With dozens of sliced breads found in the grocery store, how do you know which ones are the best choices? You may be surprised to know that just because it’s brown or says “whole wheat” doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. Here are some tips to help you make the best sliced bread choices when grocery shopping.
What to look for on the label
Sometimes the brown colour just means that molasses has been added. And “whole wheat” doesn’t always mean “whole grain”. Here’s what to look for on the label:
The first ingredient on the ingredient list should state some type of whole grain. Some examples include whole grain whole wheat and whole oats. Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain. This means they have all the vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fibre that you may not find in a product like white bread.
Look for at least 2 grams of fibre for each slice of bread. Sometimes the Nutrition Facts Panel states information for two slices of bread, so look for 4 grams of fibre.
Bread can be a source of salt (sodium), so compare brands and choose breads with the least amount of sodium.
Why are whole grains important? Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. They can also help to maintain a healthy weight.
These words can be tricky:
Multigrain – This type of bread contains more than one grain (e.g. wheat, rice, and corn) and does not necessarily or always mean whole grain.
Enriched – These are usually white or whole wheat breads that have vitamins and minerals (like iron or B vitamins) added back after the refining process.
Whole wheat – This doesn’t always mean whole grain. Whole wheat products are good choices if they are high in fibre (at least 4 grams of fibre in each serving).
Stone ground – This is a type of flour making process, but doesn’t mean whole grain.
Whole grain bread, five ways
Try some of these whole grain bread ideas:
1. Enjoy whole grain bread toasted with peanut butter and banana slices. Other tasty fruit and nut combinations are almond butter and apple slices and soy butter with pear slices.
2. Melt cheese on a slice of whole grain bread, top with a slice of tomato.
3. Spread light tuna salad and shredded carrot on top for an open-faced sandwich. Or try canned salmon with arugula and green pepper.
4. Use whole grain breads to make French toast. Make extra and keep in the freezer for a fast breakfast on a busy morning.
5. Try these sandwich ideas:
Hummus, shredded carrots and baby spinach
Refried beans, lettuce and tomato
Tzatziki and cucumber
Egg salad, dill and red onion
You may also be interested in:
Choosing Whole Grains FAQs
All about Whole Grains
Healthy Shopping Tips
Last Update – June 3, 2015