Healthful Bread: How to Choose One

Have you been searching for a healthful bread? Join the club! There are a dizzying number of breads to choose from in the average grocery store. These tips will help you to choose one that is worth your money!

“Made with Whole-Grain” is No Guarantee

If a package states that a food is “made with whole grains,” it might contain only one gram of whole grain. Worse yet, the little bit of whole grain present could be packaged with a lot of refined grains and added sugar, so it’s important to be conscientious about reading the ingredient list and glancing at the Nutrition Facts label. To learn more about why whole grains matter, check out this resource.

For example, remember that a bread labeled as a “good source of whole grain” must contain eight grams of whole grain per slice, which doesn’t sound bad. But now consider that the typical slice of bread contains 24 grams of grain, and you’ll see that this bread is only one-third whole grain, which isn’t that great.

Wheat” Might Only Indicate Food Coloring

The color of bread is no indication of the nutritional content. Brown bread might just have molasses added to it, and “wheat” bread is not the same thing as “whole-wheat”. If the first ingredient on the list is “wheat flour,” white flour was mostly used.

“Whole-Wheat” Isn’t Your Only Option for a Healthful Bread

You want the first ingredient listed to be a whole grain but it doesn’t have to be whole-wheat! Whole barley, brown rice, whole oats, or whole flax are other options to scope out.

How Much Fiber Is Enough?

Ideally, you want bread that contains at least three grams of fiber per slice. However, remember that most of us are shooting for 25 grams of fiber per day.

Some Bread Is Surprisingly High in Sodium

You want to find a bread that contains no more than 200 mg of sodium per slice.

“Light” Bread Might Just Be Smaller

Make sure to check the weight of breads when comparing the calories. This holds true for all foods, not just bread.