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THIS type of bread is easiest to digest and better for blood sugar than most breads

By: Cat Ebeling & Mike Geary
Co-authors of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

3 Reasons THIS Kind of Bread is Healthier to Eat

Bread gets a lot of bashing these days, especially in light of ‘low-carb’ or Paleo diets. And there is good reason for it—bread (even whole grain bread) contains gluten, and can contribute to inflammation in the body–especially the gut, and even the healthier ‘whole grain’ versions of bread can increase the blood sugar levels dramatically… In fact, some blood sugar tests have shown that 2 slices of “whole wheat” bread can spike blood sugar as high as an equivalent amount of calories of pure table sugar.

Gluten free bread can often be just as bad or worse, with its highly refined grains and starches. However, one particular type of bread is far healthier and easier to digest and it’s been around for centuries…

Sourdough bread is made in an entirely different way than commercially prepared breads and gluten free breads. Sourdough is a fermented bread, and the fermentation process makes it easier to digest and less likely to spike blood sugar levels, while also making the gluten in sourdough bread easier to digest than standard white, wheat, or multigrain breads.

Sourdough bread is actually one of the oldest ways of baking bread, and is thought to to have been prepared and baked in ancient Egypt around 1500 BC.  Sourdough bread is still hugely popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East, as well as the San Francisco area of the United States.  (Mike’s note:  While on a trip in France last year, we noticed that almost every restaurant served sourdough bread instead of regular non-fermented bread, and with grass-fed butter… once again, the French do it right in terms of quality of food and nutrition)

Most breads use baker’s yeast to help the dough rise, but traditional sourdough recipes use ‘wild yeast’ and lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are the same type of beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Sourdough uses a ‘starter’ made of fermented wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria, flour and water. The sourdough starter begins to ferment the sugars in the dough, changing the molecular structure, and breaking down its components, creating lactic acid and lactobacilli.

More Nutrition in Every Slice

Phytic acid is a substance in nuts, seeds and grains. Phytic acid or phytates are considered ‘anti-nutrients’ because they bind with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unusable in the body, creating mineral deficiencies in those who eat large quantities of nuts, seeds and grains. This is especially true for vegetarians and vegans. It also binds with niacin, creating a B-vitamin deficiency called pellagra, which is especially noticeable in developing countries.

Probiotic lactobacilli contains the enzyme phytase, which breaks down phytic acid, making the sourdough bread easier to digest, and rendering the nutrients and minerals easier to utilize in the body.  This study shows sourdough bread fermentation reduces the phytate content by 24-50% over conventional yeast bread.  Studies show that the lactic acid in sourdough can actually release more antioxidants during fermentation. Sourdough fermentation also tends to increase the folate levels in the bread as well.

Because of its natural fermentation, sourdough also possesses a variety of bioavailable nutrients. It is rich in B vitamins, B1, B6, B12, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium, along with its well balanced proteins and fatty acids. By contrast, many commercially prepared breads are so low in nutrients, that less-than-desirable synthetic vitamins are added back in, and those are more poorly absorbed by us.

Easier to Digest Even if Gluten-Intolerant

Many people are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. This means they are sensitive to the gluten molecule or protein in most breads. When sourdough bread is fermented, the fermentation process helps to dissolve the proteins and peptide bonds in the gluten. The enzymes in the bread help dissolve albumin, globulin, prolamin, and glutalin. These enzymes also produce a type of alcohol that will dissolve water-insoluble protein bonds. This breaking down of these proteins means that gluten sensitive people are often able to eat sourdough bread without a reaction. While gluten tolerance varies from person to person, those with true celiac disease should still avoid sourdough bread if it’s made from wheat or rye. Gluten-free sourdough is an option however, for those who are extremely sensitive to gluten.

Keep in mind though, that not all sourdough bread is made the same way, and depending on how long it ferments, and how long it is kneaded, can make the difference between a tummy ache from gluten and no tummy ache.

[Cat’s note:  I have genuine celiac disease and am pretty sensitive, but when traveling overseas, I have found I have been able to eat bread from Peru, some parts of Europe and Nepal, so I may have to try this out and see what happens].

Better Blood Sugar Control

One of the big negatives about eating regular bread, even the ‘whole wheat’ or ‘whole grain’ variety, is the blood sugar effects. People are often shocked to hear that whole wheat bread often increases blood sugar to as high of a level, or even higher level than pure sugar does. In fact, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is not too different than eating a candy bar in terms of blood sugar impact!

The good news is that sourdough bread may have a better effect on blood sugar and insulin levels than whole wheat bread, though the reason for this is not yet fully understood. Researchers theorize that the fermentation process must alter the carbohydrate molecules, which in turn slows down the speed at which the sugars enter the bloodstream. Several studies compared the glucose response of participants with sourdough bread and regular bread with baker’s yeast. Participants showed lower blood sugar and insulin response overall with the sourdough bread.

Make Your Own Sourdough

Much of the sourdough you buy in grocery stores in the US is not genuine sourdough and therefore will not contain the nutrient benefits that real sourdough contains.  However, high quality restaurants and bakeries will often have legitimate genuine sourdough.  You can also easily make your own sourdough at home, but remember it takes time to produce a high quality sourdough starter.

Once you have your starter, you ‘feed’ it daily and let it grow for 5-7 days. Do not rush this process.  Here are a few sourdough bread recipes from various websites:

Enjoy your sourdough bread with a generous hunk of grass fed butter and raw honey! Now, that’s good eatin’!

Speaking of bread, for many of us, bread is the ultimate comfort food…

Few culinary pleasures are quite as enjoyable as a flaky croissant with melted butter… fluffy biscuits and sausage in the morning… or fresh garlic bread dipped in a warm tomato sauce.

But there are a lot questions as to where bread fits in a healthy diet.

On one hand we’ve been told that it is the very “staff of life.” On the other, we’ve been told that it is a major contributor to disease and obesity.

So, what is the truth?

Click here to discover the TRUTH about bread. (and even why gluten-free bread can sometimes be worse)

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References:
Petre, Alina MS, RD. (nd) Authority Nutrition. Retrieved from
https://authoritynutrition.com/sourdough-bread/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=standard
Cookus Interruptus, 2013. Top Ten Reasons to Eat Sourdough Bread. Retrieved from
http://cookusinterruptus.com/blog/?p=4245
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11368651
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00217-009-1204-z
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17263468
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273010/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17697425
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00217-009-1085-1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8942413
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0733521002904698
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0733521009000307
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317680
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7782904

About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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34 comments

  1. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this
    weblog and I amm inspired! Very useful inormation specifically the ultimate
    sectin 🙂 I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular info for a long time.
    Thank you and bestt of luck.

  2. The one thing left out in this article is that Roundup’s ingredient Glyphosate is the real reason people are having to give up wheat. It is actually the poison that is injected into the grain at the time of harvest that is killing most of us. I look at bread right now as something that could make me very ill.

    Loved the paragraph however about Vegetarians. “Phytic acid is a substance in nuts, seeds and grains. Phytic acid or phytates are considered ‘anti-nutrients’ because they bind with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unusable in the body, creating mineral deficiencies in those who eat large quantities of nuts, seeds and grains. This is especially true for vegetarians and vegans. ” So true for me as I was a vegan for 8 years and it nearly killed me. Leaky gut is my daily reminder of my mistake over 20 years ago.

    • Nice to know Maritha! Especially about the nuts, as my daughter is severely allergic to breads and her alergist just told her she’s allergic to nuts. We’ve just started on LDN (low dose Naltrexone) and it’s helping a great deal. http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org 🙂

    • Thank you Maritha! You hit the nail on the head when it comes to the root cause of why everyone is gluten intolerant these days. It’s not the gluten, it’s the chemicals (Round-Up) being sprayed on the bread just prior to harvest that is creating the problem. Big Ag has discovered that spraying wheat, soy and corn with Round Up just prior to harvest increases yield and makes harvesting easier. Round-Up and similar chemicals kill the friendly gut bacteria in your body and, as a result, wreak havoc on your immune system and many other systems in the body. Use only USDA certified organic wheat flour and other ingredients to virtually eliminate the problem.

      • Thank you for posting this. I had never a clue that Roundup was being applied before harvest. We’ve been in & around wheat & corn farming almost 80% of my 78 yrs.

        • The way farmers farm today is way different than today. Round Up is now applied where it is need to control vegetation and now also on small grain it is applied to kill the plant so it can be harvested a few weeks earlier and also makes it easier for the combine to pick the wheat as the wheat will pop out easier. Round Up is also applied to green tobacco to kill the whole plant so it will turn ripe and can all be picked at one time. Think about that the next time you light up and suck it into your lungs.

    • Organic wheat crop presumably does NOT permit Roundup spray prior to harvest ?? That correct?

    • Glyphosate is the reason that I only use organic flour when making sourdough bread. Most of the sourdough at the markets is fake anyway as many use additives with regular white bread to get the flavor. Certified organic wheat is grown without phosphate, chemical fertilizers, and without chemical pesticides. Same way it was grown for thousands of years.

  3. I have been gluten intolerant for around 35 years and live on an island where we have a small bakery and am able to eat all that he produces as he puts his doughs through a long fermentation process.

  4. Excellent info have been looking for, now I know what to eat when and at what time

  5. If gluten is in the flour, how does just having a fermented starter prevent sensitivity reaction when you are adding unfermented flour to the starter and baking?…trying to understand…

    • Tammy, you missed something here. I make all my own sourdough bread. The starter is the source of the wild yeast and bacteria. Once the dough is made, the dough goes through a long fermentation referred to as “Bulk Fermentation” before the final rise. The bulk fermentation can be as short as 5 hours, or as long as 15 – 16 hours for a true SF style sourdough. It breaks down the gluten, and the reason you need to use a high protein “bread flour” variety of bread flour for the long ferments – the gluten in regular flour will complete break down using regular flour. That is what makes this bread healthy, I have been telling my friends that for years. True Rye is made the same way. Just as healthy or better than wheat sourdough.

  6. Is EZEKIEL bread good for the body?

    • Ezekiel bread is what started the myth that bread is staff of life (our bread surely isn’t). There is precious little evidence about it, but those who make it and eat it swear by it. There are plenty of websites dealing with it. Just read the ingredients and see if you will like it. It’s not for “faint of hearth”.

  7. Our favorite bread is Sourdough, but now that we live here in TN is is very hard to come by. We were used to the San Francisco sourdough, so what they have here is not the same at all. Wish we knew of a place that sells goo sourdough. Thanks for the article as I have always wondered which was really the best for you!

  8. Sheila A. Herron

    great site!

  9. I have eaten Sour Dough Bread for years when ever I could find it in the Bread Section!! My favorite Bread!!

  10. I want to use your sourdough recipes, but I am concerned about the use of the flours available today that have little relationship to the original grain flours in the past, which had not been modified as the ones available today; that is, Especially GMO modified. Using today’s flours may be problematic for those of us who want to eat natural foods. I am dealing with neurological and autoimmune issues and methylation issues.

    • You can buy einkorn wheat flour at most health food stores now and, of course, on Amazon. Look it up. It’s an ancient grain.

  11. Who tried the Sprouts Sourdough 3 ingredients Bread?
    We like it but wonder if it is real / good sourdough?
    Ofcourse best would be if it was organic…

  12. Love this. Home-made traditional sourdough bread and pancakes are now staples in my family. I used to deal with chronic constipation, tummy troubles (gripes, bloating) and fatigue. SD bread and lactose-free milk have been life-changers for me! I am 40 and feel better than I did in my 20’s. Its work but its been more rewarding than I could imagine!

  13. Sally M. Chetwynd

    Check out buckwheat, too. It’s not a wheat grain at all, but is related to rhubarb. I substituted almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) for wheat flour in my buckwheat pancakes recently and was stunned by how scrumptious they were. Also very light and fluffy.

  14. Very good article. comprehensive. Am delighted with the news. Clara Farah

  15. I LOVE Sourdough Bread…I go to the VA Hospital at times for appts. and always schedule them after 11am or so…Y U SAY? So I can go to the cafe and eat a veggie omelet…WITH SOURDOUG BREAD ….BUTTERED…but NO JAM thankyou Maam…lol

    One thing I am skeptical of tho…buying Sourdough in a GROCERY STORE…I KNOW all they DOO ‘for us’ is to make MOO for THEM..and as most know…food that’s good doesn’t always TASTE good…think about it…Actually I think Sourdough tasted better than whole wheat anyday…

  16. Thank you – I have been wanting to find out if I might be okay to try this – sounds like it’s a YES, yippee!

  17. I believe at an earlier date, I ordered “Better Bread” not knowing that it was an “e-book”. I never down loaded it, as I didn’t know how to do it. Can you check your records and see if this is still on my computer. I really want this, so I hope you can help me. I also would like to know if I paid for it. I anxiously await your reply. Thank you so much.

  18. There are some good ideas here, but the common terms for these preparations are not precise enough to make comparisons without creating confusion … a common problem in the nutrition field. “Sourdough bread” usually means “bread from refined (white) wheat flour dough raised with sourdough starter” and “whole wheat bread” usually means “bread from whole grain wheat flour dough raised with standard baker’s yeast.” They aren’t directly comparable, since you can raise dough made from whole-grain (various grain types, single or mixed) flour using either sourdough starter or baker’s yeast, and you can do the same with refined flour (single or mixed), which need not be ordinary wheat varieties; resulting nutritional qualities will vary, as well as taste/smell/texture. Then there’s the glyphosate issue, the contribution of which to health problems needs to be separated out from problems created by gluten (for those people who are actually gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant … but how many of them have been mis-diagnosed and actually are reacting to glyphosate or something else?). Another issue is that various store-bought breads have various seeds and sprouted grains added, which make for difficult chewing for some people with less-than-ideal teeth, so their choices on the store shelf are reduced. (Unfortunately, with our overly-expensive, gap-filled byzantine-like patchwork illness-care system, some people can’t afford to maintain optimum dental capabilities. Whoever would conceive of any health “insurance” programs which lacked comprehensive dental coverage? But that’s what we often have.)
    I used to make my own hearty bread (mixed flours from different whole grains, raised with sourdough starter, plus additives like sunflower seed meal, etc.) but don’t have the facilities (oven, etc.) now. Do you have a recommendation of a good bread-making machine suitable for making bread from sourdough-starter-raised flour composed of alternative mixed grains/low-gluten or non-gluten organically-grown whole grain(s)? They all appear to be made using an internal canister coated with non-stick coating, the long-term safety of which I am skeptical.

  19. The problem with sourdough is keeping the starter–especially if you don’t bake on a regular basis. I worked in a commercial bakery for a while; you’d think with a relatively consistent environment and frequent baking we could get a few loaves out. Nope, tried all kinds of recipes–wouldn’t rise, wouldn’t bake evenly; finally resorted to a mix.

  20. I am sorry I say don’t eat bread, unless you can make it “NOT BREAD”
    After a heart attack, I now have a stent, it’s motivation to never eat wheat ever again.
    It’s made me stop drinking as well, my beer had wheat.
    After several years, when you are at your natural weight and you don’t crave carbs, and non ceilac disease, you may make:

    * a mean Oat Bar many different ways. blacberry bananna lime honey (basically reverse engineer a kind bar and your on my track, I keep it in the freezer for simplicity)
    * several different nut flour based muffin receipes.

    There’s no Bread in my home. These are treats not an every day thing. Sweetened with honey usually.

    The food pyramid and it’s lies have taken enough of my family and I watch as they cut foot after foot and put down my friends family after family.
    It is not necessary to have a heart attack, or diabetes like I did.
    Change your nutrition and supliments. Make it the most important thing you do on Earth.

    use the free JAVA program called Cron-o-meter to track your weight, bloodpressure and food you put into your mouth.

    Historically I loved all the breads, Bananna bread from Nut Tree California was probably my favorite. I want to say it breaks my heart but that’s EXACTLY what happened. eating high carbs, high iodized salt, candy and wheat BREAKS your heart. or more precisely it inflames your arteries where a chunk of inflamed gunk (where normally harmless cholestorol has gathered to/upon the inflamation) plugs you up as a larger obstruction.

  21. love your articles

  22. I like whole grain. Can’t they or don’t they make sourdough whole grain? I don’t think I’ve seen it.

  23. WhatHappening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other users like its helped me. Good job.

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