Bottom Line: Finding the most healthy breads

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 7:34 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - The wall of bread in your grocery store can be daunting. There seem to be more and more healthy ones to choose from - you’ll see labels like “multigrain,” “made with whole wheat,” “grains and seeds” and more.

To help decipher the labels to make a healthy choice, look for whole grains listed first on the ingredient list. A whole grain has all three parts it was grown with - the bran, the germ and the endosperm- and is more nutritious than a refined grain which doesn’t include the two outer layers. Whole grains are high in fiber, which generally makes you feel fuller.

More good news - whole grains are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems

But labels can be confusing. For instance, breads labeled “multigrain” or “12 grain” can contain a mix of grains and even white flour. Breads labeled “100-percent Whole Grain” or “100-percent Whole Wheat” won’t have other flours, like white, mixed in.

Less than half of the breads that Consumer Reports looked at that were labeled multigrain, oat, made with whole-grain actually contained just whole-grains

In addition to a high proportion of whole grains, Consumer Reports experts say the best healthy breads have -- minimal additives -- two or three grams of fiber per slice -- less than 150 milligrams of sodium -- and 2 or fewer grams of added sugars.

Nuts and seeds are an added bonus in bread - they add flavor, crunch, healthy fats, and fiber.

Here are some breads that CR raised a toast to: 365 Whole Foods Market OrganicAncient Grains will upgrade your sandwich - it has 16 grams of whole grains in a slice, and is low in added sugars and sodium.

Your morning toast will be better with Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat. It has less than a gram of added sugar per slice.

A slice of Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Powerseed has more than a serving of whole grains, with 19 grams. Spread with peanut butter for a protein-packed snack!

For anyone wondering whether homemade bread is healthier - the answer is that it certainly can be. CR points out that with homemade you can avoid extra sugars, and additives - and look for a recipe created specifically for whole grain flour.

“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site

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