what about bread?!

Bread….so good….but not always so good for you.  There are a few exceptions to this of course, such as sprouted grain breads, organic breads and non-grain bread options.

Sprouted grain breads are made from pretty much any grain, though the majority of them are sourced from wheat.  Sprouted grains have some health benefits. They are at their best when catching the sprouts during the germination process. This process breaks down some of the starch, which makes them easier to digest and it’s percentage of absorbable nutrients higher than regular grains. This occurs because the germination process breaks down phytate, a form of phytic acid that can decrease absorption of vitamins and minerals within the body. This results in more available nutrients than mature grains, including folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and protein.

Organic breads are also made from a variety of grains. Regardless of the grain, if it’s made with white flour it’s going to cause a quick spike and drop in blood sugar. That is the reality, even if it’s organic. White breads contain little to no fibre to help slow down this reaction within you. When consuming organic, keep in mind the bread doesn’t contain the preservatives found in conventional bread, so it will not have the same shelf life. Organic breads tend to be a “bake or purchase” item that is consumed within the following 2 days, or it likely is already going stale. Organic grains are commonly more beneficial because of what they don’t have…fewer irrigation practices and no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides being used to support a bigger crop. A higher amount of significant nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants can be found in organic grains as well. Organic farming not only is beneficial in quality and safety of grain and grain-based products, but it also has a great impact on our environment.

Non-grain options, such as coconut, almond, farro and arrowroot flours all are gluten free. It can be a bit tricky working with these flours, as gluten is what gives flour its nice texture. I personally prefer to use these flours more for pancakes, muffins or little buns rather than breads. Gluten is the protein that sort of holds the bread together that is found in wheat, rye and barley. There are many people who need to stay away from gluten, as it can cause reactions ranging from digestive issues, constipation/diarrhea to headaches, joint aches/pains, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Some state it is the herbicide glyphosate, found in Roundup, which is made by Monsanto. This product is sprayed on grain crops, and might be triggering the issues people experience. Whatever might be causing it, if it doesn’t agree with you, be wise and don’t consume it.

Bread is an easy “go-to” for so many people around the world. Our Canada Food Guide recommends that adults consume 6-8 servings/day. To me that is way too much. I’m not going to argue whether bread can contain nutrients that our body can benefit from or not. Grains are a carbohydrate, and a starchy one at that, and it provides us with energy. I believe we don’t move enough in our lifestyle to consume that much grain. Most of us can likely get enough grain carbs from 1-2 servings/day. Whether we like it or not, grain is better consumed in its natural form, as a grain. Not always the most convenient way to eat it, but once it is processed and combined with other ingredients to become bread, or other baked goodies for that matter, it has lost a lot of its goodness, as now it has become a processed food.

I’m not saying don’t eat grains. I am saying, eat them wisely. Learn to listen to your body and examine how it responds to these foods. You truly are the best judge of what works for you, and what doesn’t.