Most likely, bread is an important element of your diet. But can you keep eating bread after being diagnosed with a fatty liver? That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in today’s article!
I’ll have to start by saying that getting a short, clear answer like “yes, eat bread without worries” or “no, stop eating it!” is not really possible. The entire thing is more nuanced and there are many things to take into consideration. I would go as far as saying that the answer will be different from person to person.
But there are still a few rules and things that apply in all cases and we’re going to try and cover them all here. So keep on reading to understand the complex situation behind bread and fatty liver – because it is, indeed, complex.
Bread & Fatty Liver
If you are ready to make high impact changes in your life and go all guns blazing against your fatty liver, then you shouldn’t read a lot more of this article. Just this:
Regular bread has a ton of carbs and refined products that won’t help our liver heal faster. Depending on the type of bread you choose, it will have more or less (or none) added sugars, chemicals and flavors. Therefore, if you can do it and stop eating bread completely, you should. Just do it and you will help your liver tremendously. End of story.
However, most of the people won’t find it that easy to stop eating bread. I didn’t and I still managed to reverse my fatty liver, so fortunately this is not – at least not in most cases – a type of thing that you have to give up completely, or else you won’t be able to get better.
But there are things to consider and huge changes to be made to your bread eating habits. You will have to eat a lot less than you used to (unless you already eat tiny amounts) and you have to choose your bread carefully or, even better, bake your own healthy bread at home.
Why is bread bad?
There are probably thousands of articles claiming that bread is the root of all evil in this world. And although bread is definitely not the healthiest thing you can bring into your diet, it’s not really that bad for most people out there.
White bread is, however, the worst of the pack. White bread is made with refined wheat flour, meaning that all the carbs it contains are easily absorbed, also resulting in spikes of the blood sugar levels. Whole wheat bread, on the other hand – as well as bread made from other types of integral flour – contains complex carbohydrates which are digested slower and their ability to spike the blood sugar levels is limited. In other words, it’s better. And you can read more about it on Greatist for a really good overview of different whole wheat breads and other bread types.
White bread is also made with a lot of added chemicals. One of the most harmful additions to bread is plain ol’ white sugar. High fructose corn syrup or other unhealthy sweeteners can be thrown in the mix, making it even worse for our general health and livers. Whole wheat bread can also have a lot of unhealthy additives as well, so make sure that you read the labels to always know what’s inside the food you’re eating. I say this because most of the darker bread in the US (and probably other places) tricks you into believing that it’s made using whole wheat, but instead it’s colored with caramel or other similar stuff. This is why you should always read the ingredients list!
Finally, bread has another problem that more and more people are trying to deal with: gluten. Gluten has started to become enemy number 1 in the modern world and many people are trying to stop eating gluten.
So if you have Gluten Intolerance or Celiac disease, then you should definitely stop eating bread and remove gluten from your diet. But many specialists say that, unless gluten is bad for you, you don’t really have to stop eating it just because that’s the trend. So more good news for those who want to still be able to eat some bread when dieting!
The bottom line is that bread (especially white bread) is usually bad for your health as it has a ton of simple carbs and empty calories, many chemicals and preservatives and additives to make it look good and yummy, while the gluten it contains can be a real pain for those suffering of gluten intolerance.
Can you still eat bread, though?
Unless you are allergic to it, suffer from gluten intolerance or anything else that cuts bread off the list of foods you should eat, you can still eat a bit of bread, but choose it carefully and eat only small amounts of it!
First of all, reduce the portion size. Try to learn to eat without bread. Try to eat no more than 1 slice of bread per meal and try to introduce as many meals as possible without any bread or similar products (crackers, cereal and so on). I personally followed this rule and ate 1 or at most 2 slices of bread per meal and tried to keep the daily slices to a maximum of 3. Might sound bad for some, but it’s definitely better than stopping completely.
Second of all, stop eating white bread. White bread is indeed bad and you’re better off switching to whole wheat bread instead. There are a ton of options here, with various cereals to choose from, some tasting better than others. My recommendation is to try a few and decide which one you like the most.
But it’s extremely important to make sure that your whole wheat bread is healthy. This means that it has only the basic ingredients required for making bread: flour, water, yeast and a bit of salt although the latter is not a must. If there is sugar or any other form of it (like fructose syrup, molasses and so on), it’s not good. Your bread should have as few ingredients as possible (unless it has a ton of different types of seeds, which are OK). So never forget the golden rule of thumb: always read the ingredients list!
In most places, it’s very difficult to find bread with just the three recommended ingredients and no preservatives and additives. This is why it might be a good idea to start making your own bread at home. It’s very easy and I guarantee that you will absolutely love the taste – not store bread can compete with the real taste of bread made at home.
You can even buy a bread machine if you don’t have time to do the mixing and baking yourself: you just add the ingredients there and the machine does the rest of the job.
My take when dealing with fatty liver is that balance and moderation is the key. Therefore, a bit of the healthiest possible bread can’t do you much harm. On the contrary, the whole grains it is made of contain fiber and are considered beneficial. Just keep reading the ingredients (unless you make your own bread at home) and keep the numbers of slices to a minimum.
Of course, this is just my opinion and not medical advice. If you have doubts about this, consult your doctor and do as they instruct you to.