This might seem like a weird post, but really, vegans have gotta eat and bread is the staff of life so I’ve heard. More than that, I love bread. I think all this paleo and primal diet nonsense is just that. Nonsense.
We don’t really know how our ancestors ate tens and hundreds of thousands of years ago. Sure, meat might have been in the diet but as the recent dude from the Alps (Ice Man) has suggested from bone and hair analysis, he was primarily a vegan. Watch Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution (Around 33:00 for Ice Man).
He goes on to talk about most ancient cultures, it is an hour long video but very well worth the watch. Meat is hard to come by. Especially when you are a hunter from a society 10 thousand years ago or so. A bow and arrow and other sharp tools are ineffective. Most of our ancestors ate a diet primarily made up of plant foods. We were plant strong and we should remain plant strong.
Now veganism is more than diet, but this post is about diet – specifically a plant based diet which is one of the pillars of veganism.
We are meant to eat starch or carbohydrates. Now I’m not gonna fight with folks who think that fruit and vegetables should be our primary carbohydrates or grains and other starches. I think there is merit to both camps. What I am going to talk about is bread as the staff of a vegan life and since bread is most commonly made from grains, we’ll talk about whole grain breads.
So how do you find the best vegan sandwich bread in the grocery store? Read on for some tips that will help you. Baking your own bread is always a great idea, but when you can’t here is what you need to know about finding the tastiest and healthiest vegan bread that is available in grocery stores or supermarkets.
The first thing is you need to keep in mind what should NOT be in your vegan bread. Vegan bread will exclude these ingredients: honey, dairy of any kind, eggs and any other animal products. Some of the products you might want to keep an eye out for is sodium caseinate, whey powder, casein or any other milk ingredients.
Most breads in the supermarket will have dough conditioners and other chemical ingredients, most of which should be vegan safe. Now I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t carry a full list of animal by products classified chemically. If you are super concerned about finding and buying the purest vegan bread then you might want to check out this list from the International Vegetarian Union.
One of these days I will write a post about why I’m not a vegan constable or the vegan police other than for reminding folks of the easiest and most obvious tenets of the vegan lifestyle.
Okay, onwards to finding the best vegan bread in the grocery store. I’m not going to offer specific recommendations because each state and province seems to have its own breads and bakeries, and I sure as hell am not gonna suggest Wonder Bread even though they might be vegan 😛 (I don’t have one in front of me to confirm or deny).
What I look for in a good, hearty and healthy vegan bread is whole grains and lots of fibre. I really like the sprouted grain breads that they’ve come out with now. These are supposedly easier to digest and more nutritious and they have greater protein and fibre content.
After looking at the ingredients of the bread to make sure it is vegan. I.e. there is no obvious signs of animal products or by products I look for only one other thing, and that is fibre. Usually, just looking at the ingredients will tell me everything I need to know. For example, as long as I see a whole grain as the first ingredient then I know I’m likely on the right track.
Looking at fibre, I like to see at least 3 grams per slice of bread. Usually, the bread that I buy has about 100 to 120 calories per slice. 3 grams per slice is decent. If you need 2,000 calories per day and you only at slices of 100 calorie pre slice bread you’d end up with 60 grams of fibre. 20 slices of bread x 100 calories = 2,000 calories. 20 slices of bread x 3 grams fibre per slice = 60 grams.
That’s all you gotta do my vegan friends and compassionate readers. There is vegan bread aplenty out there in the aisles of supermarkets. This kind of bread makes for great PB & J sammies or just plain old toast and jam.
If you want to get an idea about the kind of bread I like you can take a look at this loaf here. It is vegan at the time of writing. That’s something else to bear in mind. Check your favourite vegan bread’s ingredients from time to time. I’ve had this happen to me that a fav vegan product changes it’s ingredient list and slip some eggs or milk ingredients in there. So caveat emptor.