I, personally, do not consume a lot of bread and did not find it particularly difficult to give up, but there are some individuals, even entire cultures, whose whole diet revolves around the world of wheat and bread products. Don't believe me? Just look at these bread-crazy statistics:
- Most Americans consume a loaf and a half of bread a week.
- An estimated 87,000 slices of bread are consumed by individuals over the course of their lifetime.
- Along with loaves of bread, Americans also eat 5,000 hot dog buns.
- Americans consume approximately 12,000 hamburger buns in a lifetime.
That's a whole lotta whole wheat! These numbers don't take into account hoagie rolls or pastries either, so factor those two categories in and you can see that bread is something that we Americans just can't get enough of.
After all of my research I can honestly say that bread, no matter what form you ingest, is bad for you. I whole-heartedly believe that the high consumption of bread is one of the leading contributors to America's increased incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. To help you break this bread habit, I have compiled a list of ways to avoid this food and alternatives you can use in its place.
Ways to Avoid and Alternatives to Eating Bread
- For breakfast, incorporate high quality proteins instead of bread.
Try a breakfast scramble with organic eggs and sauteed vegetables and garlic. If eggs aren't your thing, a quality brand of yogurt sprinkled with fresh berries and sliced almonds. Hard boiled eggs are also a great, high protein alternative to bread and will do a much better job at filling your tummy in the morning.
- Think breadless sandwiches and other alternatives for lunch.
You don't necessarily have to have bread to make a sandwich. The definition of sandwich is: structural material consisting of layers. That structural material does not have to be bread. Try using lettuce, spinach, or cabbage leaves to encase your organic grilled chicken breast with a grilled pineapple slice. If you want to be a little more adventurous and branch out of your sandwich rut, try salads or leftovers from last night's meal. A great vegetable soup is also an excellent alternative - just stay away from the crackers!
- Pack snacks to eat throughout the day.
A lot of people turn to breads when they get past the point of being hungry and are in the starving zone. To prevent this from happening to you, keep healthy snacks around you all day long. Cut veggies, cut fruits, a little bit of all natural peanut butter for dipping and you should be good to go. Oh, and don't forget the water. Water is amazing at keeping your tummy full.
- Try sprouted whole grain (SWG) breads instead.
If you just can't forgo eating bread altogether, I suggest you look into stocking your fridge with sprouted grain bread. This bread usually does not contain wheat of any kind and sprouted grains are some of the healthiest grains you can eat. When the grains are allowed to sprout, vitamin content is increased and phytic acid - an inhibitor of proper nutrient absorption - is neutralized.
Because sprouted grain breads (such as Ezekiel or Genesis) are so nutritionally sound and milled in such a way as to keep their nutrients readily available for our bodies to use, they never have to be fortified like most commercial breads. You can get sprouted grains in other forms such as pitas, tortillas, and English muffins as well.
See, you can have a bread-free life and still be eating a wide variety of foods. Try it for a few weeks and incorporate sprouted grain breads and I know that you too will see that bread wasn't as important or as necessary as you thought when it comes to feeling full and satisfied.