4 Things You Think Are Healthy That Aren't- Part 3
In the first two posts, we talked about popcorn and granola/granola bars.
A third confusing food is whole wheat bread.
Whole grains have more nutrients and fiber than white flour products, but here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for whole wheat bread:
1) All grains have phytic acid, which can bind to minerals and make them less likely to be abosrbed by the body, including iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.
Because of this, grains should be soaked and/or sprouted for better nutrition. Soaking and sprouting also makes the protein gluten easier to digest. Ezekial is one of the popular sprouted grain breads that can be found in the freezer section of most stores.
2) If you are buying standard whole wheat bread, avoid any with the ingredient potassium bromate. Potassium bromate has been linked to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid issues and gastrointestinal discomfort. It has already been banned in Europe, Canada and China.
3) Check the sugar content. Good bread does not require any sugar.
4) How long is it shelf stable? The longer it stays fresh, the more processed the procuct. If you buy fresh bread, slice it or freeze it to maintain the freshness.
5) What kind of flour is used? Most of the wheat used in the US today is a hybrid wheat created for mass production. This wheat contains significantly more gluten than traditional heritage grains, causing sensitivity, bloating or fatigue. Sprouted grains or sourdough bread can reduce the gluten and make it easier to digest.
Bottom line: Aim for less processed breads, especially sourdough or sprouted grains. Limit your overall bread consumption and get quality carbohydrates from unprocessed sources such as rice, oats, quinoa, millet, or startchy vegetables like potatoes, squash, plantains or fruits.
Are you concerned about phytic acid or the ingredients in your bread?