Monday, December 13, 2010

Is Bread Healthy? It May Depend on how you Make it... Why Sourdough Bread is 100% better for you

My homemade Kamut Sourdough Bread Experiment

 Want to make your own sourdough bread?  Learn the why's and how's of sourdough bread making from Sally Fallon:

There is A LOT of debate among nutritionists, dietary counselors, and other health professionals about which foods are beneficial for human beings and which are not.  In recent years, it has become a trend to go "against the grain," and declare bread as an unnatural food that causes disease, obesity, insulin resistance, etc., etc.  Of course, there are equal numbers of equally qualified professionals that feel that grains are disease-preventative, anti-oxidant rich super foods. What is the truth about bread, grains, and your health?  It may come down to traditional wisdom:  Researchers have found that breads prepared the way our ancestors prepared them lead to health benefits while grains prepared in the modern fashion lead to health detriments...


According to European researchers, naturally leavened (or sourdough) bread is superior to cultured yeasted breads sold in most markets today. 

Yeasted breads are linked to stomach bloat, indigestion, thin blood, and weak intestines.  They also seem to exacerbate conditions that occur with unfriendly yeast overgrowth in the intestines, including many degenerative diseases.  'Whole grain' varieties of commercial breads have additional shortcomings:

  1. They often contain flour bleach, which forms alloxan, a compound known to cause diabetes in animal by destroying the beta cells of the pancreas. 
  2. They are full of phytic acid.  Phytic acid reduces mineral metabolism- especially in those whose diet includes a good percentage of grains and legumes- and can contribute to anemia, nervous disorders, and rickets. 
Naturally leavened breads, on the other hand, involve a process that allows fermenting agents to break down the cellulose structure of grains and release nutrients into the dough, greatly improving the bread's nutritional value.  They also contain lactobacillus, a friendly bacteria which helps generate the intestinal flora essential for proper digestion and elimination.  Sourdough bread's advantages go beyond that:
  • They contain almost no phytic acid because the bacterial action in the sourdough baking process neutralize nearly all of it.
  • They stay edible for weeks and are more delicious and nutritious in five to ten days, if stored in a cool dry place. 
Where can you find Sourdough breads for you and your family? 

They're available in most healthfood stores.  Note that some breads say "sourdough" but may not actually be naturally leavened.  These breads usually also contain yeast.  Read labels before buying so that you know what you're getting.

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Healing with Whole Foods:  Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite brand of healthy bread? Share it below!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree that it depends on how you make it. Thanks a lot for sharing your insights about bread.

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