5 On Your Side

How to incorporate bread in a healthy diet

Do you love bread, but avoid it because it's carb-heavy, full of empty calories and leads to weight gain?

Posted Updated

Monica Laliberte
, WRAL executive producer/5 On Your Side reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — Do you love bread, but avoid it because it’s carb-heavy, full of empty calories and leads to weight gain?

5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte explains why not all breads are created equal.

After assessing 50 different breads, Consumer Reports found some can be part of a healthy diet.

However, with labels like “multigrain,” “made with whole wheat,” “grains and seeds” and more, it can be confusing.

To find ones that really are healthy, experts say look for bread with whole grains listed first on the ingredient list.

They’re high in fiber, which generally makes you feel fuller.

Plus, whole grains are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems

Breads labeled "multi-grain" or "12 grain," can contain a mix of grains, and even white flour.

Experts say breads labeled "100% Whole Grain" or "100% Whole Wheat" won’t have other flours mixed in.

“Less than half of the breads that we looked at that were labeled multigrain, oat, made with whole grain actually contained just whole-grains” said Amy Keating, a nutritionist with Consumer Reports.

Keating says the best healthy breads also have minimal additives, two or three grams of fiber per slice, less than 150 milligrams of sodium, and 2 or less grams of added sugars.

“Nuts and seeds are an added bonus in bread," adds Keating. "They add flavor, crunch, healthy fats, and fiber.”

Some breads that nutritionists raised a toast to:

  • 365 Whole Foods Market OrganicAncient Grains. It has 16 grams of whole grains in a slice.
  • Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat
  • Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Powerseed has 19 grams of whole grains per slice.

Add peanut butter for a protein-packed snack!

And homeade bread can be healthy, since you can avoid extra sugars, and additives. Look for a recipe created specifically for whole grain flour.


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