New lines in the healthy eating patterns have very strong prejudices about traditional flour, so the popular low-crab or gluten-free diets make us to study what we have consumed in fact with the loaf of bread. The producers are not backward as well, they use “whole-grain”, “sprouted grain bread” and other interesting phrases on the product labels. So what does it mean, why those breads cost so much if compare with regular fabric products and if it’s really healthier for us?
Let’s recall what we have learned about wheat at school. This plant contains the germ, endosperm and bran layer. The germ gives us vitamins and minerals, the endosperm provides protein and carbohydrate and the bran layer means fiber. So the whole wheat flour supplies us with whole 3 components while white flour loses about 80% of nutrients due to processing. Don’t be surprise but nowadays whole-grain flour doesn’t include original nutrients entirely because it’s processed too. Anyway it’s better choice than white flour for sure.
Sometimes you can meet “stone-ground” mark on label. It just means wheat was milled in a stone mill so it can’t be synonym of healthy food, it just tells to consumer about manufacturing process features.
So what should we think if we see “sprouted wheat” seal on the bread? It’s not bad, folks. The sprouting increases enzyme activity, fiber and protein content, that is very good for digestion, but same time decreases carbohydrate content and changes the amino acid content. Well, as a verdict we can say sprouted wheat gives to bread more nutrients but difference isn’t so big in fact.
The gluten-free life style is reasonable totally only if you really suffer from celiac disease. However it’s stylish diet during few last years and many followers affirm that their life level became better and they could lose some weight. But it probably happened because those people made their diet more quality consuming more fruit and vegetables and decreasing processing products…
So the experts say if you don’t have gluten sensitivity this type of nutrition can be healthier for you or can be not. Due to diet features gluten-free followers don’t receive enough B and D vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium or magnesium… and it’s most important – they are low in fiber and high in glycemic measures. The gluten-free components are not so suitable for baking so producers are forced to use additional fats or oils which are high in calories as well. If you still believe that gluten-free way is right for you we can give the only advice – to be attentive with label reading for to not get something extra with bread.
“Fermented Breads” and ”Yeasted Breads”
It’s most traditional way of bread baking maybe. The yeast would give additional fermentation to the product during rising. The similar effect gives a sourdough method for making dough. The process goes on because of useful bacteria so let’s not to refuse from old-school bread baking so fast.
The yeasted bread is better in digest process due to long fermentation while dough is rising. It gives scores to its health benefits and makes bread components (including white wheat) more acceptable for human digestive system. It’s only worthy to control portion.
Sometimes we can hear “probiotic” towards bread too. it can seem logical because of dough processing way but the baking would kill whole bacteria so you can’t compare the ready bread with yogurt unfortunately. The good news – even dead probiotic bacteria still provide some healthy issued for us. Now you feel to yeasted or sourdough bread more respect, isn’t it?
Additives and Shelf Stabilizers: Words to Keep Away
We all know what is better to avoid in meals – hydrogenated oils, food dyes and other non-healthy components, let’s learn same points about bread additives.
The first one is “yoga mat” or azodicarbonamide (ADA or ADC). It’s a bleaching agent and improver for flour, also this matter is using to make rubber stretch. While heating ADA gives away components that can be cause of cancer as original issue too.
Another dangerous item is potassium bromated which is adding to dough to make bread texture tenderer and fluff up a loaf in general. It influences to kidney function, as you could understand, in non-positive way. Many countries forbad it.
Last warnings are about dextrose and sugars. Those ingredients can be added to commercial breads so be careful cause the consuming of extra sugars isn’t healthy too.
The commercial producers of food are fighting for customers so it’s not surprise that their product labels contain a lot of advertisement slogans with word “healty”.
We, as experienced and educated customers, have to read ingredient list and choose whole-grain bread with shortest list of components. The ideal composition would be flour, water, salt and yeast. So choose you trustable baker firm or maybe it’s a time to try bread baking by your own?