Is Bread Crust Actually Better For You?

Remember when you were little and your parents would sigh heavily as they found the uneaten bread crust in your lunch box? Their frustration was understandable at the time. "If you ask parents, a large percentage will say the bread crust is healthier ... but it's a pretty common myth," says Wesley Delbridge, a registered dietitian nutritionist and media spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to CNN. Could this be? Were our parents' concerns over the healthiest part of the bread really just based on a myth?

Perhaps not. According to a German study conducted in 2002, it was found that bread crust contained about eight times the amount of a cancer-fighting antioxidant known as pronyl-lysine, than bread crumbs did. "Our whole lives, we are taught to eat bread crust — and so now (this study shows) it's been 'proven,' " says Delbridge. "And moms and grandmas everywhere are like, 'See, I told ya.' "

But before parents can simultaneously fist bump with vindication, The Kitchn reports that the extra heat exposed to the crust of the bread during the baking process forms a carcinogenic chemical called acrylamide.

It's time for parents to change their tactics when it comes to eating bread crust

"Within the bread crust, there are cancer promoters and cancer fighters. It's like there's a battle going on. Who is winning the battle? I'm not sure. But anything happening or reacting is completely marginal," Delbridge shares via CNN.

So, considering the crust has both cancer-fighting and cancer-causing chemicals, the belief that crust is the healthiest part of the bread falls back into being more of a myth rather than truth. Don't let the mention of cancer stop you from enjoying your daily sandwich, however. As Delbridge says, any reaction is completely marginal.

When it comes to bread, perhaps it's more important to focus on what type of bread you're consuming versus the different parts of it. The Kitchn recommends choosing a homemade whole grain loaf over a processed white bread. But no matter what type loaf you use, parents can continue to urge their children to finish the crusts. They can now switch their tactics and make it about food waste — an argument that is much easier to prove.