Bread is the devil.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard that before. Now keep your hand raised if you have ever purposely avoided bread because of carbs. Now, look around you and see how many other people have their hands raised. None. Because you’re at work (or home) and you look kind of silly with your hand raised.
And believing that bread is bad for you is as silly as you look with your hand up like you’re waiting to be called on in class. Carbs are not bad.
You don’t have to cut bread out of your life. Cutting bread out means you are saying no to one of the greatest things invented since sliced bread. Hold on, sliced bread was probably invented for this exact thing. So, you can’t have one without the other. Sandwiches are amazing human creations, and far too many people sleep on the sandwich when they try and lose a few pounds.
But when you say no to the sandwich, you’re saying no to one of the top two most versatile forms of food known to man; the other is the taco, which is kind of a sandwich in its own right. And since November 3rd is National Sandwich Day, here are 3 protein-packed sandwich recipes for you to try.
First, though, let’s talk bread.
When it comes to sandwiches, what can make or break the entire experience is the bread. Sure, we all know and love the classic PB&J on white bread — with or without the crust — that we had as kids. And most of the time my Mom used the same bread for our sandwiches that we took to school every day.
But I didn’t know there were other kinds of bread like sourdough, rye, ciabatta, pumpernickel, brioche, or naan. Growing up in the South all I ate were biscuits, rolls, white bread, and cornbread. Each of those has their own distinct flavors, but stacking meat on cornbread to make a sandwich isn’t ideal. So outside of sausage or bacon on a biscuit for breakfast, I ate white bread exclusively.
The first time I had a sandwich on rye, sourdough, and pumpernickel my mind was blown. I didn’t know a sandwich could taste so freaking good. And the only difference was the bread.
When it comes to sandwiches, there are four types of bread that will change your sandwich eating experience: sourdough, rye, sprouted grain (sometimes called Ezekiel Bread), and pumpernickel. Each one has its own unique benefits too.
Unlike regular ol’ white bread that’s highly processed and often includes added flavors and sugar, sourdough is a traditionally made yeast bread that requires a fermentation process. And this fermentation process can have some big benefits for your health.
Whole wheat bread is an important source of minerals and fiber, which is why it has long been chosen over white bread. When put through the fermentation process, as is done when you make sourdough, the pH levels of the bread drop and become a bit more acidic which reduces the phytate content. That reduction may allow your body to better absorb nutrients in your small intestine, but it definitely makes it better tasting.
Because of the fermentation, one study found that people who suffered from IBS had an easier time digesting and fewer effects from sourdough bread. Fermentation also naturally creates bacteria that can be helpful for our gut biome. And though the process of heating the dough can kill some of the Lactobacillus rhamnosus created via fermentation, one study found that even the dead bacteria can have big anti-inflammatory benefits for your gut.
Besides making really good whiskey, rye is one of the best types of grains for making bread in the world. But, the rye bread you find in stores is likely not true rye. If you flip the ingredients over you’ll find that the first ingredient is enriched flour. Rye flour is maybe third or fourth.
True rye bread, however, is high in fiber. And one study showed that whole grain rye-based products helped to regulate glucose regulation and even regulate appetite more effectively. That may be due in part do the gut fermentation that takes place in your intestines.