Who hasn’t had a love affair with bread? Bread is always there for you. It’s comforting. Warm fresh bread, right out of the oven….is like a your high school crush. You can’t stop looking at it and you can’t stop thinking about it. Bread is like that boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks tempting and corrupting you. Mr. Bread is a bad boy.
Its time to break up with your bread!
And if Bread of today is the bully, Sugar is it’s toadie. Sugar has become the sidekick that corrupts the bully even further.
Somewhere along the way, a simple product of just a few simple ingredients got added to, and added to and added on to. Sugar is one of those things that got added. It’s hard to find any bread without some form of sugar in it. In addition we have processed our wheat so much that when the product that is left at the end of processing has no nutrients left at all.
Have you ever wondered why your bread says Enriched Flour? What does that mean? What it really means is they striped all the nutrients out of the wheat when they mass produced it so they had to add back chemical version of some of the nutrients.
Furthermore, Whole Wheat and Whole Grain are not the same. Whole grain uses the whole part of the wheat; the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Just whole wheat will strip off the bran and the germ in the processing leaving just the endosperm which is all starch. All the nutrients are gone if the bran and germ layers are gone.
Unfortunately sandwich brands like Pepperidge Farms, Butternut, Ore-wheat, Rudis, Thomas’ English muffins, Vermont bread, etc. are all full of sugar and additives and often are deficient in Nutrients and fiber. Organic labels tricks us into thinking their breads are healthy.
Labels that say 100% Whole Wheat and No High Fructose Corn Syrup also trick us into thinking they are healthy. As I said before, Whole Wheat does not equal Whole Grain. Just because it does not have Corn Syrup does not mean it is sugar free.
So what about that sugar? Let’s look at Pepperidge Farms Whole Grain line. The Whole Wheat bread has 3 grams of Sugar per slice. That is a lot sugar for one slice of bread. That is close to a teaspoon of sugar per slice. For 2 slices you are getting roughly 2 teaspoons of sugar. If you are an Elementary School aged child you have eaten half the sugar you should be getting for the day in 1 sandwich.
These extra sugar grams add up over the day and get stored as fat. Furthermore, all the sugar and simple carbohydrates in the bread make us feel sluggish and not energized. The bread comforts us and makes us feel good but it does not energize us on help us perform through out the day.
So What is a girl to do? Getting use to a lifestyle that limits bread is ideal. That might be hard sell if you are not ready to break up with your bread. So, the trick is to focus on bread that is freshly made. You can make the bread yourself or buy it from a quality baker and have them slice it for you. I dusted off that old Bread Machine I got a a wedding gift years ago and it has gotten a lot of use for making pizza dough as well as homemade breads with real ingredients.
Don’t be fooled by your grocery store bakery. I found out the hard way that many grocery store fresh breads still have a lot of sugar and preservatives. Look for bread that has simple ingredients that you know; 100% whole grains, water, butter or olive oil, salt, yeast.
Look for alternatives to classic sandwich bread. I like to use fresh baked rolls from Whole Foods for sandwiches like the Whole Wheat Padina rolls . Instead of an Italian loaf I go for the Harvest Grain loaf that has lots of seeds and nuts added to the bread for extra protein. I trade a processed hot dog bun for a fresh Hoagie Roll that only has 5 ingredients. The Great Harvest Bread Company and the like are committed to using Whole Stone ground wheat that they grind just before making the bread. Many bakeries will still sweeten their breads a little. But, a bakery committed to quality ingredients will use honey or other natural form of sugar in their breads. See what bakeries might be local to you.
You can also tried Sprouted grain breads as a alternative. Ezekiel brand breads are sprouted grain breads. They have a different taste than the typical store bought sandwich breads do to their use of other grains than just wheat. If you want to give them a try they often can be found in the freezer section of stores. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Wegman’s carry Ezekiel brands.
So even if you are not ready to turn your back completely on your handsome bad boy bread, look for that brainy type that will comfort you as well as energize you to be the best you you can be. Sometimes a little seedy and a little nutty is a good thing.