All my life, I’ve loved bread. As a kid I ate bread with every meal, mostly the commercial white- or brown loaves (called “government bread” in South Africa because the price was kept low by a combination of both subsidy and quota production). The nearest equivalent today would be the Wonderbread/ Hostess/ generic breads found in supermarkets (U.K. equivalent: Hovis/ Warburtons/ store brands).
Gradually as I got older and my taste buds matured, I discovered bakery breads, my taste for which became exacerbated by visits to Europe and exposure to wares of the boulangerie and bäckerei… oy, my mouth waters just thinking about the Viennese brötchen I’d gobble down with my morning coffee.
All went well, until my doctor told me that I needed to change my diet (his exact words: “If you don’t lose weight, you’re going to die, you fat bastard”). There were other words related to my extreme paucity of exercise (“Get up off your fat ass and start exercising, too.”)
I know that diets don’t work; only permanent changes in lifestyle and eating habits do. And the only change that seems to work without being too much work is getting rid of the bad things which cause you to gain weight, chief offenders being starches (grains) and sugars.
I think it’s wrong to demonize bread, and by bread I mean 100% whole grain, no white flour included, real bread. The traditional Greek diet is based around a slice of bread with each meal. But what bread! Paximadi Kritikos, whole grain pita bread, lagana, etc. And only one small piece per meal, or less.
I’ve just come off a 3-month experiment with the keto diet. I hated it. No bread, no fruit, no sweets of any kind, even no carrots or beets! Instead, you eat meat, meat, and more meat, tons of butter, eggs every day, cheese, heavy cream, bacon, non-starchy veggies, plus a small handful of berries once a day.
It was awful. I didn’t lose a pound. It’s not even a real way to eat. What culture eats like that? I can’t find any. Most of the healthiest diets in the world contain some carbohydrates, either whole grains or white rice (Asia).
So here’s a salute to whole grain bread, in moderation!
Please put olivetomato.com on your blog roll. It’s a wonderful site. Many recipes. The author is a native Greek nutritionist who focuses on the traditional MedDiet, not the so called modern MedDiet, which is way too high in meat, white bread, and sweets. Elena Paravantes is a real gem for anyone trying to follow this healthy way of eating.