I was driving the other day and an Arnold Bread Truck went by me as I was at a red light. The truck was wrapped in a picture of their famous potato bread. I remembered the taste instantly. Soft, but a little heavy, sweet and more dense than traditional white bread. I used to buy it because the name reminded me of my grandmothers’s homemade Salt Risen Bread. She was the master at making Salt Risen Bread. People would come to the house and give her 50 cents for a loaf on Thursdays. That was the day she made a large batch for the family and a few friends that loved the taste of the heavy, dense, cake like bread that melted in your mouth. It was a sour dough bread of sorts made from the fermentation of potatoes. The process would start the night before and not be completed until the bread came out of the wood fired stove the next afternoon. That was the bread we ate and loved. It was used for sandwiches, sliced with butter and jelly or toasted for breakfast. In fact one of my favorite ways was a slice covered with her famous homegrown green beans and broth.
Wait, what are you saying right now? Why is Dr. Dulaney talking about bread? Why is she reminissing about things we no longer are supposed to eat? Why is she making me hungry for bread? How could she? Because we all do. You see bread has been around for 30,000 years. It has kept people alive in times of famine. Wheat contains B vitamins, iron, carbohydrates, and protein. Some call beer liquid bread because it is made very similar. The byproduct of wheat, water, and yeast is alcohol. Baking the bread removes the alcohol and water yielding bread instead of beer. I digress. When you eat a piece of bread the carbohydrate disolves in your mouth yielding the craved, sugar. Only after chewing is the protein left in the form of gluten. We love bread because we get a shot of energy, a shot of sugar, and a shot of dopamine. Some of us cannot handle that quick shot of sugar. The breads of today are made to be soft and easily disolve to give us even a quicker hit of sugar. They melt in your mouth. Extra sugar is even added along with oil and a bunch of softening agents. Instant gratification on all counts.
Glucose is the preferred fuel of our brains. So what is wrong with feeding our brains something that tastes so good like bread? As I said earlier, the breads of today have a lot more ingredients than water, flour and yeast. But those other ingredients don’t slow down our ability to consume it. They actually cause us to consume more. More fat and more sugar. What about my grandmothers Salt Rizen Bread or homemade Sour Dough Bread? They are fermented (good for your microbes? possibly.) They have carbohydrates, B vitamins, and protein. All good. But we need a lot of other things to make our bodies healthy such as phytonutirents and antioxidants. Whole grain breads do contain fiber and that is why we should choose them. However, they also may contain added sugar and other ingredients to make them soft and sweet. That is why the wheat is stripped of the more bitter or sour bran in the first place.
So what’s is a girl to do when the bread truck rolls by. Just reminise about the old days until the light turns green, or head to grocery store and pick up ingredients to make Salt Rizen Bread? I ask myself; how will the food help me to be healthy? I only need a finite number of calories each day, but I need the other nutrients to help combat disease and deterioration. If I were to eat too many calories from bread, I am not getting the most nutrients from my calories. I also run the dopamine surge risk of the sugar hit making it hard to stop at one slice of bread. Perhap we should treat bread as a special food as many of our ancestors did. Break bread with friends and be mindful. Be grateful for them, and the abundance food choices that we have today that allow us to attain ultimate health and wellness.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the website and get your tickets for the 4th Annula Charlotte County Plant Based Nutrition Conference, March 30, 2019 in Punt Gorda Florida.