Convenient and delicious bread is one of the first choices of many people for breakfast. But the seemingly easy to digest bread but hidden many factors that affect health. Japanese gastrointestinal experts point out from their own experience, bread is actually quite bad for the stomach and intestines, eating every day for breakfast may cause discomfort.

Dr. Fukushima Masatsugu, a Japanese gastroenterologist who specializes in surgery for malignant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary and pancreatic tracts, used to suffer from his love of carbohydrates such as bread.He used to be obese and had knee pain when he was in his 40’s. He was persuaded by a friend to change his lifestyle habits and control his carbohydrate intake. Since then, not only did his gastrointestinal discomfort improve, but he also lost 10kg in 2 months, and his neutral fat dropped from 160 to 26mg/dl, achieving results that had not been achieved with previous calorie control, and his obesity and dyslipidemia were both cured.

According to Dr. Fukushima, there are five reasons why eating bread for breakfast every day is detrimental to health.

1.Gluten in bread hinders digestion and absorption and may cause disease

Gluten, the main ingredient of bread, is a protein found in flour, and gluten proteins are absorbed by the small intestinal mucosa without being fully digested. When this sticky substance reaches the small intestine, it becomes entangled with the small intestinal villi, preventing the body from digesting and absorbing it, thus causing abdominal pain or causing allergies.

In addition, when bread made from wheat is baked at high temperatures, proteins and sugars combine to form aging substances called AGEs (end glycation products). This is the part of toast, muffins, etc. that is caramelized and brown on the surface. Not only is this an important factor in causing complications from diabetes, but it also causes inflammatory symptoms in blood vessels, kidneys, muscles and other organs of the body, and if it accumulates further, it may lead to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, cancer and other diseases or worsening.

2.Long retention time of bread in the stomach

Dr. Fukushima has performed 2,000 gastrointestinal surgeries, 60,000 gastrointestinal endoscopies and 30,000 colonoscopies on patients to date. He found that bread stays in the stomach for 6 hours and rice stays for 10 hours. In a gastroscopy, meat, which is generally considered to be less digestible, has almost no residue; while ingredients such as bread, white rice and udon noodles have the most residue.

3.Causes a sharp rise in blood sugar levels

Eating carbohydrate-rich foods such as rice and bread can increase blood sugar levels.Morning blood glucose levels are 20-30 mg/dL higher than when you go to sleep.

The carbohydrate content of flour is very high. 100 grams of bread has 42.2 grams of carbohydrates, rice is 35.6 grams, bread is 6.6 grams more than rice. Especially in the morning, the human body secretes cortisol and adrenaline, and the absorption of sugar is more efficient, so eating bread in the morning can easily lead to “instant blood sugar spike”. The dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar can damage blood vessels and lead to atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke.

4.Trapped in an endless cycle of carbohydrates

As mentioned above by the impact of blood sugar spikes, the body will lower blood sugar through insulin secretion, but insulin secretion will prompt the brain to demand more carbohydrates, resulting in the body is in a high-carb diet all day long. “In fact, I’ve been in this situation myself. Even though I have already eaten breakfast, I feel hungry after two hours and have to eat the next meal before breakfast is fully digested, putting a lot of pressure on the digestive tract”, says Dr. Fukushima.

5.Autonomic imbalance

The flow of organs and blood within the body is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. There are two types: sympathetic and parasympathetic.
The daytime activity is controlled by the sympathetic nerves, which mainly lies in helping blood circulation while inhibiting digestion; the parasympathetic nerves, which are active in the evening, help the body to rest and slow down the heart rate while promoting digestion. The two groups of systems will be handed over in the morning when you wake up. If you take too much sugar for breakfast, it will affect the autonomic nervous system, and it will affect the working condition of the whole day.

Dr. Fukushima emphasized that foods such as bread should be avoided during the morning hours, as they can alter the body’s balance and disrupt the autonomic nervous system.

So, if you can’t eat bread, what do you eat for breakfast? Dr. Fukushima suggests that drinks can be water, tea, or coffee; meals that focus on meat and fish, along with vegetables and seaweed, and more dietary fiber-rich foods, will help control blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Dr. Fukushima also suggests that patients suffering from upset stomach, stomach pain, diarrhea or metabolic syndrome can try to reduce carbohydrates for two weeks first, and they will notice a change in their body.

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