Bread has been a staple of the American diet for the longest time. The first bread from cornmeal was thought to be brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s. Then in 1602, the first wheat crop was planted by British sea captain Bartholomew Gosnold in Massachusetts. More than 200 years later, commercially produced yeast was made available allowing for softer and more flavorful bread products.
Not long after, Edmund LaCroix would release a more improved version of the steel roller which made possible the production of white flour. Fast-forward to 1928, the year when Otto Rohwedder’s invention of the bread slicer was released, and the first sliced bread product was sold to the public in Missouri.
It can sometimes be difficult to shift perspective and see how eating this staple can have detrimental effects to our health. But you have to understand that the wheat or other grain flour and methods of food production used back then are completely different from current standards. Continue reading to know more about the negative effects of bread (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
Breakfast cereals were born out of the vegetarian diet recommended by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to its members. The recognized pioneers of this industry, Dr. John H. Kellogg and Charles W. Post, were Adventists and development of their products was guided by religious beliefs as much as commercial interests. Part of their concept was to create something that was ready-to-eat. Most of the other grain recipes at that time required tedious preparation such as overnight soaking and long cooking times.
It’s quite ironic that the modern commercial breakfast cereal is so far removed from the health objectives that initially drove its invention. There were a few misconceptions that contributed to its downgrade. The growing use of refined flour, for example, was due to the misunderstood role of fiber in the digestion process back then. More sugar was also added when the products started to be marketed to children. Read further to know more about the negatives effects of cereals (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
Bagels are a widely popular bread product which is made from yeasted wheat dough that is first briefly boiled and then baked. This two-step cooking process gives bagels their characteristic chewy and dense interior yet very crispy outer layer, which is often traditionally topped with sesame or poppy seeds. Bagels are typically hand-shaped into rings so as to allow for even cooking every time. Originating from Krakow, Poland in the early 1600s, bagels have since become widely popular and available, especially in areas with considerable Jewish populations.
Just like most commercial bread products nowadays, the potential health risks of bagels stems from its ingredients. The main issue is wheat flour and the modern ways the grain is being grown and processed after harvest. Read on to discover more of the negatives effects of bagels (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
In 1801, a certain baker from Massachusetts named Josiah Bent overcooked a batch of biscuits. The name “crackers” is said to have come from the crackling sound those biscuits made as they were burning in the oven. Back then, crackers were very much like flatbread, made from basic flour, water and some salt or spices for seasoning.
The crackers available in groceries today hardly resemble their ancestor. They are now highly-processed food. They’re packaged in plastic or boxes, and if you read the labels, you’re likely to see some of the risky ingredients also found in other junk food. These would be the usual culprits: white flour, saturated and trans fats, processed sugar, salt, and some artificial additives. Continue reading to know more about the negative effects of crackers (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
Oats aren’t consistently included nor excluded in the list of dangerous grains or cereals for those with gluten intolerance because their varieties contain different levels of toxicity. This grain does naturally contain a small amount of prolamin-type proteins, but gluten isn’t one of them. Also, not all prolamins are detrimental to those with this kind of food intolerance.
The more common cause of gluten getting into oats is contamination. Oats are usually planted, harvested and processed along with wheat or barley – grains that definitely contain gluten. This is what makes regular oats, i.e. not certified gluten-free, risky for individuals with the particular condition.
Nevertheless, people with strong enough guts can still enjoy the nutrients provided by this popular grain. Continue reading and know more about the pros and cons of regular oats (and be sure to also check out recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice). Continue reading
Scones are a type of quick bread said to have originated from Scotland. The name was supposedly derived from the historical location called Stone of Destiny or Scone where kings of that country were crowned. The original scone was round and flat and it was traditionally served cut into 4 triangular pieces. The whole loaf was called bannock and the pieces were called scones.
While scones today can come in a variety of shapes, the most commonly adopted form is round. The original Scottish scone was also griddle-baked or fried rather than baked as is currently typical. Other modern modifications are the use of wheat flour (barley or oats were originally used), baking powder, various types of oils and fats for shortening, and natural or artificial flavoring.
As with most commercial baked products nowadays, store-bought scones offer a lot of empty calories and very little nutrition. This is due to the modern ingredients used to manufacture them. Continue reading to know more about the negative effects of scones (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
The Latin root of the Italian word “biscotti” means “twice baked”. This refers to the actual process of making this dessert. The dough is first baked as a whole loaf, and then sliced into smaller pieces which are baked again. The point was to make the biscotti crunchy and dry, and thus extend their storage period.
Back in the days of the Roman Empire, such twice-baked breads were practical for long journeys or combat rations for soldiers. Nowadays biscotti are simply enjoyed as dessert. Depending on the regional culture, it can be eaten along with an alcoholic beverage like fortified wine or a hot drink like coffee or tea.
Traditional recipes of biscotti only make use of flour, eggs, sugar, and almonds or pine nuts. Current preparations however may now include yeast, baking powder or fat such as butter, vegetable oil or milk. A quite popular present-day variation is coating or glazing biscotti with chocolate. It is the quality of the basic ingredients as well as those of the modern additional ingredients that give commercial biscotti products potential health risks.
Read further to discover the negative effects of biscotti (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
Cookies have been around for quite some time. It’s said that this popular baked dessert was first concocted in the Middle East region around the 7th century. It was a period where sugar production was becoming common in that area. Eventually it spread across Europe and then to the Americas.
Given the long history of cookies, numerous styles of preparation have naturally developed. However certain basic ingredients have remained constant. These would be fat, sugar, flour and eggs. The crispy and crumbly texture that distinguishes cookies from other baked goods is due to the fat or shortening. In the current way of making cookies, this is usually butter, margarine, vegetable oil, or any combination of the three.
These basic ingredients, together with other modern inputs like artificial food additives, make most commercial cookies a poor choice of food. Continue reading to discover the negative effects of cookies (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
Soy nuts are a delectable snack food made from dried soy beans that have been soaked in water, drained, and then roasted or baked until dry and crunchy. The process is similar to what is commonly done on peanuts. Remember that peanuts aren’t true nuts but are actually legumes just like soy beans.
Soy nuts are a great source of protein and in fact contain all of the essential amino acids that our body needs. Unfortunately, inherent substances in soy beans make this food potentially risky for people with certain types of health conditions. It doesn’t help either that this is one of several cash crops that have been genetically modified.
Read on to know more about the negative effects of soy nuts (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading
Yogurt is generally perceived as healthy food. Compared to other dairy, yogurt is more often recommended in diet and health programs. It’s not just because this product is frequently promoted as such. There are real benefits that can be received from this type of fermented milk. Calcium, protein and various B vitamins are some of the nutrients often attributed to yogurt.
However, you have to make distinctions between the different types of yogurt. One that’s home-made and sourced from grass-fed cows or goats is entirely different from a sweetened and flavored commercial brand. Before casually accepting some food product as healthy, you need to consider the materials, how it’s processed, and if you have any health conditions that might preclude proper reception of its health benefits.
Read more to learn the negative effects of regular yogurt (and be sure to also check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.) Continue reading