What is the healthiest bread to buy? What used to be a simple trip to the bakery has now become a confusing endeavour in the bread and breakfast cereal aisle. When I was young you entered the shop and instantly were lulled into a delicious fragrant of freshly baked bread. The baker’s wife behind the counter greeted you by name. You had your favorite kind of bread. But if you didn’t make it to the bakery in the morning chances were high that it was gone and you had to pick from what was left. Your choice of freshly baked bread was then picked from the rack by the baker’s wife and carefully wrapped into a paper bag. You paid, the bread was handed over to you and then you tested the crunchiness by squeezed it. If the crust lightly cracked open the bread found your approval. You could hardly wait to get home to top the delight with a layer of butter and Nutella while it was still a little warm.
Today you need a scientific degree and reading glasses to choose the healthiest bread to buy.
You could run a 50 meter race in the bread aisle with cellophane-wrapped loafs of bread waving for your attention. Take me I’m multi-grain! No take me because I’m made with emmer flour. Hey, don’t you know gluten-free is in? But I’m a wonder says the wonder bread. You want wonder in your life, don’t you? It is super confusing. So what the f*#$ is the healthiest bread to buy in the shelf? If your goal is to receive the scientific degree continue reading here as to what the fine difference is between “whole grain”, “whole wheat”, “100% whole wheat”, “white flour” and so on.
To make a long story short, here is how to pick the healthiest bread:
- The first ingredient should be (organic sprouted) WHOLE GRAIN.
- Next best thing “100% whole grain”, then “100% whole wheat, spelt or whatever grain”.
- The fiber count should be at least 2g fiber per 30g of bread (which doesn’t necessarily mean per slice).
- The shorter the ingredients list the better. You DON’T want enriched or bleached flour. Remember it only takes flour, liquids and salt to make bread.
- Don’t trust fancy claims like “100% natural”, “Multi-grain’’, “Brown bread”, “Wonder bread”, “diet”, “light”, “7 essential nutrients” or “Omega-3-rich”.
- Aim for not more than 1 g sugar per slice.
- Aim for less than 200 mg of sodium per slice.
- Support an artisan bakery that makes bread from scratch with healthy ingredients. It doesn’t give you the guarantee that they use whole grains but hopefully they refer from using preservatives, artificial flavours and colours, refined sugar and partially hydrogenated oils.
The clip on the plastic bag might help you out in regards to the freshness question.
Are you collecting the twist-ties or clips that hold the plastic bag of your bread? If yes, than you might have a nice assortment of different colors in your drawer. Apparently bread makers use this color-coding so you can tell when the bread was baked (aka how fresh it is). There is
- blue Monday
- green Tuesday
- red Thursday
- white Friday and
- yellow Saturday.
However, colors can vary by region or company. Don’t ask me why there is not bread baked on Wednesday.
A brand of bread I like and that is available at supermarkets in Canada and the US is Silver Hills Bakery with a wide variety of products.A short list of how to choose the healthiest bread to buy by Tanja Knapp