Healthy Bread Choices
There are so many choices when it comes to which bread is healthiest, it's not easy figuring out what you should eat. If you're like me, especially if you're just starting out trying to eat healthier, you want it real simple, so I've compiled this list.
- Read about why Whole grains are best and how you know if it's really whole grain bread.
- Organic loaves are a better choice than non-organic, to avoid the pesticides, trans fats, HFCS, and chemical preservatives, but finding a soft loaf isn't easy. It's not impossible though!
- Soaked/fermented/sourdough breads are a healthier choice, if you can find them, because the anti-nutrients in it are broken down, and they're made in a more traditional way – read more at that link. Here's a recipe for the healthiest bread in the world: sourdough bread! If you're buying sourdough from the store, check to make sure there is no yeast in the ingredients, that's how you know it's a true, naturally fermented sourdough bread that is actually GOOD for you.
- Bread from a local bakery is best, if you can. Until recently we buy Little Rooster bread – it's 100% whole wheat, local, organic, and fermented…not to mention that my whole family liked it! We also sometimes eat their multi-grain bread which is even lighter.
- Making your own bread is not only more nutritious (organic, whole grain, soaked grains, and you can't get much more local than your own kitchen!), but it's also more economical (less than $1/loaf, probably much less, but I've never figured it out to the penny). Now that I've got a great recipe that everyone loves, this is a good option for us. Before, it usually came out hard and I would end up just throwing it out, so it didn't matter that it was less expensive! If you can grind your own grains into flour to make your own bread, even better. If you don't want to use the soaked bread recipe above, then you could grind your own sprouted grains instead and use any recipe. Don't worry if you're not at the point to do all that though, take it one thing at a time.
Some would say the best choice is no bread at all:
- Anna, a frequent (and appreciated!) commenter, eats very little grains (or none?) – read an interesting discussion she and I had about this in the comments at my low carb post.
- Those who live by the Paleo Diet eat no grains.
- There are many who lost a lot of weight eating low carbs and don't want to go back, like my sister in law, Eva.
Here's my opinion, and it's only my opinion, based on the collective reading and research I've done through the years:
- I believe that some grains in our diets are OK, but not a lot, because too many carbs really aren't good for us. I strongly believe they are one of the main causes of obesity, the rise in diabetes, and the many health issues plaguing us these days; and possibly part of the reason for the many new cases of cancer that we all hear about too often. (Just my theory…)
- When I say “some” grains, this is only if they're properly prepared (sprouted, soaked, fermented, sourdough, etc. – see links above)
- And even better if you're getting a variety of grains, so we're not so heavy on the wheat flour in our diets.
- A post Anna led me to on grains and gluten has a very interesting discussion on all this, especially in the comments.
Let's be clear
I still eat too many grains, they're not all properly prepared, and I don't use as many alternative grains as I should, either. But the more knowledge I have, the better I do all the time. I don't eat nearly the amount of bread, pasta, (or sweets for that matter) that I used to.But I still have far to go!
Do you make your own bread? If not, what bread do you buy for your family?