The Sourdough Bread Experiment (+ new FODMAPs!)

Nov 7, 2015 | Articles, Misc articles, Sourdough

The Sourdough Bread Experiment | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Update: since this post I’ve experimented with making my own sourdough!

Exciting news (in my life at least): Monash University researchers just updated their iPhone app with more than 100 new ingredients tested for FODMAP content! If you’ve never heard of Monash, they’re a university in Melbourne, Australia, and researchers there are the guys responsible for creating the low-FODMAP diet (so basically brilliant. and lifesavers).

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Since the diet is still new, not everything has been tested for FODMAP content yet. So it’s super exciting when they come out with new results! Even more exciting is that they’re begun testing foods made & found in the US, specifically prepared foods like bread!

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Which brings me to my experiment. You see, according to Monash, 2 slices of white wheat sourdough bread is low in FODMAPs! Which means, theoretically, I can eat a sourdough sandwich and not feel miserable afterwards. Which is exciting, but here’s the thing: we don’t know the ingredients in the bread they tested, the size of the slices, the bread maker’s method for making the sourdough, or the type or age of the wheat used. Which are all variables that affect FODMAP content. No two loaves of bread are the same, especially if they’re made by different manufacturers. So bottom line: when I go buy some sourdough, there’s a high likelihood that I’ll feel fine, but there is a chance that it might still make me feel miserable.

But to someone who’s lived primarily on Udi’s gluten free bread for the past year (with a few bites of pizza dough and restaurant biscuits here and there), this is huge. And I’ll let you know right here: that first turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat bread was the most wonderful, delicious, non-dry-and-crumbly sandwich ever.

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So for the sake of delicious sandwiches, I was willing to take the risk. I’ll outline the steps I followed below, in case you want to do an experiment of your own!

Monday

Turkey & cheese sandwich on 2 pieces of sourdough bread (+ a small salad) for lunch, around noon.

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Results: At around 2, didn’t feel that great. Felt fine by end of day though

TUESDAY

No sourdough. Didn’t feel any residual discomfort from day 1.

WEDNESDAY

Turkey, cheese, lettuce sandwich on 2 pieces of sourdough (+ a small salad, I think) for lunch, around noon.

Results: Felt fine after lunch. Ate a sugary/carb-y snack around 4:30-5, which was enough to make me feel miserable the rest of the day.

THURSDAY

No sourdough, felt fine.

FRIDAY

Bowl of meatball + veggie + noodle soup with 1 piece of sourdough.

Results: Felt perfectly fine.

Overall conclusions

Enjoying sourdough responsibly is perfectly fine, and I intend to continue to do this.

What does “responsibly” mean? Not also eating other things that I know are troublesome in the same day as a sourdough sandwich, and not eating sourdough two days in a row (and never more than 1x per day). Sourdough falls into the category of things I like enough to eat regularly, but can’t have too much. (Other things in this category: avocado, sweet potato chips/fries, cappuccinos from coffee shops with whole milk, gelato, beer.)

What do you think? Sometimes experiments like this are fun and exciting, but other times they’re just plain frustrating (I just want to eat what I want and not feel miserable), but I’ve learned to frame the results as positively I can. Sure, I can’t eat wheat sandwiches every day whenever I want. But an occasional sourdough sandwich is better than none at all, and I’ll take what I can get! I see lots of sourdough dipped in homemade soup in my future!

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