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One study denies wholemeal bread is "healthier" than white bread

Bread is part of our diet, although for some years we question the ingredients selected for its elaboration and the nutritional contribution it supposes for the consumer. In order to assess the healthiest type of bread for the population, scientists at the Weizman Institute in Israel have compared the effects on human health of white and whole foods.

In spite of the multiple works on which type of product is healthier, this is the first one to analyze - under clinically relevant criteria - which is more beneficial in function of its effects on the microbioma, that is, on the set of microbes that Live in the human intestine.

To perform the experiment, published this week in Cell Metabolism , the researchers separated the subjects in two groups: one of them increased their consumption of white bread for one week - about 25% of their calories - and the other did the same With whole wheat. After a period of two weeks without bread, they repeated the process by investing their diets.

Prior to the study, and over a period of time, experts measured various parameters, such as glucose levels, essential minerals, cholesterol, liver and kidney enzymes, and various markers of inflammation and tissue damage.

They also analyzed the composition of the participants' microbiomes. In the results obtained, the authors have concluded that none of the evaluated criteria allows to ensure that there is a healthier bread.

"Contrary to our expectations, there were no clinically significant differences in the effects of these two types of bread in any of the parameters we measured," says Eran Segal, one of the principal investigators of the research.

However, based on some of their earlier work - in those who discovered that each person has a different glycemic response for the same diet - the experts suspected that something more complicated might be happening.

When analyzing blood sugar levels, they observed that about half of the participants responded better to processed white flour bread and the other half to whole wheat bread. With the data obtained, the group of researchers has also devised an algorithm capable of predicting how it can affect the type of bread in the diet.


So far, the nutritional values ​​of food applied equally to all people.

Hence the authors highlight the conclusions of this work as "potentially very important".

According to Eran Elinay, another of the study's lead scientists, "the results point to a new paradigm: different people react differently to eating the same foods."

Elinay points out that this study could allow "giving people advice on which foods will be most appropriate for their microbiome."

Following the recent findings, the Israeli team does not rule out deepening new lines of research, such as including the amount of each type of bread that needs to be consumed to be satiated.

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