Stop Eating Pandesal and Your Body Will Thank You for It

Monday, February 01, 2016

Pandesal. Filipino food we hate to love.

It's 4 p.m. and my sister-in-law is once again battling the urge to walk down her daily path towards the 24-hour pandesalan a couple of blocks away from our house. What once were determined strolls to get to the ever-reliable pandesal vendor's stall have been reduced to hesitant steps laden with guilt after I read to her several articles about what bread does to the body. 

I am not fond of bread, so reading health articles to her on the detrimental effects of wheat, flour, sugar, margarine and other ingredients used in making bread is akin to listening to a torturer's hymn. But someone has to do it, and I am the self-appointed 'chosen one'.

Pandesal, from the Spanish pan de sal, literally “salt bread”, is an ineradicable food item in the Filipino diet. Its unique flavor makes it perfect for breakfast, perfect for mid-morning snacks, perfect for lunch even for those who think it's a good option if they want to guard their weight, and perfect for mid-afternoon snacks we Filipinos call merienda. It's perfect for dipping in coffee, just like listening to Monsters and Men at sunset. It's just perfect. It's also the perfect food if you want to make your body unhappy. 

Why it's best to call it quits with the pandesal vendor

I know we've been told that pandesal and its popular variants, the malunggay pandesal (bread with moringa oleifera) and whole wheat pandesal, are part of the purported healthy options when it comes to bread. Pandesal may even be one of the first solid food items we ate as toddlers. I don't know of anyone who doesn't like it. Even I dig into that brown bag of pandesal from time to time -- either as a matter of habit or allegiance to my country -- when I find it sitting on our pantry like royalty. It should even be on our flag; three stars, a sun and pandesal

It is not an essential food

There is nothing in pandesal that spells "healthy", not even "okay". It does fill you up, making you feel full after chomping on five pieces (SIL Irene makes special orders for it to be toasted), but it gives your body practically nothing beneficial. It will just make you hungrier faster because it plays around with your blood sugar. 

It has something your body does not want

Pandesal has a considerable amount of sugar in it, and sugar is your worst enemy. We have been told time and again that fat will kill us, but it really is sugar that is the Cruella Deville in our diets. Fat, by the way, is good for you, but let's save that conversation for another day. 

In an article written by Dr. Willie Ong entitled "Healthy Bread for Health-Conscious People", he stated that his brother-in-law, Tecson Alonzo, who has been in the baking industry for more than 25 years now, warned the public about how unhealthy the pandesal is. Alonzo reiterated: "The Filipino bread -- the pandesal -- has a high 18% sugar content and that's probably the reason why it's addicting," he said. And that’s just the actual sugar mixed in the dough; enriched flour, which composes the majority of bread, is rich in starch, which in turn is a form of sugar. This means that people who are suffering from diabetes, or anyone who wants to stay healthy, should completely remove pandesal from their diet.

Dunking a pandesal into a cup of sweet coffee with creamer (read: 3-in-1 coffee) is the same thing as diving into a mosh pit where everyone decisively and in unison move away as soon you make what you thought would be a glorious fall. 

Whole Wheat Pandesal May Result to Bad-Looking Sugar Levels

Whole wheat is not made of actual "whole" grains, according to nutritionists from around the world. The heavily ground grains form into a flour-like powder, which is easily absorbed by the body. As a result, it enters the bloodstream as glucose, and as we all know, that is not good for your sugar level -- unless you consider a funked up sugar level fun.

If you have to choose between pandesal and Snickers {yes, that candy bar we all love}, choose Snickers. It has a lower Glycemic Index than bread. If you can avoid both, your body will thank you for it.

Irene will be broken-hearted for a while, but I know one day I'll find her with a better aura mustering the words "I'm over the pandesal man." But wait ‘til she hears that going over two cups of coffee a day is not recommended for breastfeeding moms. {Enters Cruella Deville once more.}

The question on everyone's mind now is: "Is there such a thing as healthy bread?" Hundreds of studies have been done and the answer is no. "Healthy bread", it seems, had been a misconception all this time, and they did not just find out about it in recent years. It has been known all along and has been written about for decades. Marketing, however, would not be called marketing unless it did not have the power to deceive people.

I'll leave you with this oft-repeated byword for bread that originally came out on the Daily Mail UK in 1924…

"The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead."

Enjoy a bright sun shinny day today!

CURE FOR MONDAYS IS A WOMEN'S BLOG, BEST HOMESCHOOL WEBSITE, FAMILY ISSUES BLOG, HOMESCHOOL PROBLEMS, SOCIALIZATION, INSPIRATION, MANILA MOMMY BLOGGER, SAHM, ASIAN HOMESCHOOLER, BLOGGYS 2015 WINNER, pandesal, filipino diet, 3 in 1 coffee, filipino bread, white bread, wheat bread, healthy diet, health effects of bread, stop eating pandesal, best pandesal, pan de sal

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