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White bread might not be bad for everyone, study finds

After years of being cast aside as the less healthy bread option, white bread may finally get its moment of redemption. A new study by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel revealed that white bread actually might not be that bad — for some people.

The team examined how quickly people's blood sugar levels rose when they ate white bread for a week versus when they ate sourdough bread, which had previously been billed as the healthiest of breads. Scientists expected to see blood sugar levels spike more when people ate white bread, but instead, they found some people's blood sugar spiked more drastically after eating sourdough bread than white bread. In others, the reverse happened.

"Our study suggests that, in terms of glycemic responses, different people respond differently to even the same meal," study author Eran Segal said. "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." The researchers also found "no significant differences between the two breads" when they examined the microbiomes in participants' guts.

Nutritionist Samantha Heller, from New York University Langone Medical Center, warned this isn't a pass to go out and buy loaves of Wonder Bread. Susan Roberts, a nutrition professor at Tufts University, similarly argued that a week-long study wouldn't be long enough to detect any significant effects.

But, the study's authors point out, it does raise the point that the "'one-size-fits-all' diets that are given to the population as a whole, without personalization, are probably not optimal for everyone."