Is This Kind of Bread OK to Eat (Not Gluten Free)

Bread has gotten a bad rap over the past decade.

Not that everyone stopped eating it.

But, a good portion of the population has or limits their intake.

The reason why people are starting to realize that part of (if not the main) reason why they always feel crummy is because gluten (a protein found in most bread) is tearing up their gut.

So all that bread is making them feel awful.

This realization led to the gluten-free movement, and I’m convinced it was the first domino to fall in the healthy food trend that’s been working its way through America and the rest of the world for the past 15 years.

I could go into a whole article on why gluten has its issues, but that’s not the point of this article.

Instead, I’m going to write about how if you’re going to eat bread and you don’t want to settle for gluten-free bread (which has come a long way in recent years), there’s a variety of bread that most people can enjoy without issue.

It’s sourdough.

If you love bread and don’t see yourself giving it up but want to make a better choice when you eat, this may be the article you didn’t know you needed.

Why Sourdough Is Better Than Other Kinds of Bread

Again, I want to remind you that sourdough bread isn’t gluten-free

Unlike other breads that are made specifically to avoid the use of this plant-based protein.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and part of the reason we like it so much is because it’s what gives bread the chewy texture we love.

Now, when it comes to gluten avoidance, there are two different health concerns that I want to discuss.

Being gluten intolerant is actually much different than having a disease known as celiac disease. And it is important to show you how they differ.

Gluten intolerance involves a sensitivity to gluten and doesn’t create an autoimmune or allergic reaction. Basically, if you have it and you eat gluten, you’re gonna get gassy and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t harm you.

On the other hand, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten damages the small intestine. This damage can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, potentially leading to a range of long-term health issues.

If you have either celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you will want to avoid gluten to manage symptoms. Still, the stakes are higher with celiac disease due to the risk of intestinal damage and subsequent health complications.

And that is why I wanted to talk about sourdough.

Some people with gluten intolerance may want to “mix it up” and have some bread here and there.

And sourdough may be the best option.

You see, sourdough is different from regular bread because of how it’s made. Instead of using yeast to make the bread rise when sourdough is made, bakers rely on a fermentation process involving natural bacteria and yeast.

If you’ve read my articles in the past, you know I’m a big fan of fermented things, like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, etc., because of the way they can positively impact the gut.

Fermentation Breaks Down Some of the Gluten

The fermentation of sourdough is similar but not quite the same.

When sourdough is fermented, the gluten bacteria and yeast break down some of the gluten in the flour. It doesn’t break down all of it, but it does break down enough to reduce the amount of gluten to levels that some people with gluten intolerance can eat it without discomfort.

Another thing that happens when the bacteria are allowed to grow is they will break down phytates, which are compounds that can make it harder for your body to absorb the minerals in the bread.

So not only does that make sourdough easier to digest, but it also means sourdough can be more nutritious than regular bread. This shouldn’t be dismissed so readily, as many breads contain a long list of beneficial minerals and vitamins. 

Sourdough and Blood Sugar

And, if you’re concerned about eating bread and what it will do to your blood sugar…which I’m sure many of my readers are wondering about, a consideration with sourdough is it’s better for blood sugar than most other breads.

This is because sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than most other breads. This means it causes a slower rise in blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for maintaining energy levels and not put you in danger of having to deal with the same kind of insulin response generated if you eat bread with a higher glycemic index.

And, to top it off, most people enjoy sourdough more because the fermentation imparts a unique tangy flavor.  I think that’s a big deal, especially when you consider one of the top reasons people choose the kind of bread they eat based on flavor (as opposed to health benefits).

So, if that’s you, this is a great reason to consider switching the bread you eat to sourdough.

Easy to Make at Home

Funnily enough, millions of people have begun making sourdough at home in the past few years. Part of this concerns how the pandemic impacted people’s desires to enrich their lives while they were locked away at home, while others wanted to boost their health. The point is that it’s pretty easy to make, and many people who endeavor to make it find it oddly therapeutic to control what they eat and make it for themselves. A quick internet search will reveal dozens of recipes and books to support a quest for making your own sourdough, and if this article has sparked your interest, then perhaps you can bake it and enjoy it yourself.

I hope this article gives bread lovers a bit of a reprieve and encourages them to enjoy it without the same concerns other kinds of bread may inspire.

Talk soon,