White Or Wheat?

June 10, 2014

Pop quiz: If you’re standing in the grocery store bread aisle, which kind of bread should you buy? White or whole wheat? While health-conscious dancers may automatically reach for whole wheat, the answer isn’t so cut and dry.


In fact, new research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found a redeeming quality in white: It encourages the growth of a beneficial gut bacteria called lactobacillus. When levels of good bacteria drop, we’re more at risk for disease. But an easy way to boost them is by eating foods that encourage the bacteria to multiply.


On the flip side, whole-wheat bread is packed with complex carbohydrates and nutrients, so it’s a great choice as part of your breakfast or lunch. You’ll feel fuller throughout your dance day because the complex carbs digest and release energy to the body slowly.


But there’s one more catch. If you need a boost before stepping onstage, grab a slice of white. Its simple carbs will digest quickly, giving your muscles instant energy.


So the answer to today’s pop quiz: Buy both kinds of bread. Your body will thank you.