Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Bread Basket and its Effect on the Rest of Your Meal

Most sit down restaurants serve a bread basket at the table.  It creates good will and adds to the overall dining experience.  The latest trend is restaurants upgrading the bread basket with homemade offerings.  Restaurants are in the business to make money, so they want to offer the bread without having to give the customer too much and not allow the customer to fill up on bread before ordering.  Most restaurants use the strategy of bringing the bread basket out after the order has been placed which achieves both goals.

Restaurants view the bread basket a little differently than me.  Bread is a fun addition to the meal but it should not be the main of the meal.  Bread is heavy, hard to digest and is the quickest way to add abdominal fat.  This view of bread has come from my Ayurvedic training and health life experience.  Bread is a treat that should be eaten only a few times a week. 

The bread in a restaurant bread basket can actually have the effect of creating increased appetite during a meal.  White bread is like eating the nutritional amount of sugar.  It will cause glucose levels to spike when eaten on an empty stomach.  When something spikes upward, it needs to crash down.  After eating the white bread on an empty stomach, your glucose levels will crash after the initial spike.  This will happen during the meal and will make you feel hungrier and eat more food than you really need.  This habit done regularly can cause weight gain.

Now there is a way to enjoy the bread basket.  First, one can eat stone ground whole-grain bread which has natural fats and fiber that slows digestion and avoids the spike.  The second choice is to eat less of the white bread with a little olive oil or butter which are fats and slow the digestion. It is nice to have an option when enjoying a meal out.  The goal is to make things work for you while keeping your health in mind.

Stay healthy & well,

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