Slice of Life — Bread Is Improving Life One Slice at a Time
They say necessity is the mother of invention, so when Mauro Candido needed a gluten-free loaf that was delicious and health conscious, he created one — and Carb Wise Bread was born.
When a focus on health and wellness began to permeate society approximately 50 years ago, the question of all devoted foodies was, “How can I add something delicious to my diet without gaining weight?”
Mauro Candido was listening — and his new Slice of Life bread product, which is about to be launched, may provide an answer. Candido and his wife Rose are the creative hands behind the successful Euro Harvest Bakery, providing the freshest and highest-quality baked goods as a wholesale seller to major grocery stores. While taste and quality have always been crucial to their products, for Candido the introduction of Slice of Life bread had much more personal origins.
“My family members and I suffer from digestive issues, and I noticed that many people who came into Euro Harvest had the same issues and were asking for gluten-free breads,” says Candido. “Many said they always felt bloated. I felt the same way and started to do some research on wheat allergies and celiac disease. Then in 2014 my health became an even bigger concern, so my diet became a primary focus to me.”
That year, Candido was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, as well as developing a certain bacteria of the stomach. He became very sensitive to certain foods, and while undergoing many treatments and procedures, tests were coming back negative, so it became clear to him that his symptoms may be the result of the foods he was eating.
“A friend introduced me to the ketogenic diet, which involves [a diet that is] extremely low in carbohydrates but high in fats — the right kind of fats, such as coconut oil, salmon and avocado,” recalls Candido. “Fats don’t make you fat as long as they are the right fats. It’s carbs and sugar that make you fat, especially after the age of 40, when they’re not used as energy anymore and we store it in our butts, bellies and legs, which is so puzzling to many people who may think they are eating correctly and exercising.”
“We just want to accommodate people who have a need for good food” — Mauro Candido
With the ketogenic diet, the liver starts to produce ketones, which is what happens when your body uses your fat for energy. “I started to feel fantastic,” says Candido. “It was amazing; I got my youth back, was losing weight, had high energy and no stomach issues. It was like I was in my twenties again!”
However, the steady diet of salads, chicken and perhaps avocado soon became tedious and all too repetitive. As a baker, Candido missed bread and just wanted a sandwich from time to time, but like some diabetics and those with wheat allergies or suffering from celiac disease, no carbs were allowed. Given his professional skills, Candido did some research and went to work.
The most difficult challenge was finding an alternative to wheat flour as the main ingredient for this new type of bread product. There are many different types of flour, but all are very high in carbohydrates. Candido experimented and never gave up.
“Then I came across nuts, and I was able to find a flour made of almonds, which are low in carbs,” says Mauro. “I added more fats like crushed walnuts, flaxseed, flax meal, psyllium husks for more fibre and even pumpkin seeds — those are the main ingredients of this bread.”
Slice of Life bread is low in carbohydrates, gluten-free, wheat-free and yeast-free, yet it contains so many added nutritional benefits and is delicious at the same time, making it great for sandwiches or French toast. Candido says it’s the only bread he and his wife now eat.
Proof that Candido’s hard work and determination has paid off is in the numbers. While the average slice of toast bread contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, Slice of Life bread contains only 3.5 grams of carbs per slice, minus 2 grams of fibre, which produces 1.5 grams of “net carbs” this is how diabetics judge which foods they can actually have.
For now, it’s just the Slice of Life bread that Candido and Euro Harvest will be launching, but given their exceptional baking capabilities, there could possibly be extensions of this diet-changing formula. Products such as almond cookies, cheesecake or pound cake — all without the sugar — This would be an attractive possibility for diabetics, those with celiac disease or wheat allergies, or simply people who want to lose weight at a later stage in life, when losing weight becomes more difficult.
For Candido, Slice of Life is a personal passion to improve life and the diets of many people. As he says himself, “we just want to accommodate the people who have a need for good food.”
Slice of Life is now available for purchase online at www.sliceoflifefoods.ca where you can purchase online, or preorder and pick up in store at Euro Harvest Bakery, Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
8677 Weston Rd., Vaughan, Ont.
Photos by jesse milns