Beware White Bread

Beware White Bread

Multinational companies are soulless entities that exist for no other reason than to benefit their shareholders.  You need to take extreme care when you are looking at the adverts they produce which have no other object than to transfer the contents of your pockets into theirs.  But from time to time they do some good, even though  that is not their intention.  A good example is a recent campaign in the UK for Aquafresh toothpaste.  Aquafresh is owned by GSK and corporations don’t get much bigger than that.  The Federation of Bakers complained that the Aquafresh advert implied that white bread contains sugar.

In the strictest sense, the bakers are correct.  Bread is virtually 100% starch.  Brown bread has a little roughage as well which makes it a bit healthier, but still packs a hefty dose of starch.  But neither contain any sugar.  This is misleading though.  Starch is made up of sugar units held together by chemical bonds.  The mouth is the first stage in the digestion of this starch and saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that breaks the starch down into sugar.  You can do the experiment yourself.  Just chew a bit of bread for longer than normal and you will notice a sweetness developing in your mouth.

The bakers’ complaint was not upheld because despite the details, the adverts claim was basically correct and bread is one of the components of our diet that can contribute to tooth decay.  Toothpaste in general is only a partial antidote to this problem.  But if you want to have perfect teeth you need to cut out refined foods such as sugar and minimise the amount of bread you eat.  Beware white bread, even if the warning comes from a big company.

Photo credit: PetitPlat – Stephanie Kilgast via photopin cc

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