We all know the feeling.
You go out to dinner with a few friends and your waitress mentions that she’ll be bringing some bread over to your table to snack on before your main dish. Your mouth starts watering instantly.
But why? Bread is infamous for being abundant in carbohydrates and the main source of many peoples digestion issues is due to it’s gluten-filled goodness.
Bread could be considered one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. Recent studies have shown that humans started baking bread at least 30,000 years ago. Prehistoric man was making simple flatbread with only two ingredients: water and grains.
Similar to rice, the abundance of different breads make it one of the most commonly found foods in the world. It’s history and versatility is what makes it a such a charming, popular side dish to any meal.
What is Bread?
When it comes to bread, you can guarantee it is a grain, with few exceptions.
The macronutrients for bread can depend on what kind you’re eating. However, you can assume that one slice of bread is anywhere from 15-25 grams of carbohydrates, four to eight grams of fat and usually contain no protein.
While bread may satisfy your taste buds, some individuals struggle with a gluten sensitivity that can be extremely uncomfortable. It’s also one of the first foods to go when you’re switching to a low carb or ketogenic diet, no matter what type of bread it is.
Are All Types of Bread Created Equal?
While bread tends to get a bad rep, certain types of bread in particular actually provide solid health benefits. One of these types of bread is ezekiel bread.
What separates ezekiel bread from other bread is the way in which it is prepared. Ezekiel bread still comes from grains, but sprouted grains. The unsprouted grains found in the majority of other breads contain antinutrients.
Antinutrients bind to minerals, creating resistance from the body to use them[*]. Sprouting grains makes the food more easily digestible as well increasing the availability of nutrients the body receives from these foods.
Some of The Benefits of Sprouted Grain Breads Include:
- A good source of protein
- Abundant in vitamins and minerals
- Improved digestion
#1: A Good Source of Protein
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are the foundation of all fundamental processes in the body. Not only are they essential for metabolic processes, but they are required for optimal transportation and storage of all nutrients as well.
Sprouted grain breads (ezekiel bread in particular) contains 18 amino acids, including all nine of the essential amino acids (phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine). Essential amino acids meaning amino acids that the body cannot produce itself.
#2: Abundant in Vitamins and Minerals
Since sprouting grains breaks down any of the antinutrients present, your body is capable of absorbing more vitamins and minerals from the grains. Ezekiel bread is a rich source of vitamin C, B and E. These three vitamins become much more concentrated in sprouted grains.
#3: Improved Digestion
Sprouted grains are not only made up of whole grains but legumes as well. Both of these elements are full of fiber which lead to feeling satiated and improve digestion. The sprouting of the grains breaks down the exposed starches and turns them into simple sugars, making them easier to digest.
Can You Have Bread at all On a Low Carb Diet?
Deciding whether you can have certain types of bread on a low carb diet will really depend on the type of bread and how high your carb intake is for the day.
If you are new to the ketogenic diet and are trying to switch into ketosis, avoiding any bread or gluten in general would be your best bet. However, if you have been following the ketogenic diet for a while and have switched to a cyclical keto diet (CKD), certain sprouted grain breads could be okay on your carb loading days, depending on how well your stomach handles gluten in the first place. A CKD is best suited for athletes who have a high-demanding training schedule and absolutely need the glucose for their bodies to recover and function properly.
When Should Bread Be Avoided in the Low Carb or Ketogenic Diet?
Unless you’re following the CKD, you should avoid bread altogether. Unlike other diets, the ketogenic diet actually completely shifts the function of your metabolism. This means that when you get kicked out of ketosis, your body will resort back to using those little bit of carbs as its energy source.
So Is Bread Low Carb or Keto Friendly?
Certain bread is only a good addition to your diet if you:
- Are following the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD).
- You have had no carbs for the day and are able to have a one slice of sprouted grain bread.
To be on the safe side, avoid bread altogether or try low carb bread substitutes such as cloud bread or cauliflower bread so you can still enjoy certain meals without feeling deprived. To be clear — bread is not low carb or ketogenic friendly.