Growing up, I recall feasting on white bread. In the cold of the winter, we would sit in front of a fireplace and toast the bread. We would continue eating till we could no longer move. It is likely that this set me up for my love for all things bread. As an adult, with bread on the table, I was a runaway freight train. I would start at one end of the bread basket and not stop till the train had derailed at the other end. Little did I know that it was a wasted exercise. At least in nutrition terms.

A slice of white bread has approximately 80 calories. It has about 15 gms of carbohydrates and only 0.8 gms of fiber. Depending on how ‘fortified’ it is, it may contain a smattering of vitamins, potassium, and iron. Any good nutritionist will tell you that what you are eating is mostly sugar with little nutritional value. You would imagine that if your healthy brain told you to eat brown instead, life was good. Unfortunately, most brown bread has the same nutritional value. 75 Calories, 16 gms of carbs and 0.7 gms of fiber. A dash of vitamins and minerals and probably a ton of salt. Contrary to accepted wisdom, it is likely that the butter that you are having with your bread that is more nutritious.

Bread has a high glycemic index. This means it is a fast sugar and digested quickly. This can cause a spike in your sugar levels. This is particularly worrisome for those predisposed to diabetes. In defense of the exalted slice of heaven (bread?), its high glycemic index is lowered when combined with fats and protein. Also, since vitamins and minerals are added back, it is one way to consume your nutrients. Personally, I changed by habits and gave up bread altogether.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.