What is Nutrient Density 1 :: Why Sourdough?

We love to find creative ways to make the most delicious and comforting foods more healthy. Whether at home and at our member-based/family-run bakery-cafe, Te Amo we make this a priority. We generally do this by taking favorite recipes and increasing their nutrient density by implementing traditional food preparation techniques – in this case sourdough.

In fact, we aim to make them downright nutritious and health giving. Whether it’s greasy-goodness (yes, there IS a way to eat greasy and fatty foods in a healthy way!), sugary-sweetness (did you know that consuming fat with sugar is protective?), or carbohydrate-cravings (yup, sourdough isn’t just for fun . . . it’s for our health), we are committed to serving up healthy alternatives to the foods you love – guilt free.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing articles on ways we do this.

This week we’re talking about sourdough and its magical ability to turn addictive carbs into life supporting nourishment.

The first thing we’ll have to do is talk a bit about Weston A. Price:

Weston A. Price:

Weston A. Price was a dentist in the early 1900s. He noticed a sudden increase in levels of tooth decay in his practice. Price traveled the world for 14 years -visiting the world’s healthiest people. – in search of answers Here’s what he found:

  • Healthy traditional people all used at least some animal products in their diet
  • Their diets were four times higher in calcium and other minerals
  • They included foods with high enzyme content like cultured and fermented foods.
  • They sprouted their nuts and fermented/naturally leavened their grains
  • He found that fat content was between 30% and 80% of total calories – higher in colder climates.
  • He found there was a ratio of omega fatty acids of 3 to 6.
  • All diets contained unrefined salt
  • They all made use of bones either by grinding or slow cooking for consumption.

He found that when people switched from their ancestral diet to industrial food, they quickly showed signs of physical degeneration. This corresponded to what he was seeing in his dentistry practice. In his travels, whenever Dr. Price showed up, he would meet people and, with permission, examine their teeth. He then documented the diets of people in communities with the best. Why teeth?

When you buy an animal, one of the best ways to check for overall health is to check its teeth. Good teeth are a sign of good physiology in general. In his investigation, Dr. Price carefully found and documented what these community’s diets had in common.

The next few articles, we are going to cover examples of traditional culinary preparation methods that increase nutrient density. They do this by releasing more nutrients into food or by inhibiting elements that block proper absorption.

Whole Grain vs. Sourdough:

I was talking to a wonderful member at the Caf event a few weeks ago about why we do all the extra work to offer sourdough bakery items . . . We explained that we spend a whole extra day to include sourdough magic in our baking. Then we tend the starter, get to know it and its environment. We learn to predict and catch it right at the right time. Finally, we then mix it slowly and watch it rise again, and again . . . before it finally makes it into the oven. Sourdough is about more than flavor . . . It’s medicine

Our first example of increasing Nutrient Density in our food is all about carbs. In particular, we will be talking about untreated whole grain bread vs. traditionally prepared sourdough bread.

We all know that we shouldn’t eat foods made with white flour. What is far less understood is that even the best whole grain baked goods are major nutrient robbers. Believe it or not, sourdough made from totally processed white flour is superior to an unfermented whole grain loaf.

Now this isn’t a recommendation for you to eat white flour . . .

Traditional sourdough baking techniques pre-digest sugars so the final loaf has a lower glycemic index. What’s even cooler is that sourdough neutralized the phytates, or mineral blockers, in the loaf. Many whole grains contain phytates which are substances that block mineral absorption, but keeping them bound up.

If there are mineral blockers in our food, they will block our absorption of minerals. Mineral blockers also steal minerals from our bodies from other foods we eat.

The sourdough fermentation process pre-digests much of the gluten found in grains. As a result, your final loaf contains far less gluten that a regularly baked loaf. The over-consumption of gluten is leading to gluten intolerance.

The over consumption of sugar is leading to type 2 diabetes. The under consumption of minerals is causing issues from dental carries to bone loss and even neurological issues.

So, you want to switch to sourdough? Join us at Te Amo Bakery-Café & Supper Club or maybe join our traditional foods cooking class or find a source of sourdough near you – just make sure it’s true sourdough. Real sourdough will not have yeast listed in the ingredients. If you bake with real sourdough you won’t need yeast!

Good luck and buen provecho!

  1. Claire says:

    Thanks for distilling so much dense nutritional information into an easily digestible format!

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