Health Advice



You can't whitewash white bread's dangers

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Around 150 B.C., wealthy Romans decided they wanted white bread, made in mechanical dough mixers powered by donkeys, to distinguish themselves from the lower classes who ate bread made from unrefined whole grains. That obsession with pale loaves of bread has persisted to this day.

Each American eats about 53 pounds of bread a year -- and although much of it now comes in packages with "whole grain" on the label, very little is 100% whole grain. And the hundreds of millions of bagels, tortillas and croissants that Americans eat are nothing but refined white flour -- stripped of nutrients and fiber, and turned into a glucose-boosting, heart-clogging unhealthy choice.

A new study published in The BMJ shows that eating seven servings a day of refined grain, like those in croissants and white bread, is associated with a 27% greater risk for early death, 33% greater risk for heart disease and 47% greater risk for stroke. No wonder heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.

It's easy to eat more than seven servings! That equals a big bagel (around five to six servings in a 5- to 6-ounce bagel) at breakfast and two hearty slices of white bread on a sandwich at lunch. So opt for 100% whole grains. You can cook 'em up using the wonderful recipes in Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook" and at, check out the Whole Grain Pasta and Pumpkin Bake.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



Peanuts Crankshaft Gary McCoy Hagar the Horrible Archie Kevin Siers