Monday, September 26, 2011

A Tale of 2 Breads - Clean Eating Bread

 For a lot of people, bread is a lily-white, fluffy, doughy loaf of air made by someone named “Wonder.” But for most of human history, bread was dense, heavy, grainy, and dark. It contained four ingredients: ground wheat from the field, some yeast, a pinch of salt and water. Sometimes it would be sweetened with honey.

While you can’t go into a wheat field and “pick” a loaf of bread (the wheat obviously has to be ground into flour first), a loaf of 100% whole grain bread made with these four ingredients is about the closest you’ll get to eating wheat off from the stalk.

White bread, on the other hand, is made with flour that has had most of the naturally-occurring components (and vitamins and minerals) of the wheat berry removed, including the bran and germ.  The flour is then “bleached” to remove any of the pigments that would give it dark color (pigments, which ironically, may have potent antioxidant properties.) It’s mixed up in huge batches in a factory somewhere, dough conditioners and chemical preservatives are added, and then it’s “enriched” by dumping a bunch of synthetic vitamins and minerals back into the dough.

This isn’t “natural.” The irony here is that if the flour had been left in it’s whole wheat form, much of this “re-enrichment” would be unnecessary.

If you are eating Clean for weight loss, limit your whole grain bread intake to 3-4 servings a week ( about 2 sandwiches ). If you are eating Clean to improve your overall health and are at a healthy weight, you can afford to have 4-6 servings a week.

1. Remember to carefully inspect the bread labels before purchase.
2. Chose "whole grain" over "whole wheat" - whole grain ensure the entire wheat grain is used in the bread. If it is simply whole wheat, the grain used could easily be processed to remove nutrients, etc.