Wholesome Alternatives to Wheat Bread
If you go to nearly every household, you’ll find a loaf (or maybe even loaves) of bread since they’re become so deeply ingrained in our diet. In fact, it’s remained the most regularly consumed food in the world and we’re under the impression that just because it’s labeled “whole wheat” – it’s healthy!
The majority of breads that are consumed today are made from refined wheat, meaning that fiber and all those good nutrients have been removed while still retaining added sugars and fillers. The same stuff that you’d find in your average loaf of white bread. Wheat bread can cause blood sugar to spike significantly and an increase in calorie intake. There are also those who are gluten intolerant, suffer from celiac disease, and can’t handle digesting wheat bread.
I understand that it’s difficult to live without bread because it seems to pair perfectly with anything you serve or makes for a quick snack, but don’t think you need to live without it! There are plenty of delicious, wholesome alternatives to wheat bread that provide the nutrients your body needs. Here’s a list of 9 healthy alternatives that you can either buy or have fun making yourself.
- Ezekiel Bread
Ezekiel bread is one of the healthiest breads you can eat! It contains ZERO sugar and is made from organic, sprouted whole grains which adds tons of nutrients to it. Typically, Ezekiel bread is made with different types of grains and legumes like wheat, millet, barley, spelt, soybeans, and lentils. All the grains and legumes sprout before they are processed so they contain lower amounts of antinutrients (substances that might block the absorption of nutrients) which makes the bread easier to digest. Unfortunately, it still isn’t safe to consume for those who have a gluten sensitivity.
- Rye Bread
Don’t let its taste throw you off! Rye bread is SUPER good for you and contains a plethora of powerful benefits. It’s made from rye, a grain related to wheat and is high in fiber. Rye contains phytoestrogens which have been proven to improve hormonal balances, especially estrogen. According to a study from Lund University in Sweden, rye is a great helper when you’re trying to lose weight, improves insulin sensitivity, lowers total cholesterol, and even keeps you feeling fuller longer. Next time you make your favorite sandwich, try it with rye bread and see if it feels more filling to you so you don’t have to scavenge for a snack an hour later!
- Lettuce and Leafy Greens
Lettuce and other big, leafy greens are ready to handle anything you decide to wrap in them. Naturally, they’re remarkably lower in carbs than bread but packed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Calcium, and Potassium. Enjoying one of these wraps during your lunch break could give you the boost you need to make it through the day. Plus, lettuce is high in water content which will give your body some extra hydration if you don’t keep a water bottle around you. (P.S. Try out the Club Sandwich wrap recipe on AskDrErnst.com if you’re looking for a super satisfying lunch!)
Hear me out on this one, although eggs not might be able to exactly serve the same “function” as a replacement for bread, try “frying” them with some coconut oil and putting a bison burger in between them to have an “egg bun!” Eggs are an exceptionally high in protein, selenium, Vitamin B, and many other vitamins and nutrients that you might be lacking in. Eggs are connected to a decreased risk of heart disease and can also raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Studies have found that eating two eggs per day for six weeks can increase HDL levels by 10%!
5. Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is great because it’s made from fermented grains which reduces the antinutrients within grains and improves its nutritional content in many ways. It contains different types of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and zinc and has a lower phytate (a type of antinutrient) content than other types of bread thanks to the lactic acid bacteria. Lower levels of phytate increase your body’s ability to absorb the minerals in sourdough bread while lactic acid bacteria has the ability to release antioxidants during fermentation. Sourdough bread is also easier on the stomach to digest because of its pre-biotic content and probiotic-like properties which ultimately improves your overall gut health!
- Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato Flatbread
If you didn’t know that butternut squash or sweet potatoes could be made into a flatbread. . . well, now you know! Even though they’re similar in color, butternut squash and sweet potato flatbread offer their own unique benefits. Butternut squash is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, iron, and lots of other nutrients. It can lower and prevent high blood pressure and aid with managing diabetes thanks to its high fiber levels. Butternut squash also contains beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that can help in lowering the risk of asthma. Sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber and contain important vitamins like Vitamin A, vitamin B6, manganese and more. Sweet potatoes serve as a great support for your digestive health, stabilize blood sugars thanks to fiber, and boost your immunity since they contain 52% of your daily vitamin C value.
- Cauliflower Bread or Pizza Crust
Cauliflower bread is made with a combination of eggs, cheese, and spices which gives it its great taste. It’s low in carbs and high in choline, which is an essential nutrient that many people are deficient in. Choline plays an integral part in synthesizing DNA, supporting your metabolism, and helping the brain with the production of neurotransmitters that are vital for a healthy nervous system. Not many foods contain choline, so ditching wheat bread and that grain-filled pizza crust for cauliflower bread or pizza crust is a surefire way to make sure your brain is functioning optimally! Plus, it lowers your risk for liver and heart disease as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas are a light alternative to bread and are gluten-free, meaning those who need to avoid gluten can have a field day with them! Corn tortillas have very versatile uses and can be used for many of your favorite recipes whether it’s paired with a sandwich, burgers, or a simple wrap. Corn tortilla contains phosphorus which is key for healthy tissue, cell membranes, and bones! Like many of the other bread alternatives I’ve listed, corn tortillas are also super high in fiber.
- Homemade Sandwich Bread
Last, but definitely not least, is our very own recipe for Homemade Sandwich Bread! If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at baking bread, this recipe is great to start out with since it’s made with organic and wholesome ingredients. Get your fill of healthy fats and the health benefits from this made-from-scratch recipe.
Phew, that was a long list! I hope that out of everything on here, you can find at least one bread alternative you absolutely LOVE and can use daily so you can get rid of that unhealthy conventional wheat bread. As always, you never have to sacrifice your favorite foods to maintain a super healthy diet, you just have to cook smarter.