The right kind of bread can be an extremely healthful food. Eating more whole grains is associated with lower weight and reduced health problems, heart disease, and cancer risk. Keeping bread in a healthy diet begins with choosing varieties with the best nutrition. Certain types are naturally high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Others are made from refined grains with added vitamins and minerals. Nutritional experts evaluate healthy breads based on researched health benefits and fiber, protein, micronutrient content, and total calories.
Table of Contents
100% Whole Wheat
- 100% whole wheat bread contains abundant fiber and nutrients and is one of the most nutritious varieties.
- A slice of bread made with all whole wheat flour provides 80 calories, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
- One hundred percent whole wheat bread also contains essential minerals like calcium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin.
- Increasing whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- Studies have demonstrated the positive effects of whole grains on weight control.
- Many breads advertise themselves as whole wheat and might not contain 100% whole, unrefined grains.
- Read labels to determine if store-bought bread was made with only whole wheat flour.
- A 100% whole wheat bread will either be labeled as such or have whole wheat flour as its first ingredient and does not list other flours like wheat flour or enriched bleached flour.
- Whole grains like oats, buckwheat, barley, amaranth, and millet can be included in multigrain breads for increased fiber, protein, and micronutrients.
- Adding a variety of whole grains like these can help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
- Navigating to healthy multigrain bread can be misleading.
- Breads labeled as multigrain can be difficult to tell whether the grains used to make the bread were whole or refined.
- It’s recommended to look for a multigrain bread label that has 100% whole grain.
- Oats are whole grains that can supplement whole wheat in healthy store-bought and homemade breads.
- Oats contain a special fiber called beta-glucan, with benefits that include lowering bad cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and lowering blood pressure.
- Oats are high in soluble fiber, which helps reduce constipation.
- Read the labels and look for brands that list oats and whole wheat flour as the first ingredients with minimal added sugars.
- Flaxseeds are not grains, but they aren’t packed with nutrients.
- These seeds are high in fiber and polyunsaturated fats.
- Adding flaxseed might help protect against certain cancers and improve heart health.
- Because the seeds are naturally gluten-free, flax seed bread can be an option for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- Some commercially prepared breads combine flax with wheat, but individuals may have to make their own for a loaf made entirely with flaxseed.
- Sourdough bread is made through fermentation, which adds healthy probiotics to the finished product.
- A diet rich in probiotics from fermented foods has been linked with positive health outcomes.
- Benefits include the bread’s natural probiotics, improved digestion, immune system function, extra fiber, protein, and minerals.
- For the healthiest, choose a variety made with whole wheat flour.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet and Chiropractic
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El Khoury, D et al. “Beta glucan: health benefits in obesity and metabolic syndrome.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism vol. 2012 (2012): 851362. doi:10.1155/2012/851362
Freitas, Daniela, et al. “Lemon juice, but not tea, reduces the glycemic response to bread in healthy volunteers: a randomized crossover trial.” European Journal of Nutrition vol. 60,1 (2021): 113-122. doi:10.1007/s00394-020-02228-x
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Kikuchi, Yosuke, et al. “Effects of Whole Grain Wheat Bread on Visceral Fat Obesity in Japanese Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Study.” Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) vol. 73,3 (2018): 161-165. doi:10.1007/s11130-018-0666-1
Menezes, Leidiane A A, et al. “Effects of Sourdough on FODMAPs in Bread and Potential Outcomes on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients and Healthy Subjects.” Frontiers in microbiology vol. 9 1972. 21 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01972
Parikh, Mihir, et al. “Flaxseed: its bioactive components and their cardiovascular benefits.” American Journal of Physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology vol. 314,2 (2018): H146-H159. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00400.2017
P, Nirmala Prasadi V, and Iris J Joye. “Dietary Fibre from Whole Grains and Their Benefits on Metabolic Health.” Nutrients vol. 12,10 3045. 5 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12103045
Tosh, Susan M, and Nicolas Bordenave. “Emerging science on benefits of whole grain oat and barley and their soluble dietary fibers for heart health, glycemic response, and gut microbiota.” Nutrition Reviews vol. 78, Suppl 1 (2020): 13-20. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuz085
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