Bread may be good for the soul, but not the body
When Jesus Christ taught us the Our Father, one of the signature lines in the prayer was: “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Ah, yes. Things were so simple back then. Bread was bread and mankind was grateful for it.
Now what kind of bread should we pray for?
The multiplicity of bread choices these days has multiplied like the loaves and fishes.
While the Bible doesn’t go into granular detail about the type of loaves Jesus fed the multitude with, they likely were not 100 percent whole-grain, highfiber choice.
When I was a kid, my family ate white bread, apparently oblivious and uncaring that the flour used to make it was chemically bleached just like my mother bleached my dirty play clothes.
How I and the rest of my generation are still drawing breath is the miracle of our time. I credit the grace of saying the Our Father.
Then again, all types of bread aren’t all that great for you because from my exhaustive research on Google I discovered that grains are not easy for the body to digest, can overwork our pancreatic enzymes, contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid (more popularly known as inositol hexakisphosphate IP6) and an abundance of dreaded gluten.
Also, our wheat crops in this country apparently have been through some serious genetic manipulation to make them profitable for the food industry and less healthy for us.
Evidently the main problem with wheat (unless you have a gluten sensitivity) is that we as a culture eat too much of it. A bagel for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and rolls or pasta for dinner. Factor in snacks like crackers and desserts like cookies and we have essentially transformed our bodies into grain silos.
We all forget that Jesus also said: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”
We should bite into an apple, as along as a serpent doesn’t prompt us to do so.
Choosing the best bread can be confusing. It’s best if you have a degree in nutrition plus a strong pair of glasses so you can read labels.
For instance, some bread looks brown and has wheat in the name. So at first glance it would seem to have lots of fiber and whole grain.
Not so fast, my friends. The first ingredient listed on the label will tell the real tale. If it’s wheat flour or enriched bleached flour, that tells you white flour was mostly used, not whole-wheat flour.
Breads with healthy sounding names like seven-grain or 100% natural would seem to be good choices.
Do not be deceived. Just because the name of the bread on the package sounds super healthy, it doesn’t mean the bread actually is.
It’s comparable to judging a book by looking at the cover.
Some seven-grain and 12-grain breads list unbleached enriched flour as their first ingredient. Others are made with wheat flour, not whole wheat.
My favorite bread is rye bread. But eat I eat it sparingly because the first ingredient listed on the label of most brands is none other than the loathsome unbleached enriched flour. The second ingredient is usually water and the third normally is rye flour. That explains why most rye breads have only one gram of fiber per slice and aren’t high in fiber.
Which brings us to one of the mysteries of life: Why are most things that taste good so bad for us? Perhaps things would be different if Eve had bitten into a pear instead.
Please remember that some package names are steeped in the art of deception. Just saying whole wheat doesn’t cut it. Neither does made with whole grain. Look for labels that say 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain.
Watch out for the sodium. Look for breads with 200 milligrams or less of sodium per slice. Too much sodium could, like Lot’s wife, turn you into a pillar of salt.
Serving size matters. Some bread slices are as big as a small pizza. If you can catch a 90-mph fastball with a slice of your bread, you are throwing your health a curveball.
As you can see, proper bread selection can be hard work if you are not Inspector Clouseau.
So, perhaps it’s best if you avoid bread altogether. Unless, of course, you are having a hot dog at a baseball game. The roll serves as the glove for the hot dog. Baseball and gloves, by definition, go hand in hand.
Otherwise, if someone asks you to break bread with them, simply tell them that you would rather experience fellowship over a small glass of red wine.