hey sS’ers. so you all probably know by now, that for an acne-free, clear skinned complexion, we recommend that those who are acne-prone avoid dairy, soy, coffee and that they choose whole, real foods over processed foods. (tip: michael pollan’s ‘food rules’ is a great short read on what this all really means.)
so you’ve gone dairy free, and given up the soy-based fake meats, taking it easy on the coffee and more or less, eating really well. you’re managing your stress with deep breathing and yoga, washing your face immediately after working out, doing your skincare regimen twice a day without fail.. doing all the acne-safe stuff like you’re supposed to, but still breaking out! what can it be?
with a little detective work investigating the diets of a few super-compliant clients of ours, we found out that they were unknowingly getting sugar, dairy and/or soy into their diet by way of bread! we also found a lot of them had inflammatory corn as additional fillers too. sneaky!
the breads we found guilty of causing acne are large-scale, commercially produced and healthy sounding – often times called ‘wholegrain’ or ‘multigrain’ – but these more often than not, contain fillers: some form of dairy, soy, and sugar – along with some form of iodide-rich dough conditioner (for shelf-stabilization). these big companies have found ways to cut corners and boost profits, sadly at the cost of our health.
below are a few examples of what we found in these offending bread products, with the offending ingredients marked in RED.
thomas’ english muffins ingredients: UNBLEACHED ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR [FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, REDUCED IRON, NIACIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID], WATER, WHOLE WHITE WHEAT FLOUR, FARINA, YEAST, SUGAR, SALT, PRESERVATIVES (CALCIUM PROPIONATE, SORBIC ACID), SOYBEAN OIL, GRAIN VINEGAR, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, CITRIC ACID, WHEY, SOY FLOUR, NONFAT MILK.
* although not technically classified as cloggy, farina (aka corn) in commercially produced foods, is most always genetically modified, AND along with sugar, is inflammatory – both no nos for those with inflamed acne.
oroweat 12 grain sliced bread ingredients: WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, UNBLEACHED ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR [FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, REDUCED IRON, NIACIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID], WATER, SUGAR, SUNFLOWER SEEDS, WHEAT GLUTEN, WHEAT, RYE, CELLULOSE FIBER, OATS, YEAST, SOYBEAN OIL, GROUND CORN, SALT, MOLASSES, BUCKWHEAT, BROWN RICE, CALCIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVE), MONOGLYCERIDES, TRITICALE, BARLEY, FLAXSEED, MILLET, CALCIUM SULFATE, DATEM, GRAIN VINEGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, CITRIC ACID, SOY LECITHIN, NUTS [WALNUTS AND/OR HAZELNUTS (FILBERTS) AND/OR ALMONDS], WHEY, SOY FLOUR, NONFAT MILK
milton’s multigrain bread ingredients: ENRICHED BLEACHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, BROWN SUGAR, BROWN RICE, HONEY, CORNMEAL, WHEAT BRAN, ROLLED OATS, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, YEAST, OAT FIBER, CALCIUM SULFATE, SALT VINEGAR, NATURAL FLAVORS, BLACK AND WHITE SESAME SEEDS, POPPY SEEDS, ASCORBIC ACID, ZINC OXIDE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE ( A B VITAMIN), FERROUS SULFATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B-6), CYANOCOBALAMIN (VITAMIN B-12), CULTURED WHEAT FLOUR, SOY FLOUR
for the healthiest food options, it’s best to source from your small and local producers. the nutritional integrity (and taste!) of the product is stronger, and because they are not producing products meant to be shelf stable for long periods of time, you can avoid synthetic stabilizers. a good rule to go by, is to buy bread that is packaged in paper bags, not plastic.
below are a few of our favorite local breads that are healthier options that are not only better for your health but also help to stimulate your local economy!
the famous and in-just-about-every-bay-area-natural-food-store (even costco!) acme bread company uses only organic flours, olive oils, nuts, raisins, seeds and even local butter. acme bread is also what most nicer restaurants in the bay area serve. they have baking facilities in berkeley (where they started) and mountain view, and are also making strides in being environmentally responsible: generating their own electricity with photovoltaic panels in their bakeries, experimenting with natural gas and biodiesel to fuel delivery trucks, and donating leftover bread to charitable organizations with all the leftovers from that going to organic feed for local livestock.
della fattoria is a bakery based out of petaluma, ca and uses only organic flour, local and organic extra virgin olive oils, brittany salt, and instead of commercial yeast, they use a natural starter they made themselves made of organic flour, water, and weber ranch grapes (which they still feed by hand 2-3 times a day, with organic flour and water). we’ve only been able to find della fattoria at mollie stone’s and at the real food grocery stores in san francisco. it can be hard to find, but their seeded wheat bread is delicious and worth the hunt!
and of course, the bakery darling of san francisco’s mission district, tartine bakery. everything here is amazing, and a lot of this amazing stuff is laden with dairy and sugar (their ham & cheese croissants, savory olive cake, monsieur croques & cocoa nib rochers are my favorite treats!). but their daily fresh baked loaves are acne-safe, and available everyday after 430pm. yes the lines out the door can be insane (mid-morning, mid-afternoon and after 6pm are the best times to go), but the wise ones will call and preorder their favorite kind of loaf to be ready for pickup before they sell out.
for those of you that want to take matters into your own hands (and save some money to boot), the new york times’ no knead bread recipe is a great, and relatively easy one to try. you can substitute up to half the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour – be patient, as it can take a few tries before this one turns out (like it did for me).
we’ve tried hard to find breads that are commercially produced without some form of sugar, dairy or soy, but they are hard to find. if (and hopefully, when) we find some that deserve the sS seal of approval, we’ll be sure to update with another blog post. but if any of you have favorites, please let us know about them so we can tell the world!
ps: even if you aren’t in the bay area and have found some great, delicious and local bread in your ‘hood, let us know so we can share that information with sS’ers far and away!
pps: bread freezes really well; something i like to do is slice up all the bread, and wrap it up in the paper bag it came in, then zip it up in a plastic bag, then freeze it. makes for an easy breakfast and defrosts really quickly, especially if you toast it up.