Bread sure gets a bad rap these days, mostly thanks to all of the low carb diets out there. At this point, we’ve been halfway convinced that bread is one of the most evil foods there is and that eating it is a surefire way to put on unwanted pounds. But the bottom line is, most of us LOVE bread! And we want to eat it without feeling bad about it, darn-it! So how about this: What if the problem isn’t bread, but the quality and the portions of this beloved carb that we need to adjust…?
Here are my thoughts on the proper way to eat bread, for health’s sake:
Buying Bread For The Home:
The darker the better
Brown colored breads almost always have more fiber, protein and nutrients because these things haven’t been stripped away from it’s flour. We like dark, fiber-full bread because it doesn’t spike our blood sugar the way ultra processed white breads do.
*Bonus points if you choose a bread in the grocery store that is not only dark in color, but also says the words “whole grains” on the label. But if you really want to make the awesome list, also look for the words, “non-GMO,” “Organic” and/or “Sprouted,” too! Your body will thank you. Big time.
Be aware of your personal intolerances
We’re talking about gluten here. Gluten is the protein found in wheat that some people cannot digest very well or they are allergic to. It is also found in other grains such as spelt, barley and rye, just to name a few. But here’s the thing, many people may be intolerant to gluten and not even know it. Here are some of the signs to look for:
– Brain Fog
– Swelling of joints in hands, knees and hips
– Depression, anxiety, ADD and/or moodiness
Even if you experience just one of the above symptoms, this may be a sign that you have a slight intolerance to gluten. If you suspect that this may be the case, try eliminating all gluten from your diet for at least two weeks to see if the symptoms go away.
The good news is there are plenty of delicious gluten-free breads available these days. Just keep in mind that darker is better when it comes to gluten-free breads, too!
All breads should have an expiration date that is within a week or two of purchasing
Breads that do not expire for a month or longer typically contain preservatives. Preservatives are on the “ungood” list because certain types have been linked to health problems such as ADD, hyperactivity and cancer.
Don’t think you’ll be able to finish a loaf of bread by the upcoming expiration date? Keep in mind that freezers are our friends! I freeze leftover bread on a regular basis, actually.
Look for a short list of “from the ground” ingredients
Flour, yeast, water and salt. A classic recipe for artisanal bread. So plain, so simple, yet all you really need for fresh, delicious bread. If the loaf of bread you’re holding there in the bread aisle contains ingredients that sound like they were created in a science lab or do not grow naturally in nature, move along and find yourself something better.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post where I address ideal bread portions and how to handle restaurant breadbaskets! Don’t worry; I’m not about to suggest that you to send it away before it even hits the table!