I started to bake my own bread a few years ago, whole-wheat bread that is. Apart from the sticky hands and the 4 hour wait until you get those buns ready, it’s quite pleasant! But you don’t have to bake your own bread to make healthier choice. Or maybe you do. Let’s have a look.
Choose Your Type of Bread
First of all, let’s see what kind of breads are out there. If you live in a city like mine, most people around eat white bread. It could be that they are not aware of how poor of a nutritious choice it is. Or, it’s simply easier to digest than whole-wheat bread.
Here’s a table compiled by our friends at healthline.com with 3 types of bread: white, whole-wheat and sourdough.
|Portion||25 gr.||33 gr.||32 gr.|
|Total fat||1 gr.||2 gr.||0.6 gr.|
|Carbohydrate||13 gr.||17 gr.||18 gr.|
|Proteins||2 gr.||3 gr.||4 gr.|
|Fibers||0.6 gr.||2 gr.||1 gr.|
|Thiamine||8% of the RDI||7% of the RDI||9% of the RDI|
|Folate||7% of the RDI||5% of the RDI||12% of the RDI|
|Sodium||7% of the RDI||5% of the RDI||9% of the RDI|
|Manganese||6% of the RDI||31% of the RDI||8% of the RDI|
|Selenium||6% of the RDI||18% of the RDI||12% of the RDI|
|Riboflavin||5% of the RDI||4% of the RDI||5% of the RDI|
|Niacin||5% of the RDI||7% of the RDI||8% of the RDI|
|Iron||5% of the RDI||6% of the RDI||6% of the RDI|
As you can see, the Sourdough option is healthier :
- there’s more Niacin. What’s Niacin you ask. It’s a fancy word for Vitamin B3. Niacin may help lower cholesterol, ease arthritis and boost brain function, among other benefits.
- there’s more Folate. That’s also a B Vitamin. Your body needs folate to make DNA and other genetic material. Your body also needs folate for your cells to divide.
- there’s also more proteins and less fat. This we know is good.
I’ll give it to you: between Whole-Wheat Bread and Sourdough Bread, the race is pretty tight. But let’s read further, we’ll learn who’s the real winner.
White Bread Is Out of the Race
If Bread was a person, and he’d work for Donald Trump, he’d get FIRED.
It has less fibers, less proteins, less micronutrients like selenium and manganese (this latter is NOT a chinese dialect- I checked.) Also it is well-known that whole-wheat bread diminishes the risks of:
- cardiac arrest (we actually published a post on that subject, you can go see it here)
- colorectal cancer.
One of the reasons people who eat whole-wheat are thinner is that it’s more filling, therefore you eat less. That’s my theory anyway. Not that I’m thin but I’m sure if they made a research on this, the results would go my way.
Conclusion: White Bread Loses. Now let’s see the other two left in the race.
Antinutrients or What’s a Tie Breaker
What are antinutrient? Antinutrients are stuff in the grain itself that blocks the assimilation of minerals. Why? Because the grains do not want to be eaten! Once I understood this simple concept, a whole picture opened up before me. You could even say that I saw the Light. Because you have to agree with me: whole-wheat bread is not as healthy as it could be because the grains have antinutrients that’s blocking the good stuff from being assimilated by the body. How unfair is that!
But there’s hope! And that’s called Sourdough. So don’t make a sourface over your whole-wheat dough, instead make Sourdough bread! You can tweet me on that.
All of the technical aspect of this story is explained in more details in our course Metabolism And Nutrition. It says there that phytic acid, an antinutrient, gets stuck on zinc, iron and calcium so that it shouldn’t get absorbed.
What’s Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough bread is made by the fermentation of dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. Sourdough bread has a more sour taste and better inherent keeping qualities than breads made with baker’s yeast, due to the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli.
The lacto-what? The wild yeast and lactobacillus in the leaven neutralise the phytic acid as the bread proves through the acidification of the dough. This prevents the effects of the phytic acid and makes the bread easier for us to digest.
What else is it good for?
- Sourdough bread has a low glycemic index and can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels lower, which can prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Sourdough is a great source of several minerals such as iron and selenium. See table above.
- Prebiotics are a type of indigestible fiber that keep your gut healthy by feeding the good bacteria, called probiotics, that live there.
How To Make Sourdough Bread
So here’s the scoop: I tried these past few weeks to make it. And I’m still working on it. Hopefully, as this article goes to press (or rather, to your inbox) I will have succeeded in this most noble endeavour.
I have the easiest recipe, but I keep making mistake so I still don’t have a dough after almost two weeks!
Here’s how it goes:
You mix a glass of flour with a glass of water and you let it rest for 6 days.
How did I mess this one? Ok there’s a bit more to the recipe: every two days, you have to add half a glass of water and half a glass of flour.
So mistake #1: I forgot to add the water and the flour after day 1. I realized it only on day 6.
Mistake #2 (with the new mix): I added a whole glass of water and a whole glass of flour instead of a half. But that’s okay. I didn’t start the whole thing again and it came out nice.
The Results are In: Sourdough makes for Happy Children! I thought they would not like the sour taste of the dough of they LOVES the bread so…
We have a winner!