Can bread be healthy?

Can bread be healthy?


It’s no exaggeration to say that bread shaped modern humanity - it was the cultivation of wheat for flour that transformed our ancestors from hunter-gatherers to city dwellers. 

Today, millions of us start the day with a slice of toast, and most lunches in the US and UK are wrapped in a slice of bread or a burger bun as a cheap, flexible, and delicious energy source.

But modern industrial processes designed to reduce the time and cost of baking mean today’s bread would be unrecognizable to our ancestors.  

Today’s bread tastes good but has lost most of its nutritional content. With most of its fiber gone, and no time for bacteria to work its fermenting magic, bread has become a simple starch, rapidly turned into sugar in our blood and offering little to support our gut bacteria. For this reason, bread is increasingly demonized as an evil carb.

In today’s episode, Jonathan speaks to two authorities on the subject to ask: Can bread can ever be healthy?

Vanessa Kimbel is an author, founder of the sourdough school, and a specialist in bread nutrition and digestibility.Tim Spector is a co-founder at ZOE and one of the top 100 most cited scientists in the world.

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00:00 - Intro

00:09 - Topic introduction

02:14 - Quickfire questions

04:08 - Why bread matters

05:23 - Is bread empty calories?

08:46 - What is bread?

11:30 - What is bran?

12:16 - The difference between the types of grains

14:19 - What is the impact of bread on our microbes?

17:03 - What should you look for in bread?

18:50 - What sort of bread should you look for?

20:10 - Supermarket bread is not fresh!

20:42 - On gluten intolerance

23:11 - How should we think about sourdough?

32:29 - How to know whether sourdough is real or fake?

35:47 - Practical advice on how to choose bread

38:54 - Summary

40:43 - Goodbyes

40:55 - Outro

Episode transcripts are available here.

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This podcast was produced by Fascinate Productions.

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