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Paleo Bread: Low-Carb Bread Alternatives
Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
I was asked to give my low-carb diet insights and tips, as well as bread recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show.
Let’s be clear on this — in my world, bread is not a matter of course. In fact, whenever I eat just about any type of bread, I become possessed, as if I need a “bread exorcism” to release the evil within.
I’m betting many of you feel the same way. Do you get tired and lethargic after eating bread? Do you regret the pretty hefty coin you spend on new jeans that are supposed to suck you in and lift you up — and prevent muffin top — because they’re not doing their job?
For me, a primal diet that consists of meats, fish, eggs, proteins, veggies, some fruits and healthy fats works best. In fact, if I eat these foods 80 percent of the time, then I get 100 percent of the results I’m looking for — to look great, possess rocket-fire energy, and be illness-, ache- and pain-free. Not much to ask for, right?
My “bread” usually comes in the form of lettuce, i.e. lettuce wraps! But here’s the message: That works for me. And this is not about me. It’s about everybody else — those whom I’ve helped when traveling around the country, am a guest on a news segment, hold workshops, you name it. It’s about the audiences with whom I’ve been blessed to share nutritional insights, whether on television, radio, through email, book signings, etc. My job is to take people from wherever they are and help them in the best way I can.
My hope is to set the best authentic example I can — to offer every bit of knowledge I have and to never stop giving with my whole heart.
So let’s get Italian for a moment and talk bread:
When you are considering eating bread, here’s what you need to know:
There are great substitutes for breads
Any breads should be eaten as an exception, not a rule (should not make up a large — or even moderate — part of your diet)
Before you ingest bread, make sure your intestinal tract is healthy or you could be asking for trouble. (Incidentally, if yours isn’t healthy, consider my 30-Day Reset Program, which puts real foods first and is a great option to get your system as clean as can be!)
Those with certain conditions and auto immune diseases (crohns, colitis, IBS, blood-sugar challenges, etc.) may be better off saying no all together
The better breads (if they are not filled with additives) often fall on the lower end of the carbohydrate spectrum, and the best way to get results is to eat a diet that’s naturally lower in carbs. This is always the holy grail of weight loss — eating less, without trying to eat less.
Here are some low-carb diet/lifestyle tips from the show:
Why is cutting back on carbs vital for weight loss? What happens naturally with a sound primal diet?
LOW-CARB DIETS AREN’T AS RESTRICTIVE AS OTHER DIETS Studies reveal that cutting down the carbs generates more weight loss and improves health much more than calorie-restricted, low-fat diets do. And let’s face it, those low-fat diets make people miserable. To acquire long-term weight loss, a lower-carb program that doesn’t require a lot of changes in your diet is beneficial. Eating foods you love that are naturally lower in carbs and higher in proteins and healthy fats gets the best results (like a primal diet).
LOW-CARB DIETS REDUCE INSULIN LEVELS Low-carb diets greatly reduce insulin levels in the blood, which is a good thing! The hormones’ job is to store fat. A low-carb diet reduces hormone levels. Less hormones means less fat storage. Remember, insulin lays down fat. The more we regulate this hormone, the less body fat we will have.
LOW-CARB DIETS BANISH BELLY FAT Another huge benefit for dieters who follow a low-carb plan is that they lose belly fat, which dieters find can be very stubborn! Eating approved, unprocessed carbs can make a big contribution in helping to create a flat stomach.
LOW-CARB DIETS ARE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE Who likes to track points and calories? Not many. You don’t need to track anything once you get the swing of the low-carb plan. Basically, you’ll be eating protein, healthy fats and veggies at every meal. Throw in some nuts, seeds and full-fat dairy products for good measure, and you’re good to go. Choose unprocessed carbs when you want something more, such as low-carb breads (see below). It doesn’t get much simpler than that!
How many carbs to lose weight:
Consider consuming the following:
About 50 to 75 carb grams per day for effortless weight loss. This number totally depends on your needs. This is where personal play comes in, depending on your goals, your lifestyle and how you feel.
Consume plenty of vegetables.
Consume some fruit (my favorite is berries).
When you need more, include smart carbohydrates (such as dense carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, plantains, jicama, etc.)
Every once in a while, when you feel like you need more (or something heartier) and bread comes to mind, here are some choices to consider:
Gluten free, so good for those who are allergic or sensitive to wheat/gluten
Great for making French toast; or toasted for that occasional sandwich or toasted and served with some almond butter. See my show recipe for French toast here.
PARMESAN CRISPS (If you can tolerate dairy) This is my number-two favorite choice because, well, there’s nothing in these things! (Who would have guessed just non-processed full-fat cheese could make a crunchy good treat?)
Fun to eat, as they’re crunchy and delicious
Super, SUPER easy to make
Made with unprocessed Parmesan cheese, which has some calcium and protein
Kids love these
Gluten free, so good for those who are allergic or sensitive to wheat/gluten See my show recipe for these topped with chicken salad here
FLAXSEED LAVASH EAT THIS AS AN EXCEPTION — AND NOT THE RULE. And eat this only if you have done a 30-day clean-up first, so your intestinal tract can handle the grains somewhat.
Very filling and tasty, makes you feel as if you’ve eaten something substantial
No added sugars
The flax features omega-3s, which help to reduce inflammation (less bloating, and, of course, great for your overall health)
SPROUTED GRAIN Eat this as an exception — and not the rule. And eat this only if you have done a 30-day clean-up first, so your intestinal tract can handle the grains somewhat
Contains sprouted grains (not flour), which makes this bread naturally lower in carbs, and it contains no added sugars
Easier to digest than regular commercial white and whole grain breads (sprouting grains breaks down the starches in the bread somewhat)
Reduces the blood-sugar response (compared to unsprouted grains), which means less body fat
Your tolerance for occasional bread will improve if:
Your gut is strong— like a battleship.
There’s relatively no inflammation in your body.
Your blood-sugar levels are stable.
When these three areas under control, you can weather foods like breads with much more ease. This is why I always start people out with my 30-Day Reset program. It’s the ultimate cleanse and gives you squeaky-clean cells.
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