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Make loaf, not war

Make loaf, not war

by Ella Timney 25 January 2015

David Cameron has declared a war on bread in an effort to lose weight. Wise move or just another way of buttering us up?

The war on bread must end. Politicians frequently align themselves with the concerns of the common people in order to win favour with potential voters. Recently, good old Nick Clegg attempted (and failed) to do so with a North Face fleece. Ed Miliband tried it on with a bacon sandwich last year (and we all know what happened after that). But last week, David Cameron hit on a master-stroke in buttering us up. He did so, not by finally coming clean about increasing inequality in society, or by revealing his shame at running a nation where in 2013–14, over 900,000 people relied on food banks to eat. No, he admitted he was taking part in a ‘great patriotic struggle’ by ‘giving up bread’.

You can hear the spin doctors having a field day at this one: "Don’t tell them you’re quitting booze, David! They’ll think you’ve got a drink problem! Don’t say you’re giving up chocolate! They’ll think of you in a Alan Partridge-esque scenario sharing a dark night of the soul with a Toblerone! Stick with bread, David – everyone’s giving it up."

Sales of sliced bread fell by 8.9% last year, partly due to the fact that people are blaming everything bad that has ever happened on it. Setting aside coeliac disease and genuine gluten intolerances (and intolerances can be very tricky to identify – check out FODMAP diets for even more confusion), why are we turning our backs on such a staple?

It is now widely recognised that when people give up bread (or other demonised "white carbs") and lose weight, it's not the bread that was causing the bloat, but all of the delicious things we serve in between those delicious, pillowy slices, such as cheese, mayo, and meat – mmm. Gone is the pull of cheese on toast (it would just be ... cheese) or a comforting plate of beans on toast (it would just be ... beans). Furthermore, many people find that when they stop buying the mass produced pre-sliced loaves, many of their gut problems disappear – but this can be solved by choosing a loaf that's made properly and not packed with nasties.

None of these (aside from, as mentioned, genuine illness) are proper reasons to give up bread, so get down to a decent bakery and tuck into that delicious, delicious sourdough, or better still, try baking some of your own! The culture of self-denial is getting increasingly tiresome.

What do you think? Is giving up bread really the best way to lose weight? Is bread really such a demon when it comes to our diet?

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Make loaf, not war


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