In 1911, the bread which made up 40 percent of the diet of the impoverished people of Britain was blamed for widespread poor health. Modern nutritional science confirms the accuracy of this assessment.
Refined white flour contains almost no natural minerals and vitamins. In particular, vitamin B deficiency from poor diet resulted in a range of illnesses that the Victorians called ‘wasting diseases’. And white flour at the time was usually laced with alum, which made bad flour look whiter.
It’s truly astounding—100 years ago, low-quality bread made up about 40 percent of the average Briton’s diet (and the situation was likely similar in the US as well), and today, even lower quality bread makes up nearly 50 percent of the average diet!
Mercola, J. “Shed pounds by eliminating bread.” Retrieved March 20, 2012, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/30/we-have-known-bread-has-been-bad-for-your-health-for-over-a-century.aspx