Spend 5 minutes on social media, and you’ll invariably find yourself staring into the crumb of somebody’s sourdough. During Lockdowns, we endured, whilst fresh veg remained in abundance, we couldn’t buy a bag of flour for love nor money! Was this because sourdough is Covid 19’s arch-nemesis? Errrrm, no. It’s because sourdough is bread crack. It goes straight to the parts of your brain that drugs do, using the same network of neurotransmitters. And when you’re bombarded with 24 hours a day Coronadoom, self-medicating with toast doesn’t seem like the worst idea.
But sourdough is healthy, right?
Maybe you’ve seen health claims that sourdough may reduce blood sugar and improve your immune system? Well, yes. In the same way that carrot cake does. As in, it doesn’t! But suppose you’re comparing something with zero fibre and no nutrition with something with a little. In that case, you’re benefitting your gut – a little. But let’s face the facts: sourdough contains around 50% carbohydrate.
When you’re toasting it, you evaporate some of the water content, meaning that you’re actually eating even MORE carbohydrates proportionally as a proportion of the total weight. Plus, you’re caramelising those carbs and tantalising the tastebuds. We’re hardwired to crave more, making it almost impossible to stop at one slice!
But it’s probiotic, isn’t it!?
Again, afraid not. Cooking destroys any good bacteria. Yes, polyphenols are present because of the plant fibre from the grain you’re using, NOT because of the fermentation process.
Ahh, but it’s better if you’re gluten-sensitive, right?
Yes, it is. Fermentation begins the process of breaking down proteins found in grains that are notoriously hard to digest. But this doesn’t mean your body won’t be reacting to the peptides if you have a sensitivity. Think of it as enabling you to do something idiotic without the pain to warn against it: If you take a load of cocaine, you can drink 10 pints and fire a flare out of your bum crack. That doesn’t make it sensible.
Managing menopause means managing your carb intake. It’s that simple. And the good news is there are ‘loaves of bread’ you can enjoy making at home that won’t wreck your nutrition plan. Using flax seeds, almond or coconut flour, and psyllium husks, you’re getting prebiotics, fibre, vitamins and minerals, polyphenols, and phytoestrogens. And they taste good toasted!
Cutting out the foods we love is hard! But horrible symptoms are more challenging. However, once you break the addiction – and that can take about a month – you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. So believe in yourself and Say No To Sourdough!