I have been advising my clients to reduce their carbohydrate intake as part of an anti-aging dietary plan. In the Western Diet, this means reduction of wheat and sugar consumption. Carbohydrate intake is related to weight gain, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Reduction of such leads to weight reduction and healthy blood markers level.
One additional benefit from this dietary change is the reduction of gluten intolerance which can profoundly affect a lot of people surreptitiously. Gluten is a protein present in wheat, rye and barley. Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. It is an auto-immune disease that affects 1 % of the population leading to damage in the digestive system. Up to 13% of the population has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Adverse reactions include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, headache, feeling tired, skin problems, depression, unexplained weight change, iron deficiency anemia, anxiety, joint and muscle pain, leg and arm numbness and brain fog.
Elimination of wheat flour will effectively reduce the major source of gluten. One such gluten-free alternative to white/wheat bread is brown rice bread. Indeed, the gluten is gone but the net carbohydrate remains very high. It is still not a healthy choice. To further reduce the net carbohydrate, we can use almond flour or coconut flour instead of wheat flour. Ground flaxseed and psyllium husk can provide additional omega 3 fatty acid in the former and fibers and binding agent in the latter. These latter alternatives will provide a healthy change from wheat/rice flour and gluten.
Here is a comparison of the net carbohydrates ( Total carbohydrate – fiber ) of a piece of bread made from the different flour:
- White bread – 13 g
- Whole wheat bread – 15g
- Brown rice bread – 18g
- Almond flour bread – 1.9g
- Coconut flour bread – 1g
Seeing the huge difference in these numbers, it is time for all of us to DIY our own bakery in the quest for a healthy and happy life-style.