The Bread Isle
The Bread Isle can get a little overwhelming.
With so many choices of bread we want to help narrow your options down by following some tips that will help you make a quality bread purchase.
Is bread healthy for you? It depends on the ingredients!
Go for "Organic Whole Wheat" or "100% whole grain"
+ if you’re opting for wheat - make sure it is “unbleached” or “organic”
Other good bread choices include:
Rye, Sprouted Grain, Multigrain, Sour dough but..
(don't be mislead by packaging)
Check the Nutrition label and make sure one of the above are listed FIRST on the food label!
INGREDIENTS ARE LISTED in descending order of predominance by weight.
Some are even tricky, take this one for example
Breads can label themselves ‘whole grain’ even if only 51% of the ingredients qualify.
Claims on the front of packages such as "whole grain," "multigrain" and "12-grain" have been given no legal definition given by the Food and Drug Administration.
OKAY, SO WHY WHOLE GRAIN?
You want whole grains because they're naturally low in fat and cholesterol free; contain 10% to 15% protein, and offer loads of healthy fiber, resistant starch, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and often, phytoesterogrens (plant estrogens). With all those nutrients in one package, it’s no wonder whole grains provide so many health benefits, including protection from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.
When comparing breads make sure you're comparing grams to grams not serving sizes! Some companies have 1 slice as a serving size, and some have 2!
Watch the sodium intake and remember that part of a healthy diet is staying under 1500 milligrams a day.
Avoid fillers and sweeteners especially "High Fructose corn syrup"
Next, Bleached flour is known to causes diabetes.
Chemically bleaching flour currently is banned in Australia, the European Union, and many other countries across the globe due to the carcinogenic properties of the chemicals used. These facts aside, the bleaching process can also impart a bitter aftertaste and off odors.
In the United States there are no current laws banning the use of Naloxene to bleach flour.
OPT for unbleached or just choose a bread without wheat.
One of my FAVORITE TIPS: 10:1 Carb to Fiber Ratio
Harvard researchers offer this rule of thumb for choosing good whole-grain foods: look for a 10:1 ratio of carbohydrates to fiber.
When you look at the nutrition panel on a product, make sure that for every 10 grams of total carbohydrates there's at least one gram of fiber. As the Harvard Health blog points out, this is about the ratio of carbohydrates and fiber that's in unprocessed wheat, a genuine whole grain. The recommendation comes from a study done by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. They evaluated 545 grain products and tallied up their nutritional components.
**Foods that met the 10:1 ratio "tended to have less sugar, sodium, and trans fats than those that didn't."
The less ingredients, that you can actually read and know where they are sourced- the better.
Watch out for weird ingredients like L-Cysteine, which can be derived from a variety of natural sources such as duck feathers and hog hair, one of the most common sources is human hair.
TO SUM IT ALL UP!
Calories: 100 or fewer per slice
Fiber: 2 grams or more per slice
Sodium: 225 mg or less per slice
100% wheat grain, rye, etc as the first ingredient
Fewer ingredients mean better bread
Carb to fiber ratio 10:1
- If you don’t know what an ingredient is, google it!
Finding high-quality bread can be quite challenging, but we have curated a selection of bread options in our shop to assist you. While making your own bread at home is the optimal choice, the ones we have linked are the finest options accessible at local supermarkets and on Amazon.
Also, check out Wegmans and Balthazar Bakery!