We are all about eating your carbs here at Nourished Routes, and bread is no exception. But, not all bread is created equal! With so many breads on the market it can be difficult to know what to watch for when shopping for bread. There are a lot of really good options out there, you just have to know what to look for…
Fiber is one of the key ingredients to look for on a nutrition label when buying bread. Fiber has so many amazing benefits (check out our blog All Things Fiber,) and is typically found in higher amounts in whole wheat bread. Look for a bread with 3-5 grams of fiber per slice. The fiber found in bread will help keep you fuller for longer so that your morning toast will actually hold you over until your next meal!
In addition to fiber, protein is another nutrient you’ll find in whole wheat bread over white bread. Usually when you think of bread you don’t think of protein, but many whole wheat breads actually contain a decent amount of protein and can be a great secondary source of protein for your meal. Look for bread with 3-6 grams of protein per slice which when you have a sandwich can offer an extra 6-12 grams of protein to your meal! Hearty whole wheat and whole grain breads like ones with oats or seeds in them tend to be higher in protein than others.
Read the ingredients when shopping for bread! The first thing you want to look for is some type of whole grain. Whole wheat flour as the first ingredient is the most ideal. You may also see wholegrain, multigrain, oats and other types of grains and seeds on a nutrition label. Remember that whole wheat flour and wheat flour are not the same thing. Wheat flour still contains a large amount of white flour. Next, you want to watch out for sugar on an ingredient list. If sugar is one of the first ingredients that typically means it is found in your bread in a higher amount. No sugar is always ideal, but most breads will have a small amount of added sugar. Try to look for bread with under 4 grams of added sugar per slice. Sugar can also be disguised as many other names, high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, sucrose etc.
The main takeaways when buying bread are to look for bread that is made from 100% whole wheat flour with a good amount of fiber and protein and a low amount of added sugars. There is no reason to fear bread or cut it out of your diet. Knowledge is power when it comes to healthy living, and now you know what to look for when buying bread!
This article was written by Lindsey Moser, nutrition intern. Fact checked by Allison Tallman RD.