Let’s Talk About Bread
We’ve probably all heard that bread is no longer the staff of life, but is now the devil’s spawn. Bad, bad, bad, bread is bad. Oh, yes, indeedy!
But is it? I’m not here to take sides about bread, but like everything else I do, I want to provide information so you can decide for yourself.
Wheat becomes bread
What happens to the wheat on the way to becoming bread determines a lot of the value-or lack of value-in bread.
A grain of wheat has three parts: Bran, germ, and endosperm
• The bran is the hard outer shell that contains most of wheat’s vitamins, minerals and fiber
• The germ, just under the bran, can sprout into a new wheat plant. It also contains vitamins.
• The largest part of the wheat “berry” is the endosperm, which is mostly starch. While it contains little to no vitamins, minerals, or other health benefits, the endosperm affects texture and workability when you cook with flour. White bread comes from the endosperm only; whole wheat bread has all three parts of the wheat.
Most wheat gets ground by steel rollers going lickety-split, creating high temperatures that strip all the nutritional value of white flour and much of the nutritional value of whole wheat. In days gone by, low-speed grinders allowed the wheat to retain nutrition; smaller companies still sell stone-ground wheat-if you can find it. But today’s large companies depend on volume, so, to them, the faster the better.
Bleaching via chlorine gas
Then comes the bleaching via chlorine gas, which leaves behind a residue the poobahs say isn’t there, then insist it will never harm us. The Environmental Protection Agency defines chlorine as an oxidizing (creating rusted body parts) irritant that’s dangerous, even lethal, to inhale.
Bleaching white flour results in a toxin, alloxan, that permeates the flour. Alloxan causes diabetes, but, once again, the poobahs insist it’s too weak to do any harm-even though there are no human studies. As in none. Alloxan is not listed in the ingredients because it’s not added, but created by the bleaching.
Back in the early years of the 20th century, a Doctor at the FDA, Harvey W. Wiley, tried to stop the bleaching of flour, even taking it to the Supreme Court. The Court banned the bleaching or “adulterating” of flour, but the ruling was never enforced. And Dr. Wiley got run out of the agency, replaced by a doctor who sang only praises about bleached flour.
But trouble befalls the wheat even before all the grinding and bleaching get started. Farmers heavily douse wheat with the poison, glyphosate, especially just before harvesting. As it turns out, a lot of the problems attributed to wheat actually come from glyphosate, and glyphosate gets sprayed on pretty much everything: Apples, potatoes, sugar beets, and on, and on, and on. Monsanto markets glyphosate, under several names, as the answer to everything, and the FDA is okay with that.
Well, this is a pretty daunting list of problems. How are we to bread a piece of fish, make cookies for the kids, or do anything that requires wheat flour?
Two choices for bread
You have two choices: Substitute another type of flour or read labels to avoid as many problems as you can.
Substituting a different flour-coconut flour, tapioca flour, etc.-is rarely a straight one-for-one swap. So there’s a learning curve, but it’s doable. Do not use soy flour, though; soy whacks your endocrine system something fierce.
For wheat flour, you’re back to reading labels. You want:
• Organic wheat to avoid the glyphosate.
• Unbleached flour to avoid the damage bleaching causes.
• Unbromated flour, because bromine is a toxin.
• If it doesn’t say organic, unbleached and unbromated, put it back on the shelf and walk quickly away.
Bread presents more difficulties than flour.
Avoid bread containing:
• “Malted barley flour.”
• Soy in any form.
• A vegetable oil such as soy, canola, etc. Oils cause inflammation in your body, and inflammation leads to disease. Besides, oil is unnecessary.
One final thought: White wheat flour immediately turns to sugar as it enters the digestive system. Diabetics should avoid any white wheat flour. If non-diabetics decide to use white wheat flour, they should accompany it with good saturated fat and protein; this allows the body to handle all that starch with some level of style and grace.
We’re surrounded by enemies. Will we fight back with knowledge and good choices or just give up?
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.