Yes, I eat bread.
It’s time to address the many questions I get about one of most wonderful and satisfying foods on earth – Bread! I don’t want to live without it and you shouldn’t have to either.
Bread is a really hot topic and is targeted as the root of many health problems. Overall, bread gets a bad reputation because grains are not easy for your body to digest, can overwork your pancreatic enzymes, contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid and an abundance of dreaded gluten. Also, our wheat crops in this country have been through some serious genetic manipulation to make them profitable for the food industry and less healthy for us.
The main problem with wheat (unless you have a gluten sensitivity) is that we as a culture eat too much of it in general. Just take a look at the typical American diet – a bagel for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and rolls or pasta for dinner. That’s a lot of grain in just one day. Even larger amounts would be consumed if we take into consideration common snacks like crackers and desserts like cookies. Additionally, commercially available grain-based products that line grocery store shelves and are served at restaurants are unhealthy. They are full of ingredients that are not food, like azodicarbonamide (the same chemical in yoga mats and shoe rubber), other chemical dough conditioners, added sugars, artificial flavorings or coloring and GMOs. Flour can be treated with any of the 60 different chemicals approved by the FDA before it ends up on store shelves – including chemical bleach! Also, the industrial processing destroys nutrients, such as Vitamin E and fiber. Remember, it only takes 4 ingredients to make bread – flour, yeast, water and salt, there’s really no need for all that other nonsense.
If you are like me, you probably want to enjoy the occasional piece of bread without subjecting yourself to of all these questionable ingredients. I’ve done a lot of research on bread brands, and have uncovered what can make grains really unhealthy and which ones make a nutritious addition to any diet because they are whole, unadulterated and real foods.
Examples of Store-Bought Breads To Stay Away From:
Please note: Nature’s Own Bread recently took out azodicarbonamide, but is still not recommended. The picture of ingredients was removed after this news release in WSJ on 2/28/2014.
The Health Wrecking Ingredients in Bread:
- Dough Conditioners – these are unnecessary in traditional bread making and only make the process faster and cheaper for the food industry to make bread in big machinery. Many dough conditioners like azodicarbonamide (which is banned all over the world), DATEM, monoglycerides, diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate are linked to health issues. Many dough conditioners start with manipulating fat – like soybean oil or corn oil, which is also most likely GMO. Nature’s Own, Arnold, Wonderbread, Martin’s, Sara Lee, and many other popular brands are guilty of using dough conditioners.
- Preservatives – Bread is supposed to be fresh and eaten within a few days from baking unless frozen. If you see preservatives like calcium propionate, which is linked to ADHD, put the bread down and keep searching. Warning: Pepperidge Farm uses this ingredient to “retard spoilage.”
- GMOs – Most commercially available breads contain one or many genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin, soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch or soy flour. GMOs have not been tested long term on humans, however we know that the pesticides sprayed on them are absolutely toxic and considered to be poisonous. Some GMOs are created by inserting a toxic pesticide into the seed itself to make an insect’s stomach explode when they try to eat it.
- Added sugar – This is where you really need to watch out. There’s nothing wrong with a little honey to bring out the sweetness in whole wheat bread, but most manufactures are using high fructose corn syrup, GMO sugar made from sugar beets, or some other artificial sweetener like “Sucralose” that are not the best forms of sugar and can pose health risks. Almost all commercially baked brands have some form of added sweetener – especially watch out for “light” breads, which often contain more added sugar like “Arnold Bakery Light.”
- Artificial flavors and coloring – These ingredients are made from petroleum and are linked to several health issues like hyperactivity in children, allergies and asthma. They are easy to spot on the label because the FDA requires it. However, ingredients like “caramel coloring” can fool you into thinking this ingredient is a real food. Most industrial caramel coloring is created by heating ammonia and is considered a carcinogen when created this way. Martin’s potato rolls have Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, and Thomas’s English Muffins have caramel coloring.
Now before I share my top recommendations for the best (and healthiest) breads on the market – I should tell you the truth about how much bread I actually consume on a weekly basis. My diet consists of mostly plants like fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans and nuts along with the occasional meat, dairy or bread product. However, when I travel – I like to enjoy the local culture (think crossisants in France and pizza in Italy). I’m not about giving up whole food groups. My diet is about balance and choosing the most nutritious choices, but I do like to live a little and have my bread on occasion! At the grocery store, I buy the best of what’s available for my body and here are the choices I feel good about buying.
Thankfully, you don’t have to get out the bread maker or learn to make bread from scratch. There are many healthy bread options available – if you just know what to look for!
The Healthiest Breads On The Market
Sprouted Grains – I love sprouted grains because they are technically vegetables. To sprout a grain, you just soak it until it begins to sprout into a little plant. These sprouts are then ground up to make bread. When you eat a grain that has been refined into flour, your body quickly metabolizes it like a sugar, which causes your insulin to spike. This can make you gain weight and contributes to diabetes and inflammation. For all of these reasons, I don’t buy bread that is primarily made from flours, especially “wheat flour” which is really just white refined flour. The sprouts are much more easily digested than starchy flour, and contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than whole grains. Phytic acid is destroyed when the grain sprouts, so your body is able to absorb the nutrients in these grains – which makes them that much better for you!
My favorite sprouted grain bread is the classic – Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread by Food for Life – it’s made up from six different organic sprouted grains and absolutely no flour! This combo of sprouted grains contains all 9 essential amino acids, which makes up a complete protein. I use their “Cinnamon Raisin” version to make this yummy breakfast casserole. There are no preservatives in these breads, so I keep them in my freezer and take out portions as I need them. I also love the sesame seed bread, whole grain tortillas, corn tortillas and english muffins by Food for Life. Hands down – they are the healthiest breads on the market. They are available in most health food stores and some conventional stores in the freezer section.
Other good sprouted breads are Manna’s Sunseed bread and Dave’s Killer Bread Sprouted Wheat, which are both a healthy combo of organic sprouted wheat and seeds.
Ancient Grains (spelt, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum) & Gluten-Free – Unlike wheat, these grains are called ancient because they haven’t changed for thousands of years. They are packed with nutrients and many of these grains can be used to make gluten-free bread. Just make sure that the bread you are buying is labeled as “gluten-free” if you are trying to avoid gluten – because not all ancient grains are gluten-free and they may be blended with wheat. Manna makes a good gluten-free bread with brown rice, sorghum, millet, amaranth, quinoa and chia seeds. Please note, almost all gluten-free breads contain added sugar in the form of honey, molasses, agave nectar or evaporated cane juice.
Here’s A Quick List Of Healthier Breads:
Sprouted Grain Breads
- Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread – Food for Life (all varieties – 7 grains, sesame, genesis, flax, cinnamon raisin, tortillas, muffins)
- Sunseed Bread – Manna
- Banana Walnut Hemp Bread – Manna
- Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread – Rudi’s (contains added sugar)
- Sprouted Wheat Bread – Dave’s Killer Bread (contains added sugar)
- Sprouted Wheat Multi-Grain Bread – Alvarado St. Bakery (contains added sugar)
- Buckwheat Bread – Happy Camper’s (contains added sugar)
- Gluten-Free Rice Almond Bread – Food for Life (contains added sugar)
- Gluten-Free Exotic Black Rice Bread – Food for Life (contains added sugar)
- Gluten-Free Super Chia Bread – Nature’s Path (contains added sugar)
- Good Morning Millet Toaster Cakes – Ancient Grains Bakery (contains added sugar)
- Gluten-Free Deli Rye Style Bread – Canyon Bakehouse (contains added sugar)
Ancient Grain Breads
- Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Bread – Manna (contains added sugar)
- Spelt Ancient Grain Bread – Rudi’s (contains added sugar)
- Good Seed Spelt Bread – Dave’s Killer Bread (contains added sugar)
See a PDF of the full list of ingredients here
Last – but NOT LEAST – Remember to always choose bread that is made with real certified organic ingredients. The wheat that is used to make most bread is heavily sprayed with pesticides and by choosing certified organic products you will avoid exposure to GMOs.
Now, let’s go break some bread with our loved ones and share this article with them. Everyone deserves good bread without chemical additives that can wreck their health.
1,075 responses to “Before You Ever Buy Bread Again…Read This! (And Find The Healthiest Bread On The Market)”
How do you make bread without turning the sprouts in to flour? LOL this article is very misleading.
Unfortunately the truth is that there are no breads that are truly healthy. It’s to be eaten as a treat. If you’re diabetic make sure your diet is composed of mostly vegetables, some fruit and Lots of healthy fats like avocado, avocado oil and olives. Everything else is to be eaten in moderation. Eat this way and you might not be diabetic anymore
My understanding is, grinding a component alone does not make it flour. When grains are sprouted, then dried, then ground, does not produce flour; it produces ground up sprouted grain. Flour is ground grain that has not been sprouted.
Its disgusting you’re still innocent animals! !
I live in Europe and can’t find sprouted grain bread or sprouted flour to make my own. Where can I order it (excluding the UK). Would love to know what sprouted flour or bread we can buy in or near the Czech Republic. Thanks!
Love it when anyone starts off a comment by saying “The truth is…” as if they are the arbiter of truth.
That’s why you should never buy factory farm milk, cheese or butter because the animals are treated so horribly.
However, Free range Chicken eggs are ok, they are source decent of protein – as long as you’re not allergic.)
I no longer eat beef, chicken, Haven’t eaten pork in at least 3 years – 6 years)
I rarely eat fish – because it is so expensive, and only once and a while
On occasion eat turkey.
I stopped eating SaraLee bread today.
I been reading the ingredients list of food I been eating for a while.
Just mash the sprouts into dough, and bake —there’s no necessity to dry and mill them into the powder that is flour, although you may do so.
I make all my own G/F breads and they are fantastic tasting and no one really can tell the difference in the taste. I use only organic ingredients. I avoid most grains but sometimes I do use organic jasmine white rice because it agrees w/me.
Hi Terri, love your comment. I’ve tried to make my own bread sooo many times, with big fiasco. Could you possibly share your bread recipe? The recipes I’ve adapted online didn’t work for me, not even one!
Do you have any favorite recipes you can share?
What do you think about Little Northern Bakehouse Gluten Free Seeds & Grains bread?
The ingredient list I found for Ezekiel bread says soybeans and wheat gluten. I eat Ezekiel. I will be re-thinking it especially after watching a couple on you tube reporting on their blood sugar levels after eating two slices of Ezekiel and two slices of white bread. They ate them on different days and took 4 measurements. One before. One within half hour of eating. One within an hour and one two hours later. They were both unacceptable levels. Within a few points of each other. I was stunned. Thought I had a handle on some “healthy” store bought bread. Maybe I will start making my own. Dr Berg wife has a good recipe.
Yes, but that recipe has yeast – which has whole lot of problems on its own.
This was a great article. You’re right. Finding truly healthy bread is a challenge. I’m certainly not against bread, but I have been cutting back myself lately, it just so difficult to find the right product. I’m going to try to start baking my own bread.
you list ezekial bread as the heathiest bread but you forgot that it contains sprouted soy which is actually more potent than non sprouted soy and soy should be avoided. not sure why the brand feels the necessity to add soy to the product. sadly my doctor recommends staying away from ezekial because it contains soy
No soy should not be avoided, stop listening to the meat and dairy animal killing murderers !
Is raisin juice concentrate in bread bad for you? The bread I’m referencing only has 2 sugars and I’ve also read that the raisin juice concentrate helps act as a preservative.
You do not address the negative effects of bromine in flour/bread which binds iodine binding sites in the body, essentially a poison. This can contribute to incidence of breast disease including cancer.
Calcium Propionate does really bad stuff to your liver, on a recent double blind study it is linked with causing your liver to produce excess glucose leading to obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. That’s some scary stuff. Here is one of a few recent studies performed site link.
Did you ever rate Alpine Valley Sprouted bread? Looked all over here and can’t see where it happened. There sure is a lot of interest in it!
I make bread with almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, salt, psyllium husk powder, chia seeds, yeast that is activated with 2tsp maple syrup, and water. I’ve been told it’s not keto or low enough carb, however I’ve found that it helps my digestion immensely and since I’ve been eating it, my arthritis pain has reduced significantly. I’m just trying trying to find what helps me feel good on a daily basis. Does anyone have any comments? People who research and test things for themselves are a wealth of knowledge, so I’d love to hear any thoughts.
Are you willing to share your recipe? I’m looking for preservative free organic foods to make at home.
I do not know who told you the contents in the bread you make is not Keto, I can only imagine that they have not done their research. Those are good ingrediants, however, the carbs in almond flour do add up quick, just have to take that into consideration.
Could you share the recipe I have horrible arthritis and have had seven yes seven hip replacements and one knee replacement and I can barely walk so m really trying to change my diet. Thank you
Could I have your recipe? [email protected]
Has anyone here tried Berlin Bakery sprouted breads? I love both their Spelt and Sourdough Spelt breads.
I have recently heard that most companies there breads and flowers contain trace amounts of the weed killer known as Roundup.
I just want to know what bread brands don’t have their wheat sprayed with it.
After reading this article we started eating Dave’s Killer Bread. Then, we saw this info that showed us concerning information about this brand. So hard to know which company to trust? Are there any brands that have glyphosate free labeling and testing?
Here is the article:
Basically, low cost bread is bad, and over-priced bread is healthy. We wonder why so many here in the US have unhealthy diets, and it is largely because eating healthy is expensive. For larger families like ours (7 members total), purchasing items labeled GMO free or organic are way too expensive. Until the food industry can find a way to bring the cost down for these items the problem won’t go away. Simply telling people to buy organic and GMO free doesn’t help unless you are handing out money to go with that advice.
i try to look at it the other way – that cheap breads are cheap because of their low quality and that more expensive breads represent the true cost of producing a quality product. but with a big family i can understand your situation.
Unfortunately I can’t eat soy & just about every processed food including bread has soy in it. What bread doesn’t? Even the new Black Bread Company that’s out now contains soy. I did find a rye bread from another company though that contained only a few traces of wheat but mainly rye & no refined sugars or soy that I’m definately going to try. A dr once told a friend of mine that lettuce wraps are really the most healthiest way to go & far more better than bread. Bread is also filled with high sodium as well & wheat & soy are high on allergy lists
Like biggest concern is the bad oils used in breads like the sunflower oil, soy oil, corn oil, canola oil. I’ve been trying the Ezekiel bread for my family but I do notice that it has fermented or actually sprouted soy beans. Are you good with that? Are these considered healthy? I usually avoid soy. Thanks for any help!
First off I’m very appreciative for this article. However I have the same concerns as Annemarie. I recently learned sunflowers tend to absorb a lot of heavy metals so I actively try to avoid products containing it as much as possible, as well as canola and most soy. I have heard fermented soy is different though so would definitely appreciate more discussion on that.
Just glancing I see that at least some of your recommended breads contained sunflower ingredients in 2014. I will have to see if ingredients have changed because that’s something I’m not comfortable with unless the company can provide proof of low enough heavy metal content that meets my standards. But seeing as it’s not practical for me to contact every company I am just avoiding at this time until they decide to make this information easily available to the public. If you or anyone knows of any company that makes decently healthy bread and publicly shares their heavy metal tests I would greatly appreciate it.
Definitely don’t mean to criticize so much. This article was helpful to know that I should be looking for sprouted and ancient grain breads. I just would appreciate a bit more information on the ingredients and updated ingredient lists, when you have time of course!
Thank you for you’re consideration and have a great day!
Does Sarah Lee White whole grain contain GMO ingredients ?
Great article! Thank you.
I’m very allergic to Buckwheat and am looking for a non goo, non gluten free bread. Do they exist?
Thank you for all you do!