Sunday, 26 February 2012

Is Bread Making You ill?

Is Bread Making You ill?

Do you feel bloated & fatigued after eating a sandwich?
Do your joints ache?  What about depression?
Do you struggle to be motivated or enthusiastic about anything?
Worse still, do you suffer from gluten intolerance or coeliac disease?

If you answered yes to ANY of these questions, read on.

According to the Daily Mail, in 1911 the low quality of bread which made up 40% of the diet of the poor in Britain, was widely blamed for the low standards of nutrition in Britain and in association many of the many diseases prolific at that time.  This was of such serious concern to the government that Lord Northcliffe, founder of The Daily Mail used his newspaper to run one of its most important campaigns ever to fight for a better quality of bread to be produced.  One hundred years later this should be no more than newspaper history. Shockingly though, the fight for better bread for better health continues to this day.

Rickets, a dreadful disease caused by vitamin D deficiency that distorts children’s growing bones, was very common, and so too was Vitamin B deficiency.  In particular, vitamin B deficiency causes a whole range of illnesses that the Victorians called ‘wasting diseases’, such as anaemia. Worse, the white flour our ancestors used was usually contaminated, often with the toxic chemical alum (made with human urine), which made bad quality flour look whiter.  This was ‘needed’ then because eating brown or wholegrain was considered a sign of poverty… any social class.  In later years, bleach was used. Thankfully it has been illegal to bleach UK produced bread flour since 1999. Bleached flour can be imported, but the vast majority used here is milled in Britain.

In 1909, prior to Lord Northcliffe and The Daily Mails’ involvement, The Bread Reform League had published a case for a ‘Standard Bread’ to be developed.  This should be made from unadulterated flour and at least 80% of the wheat. High society mocked this plea and many millers considered it an unscientific fad.

Now stay with me here.  There's a reason for the history talk.....

Doctors agreed with the plan for a better quality bread.  They said that the introduction of wholemeal bread was a ‘national necessity’ — especially for the poor, since white bread, with its ‘inferior nourishing qualities’, was about the only thing the poorest children got to eat.
That tipped the balance. King George V asked for ‘standard bread’ to be delivered to the royal household. Lists of bakers who would offer standard bread were published, and the idea of wholesome bread and home baking took off.

By the end of October 1911, the paper felt able to announce ‘The Triumph Of Standard Bread — A Change in the Food Of A Nation’.

Though rickets is a distant memory, the Real Bread Campaign, a non-profit pressure group, still believes that bread and bread production could be made better in terms of health/nutrition, community and the environment.  I personally believe that secret adulterants — enzymes that do not have to be declared on labels — are still being smuggled into it.

During World War II, when white bread was banned entirely, the nation was said to be healthier after eight years of brown bread and rationing, than it was in 1939.

So, what has all this got to do with today’s bread?

White bread was made legal again after the end of the war, and supermarket shelves are now filled with dozens of different types of bread — white, brown and black.
Today, despite the trend for healthy eating, according to the Federation of Bakers website, ‘nutritionally empty’ white bread was accounting for about 71% of what we were buying a few years ago.  It is unsure whether this figure takes into account independent Real Bread bakers.
Meanwhile, there is growing belief among medical researchers that modern industrial baking methods may be behind today’s extraordinary rise in illness’ such as gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.
Some people suffering from coeliac disease or from joint pain find that they do not do so if they eat traditional sour-dough bread,’ says author and baker Andrew Whitley. ‘The bread on offer in the shops seems to be making people ill!’ he writes in his influential book, Bread Matters. BREAD MATTERS by Andrew Whitley

In 1961, scientists at the British Baking Industries Research Association brought out a bread that was 40% softer than previous loaves, and lasted twice as long. They did this by juggling chemicals, flour types and adding three times as much yeast as had been used by bakers before, and then mixing at high speed.  This later became known as the Chorleywood ‘Bread’ Process (CBP), which was the beginning of modern bread — or ‘plastic bread’ as I call it. 80% of all bread today is still made the Chorleywood way.

What is worrying are the enzymes that are used to aid the process — and give the feel of lightness and freshness. These don’t have to be declared on ingredients lists because they are ‘processing aids’.
One of the most common, amylase, is known to cause asthma, a common disease among bakers.
As author Joanna Blythman, a critic of the food industry, says in her book ‘Shopped’, SHOPPED by Joanna Blyt 
"Enzymes are our supermarkets’ way of giving us 'fresh' bread that lasts a week    until it suddenly goes green."
After all the effort Lord Northcliffe and his campaigners put in, I think he would turn in his grave if he saw the state of the majority of bread sold today.

There are no laws protecting us from the additives that are being ‘snuck’ in.  Should this be allowed?

But isn’t wheat in general, bad for you?

A lot of people would say yes.  However, what I advise is to take note of how your body reacts during, and shortly after you eat not only bread, but other wheat products, so that you can make the decision for yourself.  If you are still addicted to the grain, and this article hasn’t put you off completely, then just make better choices.

So what can you do?

Do your own research, and maybe buy from a local baker.  Although this is no guarantee that there are no nasties added, there is a higher chance that it will be artificial additive free.  Look for wheat free varieties like rye.  Spelt is another option, which although being a type of wheat doesn’t seem to effect some people in the way that ‘regular’ wheat does.  Just stay away from white or brown or wholemeal. Try Miss NewTrition's Delicious ProteinBread.  She bakes weekly & is based in Leicester.
Another lovely bread is Paul's Bread, particularly the rye bread. (They also do spelt).  It's locally made in Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire. The flour used is from the local Whissendine Mill in Rutland and nothing horrible is added as you will see from the ingredients on their labels. You can buy this from Green & Pleasant Wholefoods on Queens Road in Leicester.

Why not make your own. It doesn't take as much time as people often think.....if you have a breadmaker that is.  My breadmaker was ‘sadly’ one of the best birthday presents I ever received. I use organic rye & spelt flour & make it the night before so it’s ready in the morning. This way you can add nuts, seeds, sultanas, olives, sun-dried tomatoes or anything else that takes your fancy.  I also add a dash of Vitamin C powder to help it rise better.

Buy organic as often as you can.  The word ‘organic’ is actually a legally defined term, so anyone using it incorrectly is breaking the law.  Always read the labels though.  A product stating that it is ‘made with organic……’ doesn’t mean that the entire list of ingredients is organic, so just check to make sure. 

Don’t assume that because it is gluten free that it is good for you.  Often these ‘replacement’ breads are full of all sorts of stodge and nasties.  By the way, I know of a lot of women that buy Bergen bread under the impression that it is better for them. However, (although it has never claimed otherwise), Bergen bread, still has wheat in it, as well as artificial additives.  The low level of linseeds etc in it are so low that you may as well just buy the seeds and eat them.

Here’s a few breads that I buy and love.

I get them in Sainsburys (usually bottom shelf). I think Morrisons have a good selection too.
There's a more 'bread-like' rye loaf that's delicious too that's usually right next to it. This one doesn't stay fresh long (which is good), but freezes well.

This is a recipe that I made using Miss NewTricion's Delicious Protein Bread.

Chop up spring onion with mashed avocado & spread onto the bread. Top with a squeeze of lemon, slice of tomato & black pepper to taste.  Yum!!!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention.  No bread, No bloat!!

 After Cake


After Wheat Bread

No Wheat Bread or Cake

In case you were wondering. I am NOT pregnant in any of these photos.

It is ALL bloating

Anyone relate????

Next time I’ll talk about ‘Are You Addicted to Bread?’ and how to get ‘off’ it.