Not a grain of truth: Bread has been 'demonised by TV nutritionists and is a vital part of our daily diet'
Scientists dismiss 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headachesPeople are going without vital vitamins and minerals that are contained in each loaf
09:43 GMT, 14 September 2012
From hot buttered toast to the simple sandwich, bread was once the staple of the British diet.
But in recent years it has suffered from a serious image crisis and has become something of a health bogeyman, a food to be avoided and resisted.
Now nutrition scientists believe that most of the health alerts about consuming bread are myths.
Beneficial: Nutrition scientists have dismissed 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headaches
Researchers at the British Nutrition Foundation said that people are instead going without vital vitamins and minerals that are contained in each loaf.
And they have dismissed 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for a range of symptoms, including fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headaches.
They also dispute that wheat allergies are on the increase.
Lead researcher Dr Aine O'Connor said that despite a massive downturn in bread consumption, Britain's obesity crisis is the biggest in Europe and continues to worsen.
She said that sliced white bread, in particular, had been unfairly 'demonised' by health campaigners and TV nutrition shows.
Dr O'Connor said that wheat allergies have not risen, but many people are are now incorrectly convinced they suffer from wheat intolerance or an allergy to gluten (the protein found in wheat).
TV nutritionist: Gillian McKeith has a strict 'no white bread' policy
'Health professionals need to dispel the myths,' she told The Sun. 'Bread is an important source of nutrition.'
Sales of bread have been dropping since the 1970s. In 1974 the average Briton got through 2.2lb (1,029g) of bread a week, by last year it had fallen to 1lb (700g).
A survey by the University of Portsmouth in 2010 found that one in five British adults believes they are allergic to a food, with most blaming wheat.
Meanwhile, low-carb diets such as Atkins and Dukan haven’t helped either – the claims that carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise, preventing the body from burning fat, have put many off their lunchtime sandwich.
Yet despite this, bread is often the food people crave the most.
Many dieters name their greatest weakness as toast in the morning or irresistible basket of warm rolls on the restaurant table.