Bread is a staple part of the daily diet for the western world and is the one food that is seen as being ‘irreplaceable’. This can be challenging if you are struggling with an intolerance to one or more of the ingredients in bread.
Bread was introduced to our diets well over 10,000 years ago when ancient man became farmers and started growing crops such as wheat and figuring out ways of making foods that could sustain people in between large animal catching and natural fruit, berry and nut seasons. But what makes it so popular?
Let us firstly take a look at the main ingredients and break it down. Let’s break down bread!
There are alternative ingredients for gluten free, or sourdough bread but we are looking at your general basic white bread in this ingredient list.
Technically, if you want to look at it another way, you are eating milled plant powder, fungus and preservatives. But why does it taste so good?
When the bread is being kneaded the gluten in the flour gets nice and sticky and in combination with the yeast this creates the air bubbles in the bread which are perfect for slopping butter, jam, melted cheese or mayo into when making toast or a sandwich. This also creates a desirable texture to the bread once baked, giving our tongues something interesting to play with whilst we chew.
And of course there is the salt. Our tastebuds have come to recognise salt as a desirable flavour, even though it is rarely needed to be added to any foods in this day and age. It does in fact destroy our natural tastebuds and causes water retention and many, many other health ailments, read our Salt, The Dangers blog for more info.
On average, in each slice of bread you are having 0.3g of salt. A couple of sandwiches later and you are having over a gram of salt in the bread alone. And what do you put on the bread? Butter? Salted, presumably. Not many people like butter without the salt. And then what else goes in? Ham? Which has been cured in salt. Maybe some sauce like mayonnaise, also quite heavy on the salt. You see how you can easily have close to your daily consumption of salt within just a couple of ham sandwiches a day.
Whilst salt isn’t the worst thing found in bread, it is definitely worth noting that you may be getting more than you need and excessive amounts of salt in the diet will increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease, not to mention that it can increase blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, and that creates an added strain on the heart.
Now onto the really gross part. The fungus. Why do we eat this deadly stuff?
Fungus, in particular candida albicans has been linked to inducing and enhancing the growth of some cancers as well as causing problems in the brain with a strong link to alzheimer’s. If this wasn’t enough, numerous skin and nail infections are attributed to fungus infections and also of course, irritable bowel syndrome is certainly not helped by candida overgrowth.
Almost 70% of people we see at Glorious Food have an overgrowth of candida, causing symptoms such as bloating, irregular bowel movements, brain fog, severe stomach pain and general feelings of being unwell. Looks pretty, though, doesn’t it?
Yeast is especially bad as we tend to over-eat bread and bread products and this can lead to the candida becoming parasitic and taking over our bodies from the inside out. Yeast also grows at an astonishing rate as it mutates and grows more branches within anything and everything as fungus can live in the air, water, earth and internally within every living creature on earth.
It can be very difficult to treat recurrent yeast infections externally for once a yeast overgrowth (fungal nail infections) yeast infection (thrush) has reached the outer extremes of the body, it is already nicely established within the body. Killing it off by starving it of its favourite foods sources (candida thrives on sugars and yeasts) is the most effective way I have found, of controlling it over the long term. Read our Candida article for further info.
Fungus will take over the world once we are all gone. Fungus and bugs…
Now for the main ingredient that causes problems with so many people. Flour.
Well, in truth it isn’t the flour that is the problem. It is the gluten protein contained within the flour. The ingredient that helps to give the lovely ‘rise’ to the bread. Around 80% of the people I have worked with have some level of intolerance to gluten.
This may be for many reasons. Even 50 years ago we ate around 20% of the amount of gluten products that are so popular in our diets today. Maybe having just one slice bread once a day, if that.
Now we are tempted by breads, cakes, pastries, biscuits, crisps (yes, I’ve found gluten in crisps), crackers, pasta, bagels, waffles, crumpets, doughnuts, brownies, sauces, dips, breaded or battered fish, chips, cereals, breakfast bars, snack bars, tortillas, sandwich wraps, pizza. The list goes on and on and on…
So the volume of gluten in our daily diets that is the number one problem. We over eat this sticky protein time and time again. And wonder why our digestive systems can’t process it.
Let’s look at this another way. Flour and water were the main ingredients in wallpaper paste. Wallpaper can stay up for hundreds of years using the sticky gluten protein. It is no wonder that your stomach is having such a hard time breaking this down each day.
That is the first problem with gluten, the sheer volume of it in our daily diets. The second problem could be the pesticides that are widely used on the wheat crops worldwide. This could be a major factor to why so many people are struggling to digest flour products.
How can we be sure these poisonous chemicals are not harming us? Just because some government pushed it through with a stamp to say ‘certified safe for human consumption’ does that mean that we should believe them? We all know that a lot of governments in the world have caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. And there is usually money involved somewhere along the line. Now, I don’t want to upset anyone or get into a political debate. Just ask yourself this “would I put my (and my families) life in the hands of a government official when it comes to the chemical safety of the food I eat?”
Not only this but in processed bread you may well find this little beauty on the label. Potassium Bromate. Perhaps the most dangerous ingredient used in bread-making, potassium bromate is used as a flour improver to strengthen dough and produce a higher rise in bread. Potassium bromate in bread and other foods has been linked to damage of the kidneys and nervous system.
Am I putting you off your toast yet?
Well, this might.
In processed bread the factories want to produce more and more and more and more bread, faster and faster and faster than before. Therefore, the ‘rise’ time for the kneaded dough is cut. Then the bread is made packaged, shipped off and sold to you, and when you eat it, it finishes the ‘rising’ process in your stomach. Causing bloating, cramps and often severe pain.
To put it mildly, going bread free is the easiest way of reducing your bloated belly.
How About Going Gluten Free
Going gluten free isn’t the answer as gluten free food products are full of other problems, mainly a lot of sugar and salt to cover up for the lack of flavour.
Again you have to remember that these products are processed. They have chemicals in. They have been cleverly marketed at you as being ‘more healthy’ or ‘better for you’. They are not. Gluten free products are ESSENTIAL if you are Coeliac as in the worst cases you could die from eating gluten.
However, you can live perfectly well on a vegan, vegetarian or animal protein diet whilst being Coeliac and never have to purchase a gluten free food item. Just by going for whole, natural foods.
Mother Nature Knows Best
Nature provides a beautiful bounty of foods for all of us to enjoy. This is something we must get back to if we want to avoid illness and disease. For a strong and healthy immune system we need to include lots of fruit and veg each day and avoid processed junk as much as possible. Completely avoiding processed food would be by far the best answer to the health problems of the world.
The best idea is to replace the list of aforementioned processed, flour based foods with natures bounty of wonderful whole, natural foods such as fruits and vegetables, pulses and non-gluten grains like rice, corn and quinoa. And providing you are not vegan or vegetarian you can include lean animal proteins to your diet such as eggs, fish, poultry or meat.
There are so many foods out there that don’t come in a packet, that haven’t been handled by umpteen people, that hasn’t been processed, mucked about with and possibly poisoned. Take yourself over to our home page for some ideas using our Top Three Recipes and get started on your journey towards good gut, brain and overall health.
Worried about your health?
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you need any further help with your IBS or any digestive health complaint please feel free to reach out to me and book your Free Phone consultation.
During this consultation we will go through your current symptoms in a thorough symptom analysis, discuss your current diet, provide you with some dietary advice and answer any questions you may have. There is absolutely no obligation to work with Glorious Food and this is a completely no cost consultation. You can book this here.
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