The Sourdough Grilled Chicken Club in the Jack in the Box menu stands out mainly because it’s the only one with a sourdough bun. With the usual burger bun used in most burgers and chicken sandwiches, it’s something that brings more variety to your fast-food diet. Plus, it makes your indulgence more justified because sourdough bread is actually healthy for you!
It’s a Type of Fermented Bread
Did you know that sourdough bread is considered as among the oldest forms of grain fermentation? Historians say that it may have started at around 1,500 B.C. in Egypt and, in fact, it’s still the traditional form of leavening bread used in some countries. This is true even when baker’s yeast was introduced a few centuries ago.
Take note that leavened bread refers to bread with a dough that rises due to the gas being produced during the grain’s fermentation period. While we now use baker’s yeast, the traditional method still uses “wild yeast” combined with lactic acid bacteria in leavening the bread.
Lactic acid bacteria is already present in flour and it’s also present in fermented foods like pickles, kimchi and yogurt. Wild yeast has higher acid resistance than baker’s yeast, thus, it works so well with lactic acid bacteria in making the dough rise.
The combination of flour and water with wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria is known as the starter. The starter then ferments the dough’s sugars and aids in making it rise, as well as giving the sourdough bread its characteristic taste.
Just as its name implies, sourdough bread has a more sour taste than breads made with baker’s yeast. But don’t worry about the sour taste being overpowering because it isn’t! Instead, it’s a subtle sourness that complements the fresh flavors of lettuce and tomato as well as the crispy, crunchy and juicy flavors of chicken fillet.
Sourdough bread also keeps for longer periods than regular breads. Just don’t mistake its slightly sour taste as being a sign of spoilage and it’s a great bread for savory sandwiches.
It’s More Nutritious
Of course, sourdough bread’s composition depends on its type of flour, which can either be refined flour or whole grain flour. Sourdough bread made with whole grain flour has higher amounts of fiber so it’s easier to digest; refined flour has a significant portion of its fiber removed during the refining process.
But when it comes to its overall nutrition profile, sourdough bread and regular bread have similar profiles. A medium slice (about 56 grams) of sourdough bread contains:
- 162 calories
- 32 grams of carbs
- 2-4 grams of fiber
- 6 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fat
It also contains minerals like selenium (22% RDI), folate (20% RDI), iron (12% RDI), thiamin (16% RDI), niacin (14% RDI), and sodium (16% RDI). This is particularly true for sourdough bread made from whole grain flour.
Studies have also shown that the lactobacilli, or the lactic acid bacteria, in sourdough bread release antioxidants that fight free radical damage. The fermentation process also increases its folate levels and decreases phytate levels, which means better nutrient absorption.
Sourdough bread also has a longer fermentation time that aids in enhancing the texture and taste of whole grain bread. The bottom line: It’s more delicious so people are more likely to eat more sourdough bread that, in turn, increases their consumption of nutrient- and fiber-rich bread.
It’s Easier on the Stomach
Sourdough bread can be easier to digest than other breads made with brewer’s yeast. This may be partly due to its prebiotic content, particularly its lactobacilli, which feed your gut’s beneficial bacteria. This may also be due to sourdough bread’s probiotic-like quality; probiotics are also good bacteria naturally present in certain food like yogurt and added to supplements.
The regular consumption of prebiotics and probiotics can aid in boosting your gut’s overall health. In turn, your digestive system will be better for it.
Sourdough bread also has lower gluten content. Gluten is a type of protein that can cause digestive issues in gluten-sensitive people. While moderation is well-advised, sourdough bread may well be a good alternative for gluten-sensitive persons who still want to get their bread and eat it, too.
Again, moderation is the key here. While sourdough bread has its health benefits in comparison to regular breads, it isn’t a green light to indulge in two or more Sourdough Grilled Chicken Clubs in a single session. You should still consider the calories, fats and carbs that come with each serving and determine their effects on your overall health.
Since you can have the Sourdoughs Grilled Chicken Club at Jack in the Box for roughly the same price (as shown here) as their Spicy Chicken sandwich, it might be a good option to consider next time.
In the end, even healthy foods can become toxic when these are eaten in large quantities! Sourdough bread may have its merits but it can become sour, so to speak, when it’s the same food you eat every day. Boredom can set in and you may well binge on the less healthy bread options.