12.13.2009

Bread & Healthy??

I know how hard buying bread can be.  There are so many options that sound healthy (7-Grain, Wheat, Whole-Grain) but how do you know if it really is a healthy choice.  To make your bread shopping easier here are 4 tips to help get you the healthiest available.  (much of this info was taken from this great article by Lynn Grieger and reviewed by Susan Janoff, MS, RD).

Here are some of the highlights from the article. 
Step 1: Look for the word "100% whole" on the label. Whole grain, whole wheat and stone-ground whole wheat are winners. These products contain the entire grain and all its health benefits. For example. Nature's Own All Natural 9-Grain bread sounds wholesome, but the top ingredients are enriched wheat flour, water and honey, not whole-grain flour. 

Step 2: Read the list of ingredients. The first ingredient listed is present in the largest amount, and in bread products that first ingredient should include the word "whole." If the first ingredient listed contains the word ENRICHED, avoid it....  it doesn't provide all the benefits a whole grain would.

Step 3: Avoid products that are "made with whole grains," which does not always mean whole wheat. The first ingredient in Wonder Made with Whole Grains White Bread is enriched wheat flour. Whole wheat flour doesn't show up until the third ingredient, after water. Do you really want bread that has more water than whole grains?

Step 4: Check the serving size. If you're looking to reduce your calorie intake, choose a bread with slices that weigh less. Example: a slice of Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 100% Whole Wheat weighs 43 grams and has 110 calories, but a slice of its Stoneground 100% Whole Wheat bread weighs in at only 25 grams and 70 calories per slice.  

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