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For years, you probably have been told that wheat bread is far better for you than its white counterpart, but a small, new study suggests that maxim may not hold true for everyone.

Researchers looked at how quickly blood sugar levels rose after eating (a process called the glycemic response) either white bread or sourdough-leavened wheat bread. The researchers found that the response seemed to vary by person, and that some people didn’t have a bad glycemic response to white bread.

“Our study suggests that, in terms of glycemic responses, different people respond differently to even the same meal,” explained study author Eran Segal, from the Weitzman Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

“In the context of white bread, this means that some people respond badly to white bread and should probably avoid it, while others have a healthy response to it, given what we measured,” Segal said.

“In a broader sense, what this means is that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ diets that are given to the population as a whole, without personalization, are probably not optimal for everyone,” added study co-author Dr. Eran Elinav, who’s also from the Weitzman Institute.

The researchers theorized that differences in the gut microbiome (the natural bacteria living in a person’s intestine) may explain why people respond differently to different breads. The researchers added that they were able to predict what a person’s glycemic response would be to a particular bread based on the makeup of their microbiome.

Both Segal and Elinav did report they are paid consultants for a company that offers personalized dietary advice based on an individual’s gut microbiome.

At least one nutritionist wasn’t convinced that people should give up on whole grains.

“This small, short-term study does not offer a free pass to eating tons of highly processed white bread,” said Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist from New York University Langone Medical…



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