In the early years of American food advertising, bread was touted as one of the most nutritious food products available. Advertisements claimed that bread could replace anything from meat to dairy products due to its “abundance” of nutrients. However, we now know that these claims were highly exaggerated and that white bread, and other refined grains in general, are overall not very nutritious.
Why Bread is Bad
To start off, it can hardly be considered nutritious. Most conventional bread used white wheat flour, which has up to 80-90% of its nutritious value removed during the refining process. They have also been found to contain excessive amounts of salt and sugar, as well as hydrogenated fats, chemical emulsifiers, harmful preservatives and many other unsavory ingredients.
In response to this information, nutrition experts and dietitians around the world have been urging people to switch from highly refined white bread to slightly healthier whole grain, but even this type of bread can be bad for you.
To start off, even whole grain bread isn’t really made out of “whole” grains. They are grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour. When eaten, the starches in the flour get broken down quickly in the digestive tract, which causes a rapid spike of blood sugar, They have even been proven to spike blood sugar more that typical candy bars.
Although the health community’s main focus has been on white bread, it is pretty obvious that eating any type of bread on a regular basis isn’t the healthiest idea. This is why I’m going to show you how to replace health-harming bread with creative, delicious and nutritious options. That way you’ll still be able to enjoy eating your favorite sandwiches without having to worry about the health risks that come with bread.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers make a great replacement for bread due to their firm texture and their mild taste. When slicing red bell peppers for bread, don’t cut them down the middle. Instead, cut them down the side so that they come out looking flat. You can then stuff whatever sandwich fillings you want in between them and enjoy a crunchy, thin “bread” sandwich.
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Spicy Salmon Lettuce Wraps
Wrapping food in lettuce is one of the best ways to eat a no-bread sandwich/wrap. Lettuce is an incredibly neutral food in terms of taste, and you can choose what type of texture you want depending on the lettuce. If you want a firmer, crunchier texture go with ice burg lettuce, if you want something softer go with romaine.
Although you can wrap pretty much whatever you want in lettuce, barbecued salmon goes particularly well with it in terms of texture and taste, especially if the salmon is spicy.
These are another vegetable that work amazingly as a replacement for bread on sandwiches. However they do need a bit of preparation in that they need to be grilled to get the proper texture and taste. Simply slice two pieces of egglant into any desired sandwich-like shape, making sure they’re both even, and throw them on a barbecue or a Foreman grill until they are well-seared. You can then sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar for taste and stuff anything you want in between them.
Raw cucumbers are great for making sub sandwiches. Their lengthy physical structure combined with their natural crunchiness makes them a great replacement for toasted bread. To make cucumber bread, simply slice a cucumber lengthwise down the middle. Then scoop out the soft, mushy innards of the vegetable and fill that empty space up with whatever filling you want. They can work as typical sandwiches, or open-faced due to their hollowed out space.
If you’re in the mood for a hamburger, but not processed wheat and gluten, then tomatoes are your answer. When sliced in half width-wise, tomatoes provide an almost identical shape to the hamburger bun. You can then put any type of patty you’d like in between them, and maybe stick a toothpick through the center of the stem hole to keep everything in place. Although some people might find the tomato’s taste to be quite strong, if you love tomatoes then this idea is for you.
For more ways that you can reduce the amount of bread, wheat and gluten in your diet, click here.
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