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White Bread vs. Artisanal Bread Study Yields Surprising Results

A new research study on bread conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel compared two types of bread – industrial processed white bread and artisanal whole-grain bread – to determine how they each affected the body and health for the short-term.

The surprising results were that there were no significant differences in the way they each affected the body. The study results were published in a journal called Cell Metabilism.  

More about the Study

In the randomized trial, scientists had 20 healthy people increase their intake of bread for a week from 10% to 25% of their diets. Half added white bread to their diets while the other half added artisanal sourdough bread made at a nearby bakery. After increasing their bread consumption for 1 week, all participants went through a 2-week period in which they ate no bread at all. Then the cycle was repeated once, with the group who ate the white bread eating whole-grain this time and vice versa.

A number of tests were conducted before during and after each stage of the trial to measure things like:
  • -Glucose levels at the beginning of the day
  • -Markers for inflammation and tissue damage
  • -Kidney and liver enzyme levels
  • -Vitamin and mineral levels
  • -Gut bacteria

For the study, the amount of bread eaten was based on carbohydrate intake. Therefore, more whole-grain bread was actually consumed because it contains fewer carbs.

What Were the Results?

It was determined that some people had more positive results after eating white bread, while others had better results after consuming the whole-grain bread.  The glycemic response to each type of bread, for example, varied greatly across the different people in the study.

The scientists at Weizmann had conducted another study in 2015 with a much larger group of 800 people, in which they had the entire group eat the same diet. Again, each person’s body reacted to the diet differently.

Therefore, based on the results of both studies, the researchers believe that no one diet suits everyone, because not everyone metabolizes food the same way.  Thus they recommend a departure from universal dietary guidelines for everyone.

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