Paleo Bread: Low-Carb Bread Alternatives
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:
What should I consider before eating bread?
- 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 autoimmune diseases (crohns, colitis, IBS, blood-sugar challenges, etc.) may be better off saying no all together
- Grain-free breads are always the best, you can even make it on your own.
- 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.
Why is cutting back on carbs vital for weight loss?
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 can be easy!
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 should I be eating to lose weight?
- 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:
What are the best low carb bread alternatives?
Coconut flour bread
This is my number one low carb bread alternative because it’s clean and grain free.
- High in fiber and very low in carbs
- 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.
This is my number two low carb bread alternative 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?) If you choose to eat this, make sure you can tolerate dairy.
- 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.
Eat this as a low carb alternative 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)
Eat this as a low carb alternative 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
How can I improve my tolerance for occasional bread?
- 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 are under control, you can weather foods like bread 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.
I hope I have helped you make some better choices today and you enjoyed the show!
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!