Shopping for bread.

Diabetics and people who are trying to lose weight or control cholesterol  should avoid all forms of ground-up grains, whole wheat bread

and that includes bread. For everyone else, bread is a perfectly satisfactory food.

Breads have been made for thousands of years, in virtually every culture, to wrap, sandwich, or accompany other foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.When ground-up grains were used shortly after milling, there was no need to remove anything or to add ingredients to keep them fresh. Only in our recent history have we turned into junk food by removing the germ and fiber from the grains. Even worse, some bread manufactures add partially hydrogenated fats to their breads  to prolong their shelf life.

The best way to assure that you are getting a bread that is made from whole grains, with nothing removed, is to bake your own bread made from flour you grind yourself, or buy from local bakers who grind their flour fresh every few days (these are hard to find). Not many people are going to be able to do that. So here are my goals for picking the best of the commercial breads:

1. Avoid any bread that made with partially hydrogenated oils.

Read the list of ingredients and if it contains the worlds partially hydrogenated, put it back on the shelf. Partially hydrogenated oils are totally unnecessary for making good-tasting bread.

2.Get as much whole grain flour as possible.

This isn’t easy to tell, because regulations allow bread makers to use the worlds whole wheat even is portions of grain have been removed. Words like stone ground, multi-grain, seven-grain or cracked wheat sound healthy but don’t tell you anything. Generally, breads that list whole wheat as the first ingredient are better that those that start with enriched flour of some sort.

3.Pick breads with higher fiber content.

2 grams of fiber per slice is better that 1 or 0 grams. One caution: breads promoted for their fiber content may have added pea or some such ingredient; that’s adding sawdust, not an indication that you’re getting the whole grains. Check the list of ingredients on these breads.

4. Added seeds are a bonus.

Many breads include seeds in the dough or as toppings. This is an easy way to add caraway seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds or other whole seeds to your diet.

5. Breads made from 100 % sprouted grains have all the nutrients of whole grains, may have more vitamins, and may raise bloon sugar less that breads made with dry flour.

6. Watch out for breads that taste too good.

Nothing is more seductive than a loaf of freshly baked bread. A reasonable portion is 1-2 slices. If you eat the whole loaf in one sitting, or the whole basket of rolls in a restaurant before dinner comes, you’ll get into trouble.

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