Having to eat a bit of bread once a week - what to do?

(Arie1985uk ) #1

I’m still getting used to the food here in America, the thing is I’m Jewish and once a week as part of my tradition I’m supposed to eat a bread at Friday night … it doesn’t have to be a huge amount but I’m trying now to eat something that can fit the keyo style …

I was wondering if a bread/roll that has 30g carbs but from these 26g are fiber (i.e. 30 - 26 = 4gr net carbs) - are these 4 net carbs really 4 net carbs or this is something I cannot rely on by any means whatsoever?

(Chuck) #2

If all you are doing is eating a small amount once a week, no harm done.

(Joey) #3

@arie1985uk Just curious… I understand during the weekly Shabbat family meal there’s a blessing recited over the challah (braided bread), but where’s the commandment that you actually need to eat it?

And there’s also the kiddush blessing over a glass of wine, but a recovering alcoholic is not required to drink … because "You shall live by these commandments, not die by them."

Similarly, if you genuinely believe eating bread is unhealthy given your circumstances, then - unlike the affirmative commandment to eat matzoh during Passover - can you please clarify where a commandment that one must eat bread on Shabbat is found?

[As for getting used to the food here in America, good luck :wink: ]

L’chaim :vulcan_salute:

(Arie1985uk ) #4


Supposedly it’s given to us from our wise sages, so whilst the Torah might not write this explicitly, our sages who passed us the same Torah using their interpertations, told us we need to do that.
Note they didn’t make those decisions based on what THEY wanted, the Torah is not about what the man wants but what god commands.

I did ask my Rabbi about it, and he said if you feel the bread is making you feel bad then it’s not pleasure and Shabbat is about being pleasure, so according to Shulachan Aruch, Shabbat 288 Clause 2 - it says you shouldn’t eat something that makes you feel bad, including bread, yes.

So technically I don’t have to eat it but I think maybe 1-2 bites would be enough just an example for the kids, you don’t really have to eat more than that. And yes, perhaps I could avoid it completely, not sure. But what you say is true, and my Rabbi is orthodox, not reform or anything, so I’m sure there are many other Jews out there who don’t eat bread/challah or eat the very minimum, the whole carb industry is destroying our lives (I believe it also killed my parents in a very early age, no doubt about it).

Yes, same with grape juice, I really take a sip, I am not even sure what’s better, grape juice or wine, what do you think? :thinking:

(Joey) #5

I happen to agree with @cvkemp in that a small bite or two isn’t going to make much of a difference … and if doing so is for the kids, then that’s an even better reason!

You might consider making it a teaching moment, by verbalizing that Dad is limiting himself for his own health reasons but that thoughful self-control doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy family time together :heavy_heart_exclamation: Build a fence around your carb restriction.

I hear you. I attribute much of my parents’ health woes to all those carbs. Especially as they’re found throughout most of our traditional foods.

Oh, definitely wine is preferable to grape juice any day… that is, unless someone is in recovery from an alcohol addiction.

A glass of dry red wine has minimal carbs compared to the same dose of grape juice largely because the carbs were consumed through the fermentation process.

By the same token, lay off the “sweet” wines (i.e., classic Manischewitz). Even kosher reds are available in a dry finish. The dry reds are the wines with the most limited carbs.

And after that glass of wine, if you’d still like a little more of something to relax and savor the peace of Shabbat with family, reach for one of those distilled spirits, like brandy, whisky, vodka, tequila, etc., as these have virtually no carbs whatsoever.

Of course, alcohol gets metabolized before most everything else you ingest, which creates other issues when overdone… but that’s a whole other megillah. :wink:

(Arie1985uk ) #6

Thanks, I really appreciate that.
I’d try dry red wine, not a sweetened one (not Manischewitz like you said). Sounds like a good option, we have several bottles in our place so I’d pick one for tonight and the kids can have a separate grape juice, thanks a lot again.

(Joey) #7

I believe Manischewitz, Carmel, and several other kosher vinyards do produce dry reds, but if glat isn’t a requirement you’re then certainly free to explore the ocean of mass market offerings.

Shabbat shalom! :vulcan_salute:


4g isn’t going to do anything, and for that, even 30g once a week wouldn’t, that’s not enough carbs to reload your liver, certainly not enough to reload muscles, and it’s only when both of those happen that they start spilling over and anything not being burned as fuel can store as fat. Don’t even worry about it.

(Chuck) #9

That is up to you. Personally I did keto for awhile,and found it really not for me. I do eat moderately low carb most of the time. I also for over a year did intermediate fasting and while I did see some minor weight loss, I didn’t accomplish my real goal of being able to control my blood pressure without prescription drugs. I have found my best solution for controlling my weight and my blood pressure, and that is staying away from highly processed carbs and higher refined flour. That does not mean I don’t eat bread, I just don’t eat bread that often, and I don’t eat store bought bread. My wife bakes our bread from stone grounded grain. In doing so I enjoy the bread on special occasions, I when our church service has communion I am not afraid or effected by the small amount of bread and grape juice that is highly watered down.
All I am saying is you as the individual has to make your own decisions and be at peace with those decisions.


That’s good :slight_smile:

Well, if you personally feel okay about eating a tiny bread, I don’t see much problem with that. Some people are very sensitive, others have a very strong belief bread makes them unhealthy and it bothers them potentially way more than the bread physically could, those are different cases. But if you feel fine and don’t get bothered, I don’t think a little can do a noticeable harm. Our body should handle a little bread, mine surely does. Much isn’t good for me but I don’t get sick or anything. So in my case and as far as I can tell, in your case I would go with little.

It is individual… For an ex-alcoholist, grape juice sounds better… For someone who is sensitive to sugar, probably wine is better…
But if the amount is tiny, it’s fine either way for most of us.
Of course, the sugar content of the wine may matter. My old favorite wine had 20% sugar (and felt way stronger than other wines, IDK why). Most have waaaay less :slight_smile: But in tiny amounts? Even that matters little. And I doubt those super sugary wines are used religiously but what do I know…?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #11

I’m glad I read down the thread before commenting, because you’ve received some great comments here. It sounds as though you are figuring out a solution that works for you.

As already mentioned, I wouldn’t worry about a small piece of bread once a week, especially if the carb content is mostly fibre. And Joey’s suggestion to stick with a dry wine is a good one.

As a devout Christian, I had to go through a similar process as you, with certain devotional practises. I had to learn that if a rule that is fundamentally intended for our benefit instead causes us harm, God understands when we modify our compliance. I have come to believe that what is desired is not that we strive to fulfill the letter of the requirements, but that we engage in thoughtful reflection on what the spirit of those requirements is and engage with that. We can still derive benefit from and still honour God by participating in the ritual, even if we aren’t following a strict interpretation of those requirements.

(Eve) #12

That is wonderfully expressed Paul :blush:


Echoing what others said about dry red wine. It is considered keto as is some form of spirit that is served by itself such as whiskey, or a shot of tequila. Martinis depending on how they are made may be ok as well but I am not sure how many carbs vermouth has. The olives are good.

Celiac and wheat intolerance is becoming more common. I know a number of Jewish people who have problems with wheat. Some people find a benefit with avoiding wheat and gluten even in small amounts, others find it does not make a difference. Especially if someone has other autoimmune issues such as thyroid. Even the two bites will trigger the sensitivity if you have one. Many kosher grocery stores have frozen gluten free challahs although it is unclear whether that fulfills the commandment in someone who does not have celiac plus they are pricey and range in how tasty they are, the consensus being not great and may even have more carbs than regular challah. Can you have someone else cut the challah and you say Amen?

As for whether it matters for keto, the test is do you eat more after having the challah? Are you still hungry or want dessert in a way you don’t normally? If the answer is no then you are probably ok

(Arie1985uk ) #14

Thanks Paul, I totally agree with what you said and this is also what my Rabbi said, it’s true, sticking to the very fine print of what we’re told to do when we know is bad for us - we have and it’s even backed by sources - telling us to not do that, and be happier this way.


While there are many blessings you can say because you want to, there is a concept in Judaism that you do not make a blessing related to eating or other affirmative actions if you are not going to carry out the task. Loosely translated it is a wasted blessing. Bracha Le Vatalah. The solution is to have someone else say it and eat the Challah and OP says Amen but I am not a rabbi

(Arie1985uk ) #16

Yes, well said.

(KM) #17

Do you make your own bread? That might be a completely new avenue to try in terms of combining mindful grace and ketosis! I came across a few keto challah recipes, although I can’t vouch for any or whether they are kosher … an example, https://starfishinthekitchen.com/keto-beautiful-braided-challah-bread/

(Joey) #18

At the risk of engaging in Talmudic logic here, despite straying a bit from the OP’s original concern, I’d offer that teaching one’s children how to say a blessing over bread at a family meal - even if he does not eat any - would not be taking G-d’s name in vain (which is the central concern of the “wasted blessing” concept).

On the contrary…as a father he would be teaching & encouraging his children to recite a blessing while simultaneously providing an opportunity to explain why their family’s faith also prioritizes preserving one’s health by personally refraining from eating bread at this time in his own life. A double mitzvah!

(Harriet) #19

Beat me to it! I even found a yeast risen low carb challah.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #20

Also, the blessing is not just on behalf of the person saying the blessing, it is for and on behalf of all present. And strictly speaking, we are blessing God (“Blessed be the Lord, giver of bread . . .”) as well as the bread.

Now, if one were the only person at the meal, it would make no sense to bless food one was not going to eat. Unless you want to thank the Lord for giving you the wisdom to cut the carbs! :grin: