‘Cheap’ white bread is just as good for you as whole wheat sourdough, a new study has claimed.

The research, which was carried out at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, analysed levels of nutrients in the blood of volunteers, and looked at levels of healthy gut bacteria.

Researchers gave a group of 20 healthy volunteers white bread for a week, and, after two weeks of no bread, “artisanal whole wheat sourdough bread” for a week.

For both types of bread, the participants ate enough to provide 25% of their weekly calories.

It found no difference in terms of health effects.

The study acknowledged that while the health benefits may be similar over a short time period, the presence of the roughage may prove better for your health over a prolonged period.

The participants’ glucose levels were measured on waking, as well as the levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, fat and cholesterol, and kidney and liver enzymes.

Dr Eran Segal, one of the authors of the study, said: “The initial finding - and this was very much contrary to our expectation - was that there were no clinically significant differences between the effects of these two types of bread on any of the parameters that we measured.

“We looked at a number of markers, and there was no measurable difference in the effect that this type of dietary intervention had.”