Which Breads are Healthiest for You?

Breads which are the healthiest for us often get passed up when it comes to deciding on the newest addition to your breadbox. Many consumers will opt for the bread that makes a softer sandwich, or a fluffier french toast. To help decide what type of loaf makes it into your kitchen cupboards on your next grocery shop, here are a few ‘sprouts of wisdom’ to keep in mind.

Avoid white or bleached bread. Bleaches used in white flour production often serve no purpose except to make the bread more aesthetically pleasing to consumers who are in favor of this variety. In addition, the bleach itself can rob the flour of what little nutrients it once had. Bleached flour essentially becomes a sticky glue-like substance in our body during digestion.

Avoid gluten wherever possible. Gluten in bread helps the loaf to rise during baking, and to increase the yield of a batch of dough. It would be similar to adding fillers to pet food during production. Gluten consumption is not only unnecessary, but there are an increasing number of people nowadays who are developing sensitivities to gluten, not to mention Celiac disease. In addition, additives have become an increasingly popular trend among the lower-end commercial bakeries. It is becoming more true every day that you get what you pay for. There are gluten-free selections available in the freezer or refrigerator section as well.

Look for breads made from sprouted grains. Sprouted grain bread is made with grains that are allowed to come to life for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, and then added to dough. This kind of bread is excellent for providing nutrients that are typically missed in the average person’s diet. The body is then able to function much more as it was meant to, easily detoxifying, repairing, and performing at peak levels. An added benefit of the body operating within normal parameters is weight loss.

Look for breads made without flour. Breads made without flour have a much lower GI (glycemic index) than that of flour-based breads. This is an important factor to take into account when you consider how the body breaks down food. The lower the glycemic index of a food, the less your blood glucose levels will spike and crash. For example, sprouted grain bread typically has a GI between 40 and 55, while that of a bleached white bread can be upwards of 90.
Feel the loaf. No joke. Pick up the loaf, and give it a feel to see just how soft or firm the bread is. The firmer, the better. The majority of the healthier loaves will have more weight to them as well. Also, if your local grocery store is in the habit of stacking their bread, they will often do so more with the healthier selections because they are more durable and compress less.

Next time you are strolling through the bakery, feel assured that you can make healthier choices about the food which is, for many, the very first part of our day.

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