Since posting about the book in January, I have had people ask me to elaborate on social media about how many of the breads contain gluten, and how many of the recipes would be suitable for those who are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease. Since recipe development was still underway it was not possible to give an exact number. however since most of the recipes have been finalized, this note addresses this question. It also addresses who might find this book helpful and why so that each person can best decide whether to purchase it.
First of all, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein that is formed when the proteins glutenin and gliadin come into contact with water. It is gluten that forms a flexible net that not only holds the unbaked dough together, but enables it to be stretched into a variety of shapes from thin pizza crust, to flaky paratha or braided or rolled into challah or cinnamon buns.
Gluten makes the difference between pizza dough that looks like this;
…to pizza dough that looks like this;
Low carb baking typically adds a variety of substances such as psyllium husk fiber, or guar gum or xanthan gum which allows low carb breads made from almond and coconut flour to hold together, however there are two major shortcomings to using these fibers;
(1) they do not enable these doughs to be stretched
(2) these fibers cause many people digestive issues such as bloating, gas and diarrhea.
Existing Low Carb Bread Recipes
There are hundreds of recipes using almond and coconut flours with a variety of these fibers to hold them together. For those who are not allergic to nut flour, or seed flours and who do not get any digestive issues from the addition of these fibers, these are excellent bread alternatives for those who avoid eating gluten. I felt no need to add new recipes to breads of this type.
There are also a wide variety of breads made from whipped egg white (with or without the addition of fibers), as well as many recipes that are an adaptation of the cheese-based “fathead” dough. For those who enjoy them and for those for whom the macros are appropriate, these are also excellent alternatives .
The recipes in this book are deliberately different. They were developed to provide a suitable alternative to the existing low carb breads, for those who have different likes and needs.
Unique Role of Low Carb Breads of the World
Many of the yeast raised breads in this book and many / most of the flat breads contain gluten because it enables the making of breads that cannot be made using nut flours (with or without additional fibers), fathead dough, or whipped egg white. It is simply not possible to make breads that can be folded, stretched or braided without gluten.
Gluten makes these possible;
What is important to me as a clinician, is to make low carb breads that are central to South Asian, Hispanic and Middle Eastern cultures because of their increased risk to metabolic disease. People of Indian descent have 6x the rate of type 2 diabetes than the general population and those of Hispanic descent have almost twice the rates of type 2 diabetes. Providing these communities with low carb bread alternatives may make it easier for them to successfully adopt and maintain a low carb diet for therapeutic reasons.
By using gluten instead of psyllium fiber, guar gum and xanthan gum, it makes breads such as flexible roti and chapati, flaky paratha, and chewy naan possible.
It makes corn-style tortillas and flour style tortillas possible;
..and enables the making of soft, pliable pita bread with a pocket inside for those from a Middle Eastern background;
Low Carb Breads of the World – providing options
Low carb bread in any form is not required to successfully follow a low carb or keto diet and many people are totally fine without it. That said, many people really miss eating bread and for those for whom nut-based, fathead-based breads, or whipped egg-white based breads work…great!
The reality is, existing types of low carb breads do not work for everyone.
Just as there is no “one sized fits all low-carb or ketogenic diet” (the byline of my low carb practice), people will find some bread substitutes more acceptable than others. Some simply do not like the taste and/or the texture of the existing options.
Then there is the matter of food allergies. Many people have nut allergy and cannot eat bread made from almond flour. Some can’t eat egg, so the protein-sparing modified fast breads made from whipped egg white are not an option for them. Others are intolerant to casein found in the cheese of fathead-based doughs and the breads in this book provide an alternative.
These breads also provide suitable options for those from bread-centric cultures, including the South Asian, Hispanic and Middle Eastern communities around the world. While these breads are not perfect replicas of the original, they do provide people with options that are not available with nut flour, fathead or beaten egg white.
This book is about providing people with options and in that light, I would encourage people to think about this book in terms of (1) how it can be used and (2) by whom.
How These Breads can be Used and by Whom
The first thing that needs to be said is that because many of the breads in this book contain gluten or ingredients that are not certified gluten free, these breads are not suitable for those with celiac disease or for people who avoid gluten for other health reasons.
Even if you are one of these people, this book may be helpful for you to share with those you know who really don’t want to give up eating bread, eat specific breads for cultural reasons, or simply because they enjoy them. This book can be used to show them that they can still adopt a low carb or ketogenic diet that includes suitable low carb breads, while working towards achieving their health and weight goals. These people might not otherwise even consider a low carb or keto diet but may be willing to consider it if they know there is “real bread that happens to be low carb” available.
For those who are clinicians, these breads can provide a suitable low carb alternative to people from the South Asian and Hispanic communities who are at 6x and 1.7x increased risk of type 2 diabetes respectively compared to the general population, and who who are from cultures that are bread-centric, which also includes people from different areas of the Middle East. I believe as a clinician that it would be culturally myopic to recommend that other people from these cultures should live without bread just because we, or other people we know do.
As Dr. Adele Hite, Registered Dietitian with a masters’ degree in public health nutrition and a PhD in communications and digital media said on social media today;
“Food is not just about nutrients and calories. It is also about family and celebration and familiarity…We are not machines to be fueled with food. We are humans who are here to enjoy the bounty we have with the people we love.”
Low Carb Breads of the World is all about giving people low carb bread options that better enable them to enjoy their everyday meals, and their family celebrations in ways that are culturally appropriate.
It is about making a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle more accessible to people who choose to follow it — whether that is for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, putting the symptoms of metabolic disorders into remission, or personal preference.
Considerations in Purchasing Low Carb Breads of the World
If you are considering purchasing this book for your own use and you avoid gluten for any reason, then I would not recommend it as many of the breads contain gluten. It may, however be helpful for you to have this book to show friends and family who are not gluten sensitive what is available should then decide to follow a low carb diet.
If you are a clinician, you may want to consider purchasing this book as a clinical tool. It can certainly provide your patients/ clients with options they do not currently with breads made from fathead dough, nut flours or beaten egg white.
Like the old adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching them to fish., I want to provide tools to individuals and clinicians SO THAT barriers to following a low carb or keto diet for therapeutic reasons are removed.
Are these breads perfect?
No, but they are as close as I can get to the originals. It is my sincere hope that people will take these ingredients, and the knowledge of how to work with them and run with it — and making many more low carb bread recipes that can be shared!
As Dr. Hite said on social media this morning, “doing better” starts with “changing our expectations about what food can do and what we can do with food”. I believe that start with us and this is where I started.
To your good health!
Release Date and Pre-orders
Low Carb Breads of the World is expected to be published June 1, 2022 and will sell for $24.99 (USD) plus tax. It can be pre-ordered now for only $19.99 (USD) tax included, and will only be offered at the pre-publication price on this website.
Pre-ordering saves you money by paying now and helps me balance clinical demands and writing the book. Your support of this project is appreciated.
Click here to pre-order.
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