Bread: What to Avoid, Where the Dangers Are & Better Alternatives

Bread is a family staple for school lunches, summer picnics, barbecues, and warm weather meals, and is often promoted as the best source for fiber. Although these products can fill up your family’s hungry bellies, they are also full of unhealthy additives and chemicals that you may want to avoid. Just as we did for breakfast cereal and peanut butter, we’ll take a look at some of those ingredients, whether they are truly unhealthy or controversial, and help you make cleaner choices for your family.

Unhealthy Bread Ingredients

For bread to achieve the right flavor and texture and be able to last in your supermarket, manufacturers may add lots of ingredients. In doing so, they sacrifice the nutritional value of their most important ingredient: grain. According to Authority Nutrition, bread is made from grains that are “pulverized into very fine flour.” Because of this, when your child eats this kind bread, he digests it faster and it turns to glucose quickly in his blood stream, spiking his blood sugar. This is why runners bulk up on pasta and bread hours before a race. Even for popular whole grain bread brands, your child is usually getting an extra dose of:

You may not have a problem with any of these issues but you still should avoid white bread. Real wheat bread is made from flour that contains the most nutritious parts of the wheat berry: bran, germ and endosperm. White bread flour, on the other hand, strips out the bran and the germ, leaving it with less nutritional value. In fact, enriched whole-wheat brands often have little nutritional advantage over white bread and may even contain the same amount of sugar. According to Ask Dr. Sears, “wheat flour” contains 75% white flour. You should be wary of brown bread as well, which may just be white bread with food coloring added.

Unhealthy Ingredients In Bread

bread

Additionally, bread can contain all kinds of unhealthy additives. Here are some that we found in popular brands.

Brands to Avoid

The following conventional brands contain these additives:

  1. Great Value Wheat:
    Dough conditioners (monoglycerides, ethoxylated mono & diglycerides, azodicarbonamide, calcium peroxide), yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate), DATEM, soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, calcium propionate, monocalcium phosphate, citric acid.
  2. Wonder Bread:
    Dough conditioners (mono and diglycerides, DATEM, monocalcium phosphate), yeast nutrients (ammonium sulfate and/or ammonium chloride), calcium sulfate, tricalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, calcium propionate.
  3. Martins Enriched Potato Sandwich Bread*:
    Dough conditioners (mono and diglycerides), calcium propionate, monocalcium phosphate, DATEM, enzymes.
  4. Sunbeam Enriched White Bread*:
    Dough conditioners (monoglycerides, calcium peroxide, DATEM), yeast food (ammonium sulfate), calcium sulfate, calcium propionate, monocalcium phosphate.
  5. Arnolds 100% Whole Wheat:
    Monoglycerides, calcium propionate, DATEM, calcium sulfate, soy lecithin.
  6. Bunny Bread:
    Dough conditioners (mono and diglycerides, calcium peroxide, DATEM, enzymes), yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate), calcium propionate, corn syrup, soy lecithin.
  7. Holsum White Bread:
    Yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate), monoglycerides, azodicarbonamide, calcium propionate, calcium peroxide, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, propionic acid, high levels of salt.

The Healthiest Bread Choices

While you may not agree with all these dangers of bread ingredients, the truth is you can choose cleaner, more nutritious bread options for your family – without all the questionable additives. Better bread choices include healthier grains, organic and Non-GMO products, sprouted and ancient grains, and products that avoid added sugar. These are Mamavation’s top 6 healthiest sliced bread options:

  1. Ezekiel/Food for Life: Offering a large selection of sprouted grain bread products, many of Food for Life’s items are also gluten free. Delicious – and you’ll never know the difference with their English muffins!
  2. Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery: USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and vegan, Silver Hills also offers a variety sprouted and ancient grain options, as well as gluten free items.
  3. Rudi’s Bakery: Organic and Non-GMO regular and gluten-free bread options, this is our bread of choice for my kids’ extensive food sensitivities – and they love it.
  4. Dave’s Killer Bread: Organic and Non-GMO whole grain and seeded breads that look amazing!
  5. Manna Organics: They offer Vegan, USDA Organic and Kosher bread options, including a gluten free sampler!
  6. Canyon Bakehouse: This gluten free bakery is now appearing in many local supermarkets. They are gluten, nut, soy and dairy free and, while not entirely organic, they do integrate ingredients that are, such organic agave syrup.

Even if we are gluten free, most of us don’t need to eliminate bread from our lives completely. With smart choices, we can select healthier, fiber-rich breads to send in to school with our kids, for our next picnic or barbeque or to dunk in our soup. The choice is ours for a healthier tomorrow.

*Ingredients found on Fooducate.com.

Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC has worked with numerous brands in the natural space, including Rudi’s Bakery.

 

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Leah Segedie is the Founder of Mamavation and Bookieboo, a blogger network. After losing over 100 lbs, she started a career mentoring women in health and since then has assisted in over 3,500 lbs lost via the Mamavation community. Leah and her work has been mentioned in Ladies Home Journal, Reader's Digest, Fitness, Women's Day, CNN, ABC, CBS, the O'Reilly Factor, AOL, Entrepreneur, and Yahoo to name a few. She works from home in her fuzzy slippers.
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2016-11-16T10:59:36-05:00 May 29th, 2015|Featured, Food|0 Comments

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