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Bread has gotten a bad name in recent years due to the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, grain-free diets, and gluten-free diets. While some of the criticism of wheat and bread is well deserved—I wouldn’t call most of what you see in the grocery store Good Stuff–I have found that for many people, totally giving up bread in order to be healthy is not necessary (and definitely not fun!).
Read on for what’s bad about most bread and my top picks for healthy bread.
What’s Wrong with Most Bread
A lot of bread, especially sliced sandwich bread with a long shelf life, includes unhealthy ingredients and additives. For instance:
- Highly refined flour—you’ll even find this in some “whole grain” loaves.
- Lots of added sugars, including high-fructose corn syrup—have you ever noticed how sweet some packaged breads are?
- Cheap, low-quality oils, such as soy and canola, even in brands that you think may healthy bread.
- Artificial preservatives—this enable a long shelf life, but I’d rather freeze or refrigerate my bread!
- Artificial colors to make bread look browner (because that’s healthier, right?) or yellow (hello, potato bread!), etc.
- Cellulose fiber, which is sneakily added to up the fiber content in “healthy” bread and is often sourced from wood in a chemical-laden process. I’d much rather get my fiber from real whole grains!
- Industrial bread production involves a lot of other additives that we’d never use in our own kitchens, including dough conditioners (which are as gross as they sound).
What is Healthy Bread?
After all these decades of watching bread evolve, here is my definition of healthy bread: Healthy bread is made from real, whole-food ingredients–sprouted when possible. Be wary of ingredients that you don’t recognize.
My favorite healthy unsprouted breads are the sourdough ones with flour, water, and salt as the only ingredients.
Whatever kind of healthy bread you choose, consider some of my favorite toppings and spreads: nut butters (like almond and peanut), seed butters (like tahini, which goes great with honey!), and organic butter or ghee.
If you’re enjoying this guide, to be alerted when we publish or update our Safe Product Guides.
To your health,
P.S. You’ll notice in this post that I’ve linked a variety of ingredients to Thrive Market. If you aren’t familiar with Thrive, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a Costco meets Whole Foods meets Amazon model, with hard-to-find healthful foods delivered, for free, at steeply discounted prices. (And our readers get a free jar of avocado mayo when they join via the link I just provided).
12 responses to “Healthy Bread Shopping Guide”
Simple Kneads makes sourdough gluten free bread that is healthier than most of what you can find in the grocery stores.
I would love your thoughts in Oasis Low Carb breads!
I looked at them today and I think they look like Good Stuff!
hi sisters james charles here and welcome back to my youtube channel
Have you ever tried Dave’s Killer Bread? The 21 whole grains and seeds is my favorite and seems like good stuff.
Same as above. Dave’s killer bread?
I love how I always check with your page when thinking about a new product… now that I see we were both once Vermonters…It all makes sense!
I love that too and I love all Vermonters!