By: Cat Ebeling & Mike Geary
Co-authors of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The 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:
- Basic Sourdough Bread
- Artisan Whole Grain Sourdough
- 12-Grain Raisin Sourdough
- Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Enjoy your sourdough bread with a generous hunk of grass fed butter and raw honey! Now, that’s good eatin’!
Speaking of bread…
Did you know that traditional grain-based bread contains a compound that is the #1 greatest danger in your diet.
Studies show that this compound (and I am not talking about “gluten”) is toxic to your heart and blood vessels… toxic to your immune system… and toxic to your nerves and brain.
And if that’s not enough…
This hidden compound also makes it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to burn fat and lose weight!
The great news is that you can still have your BREAD… and be well too!
Plus, this unique type of bread shown on that page actually HELPS your body burn MORE fat than eating vegetables (it actually triggers a fat-burning hormonal environment in your body)
Discover the secret to the world’s healthiest bread… a secret that took my good friend Kelley Herring 10 years to master!
Here’s to enjoying delicious bread again, while simultaneously putting your body in a fat-burning state (win-win!) …This is PERFECT for diabetics too, since this special type of bread has almost ZERO impact on blood sugar.
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Yummy!! I LOVE sourdough bread! It’s my all time favorite bread.
where do you purchase it ? whole foods ? trader Joe’s ?
Yes, you can buy it at Trader Joe’s!
WEGMANS HAS ORGANIC SOUR DOUGH
Where do you buy it? I live inEdmond, OK.
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.
always something new, we have been using organic spelt now for about 8 years we buy the berries and mill it our self always fresh o it tasted so good.
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.
Right On! I appreciate you comments . I am a farmer- 41 years , Independent soil and crop consultant for 30 years and my phone rings only when all conventional and even USDA organic “wisdom” has failed. I employ forensic examination to trace back farm failures and arrive so often at the final conclusion:
It is not always what we farm as much as it is HOW we farm.
I have worked with grains my whole farming history and can usually only eat Einkorn, Emmer and sometimes Spelt . The sour dough effect is very real . For many thousands of years, people in the vast regions of the middle east relied upon wheat and its ancestors as a staple . Wheat was not an issue .
Same goes for the potato which has also been incriminated for whole books worth of health damages.
What do these two major world spanning crops have in common now? Both the wheat and many other small grains, plus the potato is TERMINATED with systemic herbicides . This began as a wholesale “convenience practice” in 1980 Crop desiccation allowed for contact combine harvesting on set dates.
Unbeknownst to most consumers, crop insurance contracts demand set dates for termination (by glyphosate mostly). So nit only with 90 % of all grain acres in the US and S American supply lines, One must beware every brand of potato chip , french fry or processed potato product on the market – ALL are treated with a SYSTEMIC vine killer to satisfy harvest and crop insurance contracts.
Add Parquat recently, , and now Diquat it’s twin, in the food load as dietary offenders.
More on this pending email responses.
I enjoyed your well stated comment. I have worked in the food industry most of my life and so often people misstate or intentionally misstate the facts. I believe that people need a greater education about their food supply. Labeling regulations need to be improved for sure. So much of what we hear is one person’s opinion and it just gets repeated over and over again, giving the impression that it is coming from several different sources. Thank you for the information.
Thank You! I can no longer enjoy potatoes and potato chips because they affect my health. Now, I only eat organic veggies and fruits seasonally.
Please tell me more about your experiences. I have a daughter who occasionally suffers bouts of celiac disease and I am not sufficiently informed about it to make sensible comments. Therefore I would be grateful for any sources or helpful guidance
you can contribute.
She lives in England I in Belize. Nevertheless we are in contact regularly.
My very best regards
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.
Excellent info have been looking for, now I know what to eat when and at what time
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.
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”.
I would like to know if Ezekiel bread is good for us
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!
Boudinbakery.com or call 800-992.1849
They make good sourdough and I always order my gifts from them.
I have eaten Sour Dough Bread for years when ever I could find it in the Bread Section!! My favorite Bread!!
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.
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…
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!
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.
Very good article. comprehensive. Am delighted with the news. Clara Farah
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…
.i am 14 years old, I have been making sourdough for not even a year and I am already seeing the benefits, and doing my own thing. My starter(lilly) is really tolerant she will go 4 days without feed before she starts to act up, I am very happy with this post, thanks
.i am 14 years old, I have been making sourdough for not even a year and I am already seeing the benefits, and doing my own thing. My starter(lilly) is really tolerant she will go 4 days without feed before she starts to act up, I am very happy with this post, thanks
Thank you – I have been wanting to find out if I might be okay to try this – sounds like it’s a YES, yippee!
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.
hey Jan. I forwarded your questions on to the owners of the Better Bread offer. Thank you!
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.
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.
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.
love your articles
I like whole grain. Can’t they or don’t they make sourdough whole grain? I don’t think I’ve seen it.
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.
Thank you so much! I have been making organic heirloom grain Flemish Desem bread for over 20 years. I made a starter from organic whole wheat that took over 2 weeks to make, but has been our main bread with fresh milled organic Kamut and organic Spelt. Only adding purified water and grey Celtic sea salt. It is delicious! Thank you for confirming our bread!!!!
Your articles are exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you so much.
We can Feed-the-World by changing our use of wheat. Just sprout Organic Grains to prepare Essene, or Ezekiel, Breads. The sprouted wheat berries makes a load that is much more nutritious than flour.
Our societies will benefit by saving the massive energy of grinding flour & storage of this dry powder that deteriorates steadily. The economy of nutrition will increase proportionate to the sprouting vitamins & proteins significantly more than dusty flour.
I make my own sour dough bread using Einkorn wheat. It is not only nutrition – it is delicious!
Store bought food is never healthy. You must make your own so that you know
what is in it! My bread has only Einkorn wheat, water and himalyian sea salt,
Google making Einkorn wheat bread with sour dough. There are many recipes out there.
Jovial foods has the best recipe. Wardee has a great ebook for $7 that teaches you how to make wholesome Einkorn foods. I now grind my own wheat berries because it is the freshest that way.
Einkorn wheat is low in gluten and low in phytic acid. It is an ancient grain so it has not be hybred over the years to make a larger yield. It is organic so no round up ready glysophate in it or on it. It turns to sugar slower than regular wheat or whole wheat so it is healthier that way as well. There is a learning curve as it is different than whole wheat as it is a sticker dough. Tons of utube videos showing how to bake with it.
Unfortunately 90+% of the Sourdough bread in stores is not made by fermenting but by merely using sourdough flour which makes is not much more than flavored white bread. IF you dont believe me ask the bakery in your supermarket.
You just about have to make it yourself to get the real benefits.
Most South Africans will agree with this article. It is a very popular bread in South Africa where it is known as
SUURDEEG BROOD (Sour Dough) Bread !!! We just love it – especially when it is made in a Bakoond ! That is in an oven very similar to that which is used for Pizzas.
Not EVERYONE is gluten intolerant!!!!!
True, but everyone is vulnerable to glyphosate and the other herbicides and pesticides found in most processed foods these days That’s why there is so much emphasis on organic, non-GMO food ingredients and making from ‘scratch’ so you know what’s in them.
I eat only bread made with Einkorn flour that is grown as it was thousands of yrs ago. Most wheat grown today is Dwarf Wheat which causes problems in the Body.”Jovial Foods” sells all wheat products made with Einkorn wheat.
You have a good and useful knowledge in this I have yet to read further thank you so far so good huh
Most sour dough breads that can be bought in your grocery store still have highly processed wheat flour which will Jack your blood sugar up to the moon! As a Type 1 Diabetic, I disagree with this article.
Hi Ronald. Thank you for your comment and reading the article! You’re right “most” sourdough is not in fact real sourdough bread, but processed junk…but REAL sourdough CAN be found pretty simply – one just has to pay attention to labels and buy from stores they trust
Doesn’t the high fibre content of bread made with fresh stone ground flower (not sourdough) neutralize the sugar impact just like the fibre in the skin of an apple neutralize the sugar content on the Apple.
Hello friends…….although this chain of comments is several months old, I feel urged to point out that as of 01/25/21 my local Trader Joe’s (Downers Grove, IL) has “Sprouted Wheat Sourdough Bread” and the fermented sourdough starter is also sprouted organic wheat berries. Good stuff. Regards, L. McBride
I live in Los Angeles. Is there any place that makes sour dough bread from which we could buy directly. Or could you recommend a brand that would be available here that would be in a place such as Whole Foods. I have not trusted any of them so, for the most part, I stay away from bread. I do eat crackers, i.e. Almond crackers or “MARY’S” crackers of varying recipes.
I love Sour Dough bread always, but how do you find the best when you are limited to access and perhaps money. Though I am not a regular eater of any breads, I would certainly appreciate any recommendations you would share with me regarding this product.
If you have gout will the lactic acid from sour dough bread be a problem?
I have a big problem with sourdough bread. I don’t like the taste of it. I really like the taste of multi-grain breads especially the ones the actually have the seeds in them. What bread other than Sourdough are good for you?
I live in CO where can I find real sourdough read?