Does Bread Make People Fat? …Not the “Right” Bread

Bread is often blamed for weight gain. As the Keto Diet, Atkins and HCG Diets seem to take over the diet world, bread keeps getting a worse and worse reputation. Some dieters have gone to extremes to avoid all bread products, choosing fried chicken wings, Caesar Salads and large steaks for a simple turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato. Does eating bread make people really fat?

 It depends on which bread and how much! Calories are calories and it matters little where they come from. If the bread contributes to excess calories and carbs for the day, then fat accumulates just as if it was high-calorie ice cream,  rice, chocolate or chips. As seen below there is not much difference in calories or carbs between white bread and whole-wheat bread. There are only a few more grams of fiber in the latter. After all, whole wheat bread is made from white flour that has had small amounts of molasses added. Dr. Lipman’s shopping lists bread low cal and low carb all of the low carb bread.

Its the bagels, croissants, rolls, buns, French bread, Baguettes that really have the calories and carbs, with more than 240 calories and 55 net carbs for a medium bagel. Be concerned over these foods and forget the single slice of then sliced whole wheat bread with 40-50 calories and 5-8 net carbs!

The Light Style Pepperidge Farm is typical of this whole group of breads.

whole wheat vs. white bread nutrition

The whole wheat bread may have a few more vitamins and fiber than the white version, but basically, there is very little difference. Low carb bagels and bread are easy to find.

Its What’s Between the  Bread That Really Counts

Whether white bread makes you fat and whole wheat does not is really not the issue. I have never seen anyone gain weight from eating a slice of  bread a day—white or whole wheat. I see so many people taking the bread off of a fatty hamburger and then gorging themselves on the cheese, sauce, and fatty meat! Many schools may have only white bread in their cafeterias. It’s what between the bread: the cheese, the mayo, and the fried meat that has the calories.

Look at the picture of the hamburger below. Oonly about 200 calories of the 1300 calories of the burger come from the bread. Even though it’s white bread, are the carbs in the bread more important than the calories and fat in the cheese, the bacon, o the sauce and the meat?  I think not. There are millions of people who will disagree. However, the failure of the low-carb diet craze that began about eight years ago suggests that the vast majority of overweight people are unable to maintain a low-carb diet for very long anyway. So why not enjoy the bread and spend time and effort on the sauces, fried foods, and fats? That’s where the excess calories really are and that is easier to change than a favorite bread.


The calories are in the sauces, cheese, oils, mean and not in the lettuce and pickles.