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How Healthy Is Your Bread? You May Be Surprised To Find It Isn’t

Bread is one of the tastiest things on this planet! But, are you getting more than you bargain for when you have a slice of toast for breakfast or make that sandwich for lunch?

Most people believe that if your bread is brown is healthy. This is not necessarily true, especially if it is overly processed, refined and contains additives, chemicals and/or colorings. To find the healthiest breads, you should first start by looking for those with whole grains.

According to the USDA, adults should eat 48 grams of whole grains per day. Whole grains have heart healthy fiber and may lower your risks of heart disease and diabetes. Examine labels for 100% whole grains as these breads are made from flours that contains the entire grain kernel compared to their refined counterparts.

The 100% whole grain kernel has all the healthy stuff like B vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and other minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. Be sure your bread has the 100% whole grain stamp which certifies it and ensures each serving has at least 16 grams of whole grains. A product with 50% whole grain stamp means half, or at least 8 grams, are whole grains.

As long as they each say 100%, whole grain or whole wheat, are equally nutritious. So, you don’t have to just invest in brown breads. Whole grain breads can contain other flours like oat, barley, rice or spelt.

A label that says “made with” is still largely processed and refined flour that is not as healthy as 100% whole grain breads. “Multigrain” bread doesn’t tell you how much or which grains are used. These, too, can be refined. If the label says “21 whole grains and seeds,” look at where they are in the list of ingredients. The further away from the top, the more likely they are an additive or topping and not a main ingredient.

Labels that read “USDA Organic” are made with 95% organic ingredients and are free from pesticides and other harmful materials. Products that read, “good source of fiber” have between 2.8 and 5.3 grams of fiber per serving.

For accurate nutritional information, always read the packaging and compare. Avoid breads with high grams of sugar, salt and fat.

What are the best tasting 100% whole grain and whole wheat breads on the market? Tell us your story or contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to on Twitter, FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!

About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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