Strokes of bad luck? Crust blamed for health woes
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Call it an occupational hazard.
September 6, 2013, 12:44 am TWN
A middle-aged baker was told that his bread crust-eating habit could be the cause of the three minor strokes he suffered in recent years.
The baker, in his late 40s, suffered from numbness and immobility in his face and limbs on one side of his body on three occasions in the past few years, said Xiao Fan-jin, a nutritionist at a Taipei clinic. Xiao said the patient was curious about the cause of the stroke-like symptoms, which came despite his normal diet and lifestyle.
While speaking with the patient, Xiao learned that the baker was eating bread crust as a part of every meal, as he did not want to waste the unwanted part of the bread. What the baker had not realized was that the heat-resistant oils such as butter spread on the crust to protect the bread during baking contains a large amount of saturated fatty acid, which forms cardiac disease-causing “bad cholesterol.”
Hydrogenated or refined plant oils such as margarine, which are also used in baking, contain trans fat (unsaturated fat), which can also increase the chance of coronary heart disease. Eating too much bread crust, which is basically a protective layer of bread containing most of this saturated fatty acid and trans fat, is not a good idea, Xiao warned.
Normal crust consumption, however, has its health benefits. A study from the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that crust contains cancer-fighting antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Nutritionists also warn dessert lovers against tackling the popular dessert “honey toast” alone. The dessert, basically a pile of cream stuffed inside a half loaf of bread dressed with fruit and caramel or honey, can easily top 1,000 calories per serving.