Eat bread, lose weight?

By: Dr. Joey Shulman

Author: Canadian Living


Eat bread, lose weight?

By: Dr. Joey Shulman
When lecturing on weight loss and health, I typically receive many questions on the "hot" nutritional topics. Of the many questions I am asked, the issue about how to eat bread and lose weight always pops up. I often see skeptical faces when I mention that eating the right type of bread is totally acceptable and even recommended for weight loss and weight maintenance. In fact, I can always pinpoint the former low-carb dieters in the crowd. They are the ones who appear confused with a scrunched-up look on their face as if to say, "Do you mean that bread is back in?"

In truth, bread was never "out." However, eating the right type of bread and the proper amount is critical to weight-loss success.

Many different types of bread
There is an enormous variety of bread. From white bread to seven grain, whole grain, whole wheat, rye, sprouted and omega-3 enriched, you name it – you can find it! With all this selection, making the right choice can be daunting. Keep in mind that the most important type of bread to keep out of your diet is that made from white, refined and bleached flour. This bread is ranked high on the glycemic index and will promote the oversecretion of insulin. In a nutshell, excess insulin = excess fat.

When selecting bread for weight loss, the key to making sure you are selecting high-quality bread that is filled with fibre, minerals and vitamins and is low on the glycemic index. Simply follow the steps below to make sure you're choosing the right bread.

Dr. Joey's bread test
• When selecting bread, check the ingredient list and look for the words 100% whole wheat or whole grain before the name of the grain. Terms such as "wheat flour" do not necessarily indicate a whole-grain product.

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More bread-buying tips
• Choose breads with a low glycemic index rating. Stonemill Bakehouse offers a sprouted three-grain bread that has a glycemic index rating of 55 (low), as opposed to a piece of white bread, which has a glycemic index of 100 (high). The sprouting process reduces almost all of the starches and converts them into simple sugars – this is especially important if you are trying to control blood sugar and lose weight.

• Whole-grain breads typically contain more fibre. Look for a minimum of two grams of fibre per slice of bread.

• Do not be fooled by the words fortified with. Fortification typically occurs with refined grains. Precious nutrients that have been stripped away during the refining process are added back in. Manufacturers are sometimes required by law to fortify refined grain products to make up for the loss of vitamins and minerals.

• When picking up the bread, it should actually feel slightly heavier due to the higher fibre content. You will not be able to roll this bread into a small ball like you can with white bread.

• After you eat the bread, notice if you feel tired soon afterward. Food items that are higher on the glycemic index bounce blood sugar around and often leave you in a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and fatigued state. This is also the time that cravings for starch or sugar usually kick in.

• Look at the ingredient list rather than the colour of the bread to select whole-grain foods.

Take home point:
Research clearly demonstrates that whole-grain foods are an optimal source of nutrition for overall fuel and even for weight loss. Instead of dropping all grain products in an attempt to lose weight, simply switch to whole-grain products and watch your energy soar as you healthfully shed those excess pounds.

Are you trying to keep your weight under control? Read about 6 ways to keep the weight off.

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Dr. Joey Shulman is a national bestselling author. Her latest release, The Last 15 – A Weight Loss Breakthrough, is now available where books are sold. For more information, please visit
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Eat bread, lose weight?