Tips on how to choose the best bread to eat and avoid high in sodium, nutrient scarce, bleached white flour bread.
Bread is something many of us consume daily, or even several times a day. Changing from regular bread to whole grain bread is one of the important steps you have to take in order to have a balanced, healthy diet. Only a few know how to choose healthy, additive and chemicals free whole grain bread. The key is knowing how to read the labels. Here are some basic tips which will help you make the healthiest choices.
Choose only 100% whole grain bread!
Studies show that whole grains lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes and also help prevent obesity. When wheat is refined to make white flour, all fibers, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients disappear. So basically what you eat are just bad carbs and empty calories! Look carefully at the ingredients list to see if the bread you chose contains whole grain flour.
Read the ingredients label carefully!
“Multigrain” or “Made with whole grains” are just empty words when it comes to store-bought bread. If you see those on a label it only means that the bread contains some whole grains but it is usually made with refined white flour. Also, “whole wheat” doesn’t necessarily mean that the bread was made exclusively with whole wheat flour, the base flour used is still white flour.
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Stay away from enriched wheat flour too! This type of flour is actually refined white flour which was enriched with synthetic nutrients to replace those which were lost during processing. Even though these nutrients are added back, the flour still doesn’t contain the bran or the germ. How to be sure then? The trick is to look at the first ingredient on the list if it is whole grain wheat it’s ok.
Fluffy vs. Dense. How to test it?
Squeeze it! If the bread is dense that means it was most likely made with whole grain flour. If it’s too soft then you definitely have to avoid it! Fluffy breads are made this way only using chemicals. These additives are added in order to decrease the amount of flour needed to make bread.
Choose only low sodium bread
In general, each slice of bread has about 200 milligrams of sodium which may not sound like much but if you eat about 3 or 4 slices per day you’ve pretty much covered one-third of your daily recommended sodium intake.
TIPS! How to keep bread fresh?
Keep bread in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Preferably use a bread box.
Freeze it! Allow it to slowly thaw at room temperature then throw it in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Don’t refreeze it.