Most of you are probably thinking what is she on about, of course it’s the dripping surely, all that saturated animal fat. Some of you however, are in the ‘know’, some of you know that bread is the foe and that dripping might actually be very good for you. It is true that not all bread is bad, but the great majority of it is. If you are eating fermented grains in the form of sourdough breads with plenty of butter, this is fine. But if you are diabetic, overweight or have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels then no bread is better. And as for all the bread found on our supermarket shelves, well best it stays right there as it will do you more harm than good. Let me explain.
There are three white and very toxic anti-nutrients that are consumed in great abundance today. They are refined flour, sugar and salt. Bread contains all three. White, wholegrain, or wholemeal it matters little, it has all been processed or refined, stripped of its original nutrient content of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, fat and fibre and fortified with a handful of synthetic vitamins and minerals some of which may even be dangerous. Whole grains and starches, the way nature intended, provide us with vitamin E, an abundance of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and chromium essential for the digestion and utilization of carbohydrate in the body. Due to their lack of essential nutrients, digestion of refined carbohydrates calls on the body’s own store of vitamins, minerals and enzymes for proper metabolism. If this goes on for long enough nutrient stores will eventually be depleted. This may not happen in your lifetime if you were fortunate to be born with good nutrient stores, but your children or grandchildren may not be so lucky. Make no mistake we are seeing the consequences of this over consumption of refined carbohydrates. Increased rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, allergies, chronic fatigue, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems are occurring in both adults and children. Sugar is the culprit not fat!
Contrast this with the nutrient content of saturated animal fats, of dripping, lard, goose or duck fat, liver pates, cheese, butter or cream which contain fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K, essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 in a perfect ratio and minerals such as zinc, manganese, chromium, iodine and selenium. Going low on the fat simply reduces your intake of these very essential nutrients, many of which are important anti-oxidants.
The nutrient content alone should be a good enough reason to go ‘lean’ on the bread and pile on the butter, but there is more, much more and it has to do with how the two food groups break down in the body and what they become.
Bread is a carbohydrate or ‘carb’. Dripping is a fat. Carbs break down to sugar, fats break down into fatty acids, essential fatty acids so called because we must get them in our diet, however the body does not need to ingest sugar or large quantities of carbs, as it can produce sugar from glycogen stored in the liver. So bread is not a requirement to life but fat certainly is! The Eskimos and some African tribes being two examples that enjoyed robust health on diets composed almost entirely of animal products – protein and fat.
Grains, fruit and vegetables are all carbohydrates and they all break down to sugar. The more refined or processed the carbohydrate the quicker their breakdown. The more complex, whole or unrefined the slower their breakdown. When we consume refined sugars and starches without fats or protein, the sugar enters the bloodstream in a rush causing a sudden increase in blood sugar. If a carbohydrate is combined with protein or fat then the digestion is slower and the release of sugar into the bloodstream will be delayed. Put another way: fat and protein slow down the glycaemic response. It is so much easier to combine a carb with either protein or fat than worry about which foods are low GI and which are not.
So if you are going to eat the bread then just make sure you have the dripping too! Bon apetite!