It’s the last week of Sourdough September!   Health, bread & happiness are linked themes this week.

Last week we featured a wheat-free Walnut Spelt sourdough.  Spelt is a wheat-free relative of wheat and its tasty flour is popular in German bakeries.  Some friends of Rex Bakery asked whether spelt is better for your weight & you, than wheat in  bread.  Luckily, the Rex Baker has been good friends with top UK dietician Dr Sarah Schenker,  for nearly 30 years (they must have both been in nappies when they 1st met…).  Dr Sarah Schenker, dietician, nutritionistDr Sarah is co-author of the best selling The Fast Diet and so who better to ask for an expert opinion?  Here’s what she has to say:

“Wheat per se is no more fattening than other non-gluten containing grains like spelt or rice. However, there are two good reasons why avoiding gluten may help with weight loss. It is now widely recognised by the medical world that many people can suffer from gluten sensitivity in the absence of coeliac disease. Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is a relatively newly recognised condition which is still being researched and results from studies show that although sufferers do not have coeliac disease, their symptoms appear to be related to gluten and improve after following a gluten free diet.

One of the most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity is bloating where the stomach swells and causes uncomfortable abdominal pain. While this is not the same as weight gain, those experiencing frequent bloating can feel lethargic and lacking in energy. This makes exercise difficult and may lead to an unhealthy eating pattern with sufferers often relying on sugary drinks and foods in an attempt to ‘give them more energy’.

Other symptoms of gluten sensitivity include exhaustion, headaches, diarrhoea, constipation or limb numbness.

The second reason that following a gluten free diet may aid weight loss, is because you will find that you need to think more carefully about what you can eat. Wheat is ubiquitous in our diets and readily available in the form of biscuits, cakes and other snacks. Avoiding these foods and choosing alternative grains such as spelt or wholegrain rice for meals can lead to a healthier pattern of eating.”

They say that Health leads to Happiness, and out-of-the-oven artisan bread is not only naturally healthy but makes the Rex Baker very, very happy too.   But for even better health we are often advised to cut down on salt – adults should consume <6g a day, and the normal Rex baguette recipe calls for 4g.  Whilst few of us would eat a whole baguette a day all on our own (!),  it’s interesting to try a variation.  Our many baguette customers may have noticed a No-salt variation this week.  Andbaguettes, low salt bread, organic white flour the result?  Hmm.  At Rex, we think that the idea of cutting back on salt should be …. taken with a pinch of salt!  We will happily offer a No-Salt bread from time to time when we open our shop, our family eats very few processed foods like crisps but Rex Artisan Bakery clearly prefers the tasty normal recipe baguette afterall.

What do you think?  If anybody had a baguette last week & didn’t enjoy the No-Salt variation, let us know, we will gladly replace you with a “traditional” Rex baguette free of charge next week 🙂