What is the Best Bread for Diabetics?
Figuring out which bread is suitable for people with diabetes can be difficult. Like ‘panic attack in the bread aisle difficult.’ BUT with this handy guide, you will be able to battle the bread aisle head on without batting an eye ;-)
Oh, and I will also let you know some of my favorite brands!
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What kind of bread can a person with diabetes eat?
Often the question is “can a person with diabetes eat bread?” And you have probably gotten a lot of mixed information about this question.
Are you ready for the answer?
It depends… but more often than not the answer is very much YES! It is all about finding a great bread that you enjoy and does not cause your blood sugar to rise.
As always, become best friends with your meter before testing out a new food to see how your body reacts. Using the following criteria will help you determine which breads will work for you and your body!
100% whole grain
Fiber is your best friend when it comes to avoiding that blood sugar spike. To get the most fiber find a bread that is 100% whole grain. You will know its a great choice if the first ingredient says “whole.” For example, the label should read “whole-wheat flour” or any other grain like “whole oats.”
2 grams of fiber or MORE
Again, fiber is your best friend! Not only will it help slow down sugar absorption but it will also help improve your gut bacteria and keep you full for longer!
0 grams of trans fat
Most breads have removed trans fat from their ingredients but its best to double check!
Less than 300 mg of Sodium
That is per serving folks! So if one slice has 150mg of sodium, you can add another slice and still be under 300mg of sodium.
Look at the total carbohydrate count
A piece of bread should be around 15 grams of carbohydrates. With that said, that does not mean you need to limit yourself to 15 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Everyone is different and will require a different amount of carbohydrates. Meet with your dietitian to determine what works best for you!
If you find a large slice that you can’t resist… try making an open faced sandwich with just one slice of bread!
Limit added sugars to less than 10% of daily value
Check the total carbohydrate count and the ingredients to see if there is too much added sugar. Added sugars are any sweeteners that have been added during the processing or packaging.
Check serving size
Sometimes the serving size is two slices and other times its one. Its up to you how much you want to eat in a sitting but it is helpful to know how much you actually are eating. You can always eat an open faced sandwich if one slice seems a bit high in carbohydrates :-)
Breakdown of the different types of bread
Wheat bread can get tricky at times. Some brands use coloring to dye the bread brown or add sweeteners to them. Again, its best to take a look at the label and make sure you have 100% Whole-Wheat bread. The first ingredient should read “whole-wheat flour.”
This bread is a great option for many reasons! Sourdough bread is made by fermenting dough with bacteria. This bacteria has shown to have many of its own benefits as you can read here. The bacteria also consumes many of the sugars in the dough making the final product a lower carbohydrate food.
One study even showed that eating sourdough bread produced a significantly lower glucose response (did not spike blood sugar as much) compared to bread made with yeast (1). Though, more research needs to be done before we can make clear conclusions :-)
Bonus: Find a whole-grain sourdough bread to really pack on the nutrition! Trader Joe’s has a few great options, check your local grocery, or make your own with this whole wheat sourdough starter culture .
Multi-grain bread is also a great choice! Be aware that multi-grain breads often have more calories due to the seeds they add in. BUT with these added seeds come a more satisfying bread that will hold you over for longer :-)
Again, make sure to check the label!!
Rye bread is made with flour from rye grain and has a somewhat sour and earthy taste.
Pumpernickel bread is made with whole grain rye making it a higher fiber choice compared to traditional rye bread.
Sprouted bread is made from whole grains and legumes that have begun to sprout/germinate. This mixture of whole grains and legumes makes sprouted bread a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need. Sprouted bread is a great option for vegans because of this powerful protein profile!
One study even found that spouted bread reduced the glycemic response (blood sugar did not rise as quickly) compared to other breads (2).
This bread is made from whole spelt grain which is a type of wheat grain. Spelt bread has similar nutrition value compared to wheat bread and should cause the blood sugar to spike in the same fashion (3).
Not all spelt breads are whole grain, so check the label as needed.
Gluten free breads are EVERYWHERE now and are marketed very well to convince people that they are the healthiest breads around.
This isn’t always the case… and of course I am going to tell you to check the label… again ;-)
Gluten free breads can be made from a lot of different flours such as almond, brown rice, potato, corn, flax seed… and the list goes on. Some of these gluten free breads will cause a similar blood sugar response as white bread. It is best to look for a brand that is high in fiber!
The Best Bread Brands for Diabetics
And finally, here is a list of bread brands to try out!
* Dave's Killer Bread
- Dave's has many different options to choose from! The Thin sliced breads are great for sandwiches.
- You can grab them at most health food stores and Target or order online here (though they are a bit cheaper in stores ;-))
* Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multi-Grain Bread
- 2 slices equal 90 calories, 18 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fiber!! Whoop Whoop!
- You can find this at most grocery stores
* Nature's Own Sugar-Free Bread
- 2 slices have 100 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber!
- You and find this bread at most grocery stores
*Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
- This bread is best straight out of the toaster! Keep it fresh in the freezer and pop in the toaster when you are craving a slice
- 2 slices have 160 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of fiber per slice
- You can find Ezekiel bread at most supermarkets
* Fit and Active Wheat Bread
- 2 slices equal 80 calories, 26 grams of carbs, and 14 grams of fiber (THAT IS ALMOST 50% of our daily fiber needs!)
- You can only find this brand at Aldi Stores
*La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Flour Tortillas
- Their taco sized tortillas have 70 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of fiber
- These tortillas are a bit thin so pack them lightly :-)
- You may find these at your local health food store or order online here
*Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas
- The taco sized torillas have 60 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates, and 14 grams of fiber
- Check your local grocery store or Target but they are known to be hard to find. You can also order online here
*Joseph's Lavash Bread Flax Seed Wraps
- 100 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber per wrap
- You can find them online here :-)
*Angelic 7-grain Sprouted Wrap
- 100 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fiber per wrap
- Check your local health food store!
Flatbread / pita
- These flatbreads come in many different flavors and shapes. I really love these and make my apple brie grilled cheese with them often!
- 90 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber per flatbread
- You can find these at your grocery store, target, or order them online here
*Joseph's Lavash Bread Flax Seed Pita Bread
- The same delicious wraps also come in Pita Bread!
- 60 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fiber per pita
- You can order them online here
*Fit & Active Multi-Grain with Flax Flatbread
- 1 flat bread = 100 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of fiber
- You can only find this flatbread at an Aldi store
*Thomas Bagel Thins
- You can find these a most grocery stores!
- 110 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber per whole wheat bagel thin
*Dave's Killer Bagel
- These are a bit higher carb... but 1/2 of a bagel brings 130 calories, 23 grams of carbs, and 2.5 grams of fiber
- Find them at your local health food store, Target, or online here
*Thomas' Plain High Fiber English Muffin
- 100 calories, 28 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fiber per muffin!
- You can find them at most grocery stores
*Dave's Killer Rockin Muffins
- I am sure you are seeing a trend here with this brand... ;-)
- Each muffin has 140 calories, 26 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber
- Again, you can find this brand at your local health food store or target