Bread – Healthy Or Unhealthy?

Bread has changed so much over the past 50 years and it no longer contains the amount of vitamins and minerals it once did. These days we seem to use bread as a stomach filler, or something to put peanut butter or jam on for a quick breakfast. It’s just so easy. Toast for breakfast, a sandwich or roll for lunch.

And worst of all, most of us usually use plain white bread with no nutritional value.

Bread was once a flavoursome, nutritious food that was shared, made fresh and enjoyed. Real bread is made using freshly ground flour, leaven (a substance to produce fermentation) and a wood fired oven so there is nothing artificial added.

The Rise Of Commercial Bakeries

The 1950’s saw the demise in regional bakers and more and more commercial bakeries started adding a variety of substances, such as malt compounds, glycerine, improvers, chemical shortenings etc. The health problems that have arisen from this type of commercially produced bread are numerous and varied – most people complain of nausea, bloating, fatigue, abdominal cramping, indigestion, reflux, diarrhoea, constipation or a combination of these symptoms.

Our bodies just don’t recognise the current wheat grain as a food, therefore it rejects it.

Grains used to be much larger and contained a higher amount of protein and fibre. Flavourless, colourless and devoid of nutrients, bread in its current form has no place in a healthy diet. Even wholemeal bread is not much better than white as it is usually artificially coloured to make it look brown, and then has nutrients added to try to replace what has been lost during the manufacturing process.

The bran and germ of bleached flour have been removed and a range of chemicals are added. Bleaching destroys most of the flour’s nutrient s and it acts chemically to age and soften flour and repel insects.

Yeast is relatively recent addition to bread- it was discovered in a French chemists lab around 100 years ago. The problem with yeast is that it requires the addition of a lot more salt.

The Healthier Option

Thankfully there are still some breads that contain the original grains and are the more healthier options. Look for these next time you are shopping:


Original wheat grain from Israel that contains gluten, but which is easily digested. It contains seven of the eight essential amino acids. It is an ideal substitute for wheat flour.


This is the name given to naturally risen bread with no added bakers yeast; instead a sourdough culture, which can be hundreds of years old, is used. It is the most ancient technique used to leaven bread and is still in everyday use and gaining much popularity in Australia. Furthermore the natural rise starter has significant health benefits – it is high in B vitamins, especially B12; the calcium is also more absorbable; it helps to generate good intestinal flora, thus aiding digestion; and it is more nutritious 5-10 days after baking.

100% RYE      

This bread is far lighter in nature and the natural bitterness lends itself to being easily digested.


These breads are made by using crushed 5 day old wheat sprouts and they are easily digested. They are also very high in enzymes.


The grains for the flour are crushed by two circular stones. All flour was stoneground until the 19th century, and this method makes bread superior in quality and taste.

Food For Thought

So the next time you’re getting your groceries and you go to reach for that sliced white, we hope you will consider the health benefits of switching to a more wholesome choice.

If you’d like further advice and guidance with your diet or overall health, why not contact our clinic and book in with one of our friendly practitioners. Book online or call (07) 4946 7910.

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