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  • Deanne Pandey

Know Your Bread



Many health-conscious people have banished bread from their pantries long ago because it’s high on the glycemic index. Its sugars are quickly broken down and surged into the blood stream, spiking blood sugar levels and increasing your odds for obesity and diabetes. But this is a common notion with white bread. Breads can actually be healthy for you. Bread has been the staple food in many countries and has been eaten worldwide for millennia. Typically prepared from a dough made of flour and water, bread is available in many varieties, including sourdough, sweet bread, soda bread and more.Despite its widespread popularity, bread is often characterized as unhealthy, harmful and fattening. One-hundred percent whole grain and whole wheat bread varieties are typically regarded as the best, but other types have their benefits, too. One can say that bread is high in calories and carbs but low in protein, fat, fiber and many vitamins and minerals. However, the specific nutrient profile depends on the type of bread.


Here are some healthy varieties of bread-


1. Flaxseed Bread


For heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil and oily fish are typically the best supplement and animal source, look no further than flaxseeds. Naturally, flaxseed bread is a great healthy alternative to your white bread loaf.


2. Sprouted whole grain bread


Sprouted bread is made from whole grains that have started to sprout from exposure to heat and moisture. Sprouting has been shown to increase the amount and availability of certain nutrients. Breads made from sprouted whole grains are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and may have less of an impact on blood sugar than other breads.


3. Sourdough bread


Sourdough is made through a fermentation process that relies on naturally occurring yeast and bacteria to make the bread rise. Fermentation helps reduce the number of phytates, also known as phytic acid, that bind to certain minerals and impair their absorption. It’s probiotics promote a good gut with low GI. A sourdough bread loaf made with whole wheat is even richer in iron and minerals.


4. 100% sprouted rye bread


Rye closely resembles wheat but is usually darker and denser. Traditional rye bread is only made from rye flour and does not contain any wheat flour, whereas most modern rye breads are made from a combination of the two. Rye’s ability to lower your body’s insulin response is likely due to its high soluble fiber content. Since sprouting increases grains’ fiber content, sprouted rye is higher in fiber and healthier than non-sprouted rye. It helps slow your digestion of carbs and decrease your body’s insulin response.


5. Gluten-free bread


Gluten-free breads are made without glutenous grains like wheat, rye, or barley. Many people wrongly assume that gluten-free breads are healthier than those that contain gluten. However, most gluten-free varieties are made from refined flours and high in added sugars, as well as other unnecessary additives. However, those made from almond or coconut flours, such as Barely Bread, tend to be lower in carbs and calories but higher in fiber and protein than loaves made from wheat or other grains.

How to choose the right bread


To choose a healthy bread, look for brands that have:


• 100% whole-grain or sprouted flours listed as the first ingredient, with limited other ingredients


• 3–5 grams of fiber and 3–6 grams of protein per slice


• No added sweeteners One of the best ways to ensure that you’re choosing a healthy bread is to make it yourself. This way, you can control the ingredients. Hundreds of recipes for homemade breads are available online to suit most every dietary need.


On this note, make a healthy and moist gluten free banana bread by adhering to this exciting recipe-

Ingredients-

• 2 cups Gluten free flour

• 4-5 very ripe bananas mashed

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, softened

• 2 eggs • 2 tablespoons milk

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips


How to make-


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, set aside.


2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture and chocolate chips into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.


3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for at least minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Slice and serve warm!


Breads have been a staple food in many diets. The Mediterranean diet has placed bread at the bottom of the pyramid, hinting that bread is not completely unhealthy. Breads, when made or bought correctly, can be a tasty and an healthy additive to your daily diet. Try these extremely healthy varieties of bread today!

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