How to Choose the Healthiest Bread

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How to Choose the Healthiest Bread

Know Your Labels

Look for bread labels that say "100% whole grain" or "100% whole wheat." Then, take a peek at the ingredients. The first ingredient should say "whole-wheat flour" or "100% whole-wheat flour." Anything less means you are not purchasing the most genuine and nutritious product.

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The Power of Whole Grains

Gravitate toward whole grains. They are naturally low in fat and cholesterol free. Not only that, whole grain breads are richer and jam-packed with healthy fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Whole grains reportedly help to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and some cancers. So, don't skimp on the quality good stuff!

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Understanding Whole Grains vs. Whole Wheat

In order to know what you're looking for and why, it's important to understand what each of these mean. Whole grains have unrefined flour, thus, leaving the nutrients intact. Breads marked as "100% whole wheat" are made of whole wheat flour, but not necessarily whole grain flour.

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Watch Your Sodium Intake

Large amounts of sodium are added to many products. Why? Well, if we're being quite candid, it tastes fantastic. When it comes to bread, it also helps regulate yeast activity. However, at around 200 milligrams per serving of bread, you could reach your daily suggested intake of 1,800 milligrams in no time!

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Serving Size and Weight Matter!

Sorry, folks. Not all bread is created equal. Make sure to check the weight of the serving listed, and carefully check the serving size. Many breads claim to be "diet" or "light," but will shrink the size of their portion, or list the serving size as two slices, with the information listed only pertaining to one slice. Catch our drift? Tricky, tricky.

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Tricky Labels

These may look fabulous, but healthy? Not necessarily so. Be careful you are not tricked by these labels:

Wheat flour
Unbleached wheat flour
Enriched white flour
Enriched wheat flour
Stone-ground wheat flour
Multi-grain
5- or 7-grain
100% wheat flour
Bran

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Unhealthy Fats

Try to remain cautious and steer clear of unwanted, unhealthy fats such as:

Hydrogenated vegetable oil
Trans fats
Partially hydrogenated oils
Vegetable oil shortening

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The Unwanted Extras

Take an extra-close look at the ingredients and keep your eyes peeled for dyes, high sugar content and high fructose.

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One would think purchasing a common necessity, such as bread, would be simple. Do you snag the brown loaf or the white? The seven-grain or the oat?

Surely, if the packing says "wheat" or "100% natural" somewhere, we're safe to assume it's healthy, right? Wrong. This couldn't be further from the truth, yet this is what a majority of consumers are led to believe.

We're here to help guide you in selecting the best bread for your taste and health. Check out our slideshow above to find tips, facts and suggestions!

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