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Are there any health reasons to avoid bread ?

For most people, there is no health reason to avoid bread. The only health reasons to avoid bread are coeliac disease and a wheat allergy.

Coeliac disease is a health disorder in which the immune system reacts adversely to gluten. As gluten is present in grain flours (wheat, rye, barley, spelt) used to prepare standard bread, coeliac patients must strictly avoid consuming it. According to research(1), between 0.5 and 1% of the European population is affected by coeliac disease. These people have to follow a strict gluten-free diet throughout their entire life as even a very small amount of gluten can trigger digestive symptoms.

Besides coeliacs and people suffering from wheat allergies, it was recently shown that another small part of the population can experience some difficulties after consuming wheat-based products. Such people are not diagnosed with coeliac disease or a wheat allergy. Researchers call this newly-emerged condition ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitivity’ and estimate that around 5% to 10% of the population suffer from it(2).

1. EFSA, Scientific Opinion on the evaluation of allergenic foods and food ingredients for labelling purposes, EFSA Journal 2014; 12(11): 3894.
2. F; Brouns. Does wheat make us fat and sick? Journal of Cereal Science 58 (2013) 209e215.