Researchers from the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, tested the affect of white sourdough, regular white bread, whole wheat bread and whole wheat bread with barley on a group of overweight people aged 50 to 60 years old.
"When the subjects ate the sourdough bread, they saw the least blood sugar and blood insulin response, which is a good thing," says Terry Graham, professor in the Guelph human health and nutritional services department.
Graham adds, "There's an urban myth that if you want to lose weight, you shouldn't eat bread. But the truth is, bread is one of our biggest sources of grains and has a number of healthy benefits."
"With the sourdough, the subjects' blood sugar levels were lower for a similar rise in blood insulin," says Graham, whose findings are to be published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
He continues, "What was even more interesting was that this positive effect remained during their second meal and lasted even hours after. This shows that what you have for breakfast influences how your body will respond to lunch."
Why did whole wheat score so poorly? Graham explains that the less positive blood responses sparked by the whole wheat are likely due to the fact that the milling process involved in making the whole wheat bread (that was used in the study) is similar to that used for white bread.
He explains, "The parts of the grain like wheat germ and bran that have the health benefits are taken out to create white flour and then partially added back in to make whole wheat."
However, before you swear off your favorite whole wheat loaf, Graham says that not all whole wheat or whole grain breads are made this way.
In collaboration with Scarborough bakery Stonemill Bakehouse, they have developed a whole grain sourdough bread and are currently testing its long-term health benefits, as compared to a standard white bread.
So stayed tuned for Graham's findings. But in the meantime, give sourdough a toast in the morning and enjoy its distinctive wonderful flavor as well as its boon to your health.
This Poached Egg and Turkey Sausage Crostini is the perfect example of a balanced breakfast featuring sourdough toasts!
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