Does bread make you fat?

does-bread-make-you-fatDavid Cameron recently announced that he is giving up bread to help weight loss. Which raises the question: Does bread make you fat?

Let’s look at the evidence …

A recent study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism found that bread is not associated with obesity. In fact, the study found that those who were obese actually ate less bread, especially whole grain bread (1)

That’s a NO then.  Anything else?

Carbohydrates including bread are essential to the diet and should not be cut out completely for those seeking to manage their weight. A 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that low carbohydrate, high protein diets can lead to severe long term effects such as diabetes (2)

Another NO. What else have you got?

Similarly, another study published in the British Medical Journal found that low carbohydrate, high protein diets can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (3)

I’m sensing some strong NOs here.

Also, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) ‘Eatwell plate’ suggests that diets should contain a third (33%) of complex carbohydrates such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Despite this, the Family Food in 2012 (DEFRA survey) shows that only 20% of total food purchases are made up of complex carbohydrates (4)

 

(1) Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 2014 Feb 12:1-10 (Mostad et al.)

(2) Low-carbohydrate diet scores and risk of type 2 diabetes in men. (Lawrence de Koning et al)

(3)Low carbohydrate-high protein diet and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Swedish women: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4026 (Published 26 June 2012)

(4) Food statistics pocketbook 2013.