What is phytic acid and why is it a concern is a question I get from a lot of people. Fortunately the answer is short and sweet, and there is a very easy solution to the phytic acid problem in grains.
Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that is present in many foods, grains in particular. Whole wheat bread is a rich source of phytic acid. While it may be “better” than white bread, it is certainly not perfect.
Phytic acid binds to and prevents the absorption of many important minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium, as well as the vitamin niacin. This could potentially lead to mineral deficiencies and some corresponding health problems that none of us want.
To solve this issue you can go one of two directions. You can choose white bread, as the refining process removes the bran where the phytic acid is located, or you can choose sprouted grain breads, as the sprouting process greatly decreases the phytic acid content while also increasing the mineral content.
The white bread option is clearly not a favorable one, as the refined flours contain far less fiber, phytonutrients, and minerals while also jacking up blood sugar. Fortunately sprouted grains have a far lesser effect on blood sugar, contain more fiber, more phytonutrients and more bioavailable vitamins and minerals.
The clear choice on bread and bread products are sprouted grain versions. They contain more of what you want, and less of what you don’t. They are becoming more highly available in the health food section of your local grocer, and are usually found in the freezer as they don’t contain any preservatives. You can simply keep them in the fridge.
Having said all that, is having whole-wheat products a bad thing? I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think sprouted grains are far superior and would highly recommend them.
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