Do You Know Nutrition: Bread, the good, the bad and the ugly

June 10, 2014 at 1:10 a.m.

By Phylis Canion

I am trying to eliminate all bread from my diet, even though I really love eating bread. It seems that when I eat bread I just don't feel well. I recently traveled abroad and ate more bread than I usually do and had no problems. Why is that? I know you recently wrote an article on azodicarbonamide, an additive in bread, but I wonder if there are more toxins in our bread than maybe breads overseas? Thanks for your comments.

As more are aware, white flour is highly processed. During the milling process, most flours are completely depleted of their natural nutrients, and now, we bleach the flour with chlorine gas as opposed to the old-fashioned process of letting the flour whiten with time.

The result is a bread that is overprocessed, resulting in a high glycemic rate or index. As a result, the bread quickly turns into sugar, which in turn means a raised blood sugar and insulin level. Remember when a slice of bread would mildew almost overnight?

Have you noticed now how you can leave bread out for weeks and nothing happens to it? My 4-year-old McDonald's hamburger is a prime example. We can thank calcium propionate or propionic acid for that - an additive that inhibits mold and bacteria growth. And let's not forget, that now, the bread-making process also includes using mono and diglycerides, sodium, stearoyl lactylate and diacetyl esters of tartaric acid used to keep the dough uniform.

Really? And ascorbic acid, sodium metabisulfite and hydrochloride are used to strength the gluten - oh, and that's another problem.

And let's also remember bromide, a dough conditioner listed on bread labels as potassium bromate that makes the bread more elastic.

Really? Bromate is a known endocrine disruptor that competes for the same receptors in the thyroid gland as iodine. Not to mention high fructose corn syrup, an artificial sweetener that is nondigestible.

We might as well throw the last three under the bus: ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride and phosphates used to provide nitrogen for the yeast.

When I was young, I remember stopping by my grandmother's after school to have a fresh slice of buttered homemade bread, sprinkled with sugar. Pretty sure she would turn over in her grave today if she could see the bread of the 21st Century.

According to Great Britain's Daily Mail, 80 percent of all of the packaged foods sold within the United States contain chemicals outlawed in other parts of the world. No wonder our health statistics are dwindling quickly.

Thought for the week: Respect your parents: They did high school without Google and Wikipedia.

Next free nutrition class is 7 p.m. June 16 at Organic Emporium.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia