Low GL Porridge Bread
Updated: Sep 29
This Porridge Bread is Wheat Free, Sugar Free, Yeast Free and Low GL which means that it is a slow releasing energy source. These features have been suggested in many studies to support healthy ageing in women.
Menopause and Carbs
After menopause, we just can't hack the refined carbs as we used to (completely unscientific description there), but it's backed up by science. A combination of a previous diet high in refined carbohydrates and female hormonal changes can trigger fluctuations in your blood sugar level which lead to insulin resistance..
Insulin resistance lurks beneath two of the most common symptoms women experience during menopause: fatigue and weight gain. Women notice these symptoms as they approach menopause mostly because their bodies can no longer deal with high amounts of carbohydrates.
Eating too many simple carbs that your body can’t manage leads to weight gain, especially around the middle. Other symptoms include afternoon “blahs”, difficulty concentrating, sugar crashes and carbohydrate cravings. All of these are early symptoms of insulin resistance but we often don’t make the connection.
Benefits of Oats
The main and most healthful ingredient in this bread is Oats (you’d never guess from the name lol).
Nutritionally, oats are so well balanced. Especially the large flake variety.
As a complex carbohydrate they are a great source of fibre, including the powerful fibre, beta-glucan. The cereal grain’s proven talents include helping to lower high blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol – not to mention a packed portfolio of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. A bowl of their slow releasing power ensures blood sugar levels remain steady and provides more fibre than a slice of wholemeal bread, is low in fat, virtually sugar-free and provides a wealth of minerals such as manganese, copper and iron, as well as the B vitamins. WOW.
This fab fibre, beta glucan, is present in other grains such as barley and rye but is found in highest quantities in oats. It forms a thick gel in the gut, which is what gives you that full, satisfied feeling. But as well as helping switch off appetite, it has many other specific health benefits, including feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut, so helping your immune system, lowering cholesterol, and even potentially protecting against cancer.
Types of Fibre
When we dig a bit deeper into fibre, it can get a bit confusing. There are two types - the insoluble kind, found in, for example, fruit and vegetables and wholemeal bread, and which helps improve the transit of food through the body. And soluble fibres, such as beta glucan from cereals and pectin in fruit, which also help with food transit.
But the main claims for beta glucan centre around its cholesterol-lowering benefits. The thick gel — like wallpaper paste — that it forms in the gut, helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol as well as boosting the excretion of bile salts. These salts are made of cholesterol, so the more bile salts your body gets rid of, the more cholesterol is used to make more bile salts, so in turn reducing the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood.
What the research says?
Studies have found that eating 3g of beta glucan a day (around what you’d get in a 70g bowl of oats) can reduce your levels of harmful LDL cholesterol by around seven per cent.
‘That’s similar to the results you might get from taking a statin,’ says Dr George Grimble, principal research fellow in the division of medicine at University College London. Yet unlike a statin it has no potential side-effects.
“Porridge has other benefits”, says Dr Grimble. ‘‘Beta glucan forms acids, including butyric acid which works on the DNA of cells in the colon and has an anti-cancer effect.”
Meanwhile, a 14-year study from Harvard University, published in the medical journal JAMA in 2015, that looked at the health of 100,000 people found that those who ate the most wholegrains, such as porridge, seemed to be protected from many illnesses, including heart disease. The researchers went so far as to say that regularly eating wholegrains could extend life expectancy. Dr Grimble agrees: “I think if everyone ate porridge we would certainly significantly cut rates of heart disease and possibly also bowel cancer.”
Bread as a Trigger
So many people say that they love bread and eat far too much of it, indeed it can even be a trigger food for some. This recipe is totally different to shop bought white bread and as such is a healthy option.
Eat Well Feel Well Age Well
Reducing refined carbs, opting for low GL alternatives and workin on specific nutrients that support healthy ageing is threaded through my signature 6 week Age Well programme.
Porridge Bread contributes to healthy digestion due to the fibre content and cardiovascular health as the oats are great for controlling cholesterol in the blood due to the beta-glucan content. I also add lots of nuts and seeds, and chia seeds which are full of protein, fibre and healthy omega 3 fats.
2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda,
2 yogurt tubs of porridge oats (use the empty yogurt tub to measure out 2 full tubs of oats)
½ tsp salt
1 tablespoon milk (optional)
Can use GF oats and/or Soya Yogurt
Optional (but I always use) 1 cup of mixed chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and crushed walnuts (included in the nutritional info below)
My favourite supplier for grains, seeds, nuts etc is Ethical Weigh
1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Grease standard loaf tin (2lbs). I use parchment paper to line the tin for easy release!
2. Place the yogurt, milk and egg in a mixing bowl.
3. Using the yogurt tub to measure 2 tubs of oats and add to the bowl with the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Add 1 cup of your favourite seeds/nuts at this point. Stir thoroughly.
5. Pour the batter (thick) into your loaf tin. Cut a line down the centre.
6. You can sprinkle some sunflower and poppy seeds on top at this stage.
7. Place in the oven and cook for approx. 55-60 mins (depending on your oven).
8. Ten minutes before the end of cooking time, remove the bread from the tin, turn upside down in the tin and cook for remaining 10 - 15 mins. Leave to cool on wire tray wrapped in clean tea towel.
If you're like me, a visual learner, sometimes it helps to see it being made in action. Happy to oblige.
The trick with this recipe is to know your oven. The danger is that it looks very well cooked, but the inside is still too moist. It may take a few attempts to get it just right. If it feels slightly moist after it is cooled – don’t panic – it still tastes lovely toasted. And next time leave it in longer. Freezes well.
Nutritional Information per slice (16 slices)., 125 cals, 3.2gms fat (of which saturates 0.6), 19gms carbohydrates (of which sugars 2.5), 2.3 gms fibre, 5.5 gms protein