Do we need bread?

June 16, 2010

Even with low carb eaters, bread seems to be a difficult thing to give up.

Should we give it up? Do we need to? If so, what do we replace bread with? And for crying out loud, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO PUT THE CONTENTS OF THE SANDWICH ON!!?!

I bring up this topic because I, too, had all of these questions above even as recent as a few months ago. I had a daily sandwich with 1 slice of flourless sprouted wheat bread and thought I was being very healthy. Compared to the typical American lunch, I was being healthy. But me reasoning for eating bread at all was that I needed to put my turkey, avocado, and cheese on SOMETHING!

I have since switched to mixing in my lunch meat, tuna, or grass fed ground beef with a bowl of vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or artichoke, then mixing in a fat source like olive oil and/or guacamole.

But why did I give up bread, and why should other people do the same?

Bread, although considered a staple food, and for many it would be unheard of to not eat bread. You might as well tell these people to not breathe air! It is so ingrained (no pun intended) in us that bread is a must, that getting it out of our diets may cause a little anxiety. But bread is not a natural food that we as humans were meant to eat. Grains, which most bread is made out of, have only been in the human diet for about 10,000 years. Grains contain high levels of plant toxins called lectins. Research has shown that lectins can disrupt gastrointestinal function and immune system.

What about the benefits of whole grain bread over plain white bread?

It’s really negligible. Whole grains contain harmful phytates, glutens, and lectins that promote inflammation. And, while you do get fiber from these grains, this, too can be seen as a negative. Excessive fiber intake (which easily happens when you eat a lot of whole grains) can increase appetite and interfere with healthy digestion, mineral absorption, and elimination. Whole wheat bread may burn a little slower, but the important thing is you will produce the same amount of insulin to deal with the glucose load!

So with all this, my plan is to simply skip grains altogether most of the time, and replace them with vegetables and fruits. It’s not that much harder than making a sandwich and will lead to a healthier body and less chance of disease in the long run.

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4 comments on “Do we need bread?

  1. April Jun 21, 2010

    I personally like to use big lettuce leaves as a holder for things like chicken salad. You can also use them instead of tortillas!

    • That reminds me of InNOut Burger’s “Protein Style” burgers, where they are wrapped in iceberg lettuce instead of having a bun. It’s a good idea but be careful! It can be a bit messy. And I would use romain lettuce if you want more nutrition!

  2. Gunther Runner Aug 23, 2012

    Julain Baker makes a Paleo Coconut Bread and Almond Bread that is grain free.

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