Effects Of A High Fiber Bread Diet On Weight Loss In College-Age Males, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1979
It was a small study: 16 overweight college-age men went on a weight-loss diet for 8 weeks. They were divided into 2 groups:
- Group 1: Ate 12 slices of white bread daily, 4 per meal.
- Group 2: Ate 12 slices of reduced-calorie, fiber-enriched bread daily, 4 per meal.
The men were fed all meals in a cafeteria. They ate the same food (type, not quantity) at each meal. "No drastic changes were made in types of food" prior to and during the study. (I guess conducting the study at a University with a cafeteria makes that easy.) Food was weighed before consumption and after, if needed.
Caloric reduction was voluntary. The men were merely encouraged to eat "food low in calories."
- Group 1: Reduced calories from 3200 at start of study to 2350.
- Group 2: Reduced calories from 3200 at start of study to 1975.
- Group 1: Weight loss average of 6.26 kg (13.8 lb)
- Group 2: Weight loss average of 8.77 kg (19.3 lb)
- Group 1: Cholesterol dropped from 231 to 155 mg/dl
- Group 2: Cholesterol dropped from 224 to 172 mg/dl
- Group 1: Fasting glucose, no change (87.1 before, 86.6 after)
- Group 2: Fasting glucose, no change (85.7 before, 85.3 after)
What you can tell from this study is that swapping regular white bread for a reduced-calorie high-fiber version may lead to more weight loss. You can also say that eating bread does not prevent weight loss.
There are a number of physicians and diet-book authors who claim that eating a lot of carbohydrates, especially grains, and of grains, especially wheat, and of wheat, especially processed wheat (flour), will cause weight gain - ipso facto. Here we have 8 men who lost 20 pounds in 8 weeks - by cutting back on calories and by adding 12 slices of bread a day!
Dr. McDougall, whose belief in the benefits of a starch diet is steadfast, offered this challenge:
Add an extra 600 to 900 calories of starchy foods each day, such as:
3 to 4 cups of steamed rice
3 to 4 cups of boiled corn
3 to 4 mashed potatoes
3 to 4 baked sweet potatoes
2 to 4 cups of cooked beans, peas, or lentils
3 to 4 cups of boiled spaghetti noodles
6 to 12 slices of fresh bread
"Buy a loaf of whole wheat bread (with no added fat, milk, or eggs in the ingredients) every day and eat it all."I'll say this ... his diet is a lot like the diets of traditional Okinawans who consumed 85% of their calories from carbohydrates, 70% from sweet potatoes alone, and who are known for their long life and good health into old age.
"Tired of bread, then buy rice."
"With undeniable proof from a couple of months of additional rice and potatoes, you should eventually make starches 75 to 85 percent of your diet, with the remainder coming from fruits and vegetables—and one day soon, forgo all the meat, dairy, and vegetable oils. Your adjustment will be quicker and easier than you ever imagined, you will enjoy your foods, and you will be thrilled with the results."