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Let Them Eat Bread

Dec 13, 2012

Some people think they should skip bread because of its carbs, but new research shows that daily consumption of bread, especially whole-grain bread, can help prevent cardiovascular disease.

The study, which was part of the Functional Foods Consolider-Ingenio Project, used metabolomics techniques to analyze the impact of bread consumption (white and whole-grain). Led by professor Rafael Llorach from the University of Barcelona, the research focused on a group of 275 older volunteers who were at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Llorach and colleagues found that subjects who consumed bread daily had a healthier lipid profile—lower levels of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of HDL cholesterol—than subjects who consumed bread only sporadically or not at all. The study also showed that regular bread consumption was associated with a lower insulin concentration.

“This is really important data,” explained professor Cristina Andrés-Lacueva, co-director of the project and head of the Research Group on Biomarkers and Nutritional and Food Metabolomics. “When the body does not correctly respond to the insulin’s action, glucose cannot reach the inner part of cells and is accumulated in blood.” This mechanism—insulin resistance—is a key pathological process in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, also associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The study found no link between regular consumption of bread and weight gain.

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