Bread is a notorious diet buster. The taste, texture, and high carbohydrate content make it hard to stop eating bread once you’ve started. In fact, many people undergo a chemical process while eating bread that prompts them to eat more and more.
Not surprisingly, many diets advise us to stay away from bread, especially bread made from refined white flour.
Are you addicted to bread? Here are some of the signs of bread addiction:
* Strong cravings for bread products (including pastries, cakes, crackers, and cookies)
* A compulsion to eat bread products instead of other foods
* The inability to stop eating bread products when full
* A sense of calm and well-being after eating bread products
* An urge to eat more bread products soon after finishing a meal
If you answered yes to those questions, you may have a bread addiction. The good news is that you are not alone; It has been estimated that up to 75% of all overweight people have an addiction to bread and other carbohydrates.
Now that you have found out whether or not you are addicted to bread, let’s move on to the next question: Why is bread so addictive?
After all, isn’t it made from grains? Does bread not contain healthy fiber and carbohydrates? How can a natural food cause addiction-level cravings in so many people?
Different people react to bread in different ways. Some people can happily eat a bagel or slice of toast and go about their day without any repercussions.
Others obsess over bread, snacking on carb-heavy snacks to curb their cravings, then eating more bread with their next meal.
For this last group, bread is as addictive as a drug. When these people eat bread, their bodies release too much insulin, also known as the “hunger hormone.” Insulin stimulates your appetite, so it’s easy to overeat.
Over time, the person may develop insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when a person’s body stops using insulin properly. This malfunction causes glucose, which normally fuels internal organs, to become trapped in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes can result.
High blood glucose levels also cause hunger, which makes a person crave carbohydrate-rich foods. Eating these foods causes more insulin to be released and ignored by the body, and blood glucose levels rise. It is an unhealthy cycle.
Add to this the psychological effect of eating bread, a popular “comfort food,” and it’s easy to see why bread is so addictive. Comfort foods are strongly associated with feelings of well-being. That’s why so many people eat carbohydrate-rich foods like bread when they feel lonely, stressed, sad, or bored.
It goes without saying that bread is only a temporary solution and does not address the real underlying needs of the person. People who self-medicate in this way are prone to overeating without finding true satisfaction in food.
It is important to note that whole wheat bread does not appear to have the same addictive properties as ultra refined white bread. The human body digests white bread very quickly. It doesn’t differentiate between a slice of white bread and a slice of cake.
Both break down into sugar, which causes blood glucose levels to rise. After this rapid digestion, blood glucose plummets rapidly, leading to hunger and additional cravings for carbohydrates.
Breaking an addiction to bread can be challenging, but the health benefits are worth it. Start small by giving yourself a two-week break from bread. You may find that your cravings are completely gone after a week or so.
When you eat bread, eat a small amount of multigrain or rye bread instead of white bread. Also, be sure to indulge in your favorite treats from time to time to avoid feeling deprived. Then, get back on your diet plan right away to avoid cravings that might distract you.