When trying to adopt a healthier diet, bread is among the first things you need to let go, right after sugary sodas. But here’s the thing – not all loaves of bread are equal and some are actually good for you. But how do you know which are the healthiest types of bread you can eat? We’ve got that covered!
When trying to find a healthy piece of bread, labels can be confusing. That’s because a large number of manufacturers are trying to advertise their products as clean and healthy.
You’ll see all sorts of titles such as gluten-free, sprouted, whole wheat and multigrain, but which one should you choose? Here are the types of bread that are actually good for you and also the ones you should steer clear of.
While the occasional slice of white crusty bread never killed anyone, if you’re eating it often and just can’t turn into a “no bread” type of person you should opt for sprouted grain bread. It’s definitely one of the healthiest types of bread you can eat since sprouted grains turn some of their starch to protein, minerals, and vitamins.
This makes sprouted grain bread more nutritious than any other kind and also much more filling. Another benefit is pretty much all sprouted bread you can buy is made with better quality and cleaner ingredients that other types.
The bread that’s made entirely using whole grains is almost on par with sprouted grain bread. What matters most is that it should be made 100% of whole grains so it doesn’t contain the refined types or flour. While an honest whole grain bread is actually an excelent source of fiber and protein you should be careful when choosing one.
Some of them can contain added sweeteners (often the processed kinds), hydrogenated oils, and even potassium bromate which has been linked to cancer. Your best best is to carefully read the labels before deciding if a certain whole grain bread is worth buying or not.
Technically, the name of this bread sounds awesome. It’s also true – multigrain bread usually contains various types of grains. The bad part is they aren’t necessarily whole grains. In fact, multigrain pieces of bread are usually made with refined grains so they’re not as nutritious, or fiber and protein-rich as their sprouted grain and whole grain counterparts.
However, they do contain a small amount of whole grain so they’re still better than the typical white bread.
Sourdough and rye bread are made using refined flours just like white bread. As a result, they don’t have any extra nutritional value, although rye bread does contain caraway seeds. These seeds increase the fiber content a bit, aid digestion and also contain some antioxidants but there might not be enough of them in rye bread to make a difference.
So, if you like the taste of these breads feel free to enjoy them occasionally but don’t buy them because they’re healthier than white bread because they’re not.
The gluten-free craze might have slowed down a bit but many people still think of gluten as one of devil’s spawns. Actually, gluten is harmful only to those who suffer from gluten intolerance and sensitivities. These people are forced to choose gluten-free bread because of their health issues. For the rest of us, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
Most gluten-free breads are made using refined grains and heavy starches such as potato starch and white rice flour. A lot of manufacturers also add more fat and sugar to make their flavor and texture more appealing. For this reason, it’s no surprise most gluten-free breads have higher caloric contents and lower levels of protein, fiber and other nutrients than numerous other types of bread.
Nevertheless, there are also healthier gluten-free breads made with lower-starch flours like coconut, almond, and quinoa flour. For the most part, don’t opt for gluten-free bread unless you are sensitive to gluten or you have celiac disease. Sprouted and whole grain bread are much better options for healthy individuals.
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