Many nutrition experts, myself included, do not recommend consumption of various kinds of bread on a daily basis.
- Bread can mess up blood sugar levels – most bread contains Amylopectin-A. It is one of the main components of starch and involved in our metabolism. It places the body in a series of high and low blood glucose. Research has shown that Amylopectin-A may promote the development of insulin-resistance which, over time, can lead to diabetes type 2.
- Highly addictive – bread gives a feeling of euphoria, making the person craves to eat more of it. This makes it difficult to remove it from our diet, even if we want to.
- It is mucus-forming – this could compromise the respiratory system as the airways are being clogged or blocked.
- It contains gluten – while there is nothing wrong with consuming gluten-containing whole foods in moderation, many people these days are showing signs of gluten sensitivity.
- It makes the stomach work harder – the gluten and starches in bread need more time and strong acids to be digested. This makes the stomach work overtime and can give rise to many digestive complaints.
- It has low nutritional value – most nutrients are stripped when bread is being made.
- Contains phytates – phytates are plant anti-nutrients that interfere with the absorption of many vitamins and minerals.
With these issues at hand, even healthy food items are being investigated and questioned. This includes sourdough bread.
Is sourdough bread healthy?
Allow the benefits of sourdough bread to answer this question.
1. It contains wild yeast and good bacteria (Lactobacillus)
These two ingredients of sourdough bread predigest the starches — hence, it lightens the workload of the stomach and the digestive system as a whole.
Aside from this benefit, lactobacilli stimulate the production of lactic acid. This substance stops the negative effect of phytates (found in the flour), which is interfering with the absorption of nutrients. Therefore, the person is guaranteed of taking in all the vitamins, minerals, and healthy elements in sourdough bread.
At the same time, lactic acid prevents spikes of blood glucose as it slows down the release of glucose into the bloodstream. It also lowers the glycemic index of the bread; hence, the individual is less susceptible to hyperglycemia or increased blood sugar level.
Lastly, the fermentation process (while making the bread) permits other beneficial bacteria to flourish in the gut. This means a healthier gut for the sourdough bread lover.
2. It is overloaded with nutrients
Unlike commercially prepared bread, sourdough bread has vitamins E, B1-B6, B12, niacin, thiamin, folate, riboflavin, iron, selenium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium — not to mention proteins and fatty acids.
One thing that sourdough bread does not have (that the other types of bread have) is toxic preservatives. This is because it has its own natural preservative — acetic acid — that inhibits the growth of molds.
3. It is safe for the gluten-intolerant individual
Why? The fermentation process of sourdough bread permits good bacteria to break down the gluten proteins into small amounts. This makes sourdough bread tolerable for gluten-sensitive people.
Researches and experiments have also revealed that this bread does not damage the intestinal lining of those sensitive to gluten, unlike other bread. There were no reports of clinical symptoms for them, too, that usually come with eating ordinary bread.
HHL NOTE: For folks dealing with celiac disease or other forms of severe gluten intolerance you need to make a gluten-free sourdough starter please see the link below. Not ALL sourdough bread is gluten-free.
In conclusion, to answer the question, “Is sourdough bread healthy?” The answer is plain and simple – “yes.” But as I have said many times before, moderation and balance are key.
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