The rap on white bread

By • Published: June 30th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Carbohydrates already have a bad rap and new research is making it worse… especially for women.

In a study of almost forty-eight-thousand adults, Italian scientists found that twenty-five percent of the women who had diets high in certain carbohydrates had double the risk of developing heart disease.

But it is the type of carbohydrate… not the quantity… that increases the risk.

Carbohydrates affect an individual’s glycemic index, which is simply the measure of how much a food raises blood sugar.

Some have a greater impact than others. Whole grains, fruits and nuts, for example, have an index of fifty-five or less. You can eat a handful of cashews and have little impact on your blood sugar level.

White bread, on the other hand, has an index of a hundred… the highest a food can have. Chowing down on a thick slice can send blood sugar levels soaring.

This sets off an internal chain reaction that… over time… can lead to heart disease.

High sugar levels increase harmful blood fats, known as triglycerides, which affects cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol, essential for the maintenance of healthy cells, naturally occurs in two forms: LDL, or good cholesterol, and HDL, or bad cholesterol.

They work as a team until they get out of balance.

A diet rich in biscuits and bagels reduces the level of good cholesterol. This increases bad cholesterol levels.

The waxy substance builds up in your arteries, blocks blood flow to the heart and causes heart disease.

But, the study found, apparently only if you are a woman.

Consuming pizza and donuts, researchers say, doesn’t seem to have the same affect on men.