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“Bread, Health and a Slice of Confusion”

For decades, we have heard that whole grain bread is healthier than white bread. But, is this true? A new study reveals that there is no difference between the health effects of “wholesome” and white bread. Bread occupies a unique place in our diet: it accounts for about one–tenth of the calories many people in the West consume and up to 40% of the caloric consumption in some non–Western countries – more than any other food product. In the past few decades, since white bread has acquired a bad name, bakeries have been going out of their way to produce high–quality whole grain breads. But, a new study conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science and published recently in the journal Cell Metabolism reveals that these “wholesome” choices are not necessarily the healthiest for everyone. Tests revealed that eating bread of any kind affected the blood levels of sugar, minerals, liver enzymes and other substances. But when the scientists compared the effects of the two types of bread, they were surprised. “We were sure that the sourdough bread would come out a healthier choice, but much to our surprise, we found no difference between the health effects of the two types of bread,” said Prof. Eran Segal of Weizmann Institute’s Computer Science and Applied Mathematics Department.

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