A good bread is a brilliant, convenient source of fibre, vitamin B1 (thiamin), folate and energy.
Which is the best bread, health-wise, to eat?
Not many people have spare time to make their own bread so which commercial loaf is best to buy?
Sourdough, rye, wholemeal, multi grain, gluten-free, mixed seed, low GI, spelt, yeast-free, high fibre white, ancient grains, omega-3s, or added vitamins? A wide range of breads to choose from makes it seem daunting but with my 3-step guide the decision becomes simple.
Once you have found a nutritious loaf that tastes great, automatically reach for it when shopping. There’s no need to spend time decision-making each time you shop.
This easy three-step guide is for bread used for sandwiches and toast. It will help you choose a healthier bread. Here’s how to do it:
1. Look for wholemeal or whole grain as key words in the bread’s name. This is a good start but don’t rule out your favourite bread just because it doesn’t include those words.
2. Check the first couple of ingredients in the ingredient list. Look for the words ‘whole … flour’. For example, whole wheat flour and whole rye grain flour rather than wheat flour or rye flour. No whole flours present? The bread is not looking good but keep going to step 3 to see if the manufacturer has cleverly boosted the fibre enough to meet step.
3. Check the fibre content. Turn to the nutrition panel. Look for 5 or more grams of fibre or more in the 100 g column. The higher the fibre the better especially if you tend not to eat much bread each day.
How does your usual bread shape up? Pull it out to check it straight away.
Different guidelines apply for wrap breads. I have reviewed them here at find out how to choose wrap bread.
If you are on a special therapeutic medical diet, check with your dietitian before you apply these guidelines.