Weight Loss: Can you eat bread and lose weight? Myths about bread fact-checked

Bread has a bad rap when it comes to subsistence allowancebut is it deserved? Express.es asks a nutritionist: Can you lose weight without giving up bread?

When it comes to losing weight, many people decide to give up carbohydrates in an attempt to slim down.

Bread tends to be enemy number one, but is it backed by nutritional science?

Express.es teams up with nutritionist Jenna Hope of Bertinet Bakery Sourdough to bust bread myths.

Does bread make you fat?

By itself, bread does not cause weight gain. But when designing a diet plan for weight loss, you need to consider how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates you’re consuming.

Bread is a carbohydrate, so if you want to enjoy toast, you may want to make sure you don’t butter it too much and adjust the rest of your meals that day to make sure you’re not eating too many calories or carbohydrates.

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Jenna said: “Individual foods alone do not cause weight gain.

“It’s about what you eat with the bread rather than the bread itself.

“It is important to choose healthy ingredients and fillings for sandwiches.

“Spreads and fillings that are high in sugar and saturated fat can contribute to excess energy content, so opt for high-protein ones and include a fruit or vegetable source instead.”

Does giving up bread help you lose weight?

Weight loss is not as simple as completely eliminating a food and miraculously losing pounds.

If you like bread, there’s no reason to cut it out entirely, but you may want to eat it in moderation.

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Jenna said: “Bread is a source of carbs that require water to store, so when we cut carbs we simply lose water weight.

“Low levels of water in the body can contribute to fluid imbalance and dehydration.”

Therefore, dramatic weight loss results after cutting out bread may be temporary, as a result of losing water weight, or as a result of eating fewer calories over a longer period of time.

As a general rule, any miracle diet that claims you can lose a dramatic amount of weight in a short period of time should be viewed with suspicion.

The most successful weight loss plans focus on eating balanced, healthy, whole foods, introducing more exercise into your life, and are not intended to deliver overnight results.

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Is it necessary to reduce carbohydrates to lose weight?

It bears repeating: You shouldn’t try to cut out carbs altogether.

Carbohydrates are part of a healthy diet and help you feel full after a meal, which can keep you from unhealthy snacking.

When it comes to choosing carbohydrates, you should try to measure the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day and choose nutritious carbohydrates.

Jenna said: “Carbohydrates are essential to a healthy diet – they play an important role in supporting energy production and hormonal function.

“Carbohydrate-rich foods can contain fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy gut.”

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Is gluten-free bread healthier for you?

Some people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance choose to eat gluten-free bread to be able to enjoy toast and sandwiches without eating gluten.

However, gluten-free bread is not necessarily lower in calories, if your goal is to lose weight, nor is it more nutritious than regular bread.

Jenna said: “This is a common misconception – evidence suggests that those who remove gluten from their diet without a medical need (celiac disease or allergy) are at greater risk of reduced gut diversity – having a rich variety of bacteria good in the gut is key to keeping it healthy.

“The bacteria produced through the fermentation process feed the good bacteria in the gut, which helps promote a more diverse environment.

“Also, many gluten-free alternatives contain more additives and artificial sugars compared to their gluten-containing counterparts.”

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