Consumers often have difficulty knowing how to buy a healthy bread – find out how you can…

Choosing a healthy bread is no simple task, especially once you have seen all the choices, sorted through the health claims on the label, factored in the price, all at the same time as telling your two year old to sit still for the fifteenth time, it can all be a bit overwhelming!

Knowing which bread is the healthiest can be a challenge.  Here are a few tips to make that supermarket bread choice a bit easier:

  • Switch to wholegrain as a starting point.  It is one of the easiest ways to increase your fibre intake from wholegrains.  They provide so many health benefits like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and fibre to help keep you fuller for longer.  Let alone the link that fibre has to reducing heart disease and diabetes.
  • If you see ‘wheat’ bread or ‘enriched wheat’ at the top of the ingredients list, you are basically holding a pan of white bread!
  • The label should read 100% wholegrain bread ideally.  This means that the first ingredient on the nutrition panel will be ‘whole wheat flour’.  It is the bran and the germ in whole heat flour that contains all the nutrients.
  • Try out different brands to see which one you like best.  This may be down to texture and quality for you.  Do shop around though, as they all taste slightly different.
  • Be wary of ‘multigrain’ on the label.  This really just tells you that the bread has multiple or several different kinds of grains in it, none of which are necessarily whole. Often the grains could be refined.
  • Fewer ingredients doesn’t mean it’s healthier.  This is your opportunity to incorporate things tha are good for you – like seeds, nuts, dried fruit, flaxseeds and wholegrains.  These wholefoods add flavour also add flavour, texture and nutrition which is fantastic!
  • By comparing brands, you’ll see the numbers can vary on the nutrition panel.  Fat is generally not a problem in bread, so don’t concentrate on that too long, as long as the nutrition label shows 0 grams of trans fat.  Extra fibre added can be a bonus.
  • Watch out for marketing traps.  A bread may say ‘made with wholegrains’ as apose to wholegrain bread.  It could just mean that a tiny bit of wholegrains have been mixed into a lot of white refined flour!
  • Because the size of slices can vary hugely, always compare the nutritional value of brands ‘per 100g’.  Look for bread that has <3g fat/100g, <5g sugar /100g, <0.3g salt/100g and >6g fibre/100g.
  • Think outside the slice!  Choose whole-wheat pitas, whole-wheat muf­fins,whole-wheat wraps and whole-wheat tortillas.shutterstock_127319030