Bread has been recently criticized by many people. Although dietitians and doctors convince that excluding bread from diet has no health justification, the anti-bread trend has been getting stronger for the past few years. For many people who want to resign from eating it, the biggest problem is to find an alternative. I will try to solve this problem in this article.
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What's wrong with bread?
It's good to remember that bread is not necessarily a product which should be eliminated in every situation. The truth is, we eat a lot of more dangerous for health and shape food products, such as confectionery, sweetened drinks, fast food. On the other hand, eating bread every day also has disadvantages, an these are:
low nutrition value,
poor solid properties,
large content of sodium and refined carbohydrates.
However, it's good to remember that not every kind of bread is of that poor quality. With some effort, you can find good-quality bread prepared with just few ingredients (without glucose-fructose syrup, preservatives, white flour), such as: wholegrain flour and natural sourdough. Such baker's wares are far more nutritious, have more fiber, strong solid potential and low glycemic index. The problem is, that not everybody tolerates such bread well. Some people feel discomfort in lower belly after eating it, they sometimes suffer from intestinal disorder, such as flatulence, bloats, or even diarrhea. Partly, the reason is the choice of bread – the disorders mentioned above occur most frequently when wholegrain bread has distant validity date. Another reason of such problems is weak tolerance of some components present in such bread. Against common belief, however, it's not gluten to be blamed (although it may be troublesome, but its bad influence on everybody's health is exaggerated), but fructans which may cause differentiated intestinal disorders among many people.
Alternatives for bread
We already know what the cause of anti-bread trend may be, now it's worth wondering how to cope with lack of bread in everyday situations. The biggest advantage of bread is its availability, mobility and convenience of use. In other words, we can buy it anywhere, take it with us everywhere, and preparing a sandwich does not demand any culinary skills. It's really hard to find some alternatives. But here comes the first replacement.
Rice waffles are quite common in fitness diets, although they have been also neglected because they are supposed to include a lot of acrylamide. Well, rice waffles are definitely convenient, almost as convenient as bread, and even more durable than bread. Besides, they are prepared with fewer ingredients, they don't include gluten or fructans. Their nutrition value is not spectacular, but they can be taken under consideration as a replacement of common bread. You can prepare a sandwich with them, or treat them like a snack to a salad or other dish.
Oat flakes are one of the most commonly recommended source of carbohydrates. They are less processed than bread or rice waffles, they are also quite rich in vitamins and minerals, they supply a lot of soluble fiber, and even – proteins. The problem is, that you cannot make a sandwich with them, but you can prepare porridge, fruit cocktail with oat flakes and bake or fry pancakes that can wrap meat, vegetables, fruits, quark and many other ingredients. There's much more “fun” with preparing such dishes than with spreading bread, but these activities are not so time-consuming or skill-demanding.
Rice is an integral element of many sportspeople's diets. It is commonly thought to be the most wanted source of carbohydrates. Well, you can doubt that, but the real advantage of rice is digestibility. There are few people who don't tolerate this grain. There is fine rice (perfect e.g. after workout), and unrefined – which is brown rice, also known as natural rice. Its advantage is higher nutrition value and large content of fiber, the disadvantage is the length of boiling and taste, which is not pleasant for everybody. You have to treat rice thermally, which is a problem for many people although, you don't need to watch it at all times during cooking, which is a plus. You can prepare dinner, salads, sweat meals and many other kinds of meals with rice.
Although there are many kinds of groats and they differ among each other with nutrition value, taste and time of thermal treatment, I put them all in one common point. Groats, just like rice, can be a valuable and interesting alternative for bread, if we have time to cook them. The most precious is buckwheat (which is not cereal, by the way) which includes high dose of magnesium. There is also a lot of information on millet which supplies a lot, as for groats, iron. You can use groats to prepare different kinds of dishes. To sum up, all the meals with groats will take much more time than sandwiches or... porridge.
Although the idea of replacing bread with fruits seems quite strange, it doesn't have to be like that. At last, both, bread and fruits are the sources of carbohydrates, but in the latter the concentration of this nutrient is significantly smaller. However, there's no problem to make this difference even. You can put a nectarine, peach or banana (which is even more convenient source of carbohydrates than bread) to a salad with meat and vegetables.
As you can see, there are many interesting alternatives for bread which can be a great source of carbohydrates. Some of them are as convenient as bread (rice waffles), other are less convenient – but they stand out with higher nutrition value.