I will admit it, I love bread and I cannot eat without bread. You give me a plate of pasta and there is no bread and I won´t enjoy it. You give me the best steak in the world with fries and there is no bread and I will be disappointed. I will still eat the steak and the pasta but it´s not going to be the same. Bread for me is sacred, it´s one of the best things there is. And that is why I eat with a fork (spoon) in one hand and bread in the other and I love it. So when people tell me they are going on a diet and give up on ¨bread¨, I gasp and say two things, ¨you are crazy¨ and ¨how the hell can you get the pasta on your fork without the help of a piece of bread? ¨ 😉
Bread always gets a bad rap and whenever people want to lose weight, the first thing they take out is ¨bread¨. So, I wanted to find out if bread is really that bad and if it´s really the thing that is causing you to gain weight. And luckily they recently did a study on that. The study is called ¨the evaluation of the usefulness of a low-calorie diet with or without bread in the treatment of overweight/obesity¨. So, what they basically did in this study was divide 122 women into 2 groups. One group was called the intervention group (COULD EAT BREAD, N=61) and the other group was called the control group (NO BREAD, N=61). Both groups received a low-calorie diet of 1500 kcal, with a total caloric distribution of 55% carbohydrates, 21% proteins and 24% fat. The BREAD group was given a diet that included bread while the NO BREAD group was given other sources of carbohydrate, such as pasta, rice , potatoes and legumes. Both groups also received a Nutrition Education Programme and the same physical activity guidelines to be carried out at least three times a week, with 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity. And what they found out is that both groups of women significantly reduced their body weight, waist circumference , BMI and body fat percentage. But the intervention group (BREAD) had a better evolution of dietetic parameters and a GREATER compliance with the diet with fewer dropouts.
So what does all this mean? Well, that a calorie is a calorie, and if you are losing weight because you are not eating bread it is because you are consuming fewer calories, not because of the bread in itself. You could do the same thing if you just restricted another food. In fact, according to this study a low-calorie diet with bread is better than a low-calorie diet without bread. So, in conclusion, do whatever you want but please don´t mess with ¨the bread¨.
Kohen-L V, Candela-G C, Fernández-F C, Torres P A, Puig-G J, Bermerjo L. Evaluation of the usefulness of a low-calorie diet with or without bread in the treatment of overweight/obesity.Clin Nutri 2012. Aug,31(4):455-61.