that white bread is not good and can be fattening.But as you said it is all about moderation and what type of bread that we consume eg. wholegrain. I hate whole grain bread when i was little.=) but now try to be healthy by taking whole grain. Anyway, i enjoyed reading your article, it is informative.

  7. I used to be a bread addict but I actually don’t eat wheat now due to digestive issues. However, wheat free bread is generally full of rubbish – I do still eat too much of it though and need to moderate it for sure. Absolutely I don’t think there is any need to cut it out entirely, (unless you can’t stop eating it of course!) lol…. I did used to find with white bread specifically I could just eat it and eat it and not get full. So whole grain is definitely the way to go if you can.

  8. Hi there Chris,

    I live on white bread my entire college life because it’s cheaper and although I don’t gain that much weight, I remember feeling hungry most the time. We snacked so much in our younger days and didn’t really think about the nutrient value of the food that we consume.

    As I am caring for my mom who is a diabetic, I have become more aware of the different type of grains and the glycemic index. If only every manufacturer can provide that information on their label, it would be great.

    Thank for pointing out on the color. Didn’t realize that sweet molasses are also brown 🙂

  9. Hi Chris,

    Loved this article. I found it Intriguing as some say bread is not good other say yeah it’s good for you.

    I’d go with your sound advice – it is good but and moderation is it is whole grain.

    I tend to eat a lot of rice, either jasmine or sticky. Currently working on the sticky rice and cutting that out (but it’s delicious sadly very high in sugars!)

  10. Thanks for your review on grain, bread to be precise. I for one is a lover of bread when it’s soft and tastes really good, at a time, i could consume one full loaf of bread.

    But then, that’s increasing the calorie in my body. Food is good but good food i best for the body. Most people tend to avoid plant-base diet but in the real sense of it, it’s best for out body. Nice review and goodluck

  11. Hey there, that’s a great post about bread! I love bread, can not really do without it.

    That way, it’s good to learn from your simple healthy grain suggestions. I have heard about the Venus Factor before, seems like it really works to increase female metabolism. Think I have to look at it again!

    Thanks these great insights!

  12. There have been times when I have felt bloated after eating bread and I really try avoiding it at all costs.But I think maybe eating it in moderation would not hurt, however, once I get the taste of it, I end up getting addicted and I really try to avoid eating it.

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