Good Housekeeping (USA)

TACKLES THE BREAD AISLE

Bread can be an excellent source of fiber, but choosing the best loaf is surprising­ly tricky. We’ve tested the most popular brands. Use these tips as your cheat sheet.

- STEFANI SASSOS, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N. GH REGISTERED DIETITIAN

Look for “100%.” When a bread’s label shows 100% whole wheat, 100% whole grain or 100% sprouted grain, you can feel confident that no refined flours are masqueradi­ng. This applies to burger buns, sandwich thins and wraps too.

Get wise to marketing. Never trust labels that say “made with whole grains” or “multigrain.” These terms can be code for hidden refined flours and fillers. “Harvest” or “country” options might sound healthy but often shroud sneaky sources of added sugars.

Check fiber. Fiber is the second most important thing to look for on a bread label. I never buy bread that has less than 2 g of fiber per slice. Foods that are higher in fiber promote healthy digestion and will help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Skip “light” options. Don’t assume that “light” bread is healthier. A “light” loaf might have fewer calories per slice, but that’s often because it’s sliced thinly. Always check how much one slice weighs in grams when comparing to other varieties.

Scan sugar and sodium. Avoid bread with more than 2 g to 3 g of sugar or 140 mg of sodium per slice. And be careful with dark slices: Companies often add molasses or caramel coloring to make breads appear more nutritious and hearty.

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