All bread products are not created equal. Some bread products provide few beneficial nutrients, while others can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Choose a better, more nutritious bread by following these steps.
1. Choose bread that’s 100% whole wheat or whole grain
When you eat a refined grain, your body has less work to do during digestion. This makes it easy to absorb sugar from bread, causing more drastic post-meal blood sugar spikes. Bread made from whole grain flour has more fiber, which helps slow down the digestion process, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar.
2. Steer clear of multigrain bread
As mentioned in our blog post, Five Popular Health Foods That Aren’t Really Healthy, multigrain bread is often perceived as healthy. Multigrain bread usually contains a mix of whole grain flour and refined flour.
3. Look out for enriched or fortified flour in the ingredients
Why? Because whole grains are naturally full of nutrients so they don’t need to be enriched or fortified. If you see enriched or fortified in the ingredients list, the bread is likely made from refined flour.
Here are a few examples of products that fit this criteria:
- Silver Hills
- Dave’s Killer Bread
- ShaSha Co.
- Kirkland Signature 100% Whole Wheat Bread
What About Sprouted Grains?
Sprouted grains are grains that have been germinated, meaning that new plant growth is beginning to sprout from the seed of the grain. Research has shown that sprouted grains produce enzymes that aid in digestion. They also provide more bioavailable vitamins and minerals.
Here are a couple of sprouted grain bread products:
- Food for Life/Ezekiel
- Alvarado St Bakery
How to Shop for Gluten-Free Bread
Gluten is the protein in grains that gives baked goods their structure. It also allows for the light fluffy texture of bread. Bread made from gluten-free grains is usually more dense.
Look for a gluten-free bread that has minimal ingredients and ingredients that are pronounceable.
Here are a few examples of minimally processed gluten-free bread products:
- Silver Hills
- Omega Flax
- Chia Chia
- Food For Life
- Brown Rice
- Exotic Black Rice
- Rice Millet
Zipongo does not have a relationship with any of the products listed. We included them based on their ingredient content. This blog was originally published on December 6, 2013. It was last updated on September 27, 2016.