Soft, doughy, light hearted bread. Once just an innocent member of the food family that graced most of our plates every day. Bread used to conjure up religious, traditional and symbolic connotations. Today? Bread = bad. Bread = destroyer of all diets. Bread = bloated gut. Poor bread. He’s really had a tough go of it since we entered the 21st century. The cold, hard truth is that bread is (in most cases) simply not what it used to be.
Why? Well our grains (in most cases) are not what they used to be. Farming practices have changed, commercial products have crap in them and big businesses have changed a traditional food into something that doesn’t sit well with many people. In addition to that many people have food sensitivities to grains or gluten. But the other side of the story? Not all bread is bad, and not everyone needs to avoid it 100% of the time. If you can live a life with some bread in it and still feel great, well then, my sweet friend, have some damn bread. LIFE IS SHORT. Turkey sandwiches are delicious. The end.
JK not the end. So which bread to eat? We get this question a lot, people want to make the wisest choices they can for them and for their kids. Is there a preference on whole grain vs. whole wheat? Gluten-free vs. non gluten-free? How do we know what makes it healthy? Let’s dig into the gritty details on bread.
Public Service Announcement: for the most part, bread includes some level of refined flours – whether they’re gluten-free or not. And this is why we don’t lean on or have bread all that often, because refined flours are what spike our blood sugar levels and long story short, get broken down as sugar in our body. For people sensitive to carbs or who put on weight easily, that can be an issue. But enjoyed in moderation, totally fine! You’ll notice (even with some of our favorites) that they often sneak in some added sweeteners, but ideally these are natural sweeteners. Try to always choose bread made with organic ingredients – the wheat that is used to make most bread is heavily sprayed with pesticides and high levels of GMOs. When in doubt, always reach for the bread with most whole grains, and least amount of ingredients.
Are you sensitive to gluten? We know this is a hot topic – feels like a fad if you will. The truth of the matter is, gluten sensitivities are very real and more common than you might think! A gluten sensitivity can look very different in different bodies. If you’re not sure whether you’re sensitive or not, we’d love to have you join us for the next Prescribe 20 [May 6th!] where we eliminate common inflammatory foods (gluten included) for three weeks, and then reintroduce to see if there is a reaction. Listen up peeps: not everyone needs to be gluten-free! That’s why it’s so key to explore if you’re sensitive to it! Gluten-free does NOT equal healthier, there are plenty of packaged foods, including gluten-free bread, that is the same processed crap as the other stuff. Sorry Charlie it’s just the truth.
ANYWAY, if you are indeed sensitive to gluten, here are our favorite gluten-free breads:
- Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain Bread – includes whole grains and is straight up delicious. You guys…you don’t even have to toast this gluten-free bread to make it edible! Hands down.
- Katie loves the Whole Foods brand Prairie Bread – “It’s insanely delicious and so good regular or toasted.”
- Bread SRSLY – Megan’s direct quote: “easily the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever had. It’s hard not to eat the whole loaf – but it’s only west coast and it’s $10 a loaf.” So, you’ll be broke, but happy.
- Three Bakers 7 Ancient Grain Bread – this one leands heavier on whole grains as opposed to refined flours so it’s a more fiber rich options, and is another one of Megan’s favs.
- Grindstone -This stuff is healthy as shi*. Ancient grains, seeds, protein and fiber rich, NO gross ingredients. We love it. It’s not traditional like light bread, but amazing toasted and as a vehicle for spreads.
- Happy Camper’s Bread – Classy Grains – soft, chewy, makes for a lot of happy campers. All of their breads are delish!
- Manna Glulten-free Ancient Grains – We can get behind all the ingredients in this bread.
Can you tolerate gluten just fine?
Awesome! We are definitely NOT anti-gluten. Like I said not everyone is sensitive to it. So what are your best options in this category? Go for sprouted and whole grain – these are the easiest to digest and pack the most punch (of nutrients). Unfortunately whole wheat does not = whole grain. Keep in mind all refined white and wheat flour generally will NOT be a smart option when trying to feel your best.
On to the short list:
- Ezekiel Bread – Original Sprouted is an awesome option – it’s made up from six different organic sprouted grains. Boom!
- Dave’s Killer Bread – Sprouted Whole Grain is another good option. There is some added sugar but it’s packed with sprouted whole grains so we’re letting it slide.
- Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted Multi-grain: We love this bread! Kids love it too.
We hope this list can help you create an epic picnic next Saturday with your loved ones. I’ll be having turkey with extra pickles thank you. Hold the dijon.