It is sad that one of our staple diets is getting a bad reputation. But in retrospect, knowing and understanding the details surrounding the issue, it doesn't surprise me at all. Having a low carbohydrate diet for loosing weight exposes the real issues at heart, and that is the amount of highly refined foods in our diet, namely white flour and sugar, plus many other but we will stick with these two relevant to bread. Throughout our website you will notice the resounding theme that modern baking techniques have given us a host of health related concerns that need to be addressed.
From the very beginning our emphasis has been on healthy bread. The most important criteria is that the ingredients are left in their originally natural state, as is possible, as well as in their natural ratios to one another. The other important criterion is foods that have become de-natured: for us, this means bread that is made without a viable bacterial culture. The bread we have relied on for thousands of years have always been made with a natural bacterial-yeast culture; modern breads have a deficiency of this vital ingredient. This is the most important theme throughout our website, and is the foundation of our sourdough bakery, and in other articles we further explore and explain its importance.
For the people that are not so familiar with the issues surrounding low carbohydrate diets, I will quickly explain the situation in regards to bread. There are essentially two types of carbohydrates: the simple, and the complex. The characteristics of simple carbohydrates (all sugars and purified starches), is that they are easily digested and are rapidly converted into energy. In comparison, complex carbohydrates are the opposite: they take much longer to convert into usable energy. Depending on your activity level, you might want some initial quick energy but also a more enduring one for later. The biggest fear is that the simple carbohydrates rush into our blood stream, putting an enormous amount of strain on organs like the pancreas that convert these briskly into usable energy. Diabetes 2 is one of the diseases, which results when the pancreas starts to feel the strain. If we keep the food we eat in balance (low and high carbohydrates), the spiking of blood sugar levels will be much avoided, and a more harmonious functioning of our organs will ensure future health and longevity. This reduces hunger attacks, and controls your appetite naturally. Combating hunger by excessive fats is not a viable alternative to complex carbohydrates. There are plenty of books that describe in detail how you can reduce your weight with a low carbohydrate diet, but I believe that you should not replace the "backbone of a healthy diet", namely complex carbohydrates, with immense amounts of proteins and fats.
The so-called 'Glycemic Index' is a valuable tool to use for people that need to reduce their weight. I am thoroughly convinced that being overweight is not necessarily predetermined but everyone level of susceptibility is different (metabolism). If you base your diet on a good, reliable quality of sourdough bread, as well as keeping your appetite and fat intake reasonable, you will not have a problem with your weight.
The balance is somewhat different for everyone depending on metabolism, lifestyles, and activity levels. But elementarily, too many foods in our modern diet are loaded with simple carbohydrates. This is essentially true of chocolate bars, and beverages like soft drinks, which can have enormous amounts of hidden sugars (16 teaspoons of sugar per liter and more).
Standard North American bread is high in carbohydrates, because it is made with a lot, or exclusively, with white flour and also large amounts of sugar. This is a characteristic of breads that need to be light and airy. Chemical additives are employed for the supple crumb structure and other so called 'wonder bread' characteristics, which I also talk about in other articles.
Another problem encountered on the level of the retail baker, is when using frozen dough or mixes, you will not find the ingredients listed, and most of the time the baker himself will not even know the extent of the components he is using. It also becomes scary when most of the words are hard to pronounce for the average person, and as the saying goes, "if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it".
In our breads we try to use only raw, or basic ingredients, which ensures us that we are in control of our ingredients as much as possible, and can readily support our products on a health level.
Five of our breads have naturally excellent low carbohydrate levels (as defined, in related dietary resources, which means no white flour, and no sugar), and these are as follows:
- Northern Rye
- Hobo, and
Five of our breads, Sunflower & Flax, Dinkel & Flax, Oat & Flax, Millet & Flax, Whole Wheat, have a teaspoon of golden yellow sugar per one kilogram loaf and 10% of white flour as their ingredients, which is still acceptable for anyone on a healthy diet. The yeast digests the sugar anyhow, before the bread is baked.
The Southern Rye has no sugar, but about 35% white flour.
We also bake San Francisco (white sourdough bread). This is mostly due to the fact that most people associate sourdough bread as being based on white flour. It became mandatory for us to include this white sourdough bread in our available assortment. It does have a great flavour, but we try to encourage people to not base their diet on this bread, but rather emphasize the need to also eat our other wholesome breads.
None of our breads have any fats or oils added, which means no trans fats, which we should all be aware of. In our nutritional analysis you will, however, read low fat, because in whole grain flour or any seed or grain, the germ that contains natural occurring fats, is present in all. We also add the germ, for obvious health reasons, back into the flour when we bake. Sunflower seeds and oats also contain additional natural occurring fats as well.
We hope that with the above information in mind, you can more easily comprehend and read the ingredients and claims that we make for our breads.