bread : noun \ˈbred\
usually baked and leavened food made of a mixture whose basic constituent is flour or meal.
White bread, brown bread, white bread with unbleached flour, sourdough bread, etc. So many options these days! If you are being careful with your diet, you have certainly heard that it is better to eat unrefined whole bread or cereal. And you agree. But what exactly is the difference between a whole-grain and a refined bread or cereal ?
To tell the truth, only the word refined is refined in a refined cereal (or any carbohydrate)! Since the beginning, Man consumed grains in their complete form. But with the industrialization era, the need to store grains in large quantities became quite urgent. The food industry realized that by removing the bran and the germ (rich in fiber, vitamins, proteins and minerals) of a cereal grain, they could keep it longer on the shelves. This technique spread quickly and is still very commun today, mainly in the Western world.
A refined ingredient is therefore an ingredient that has been modified, altered and deprived of its nutrients in order to make it last longer. The end result: a food low in fiber, vitamins, proteins and minerals which are all essential and needed by the body. So when we eat these altered grains, they end up in our bodies in form of sugar or fat, and they are rightfully called empty calories. And these empty calories are more harmful than you think.
Common refined items in the food industry are cereals, flours, sugar, oil and salt.
Consequences of refined cereals in your body
Not so white! When cereals are processed, bleached by abrasion, and left only with their starch, they work as a simple sweet starch in our body. Their glycemic index is high. So after eating a so called” soft white bread” or “good pizza” that the food industry has (so warmly) prepared for you, Hyperglycemia is favored in the body. In other words, there is a high rise of sugar intake in your blood. A little white bread here, a small muffin there, a nicely packaged sweet treat and you provide continuously a metabolic overload in your body.
Moral of the story: it is best to avoid refined white bread (or grain) as it does not its have fiber and vitamins. Remember that its high glycemic index will turn into sugar in your body.
Which bread to choose?
Simple! Choose whole-grain breads, called wholesome. Once you get used to them, you would not want any white bread anymore. For example, choose:
- Wholemeal bread (wholesome) for its insoluble fiber. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Oatmeal bread for to its soluble fiber. Oatmeal lowers cholesterol.
- Rye bread for its nutritional advantages. Could be interesting when you want to lose weight.
- Sourdough bread for your gut flora. Its also helps mineral digestion.
Finally, do not rely on labels only because they have written organic or multiple cereals on the package. Sometimes, it is only a white flour bread to which cereals have been added. Make a habit to read the ingredients and make sure that the flours or cereals are not refined.
The best bread is home made. -Catalan proverb.
Here is a recipe for a gluten-free bread from the website of Jacqueline Lagacé .
- 1 cup rice flour
- ½ cup chestnut flour
- ½ cup of Quinoa flour
- ½ cup Millet flour
- ¼ cup Tapioca flour
- ¼ cup of Amaranth flour
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp guar gum or Xanthame
- 1 Tbsp t honey or maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar or Apple Cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive, avocado or coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp of flaxseed
- 1 egg or 2 Tbsp of applesauce
- 1½ cup of warm water (approximately)
- Mix well by hand all the flours, guar gum and yeast
- In a big bowl pour water and stir in honey, salt, vinegar, oil, egg, flaxseed and mix well by hand or mixer.
- Add half of the flour into the water and mix one minute, cover with a cloth and let rise 15 minutes.
- Add the rest of the flour and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into a bread tin that has been oiled (9 x 5 x 3 inches). Smooth the mixture.
- Put the mixture to rest for one hour in a warm place or in the oven with the light on.
- After an hour, remove the tin from the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 420 F or 215 C.
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven, unmold after 5 minutes and allow to cool completely on a rack.