Despite bread’s bad rap, you can still eat it and stay lean. Here’s how to spot the bread winners and bag the best loaf.
Most breads are baked from wheat grains that have been ground into flour. Sprouted-grain breads are made from whole grains such as oats, whole wheat, and barley that have been allowed to germinate, or sprout, into the early stages of a new plant before they are ground up. This approach makes bread a whole lot healthier, and often tastier.
The process of sprouting grains not only gives bread a nuttier flavor, it also appears to minimize the presence of phytic acid. Consuming bread that contains less phytic acid makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients like zinc and magnesium found in the grain. In fact, research has found that the sprouting process may increase levels of fiber, folate, and key antioxidants available in the grain. Eating sprouted-grain bread can also result in a lower rise in blood sugar compared to other breads, such as 11-grain bread and white bread.
Making a loaf of sourdough bread involves the ancient baking tradition of using a bacteria-rich starter to ferment the dough. Fermentation gives this bread its notable tang and some important health perks.
In comparison to bread leavened using baker’s yeast, sourdough bread can result in a lower post-meal blood glucose response. Canadian researchers found that consuming 50 grams of carbohydrates from white sourdough bread resulted in less of a post-meal blood glucose surge than non-sourdough whole wheat bread. This lower surge appears to be caused by the bacterial fermentation process, which also slows digestion and decreases the amount of gluten present in the final product, making sourdough potentially easier for some people to digest.