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You can spare 3 to 10 lbs of excess fat a month and eat healthier

Our recommendations

> 100% whole wheat flour as the first ingredient on the label

> 4 grams of fiber per 2-slice serving (or similar)

> Less than 200 mg sodium per 1 slice

> Less than 0.5 gram saturated fat per slice (most have zero saturated fat)

So, which bread is the healthiest and will add the least fat to your body? First let’s get rid of the myths:

 

Bread Myth 1: If it looks brown and has the word “wheat” in the name, it has lots of fiber and whole grain.

Our research: The first ingredient listed on the ingredient label tells the story. If it’s “wheat flour” or “enriched bleached flour” (or similar), that tells you white flour was mostly used, not “whole-wheat flour.”


Bread Myth 2: Breads with healthy sounding names like “seven-grain” or “100% natural” are the best choices.

Our research: Just because the name of the bread on the package sounds super-healthy, it doesn’t mean the bread actually is. Oroweat’s seven-grain and 12-grain breads, for example, list “unbleached enriched flour” as their first ingredient. Nature’s Pride 100% Natural Honey Wheat bread, likewise, is mainly made with “wheat flour,” not whole wheat.


Bread Myth 3: Rye bread is a 100% whole-grain, high-fiber choice.

Our research: The first ingredient listed on the label of most brand brands of rye bread, from Russian Rye or Jewish Rye to Dark Rye or Extra Sour Rye, is none other than unbleached enriched flour. The second ingredient is usually water, and the third, rye flour. That explains why most rye breads have only 1 gram of fiber per slice (one dark rye in my supermarket has less than that). So, rye bread isn’t usually 100% whole grain (although there might be some enlightened brands out there I haven’t seen yet). I wouldn’t call them high in fiber, either.

How to buy the healthiest bread for your weight loss?

Best Bread Tip No. 1: Go for 100%

Just “whole wheat” doesn’t cut it. Neither does “made with whole grain”. Look for labels that say “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain,” and don’t settle for anything less. If it’s 100% whole wheat, the first ingredient listed in the ingredient label will be whole-wheat flour or 100% whole-wheat flour.

You want whole grains because they’re naturally low in fat and cholesterolfree; contain 10% to 15% protein, and offer loads of healthy fiber, resistant starch, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and often, phytoesterogrens (plant estrogens). With all those nutrients in one package, it’s no wonder whole grains provide so many health benefits, including protection from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.

Healthiest Bread Tip 2: Sodium

Most bread products come with a dose of sodium, which is added to help control the yeast activity and for flavor. If you eat three servings of whole grain bread a day, and each slice has about 200 milligrams of sodium, that contributes 600 milligrams to your daily sodium total. It may not sound like much, but it represents one-third of your limit if you’re trying to stay within 1,800 milligrams a day.

The good news is that there are plenty of breads with 200 milligrams or less of sodium per slice. See the table below for some of your best bread choices that aren’t too high in sodium.

Healthiest Bread Tip 3: Serving Size

When comparing bread products, look carefully at the serving size on the label. Some bread slices are much larger than others. In the table below, you will find the weight of the serving listed, for comparison’s sake.

Healthiest Bread Tip 4: Diet or “Light” can be misleading

There are several brands of bread that are promoted as being lower in calories. They usually have the word “light” in the name or on the packaging. Often, “light” bread means a smaller serving size and a product that is pumped with some extra fiber. For example, Sara Lee has a “45 Calories & Delightful” whole-wheat bread. Although the 45 calories is “per 1 slice,” the nutrition information on the label is given for 2 slices. The weight of a 2-slice serving of this bread is 45 grams, compared to Sara Lee’s classic 100% whole-wheat classic bread, which weighs 57 grams per 2-slice serving.

With Thomas English Muffins, it’s more about extra fiber adding bulk without calories. A serving of Thomas’ “Light” Multigrain English Muffins weighs the same as a serving of their 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins. The big difference is that the Light English Muffins have 8 grams of fiber, compared to 3 grams in the 100% whole-wheat type.

Best bread choices (for weight loss) in the store

Our recommendations

> 100% whole wheat flour as the first ingredient on the label

> 4 grams of fiber per 2-slice serving (or similar)

> Less than 200 mg sodium per 1 slice

> Less than 0.5 gram saturated fat per slice (most have zero saturated fat)

Sliced Bread

Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multi-Grain Bread (45 gr)

Whole wheat flour, water, wheat gluten, modified wheat starch, sugar, yeast, whole grains (bulgur wheat, wheat, rye, oats, barley, triticale, corn, millet), cellulose fiber, salt, soybean oil, preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid), mono- and diglycerides, natural flavor, wheat bran, datem, cellulose gum, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ground flaxmeal, reb a (stevia leaf sweetener), cornstarch, soy lecithin, citric acid, grain vinegar, honey solids, potassium iodate.Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multi-Grain Bread

Milton’s Healthy Whole Grain Plus Bread (76 g)

whole wheat flour, water, vital wheat gluten, brown sugar, cornmeal, rolled oats, yeast, wheat bran, honey, oat fiber, calcium sulfate, flax seed, salt, vinegar, cracked wheat, cultured wheat flour, wheat starch, ascorbic acid, sugar, soybean oil, soy lecithin, soy flour, malted barley flour, enzymes, zinc oxide, calcium panthothenate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin b6, vitamin b12.

Milton’s Whole Grain Plus Bread (76 g) - BEST bread for weight loss and healthy #gastricBypass #GastricSleeve #WLS

Oroweat Country 100% Whole Wheat (76 g)

WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, SUGAR, WHEAT GLUTEN, RAISIN JUICE CONCENTRATE, WHEAT BRAN, YEAST, MOLASSES, SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, PRESERVATIVES (CALCIUM PROPIONATE, SORBIC ACID), MONOGLYCERIDES, DATEM, CALCIUM SULFATE, GRAIN VINEGAR, SOY LECITHIN, SOY, WHEY (MILK).
 Oroweat Country 100% Whole Wheat (76 g) - BEST bread for weight loss and healthy #gastricBypass #GastricSleeve #WLS

Sara Lee Hearty & Delicious 100% Multi-Grain (86 g)

Whole wheat flour, water, wheat gluten, modified wheat starch, sugar, yeast, whole grains (bulgur wheat, wheat, rye, oats, barley, triticale, corn, millet), cellulose fiber, salt, soybean oil, preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid), mono- and diglycerides, natural flavor, wheat bran, datem, cellulose gum, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ground flaxmeal, reb a (stevia leaf sweetener), cornstarch, soy lecithin, citric acid, grain vinegar, honey solids, potassium iodate.

Sara Lee Hearty & Delicious 100% Multi-Grain Bread -- BEST bread for weight loss and healthy #gastricBypass #GastricSleeve #WLS

Nature’s Pride 100% Whole Wheat (56 g)

Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Sugar, Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Cracked Wheat. Contains 2% or less of: Wheat Bran, Honey, Cultured Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar (Sugar, Molasses), Salt, Soybean Oil, Molasses, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Vinegar, Cultured Corn Solids, Yeast Extract, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Whey.Nature's Pride Bakery Bread 100% Whole Wheat - best for weight reduction and healthy for #GastricBypass #GastricSleeve

Pita Pockets

  • Thomas Sahara Pita Pockets
  • 100% Whole Wheat (57 g)
  • Toufayan Multi-grain Pita (69 g)

English Muffins

  • Oroweat Whole Grain & Flax (64 g) contributes 14 mg heart-healthy omega-3s
  • Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat (59 g)

Bagel and Buns

  • Oroweat Whole Grain 100% Whole
  • Wheat Hamburger Bun (71 g)
  • Oroweat Whole Grain 100% Whole
  • Wheat Hotdog Bun (56 g)
  • Thomas Hearty Grains 100% Whole
  • Wheat Bagels (95 g)

 

 

Source: (Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the “Recipe Doctor” for WebMD and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health)