You Asked, I Answered

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

I recently wrote an article on phytic acid that caused several questions and concerns in the comments section. I thought they were worth being put in a more public forum than the comments, so I am going to respond to them here.

Questions/Comments

1. According to wiki ” Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree” So we can toast our brown bread to reduce the Phytic acid content!

2. Brian, one of the ingredients in Ezekiel bread is wheat gluten? Are you not concerned with the fact that gluten is added as an additional ingredient.

3. That’s interesting. How much does Phytic acid add up to in the grand scheme of things?

4. Sprouting and soaking doesn’t Eliminate all the phytic acid It only reduces the amount and then there is the issue of lectin, another anti-nutrient found in grains.

I guess my point is what benefit, besides convience (which could be argued), does eating bread provide. Especially when we have plenty of non-processed carbs available to use without the negative attributes!

Answers:

1. While I appreciate the humor, the degree to which it is decreased is probably minimal at best. Cooking can definitely decrease the content, but starting with less in the first place is a far superior option.

2. Unless you have a gluten sensitivity, no I am not concerned. There is still less gluten in Ezekiel products than regular bread. Gluten is a sticky protein which keeps bread together, Ezekiel bread is not nearly as strong due to its lowered gluten content. It contains far more than just wheat, with legumes and other grains that are gluten free.

3. That is a good question, and I guess it depends on how much of your diet is dominated by phytic acid-containing foods. If you don’t consume a ton of grains, it probably isn’t a huge concern. Regardless, to me it is a small change to make for definite improvement.

4. While it doesn’t decrease all of the phytic acid, it does decrease a lot of it (which is what I said in the post). As far as I know sprouting also greatly decreases the lectin content in the grains as well. While grains may not be the ideal carb source, for most people a moderate grain intake from properly prepared grains (like sprouting) is not an issue. I do agree that starchy tubers like potatoes or sweet potatoes are probably better, sprouted grains are a solid choice as well.

I think the fastidious belief that all grains are evil, gluten is the devil and that we should all eat low carb is another fanatical view that is missing the big picture. Humans have consumed these foods, with proper preparation, for a very long time. Some people don’t tolerate grains or gluten well, and for those people it is best to minimize or avoid, but you can’t extrapolate that subset of the population out to everybody.

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Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

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