Wheat bread is always better than white

For fans of goji berries, chia seeds and other supposedly super healthy foods, white bread is something like holy water for the devil or daylight for Count Dracula. They are convinced that white bread not only makes you fat, but also makes you sick. Diabetes, heart attack, and stroke are just a few of the many evils that white bread is said to cause. In short: "The whiter the bread, the faster you are dead." This is what it says in many nutrition guides.

There are more and more studies that show that white bread is much better than its reputation and not necessarily worse than the "healthy" wholemeal bread - that is, because all the components of the grain must be included, while with white bread the shell before Grinding is removed. In the current issue of the trade journal Cell Metabolism Nutritionists at the Israeli Weizmann Institute investigated the question of which type of bread is healthier: limp white bread from the factory or freshly baked whole-grain bread made from sourdough.

"Different people react differently to the same food"

To find out, they let volunteers eat large amounts of bread for two weeks: the test participants had to cover around 25 percent of their daily calorie requirement with bread. Half were only allowed to eat white bread from the pack, the other half received freshly baked wholemeal bread. The scientists measured all possible health-related parameters every day: the morning sugar content in the blood, the concentration of important minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium; also cholesterol, liver and kidney values. They found: nothing. "Contrary to our own expectations, there were no clinically significant differences between the effects of the two types of bread," says one of the researchers.

The discussion about bread is not new: Even Plato has already dealt with the question of whether the ideal society should feed on coarse bread or fine baked goods - without finding a solution. In the 1950s, when toast bread became popular in Germany, the answer was absolutely clear: white bread was considered an "upscale" meal in comparison to other types of bread, to which the invention of toast Hawaii may have contributed significantly. Even the Israeli researchers could not conclusively answer whether white bread is good or bad from a nutritional point of view. In a second part of their experiment, however, they found that the blood sugar level rose faster in about half of their test subjects if they had eaten white bread, while the other half showed this effect with whole-grain bread. "Different people react differently to the same food," write the scientists.

Perhaps it is the case that food can simply not be divided into "healthy" or "unhealthy": While one is good for roast pork with dumplings, the other feels good with goji and chia. A nutritionist from Singapore tried to reconcile both worlds: He invented "Purple Bread", a purple white bread that supposedly contains super healthy substances that protect against heart disease.