When I am looking at the labels on any food, the first products are always the most important.
As a general rule, the shorter the list, the better the product. So let’s look at breads and bred labels. The best and most nutritious bread may be made from only one whole ingredient such as whole wheat flour, or other whole grains as the first ingredients. It may also contain a short list of honey or molasses, water, yeast and a little salt.
Be careful, when you purchase “whole wheat bread” if the first ingredientsays “wheat flour”, then that’s just another method off putting one over on you. The key-word on the bread label is “whole.”
Say Yes:- When reading bread labels look for these pluses:
- I’ve already mentioned the importance of the word “whole” like whole wheat, whole grains etc. look for labels that say 100 percent whole wheat. In other words, whole wheat flour is the first ingredient on the label.
- A high Fiber Content which will help you to feel and stay full longer. Fiber has a multitude of health benefits so look for breads or any other food that are high in fiber.
- Look for high protein content, even in breads. I try and include protein in every meal that I eat.
- The word organic is good. Just make sure that it is really organic. Let’s make sure that it is not adulterated like the word natural which is sometimes deceptive.
- Breads that are low in Sodium are to be desired. In many types of bread that you buy in the store there’s quite a bit of salt. The lower the salt content the better, bread should contain less than 350 mg of salt per serving.
Say No- Steer away from these Ingredients when reading bread labels:
- Look for the words “Partially hydrogenated” and “hydrogenated fats”. These are bad for you. If you see these words on the bread label, simply put the bread back on the shelf and look for another brand.
- Say No to the word “Bleached”, especially if it’s the first ingredient.
- “Enriched flour” is deceptive, don’t purchase these breads.
- Does it contain high fructose corn syrup? I know, it’s nearly impossible to find bread without any sweetener in it, but you do want to stay away from High fructose corn syrup. Look for honey sweetened bread as an alternative.
As I said previously, the term “wheat flour,” can be misleading.A truthful label would state what percentage is whole wheat. Like “75% or 100% Whole wheat”. If it doesn’t say Whole wheat” then it isn’t a good choice.
There are some non wheat flours that you might consider as long as they follow the guidelines I have given you above. The word “Flour” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is wheat. Flour can be made from any grain. Some non wheat flours to consider would be buckwheat, oats, rye, flax seed, soy, and arrowroot.
The very best bread to purchase would be a “multi whole grain” or “whole wheat bread.”I also like whole wheat pita bread. For additional flavor I like breads that are sweetened with a little honey, as long as there are not too many other ingredients in the bread.
I’m not a big bread-eater; I prefer to get my carbohydrates from some other sources such as brown rice or oats. That said, If someone offers me a slice of home-baked whole wheat bread then that would be simply irresistible.
Are you tired of trying to read bread labels? If so, then my advice would be to make your own bread at home and then you know exactly what ingredients it contains!