From toast and eggs at breakfast to rolls with dinner, bread is an essential part of meals in countless U.S. homes. In many cases, bread can even be a healthy part of your diet—certain types of whole grain, sprouted, and protein-rich breads may aid weight loss efforts and help lower blood pressure, studies have found. (Related: The #1 Best Bread to Eat, According to a Dietitian.)
However, there are some serious indicators that bread isn't a good fit for your diet or your health. Read on to discover the surefire signs you should be ditching bread from your meal plan now, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.
You're gaining weight.
If you see the numbers on your scale steadily rising, it might be time to cut back on your bread intake—especially if white bread is your carb of choice. According to a 2014 study published in BMC Public Health, eating two or more portions of white bread per day was significantly associated with the risk of becoming either overweight or obese, so if you're eager to slim down, ditching the white bread from your meals is a good place to start. For more on why you may want to give up this kind of refined bread, give this a read: Dangerous Side Effects of Eating White Bread, According to Science.
Your blood pressure is rising.
Whether you've been struggling with hypertension for years or have only recently found that your blood pressure is elevated, ditching bread from your diet might just be the easiest way to get those numbers back into safer territory. A 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients found that consumption of just one piece of white bread one or more times a week was associated with elevated blood pressure.
In fact, according to the 2018 Global Bread Survey conducted by World Action on Salt & Health (WASH), many popular breads nearly hit the World Health Organization's recommendation for daily salt intake in just a two-slice serving.
You have serious stomach cramps.
If you've noticed that your stomach is in serious distress after a sandwich or slice of sourdough, that's a good sign it's time to ditch bread. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, individuals with celiac—an immune condition triggered by gluten—often experience severe bloating, pain, diarrhea, and constipation after eating foods that contain gluten, as most breads do. For more, read on: 9 Warning Signs You're Actually Gluten Intolerant.
You've developed a rash.
Don't brush off that sudden rash as run-of-the-mill contact dermatitis—it could also be a sign that you need to cut bread from your diet now. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 10% of individuals with celiac disease will develop dermatitis herpetiformis, which typically presents with "small, clustered papules and vesicles that erupt symmetrically" on the back, buttocks, elbows, knees, and scalp, although other body parts can be affected, as well. And if you want to protect your complexion, start by ditching these Popular Drinks That May Cause Lasting Damage to Your Skin, According to Science.
You have uncontrolled blood sugar.
If you've been recently diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, you might want to reevaluate your bread intake—at least for the time being. Many commercially available breads are loaded with refined sugar, which can pose serious health risks for individuals whose blood sugar isn't adequately controlled.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes who do choose to keep bread in their diet opt for bread that lists whole grain as its first ingredient. For help, check out these The Healthiest Breads to Eat for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians.