Diet-Friendly Dough: Experts Weigh in on Cloud Bread

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Poor bread. It's never fully recovered from the low-carb craze of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which sent millions of people scrambling for no-dough alternatives to bread, pastries and pizza crusts. We've since learned that carbs aren't all bad, and in fact are an essential source of fuel for healthy bodies. Even so, many dieters continue to keep their carbs on the down low.

Enter cloud bread. It may not have fallen from the heavens as its name implies, but many health-conscious eaters have hailed it as a dietary blessing. A quick Instagram search yields nearly 7,000 images of the light, fluffy, dough-less wonder. But what exactly is it, and is it really good for you?
 
A grain-free alternative to traditional bread, cloud bread (originally known as "Cleochatra’s Oopsie Rolls") is typically made from eggs, cream cheese, some sort of sweetener (such as sugar or honey) and a little salt. You can add other spices, seeds and nuts to your preferred taste as well.
 
The main benefit of cloud bread is that it consists mainly of protein and fat, with very little carbs (just 0.5 grams per serving). It's also gluten-free, making it a good dough alternative for those who have celiac disease or simply can't tolerate gluten. One drawback is that cloud bread contains far less fiber, vitamins and minerals than wheat-based breads.
 
Although cloud bread and other substitutes may fit the criteria for weight loss programs due to their low carb content, SparkPeople dietitian Becky Hand warns they're not always as healthy as they seem. "In these recipes, when the grain (flour) is removed, the carbohydrate content goes down—but then high-fat ingredients are substituted, such as cream cheese and full-fat mozzarella cheese. In many cases, the substitute item ends up having approximately the same calorie amount as many bread products, yet they contain 70-75 percent of the calories from fat and up to 37 percent of the calories from saturated fat."
 
Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that although you shouldn't expect cloud bread to have the same taste or texture as grain-based breads, it can serve as a good base for various toppings, such as a mini pizza, dips or sandwiches. "For people who tolerate wheat and enjoy bread, I wouldn't recommend completely cutting out regular bread, but cloud bread could be a good alternative to try on occasion," says Rumsey.
 
Outside of the cloud, other bread alternatives have caught the attention of those seeking a healthier, grain-free sandwich substitute:
  • Ezekiel bread: Made from sprouted whole grains, legumes and seeds, Ezekiel bread is richer in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals than traditional wheat breads and has no sugar or preservatives. Although low in carbs, it's not gluten-free.
  • Leafy greens: They may not resemble dough in the slightest, but big, leafy greens serve as a healthy stand-in for bread, buns and tortillas. Fill the leaves with veggies, meats, rice or your recipe of choice.
  • Sweet potato flatbread: Made with mashed sweet potato or butternut squash, this grain-free flatbread works well for sandwiches or as a mini pizza crust.
  • Cauliflower crust: Who needs high-carb pizza crust when you can use freshly grated cauliflower? SparkPeople member PLATSUZIE's recipe has just five grams of carbs per serving and packs plenty of protein and fiber. Cauliflower bread can also be used to make grilled cheesenachos and other no-dough delicacies.
If you decide to give cloud bread a try, Hand says it's still important to monitor the number of servings eaten to prevent excessive calorie, fat and saturated fat intake. "When using a low-carb weight loss program, most carbs should still come from nutrient-rich, non-starchy vegetables to ensure that nutritional and fiber needs are met," she says.
 
Have you tried cloud bread, or would you like to?

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Comments

1CRAZYDOG 6/4/2018
I have been making Oopsie Bread for years. It is a far healthier alternative for me than any of the wheat derivatives (sprouted wheat, etc.) Just doesn't agree w/my system and not good for my blood sugar. Everyone has to find what works for them adn realize . . . .we're all an experiment of one. Oopsie Bread works for me. Report
NASFKAB 5/22/2018
Interesting post but is fat the villain its made out to be here? GMO wheat & corn are even more dangerous Report
GEORGE815 5/1/2018
Sara Lee makes a low carb wheat product. Works well. Report
NDSTOIC44 2/23/2018
Interesting to see all the rabid carb-haters. They would faint if they saw how sick I get when I eat high fat food. Even the healthy fats tear up my gut. Everyone is different and high fat simply doesn't work for some people. I feel good, lose weight, and have perfect labs on high carb low fat. Let's not generalize. Report
EO4WELLNESS 2/10/2018
thanks. interesting read Report
MNABOY 11/3/2017
Thanks for sharing Report
ETHELMERZ 10/24/2017
We have diarrhea every time we eat it, so donít make it anymore. We love Ezekiel bread, especially toasted. Report
JULIENSMITH 10/12/2017
I have heard of cloud bread & think it would be fun to try. Report
GWENHAVEN 9/1/2017
Cloud bread is pretty good in some instances, but is NOT an all around bread substitute. It has a slightly eggy taste, so you have to like eggs. It's good for tuna salad sandwiches, a little weird with peanut butter and jelly. Great for veggie sandwiches. I tried toasting it and it reeked of browned eggs, a no go. But I do love the texture of it. Going to make some now! Report
SYLBA61 8/30/2017
I've never considered trying cloud bread, but I do want to try Ezekial bread and cauliflower crust for pizza. I'm hoping my husband will like cauliflower crust. He doesn't eat very many veggies. This would give him one more if he likes it. Report
Having had WLS 5 years ago, bread is not possible for me and I miss it a lot. Some gariatric specialists say no to bread alternatives as it sets you up to want bread. I would like to try the sweet potato bread because it sounds more flavorful. Report
never heard of cloud bread before but I have tried Ezekiel and find it to be very hearty! Report
Never heard of cloud bread but will look into it as I cook for 3 gluten free grandchildren. Report
I love Ezekiel bread. And I firmly believe that there ARE healthy grains, especially now that there are so many whole grains available. Report
Becky Hand is way back in the old school of "healthy grains", still in the pocket of giant corporation trying to control our eating so we become or stay sick and dependent on Big Pharma.

Modern wheat and corn are not good for most of us.

I have a great grain-free recipe for hamburger buns made with cashews. Report
Thank you SP! Because of an article on SP about IBS I figured out that for the past 65 years or so I have suffered from just that problem! I ignored the "Cloud Bread" hype because I was ignorant of the fact that it contained no grain. The FODMAP diet for IBS recommends no grains containing gluten. Many fruits and some vegetables are off limits as well. The success I have following that diet is unbelievable! I really did miss bread though and this recipe (and many others like it on line) is a life saver! So glad I check in every day to SP and read the articles! Keep up the great work! Report
Sounded interesting til you told me it had more fat and less fiber. Report
Never heard of Cloud Bread until reading this article, I have baked my own and enjoyed eating Ezekiel Bread but would like to give Cloud Bread a try! Recipe looks quite easy so will re-visit this blog and perhaps try making this bread...Thanks for sharing this blog!!! Report
it does not sound good to me i will stick to regular bread. Report
I agree with Amysnewspark: I am allergic to wheat and corn period. May be the processing, may be I am just allergic to wheat and corn. Without it I have no inflammation and aches, blood work is better, and I am losing weight. Ditch the wheat and corn- go for a lettuce wrap or occasional rice cakes.  Report
Wow, I have used cloud bread once or twice as a bread replacement, but I wanted to say that the author is way behind the times with regard to what works for losing weight and what is healthy. Eggs are an amazing food, designed to sustain life and have the perfect amounts of healthy, natural fats and proteins. Carbs turn into glucose in your body, it doesn't matter where the carbs come from the body still turns them into glucose in order to deal with them. The only carbs that the body does not turn into glucose is fiber. I personally have been on some sort of diet for most of the past 17 years with no success, until I threw out everything I was taught and started eating high fat, low carb. Since then I have lost 60lbs and my gut has never felt better. I have tons of energy and never feel like I am deprived or can't wait to lose the weight so I can eat "normally". In fact high fat, low carb is the way I now eat and plan on eating for the rest of my life, it is just healthier and more satisfying than eating carbs. Report
Please do yourselves a favor and read/research wheat and corn. That mass produced product being consumed hardly qualifies as food anymore it is so modified and void of any real nutrients. For the first time in nine years, my blood work is normal and I am losing weight. Most important, I feel better than I have felt in years.
I make a batch of cloud bread every week and keep it in the refrigerator. It takes about 25 mins max and 20 of that is baking time. My favorite way to eat it is as a breakfast sandwich. It's not the same as "bread" but it satisfies me and again, I feel great! Report
Wow. In what universe does "cloud bread contains far less fiber, vitamins and minerals than wheat-based breads". Fiber, yes, but the last time I checked you get a whole lot more nutritional value from eggs than you'll ever get from wheat flour.

For those folks who haven't tried cloud bread, you'll often find that you don't get the very common energy drop an hour or two after eating that happens when you eat a lot of starch with your meal. Fat and protein give a nice, steady supply of energy instead of the boom-and-bust of starch/sugar.

And just to be clear, starch begins to turn into glucose (aka Blood Sugar) IN YOUR MOUTH. It's actually more like sugar than sugar is. Half of what's in table sugar has to go to your liver for processing. Report
SAFIRE82
I love SP, however it is a bit behind the times in it's information on fat. Our bodies need fat and yes, even saturated fats. I feel my best and most energetic and have an easier time staying off sugar when I eat plenty of fat. I have butter every day at every meal. I also eat a ton of avocados! So good. Report
Wow, this could be a hot topic ! I have seen fights break out over fat vs carbs vs protein. I now follow a LCHF diet because the 45 carbs per meal recommended by a dietician was making my sugars higher and I was gaining weight. I have not tried this bread yet since it is a little time consuming but plan to soon. Mostly I stick to 90 second English muffins and that works for my bread most of the time with almond flour. Everything in moderation should be key. We all have to experiment and find what works best for each of us. We should not have to defend what is working for us but many do. I know I have discovered many new recipes becoming diabetic and am loving that part and I am much more consistent in my exercise trying to avoid complications from this disease. I agree, sugar is not our friend ! Report
ALILDUCKLING
I bake this fairly regularly for my Atkins hubby. We use it in a variety of ways that he likes -- French toast sub has been great, also using 2 pieces for a bun. Using cloud bread actually converted me to using parchment paper in some of my baking! Also, it freezes well and I can keep part of a batch for later use.
Report
JANETEMILY
Nope, sorry. Sounds like a waste of time and effort... nothing wrong with whole grain bread that is low in sugar and higher in fiber. And there is no true, scientific research that says "carbs are not our friend". Fruits and vegetables are carbs! Weight loss or gain depends on calories consumed, not macro or micro nutrients. Report
SOMAFLEX
Guess what SparkPeople? Real fat is actually beneficial in our diets, and most of us, especially women, are deficient in it. I'm baffled that Spark hasn't made this exceptional data, now being recognized practically everywhere (even by our own gov't.) part of it's program. Report
Thank you for the article on cloud bread as I was unfamiliar about what it was. Everything in moderation so I may give this one a try. Report
Carbs are NOT our enemy. It's the TYPE of carbohydrate you have to be aware of. If there is anything that is "not our friend" it's sugar. Report
I have been making these since the 1970s - they are sort of popovers without flour - they were also known as 'Revolution rolls' , first published by Atkins. There are many versions - I have mine here (why you would add sugar or honey is beyond me) - there are several recipes here to make them - I use sour cream in mine as it is easier than cream cheese. While I love SparkPeople to death - I really wish they would get with all the research that tells us carbs are not our friend. Every time I eat carbs over about 100g/day I gain weight. But I won't rant ... Report
So that's why you finally see bags of cauliflower crumbles for sale all over the place! I used to use leftover steamed cauliflower for breakfast, browned in the pan and add eggs to replace hash browns. For pizza, my family is not thrilled with it, we just buy Papa Murphy's thin crust pizza, don't have it often anyway. Hate the green leaves to replace a bun or bread, what a sloppy and messy replacement that is, what fool came up with that? If you are that desperate, just eat the meat with knife and fork, for petes sake! Report
I have no interest in cloud bread whatsoever. I would like to try cauliflower pizza crust, just because the only recipes with cauliflower I can tolerate happen to be from India. I want to see if I could like it that way. Report
Given that I recently learned that my body does not tolerate grains. Yes. Cloud bread intrigues me. Thanks for the article. Report
I'm not anti-bread/wheat/carbs, but I would like to try it just because it sounds interesting. Report
No not sure I really have trouble going out of my comfort zone sometimes Report
 
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