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Additives in Bread Linked to a Host of Health Problems

by Barbara Minton
See all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton

(The Best Years in Life) Are there unhealthy additives in the bread you eat? Many people looking for better health are paying attention to fruits and vegetables, but there's more to it than that. Some of the worst dietary insults to health are found in other categories of food, one of them being bread. When you pick up a loaf of your favorite bread, turn it over and read the ingredient list. You may be in for a shock, even if you are buying breads that give the impression they are made with "healthy" grains.

A random purchase at a conventional grocery store yielded a loaf of Wheat Berry bread. Sounds pretty healthy, doesn't it? But the back of the wrapper reveals ingredients such as:

*Enriched bleached wheat flour - Almost everyone knows refined white flour is not healthy, but the surprise it that it's the primary ingredient in most breads, regardless of how healthy their names sound. Refined flour has undergone destruction of its nutrients and fiber, and what is left is seen by your body as almost pure sugar.

There's plenty of pesticide used in the production of that enriched bleached wheat flour. Conventional wheat seeds are treated with fungicide, and as they grow into mature plants, they are repeatedly doused with pesticides. After harvest, wheat is stored in bins coated with insecticides. When pests become a problem, the grain is fumigated.

What about the bleaching? Freshly milled flour has a yellowish cast, and flour bleaching agents are additives used to pretty it up and make it look white. The process oxidizes the surface of flour grains and helps them develop even more gluten than they would normally produce. The typical bleaching agent is chlorine oxide, although benzoyl peroxide, calcium peroxide may also be used.

Alloxan is a byproduct produced during bleaching. It is a toxin used to give diabetes to lab rats. Alloxan causes diabetes by creating large amounts of free radicals in pancreatic beta cells, thus destroying them. Beta cells are what produce insulin.

According to natural health advocate Dr. Joseph Mercola, "Even though the toxic effect of alloxan is common scientific knowledge in the research community, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still allows companies to use chemical processes in which the end result is toxic food. Until they unequivocally prove something is toxic by way of human deaths, severe side effects, or when the public screams loudly enough, the FDA is not likely to protect you."

*Partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil - Hydrogenated fats are trans fats, a category of fats that has repeatedly been shown hazardous to health. The National Academy of Sciences (NSA) has stated "dietary trans fatty acids are more deleterious with respect to coronary heart disease than saturated fatty acids." They have increasingly been implicated in contributing to type-two diabetes, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, tendon and bone degeneration, and fertility and growth issues. The NAS has concluded there is no safe level of trans fat consumption.

Virtually all of the soybeans and cottonseeds produced in the U.S. that are not organic have been genetically modified, a condition that has been linked to numerous health problems. Genetically modified organism (GMOs) require significantly more pesticide of a harsher nature during their growing period than do traditional foods.


*Azodicarbonamide - This is a chemical used primarily in the rubber and plastics industries to produce such items as shoe soles, and yoga mats.  It is also an additive in bread because it conditions dough. When heated, azodicarbonamide breaks down into urethane and semicarbazide. Both compounds have been  found to cause cancer in rodents. And both have been approved for use in food by the FDA and USDA.

This chemical is used in the bread at Subway and most other fast food restaurants, and in baked goods from Walmart and other conventional grocers.

*Wheat gluten - Apparently there was not enough naturally occurring and extra gluten from the bleaching process for this manufacturer who added even more! Gluten is a major player in several degenerative diseases for a large chunk of the population. But cardiologist William Davis, author of the book Wheat Belly finds the gliadin in wheat even more threatening than the gluten. He says modern day wheat is the "perfect chronic poison" because it is radically different from the wheat our parents and grandparents ate. Why? Because wheat itself was genetically modified back in the 1960's when genetic research was in its infancy and before gene splicing techniques were developed. The result according to Dr. Davis is that wheat "assaults the human body". He describes gliadin as an opiate because it binds into opiate receptors in the brain and stimulates appetite to the tune of 440 extra calories a day, 365 days a year. He sees it as the direct cause of skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes.

*Monoglycerides - Another form of trans fat.

*Calcium propionate - This is an antifungal preservative that has the ability to permanently damage stomach lining by exacerbating gastritis and inducing severe ulcers. A study in the Journal of Pediatric Child Health found that chronic exposure to calcium propionate may induce a variety of behavioral changes in children, including irritability, restlessness, inattention, and sleep disturbance. If you have chronic migraines, the cause may be calcium propionate.

*Guar gum - This is the endosperm of guar beans. In the digestive system, guar gum functions as a laxative by forming a bulky gel that shoves the intestinal tract contents along, and in the process creates gas, bloating and discomfort. In a recent study, participants were given 21g of guar gum per day for thee months.  Several of them dropped out before the study was completed, complaining of abdominal gas and discomfort.

*Lecithin - Almost assuredly made from GMO soy.

*Corn syrup solids - Almost assuredly from GMO corn.

*What is not in this bread - Even though the label says it is Wheat Berry bread, there are no wheat berries in it whatsoever. The light brown color of the dough is achieved by the addition of a small bit of molasses.

Do you get what you pay for when you buy bread? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The only sure way to tell if your bread is fit to eat is by reading the label.

See Also:

80% of the Packaged Food Items on Our Grocers Shelves Contain Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Going Against the Grain Towards Better Health - Is Eating Grains Really a Good Idea?


About the Author:

Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.

See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:

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