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Be Well
Dr. Jamie Fettig

Why Trust me, Dr. Jamie?

Anti-Aging Tip: Know the Truth About Bread

Anti-Aging Tip: Know the Truth About Bread

By Al Sears, MD

Every day, I see TV commercials touting the "health benefits" of whole-grain products - especially bread. Our food pyramid is built on a base of grains. And I constantly read advice to eat "low-glycemic whole-grain" foods. Well, if someone has found a low-glycemic whole-grain food, I'd like to see it.

When my research foundation put together our extensive glycemic index, we organized foods that contain carbohydrates by category, from those that raise blood sugar levels the most to those that raise blood sugar levels the least. Notice that the four categories at the top of the index are all grain foods:

  • Highest: Cereals
  • Second-highest: Breads
  • Third-highest: Other grain products
  • Fourth-highest: Pastas
  • Fifth-highest: Desserts
  • Sixth-highest: Fruits

In other words, cereals, breads, pastas, and other grain products generally produce more sugar in your blood than desserts or fruits.

"Wholesome" whole-wheat bread has a glycemic score of 80 - twice that of ice cream, apples, or peaches!

The bottom line: Whole-grain bread spikes your blood sugar the same as white bread does. And high-glycemic foods make you fat and accelerates aging. (Increasing body fat is one of the markers of aging.)

Adding fuel to the fire, all grains contain proteins called lectins. These cause inflammation and lead to problems like arthritis and chronic fatigue - two more problems of aging.

To reduce the effects of aging, do as I have and ditch the grains. Get the fiber you need from fruits and vegetables.

[Ed. Note: Click here for Dr. Sears' new updated glycemic index, with an expanded section of grain products.]


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