Thursday, January 3, 2008

Check Your Bread Labels!

I am going to make sugar-free french toast this morning. It's actually super easy and you don't feel like you're missing out on anything. The key is to get 100% pure maple syrup, (yes, it's the expensive stuff--but it's pure and from a tree!) and not Mrs. Butterworths, or Log Cabin or any brand where there is more than one ingredient. I like the brand MacDonald's, of course! Also, surprisingly enough, bread usually has sugar in it! Check labels! Your best bet is to patronize a health food store or health section of a grocery store. Most breads in this section will be sugar-free, heartier and made with whole grains and/or sprouted grains which are healthiest. If you have any doubts about the taste and texture, try it first: toast it and slather it with honey or natural fruit-sweetened jam. I just found my new favorite jam the other day. It comes from France, in various flavors, is very sweet, but made without sugar. It's called St. Dalfour. I found it at Whole Foods. Most of their other jams and jellies were loaded with sugar.
I found out recently that there is a funny paradigm with breads on the market. Some are made with white refined flour (which comes from a healthy grain, but then is stripped of all of its health benefits), which manufacturers then add back in vitamins and minerals, otherwise known as "fortifying". This is a very cheap way to sell bread. White flour is cheap and our body could do without! In my opinion, it makes more sense to pay a couple of dollars more for bread that is made with grains that still retain their vitamins and minerals, is heavier, heartier and more filling. I could eat a whole loaf of Wonder bread in one sitting. The bread I am munching on now, however, is so hearty, I've only been able to eat two pieces at a time, and it is naturally high in iron and protein! It may be more difficult to find, because it is an import from Germany, but it is so tasty and filled with sunflower seeds. It's called Mestemacher, and I have found it at World Market, QFC, and health food stores. Each slice contains 4 grams of protein, 15% daily recommended iron, and 24% daily recommended fiber. None of which is "fortified", it all occurs naturally in the ingredients used to make the bread. My other favorite bread is Nature Bake, more of the sandwich-making consistency.

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