Is There Such a Thing as Friendly Glycemic Index Bread?

glycemic index breadIf you love eating bread, topped with butter and jam or as a sandwich, then it is important that you understand the concept of low glycemic index bread as part of your glycemic index (GI) diet.

Many of us who are on or contemplating the glycemic index diet aren’t quite sure if we can indulge in this luscious treat. Can you or should you eat bread on a low glycemic index diet? 

Bread has been a staple in most households since long before the modern oven was ever though of. Let’s take a look at our beloved breads and see if consuming them will harm or benefit the GI diet and weight loss.

The Fluff of White Bread

Most of us know what a loaf of white bread looks like. White bread consists of using refined white flour, or flour such as all purpose or bread flour. Although this flour gives us that fluffy easy to chew and digest bread, it’s not the best when it comes to low glycemic index levels.

Because of the kind of flour used in white bread, it is easier to chew and digest. Sounds good, but if you are on the GI diet to lose weight, it’s your worst enemy. In fact it is believed this type of bread can even lead to digestive and metabolic disorders.

The Darkness of Rye Bread

Rye bread has it ups and downs when it comes to a GI diet. The belief is the lighter the rye the better the rye. It also depends on the type of flour used. If you find a light rye bread that is made with whole grain rye flour, you’ve found bread that has a low glycemic index.

Many dark types of bread are treated with enzymes that help soften the crust. These enzymes make starch in the bread more accessible. This raises the GI levels which are not recommended on the GI diet.

The Whole Side of Whole Grain Breads

Whole grain breads are the best breads for those on the glycemic index diets.  These types of breads, such as whole wheat or stone ground breads, are made with 100% whole wheat flour. Breads that are made from barley, cracked wheat or buckwheat flours are also low on the GI index.

Be careful when choosing your grain breads. The best breads are the ones that note on the package that they are made with true coarsely ground whole grains. Coarse grain flours retain more of the natural bran making them easier to digest at a slow pace.

What’s so Special about Specialty Breads

When you walk down the bread aisle at the grocery store you can feel a little overwhelmed. So many types of breads to choose from and who knows which ones taste good, not to mention which ones are good for you.

Specialty breads such as pumpernickel and sourdough are a delicacy to some and the norm to others. If you enjoy these breads or just want to try them by all means go ahead and do it. Both types are low on the GI index because of the type of flour used in them. When choosing other specialty breads, it’s best to read the labels and see just exactly what goes into to making them so special.

What about Those Luscious Bread Snacks

Bread snacks such as muffins are usually very high on the GI index. Fruit breads, like raisin breads, are also very high in carbohydrates as well as sugars. They are made with flours that are quickly digested and spread out in our bodies giving us that false sense of fulfillment.

It is best to stay away from these types of breads. If the craving hits and you just have to have that muffin, make it a small one and remember moderation is the best way to go.

Finding Out the Truth about our Beloved Breads

The best bet when it comes to choosing the right glycemic index breads to eat is to read the nutritional labels. Choose breads that are 100% whole grain or made with whole meal flour. Low GI breads should have 2 to 3 grams of fiber per slice. Unrefined breads with hi levels of fiber will usually have a lower GI.

Also look on the package to see if the bread is labeled “low net carbs.” This may be the best place to start when looking for delicious breads, as it will also save you time looking at all those nutritional facts on other types of breads.

One other thing to look for on the label is whether the bread contains caramel coloring. This type of coloring is often added to breads to make them appear to contain more whole wheat and making them seem a healthier choice. In reality, all it is doing is adding a little extra color and an unnecessary ingredient.

The Facts and Nothing But the Facts

It is a fact that most breads are not GI diet friendly. Store bought breads are enriched with white or finely milled flours and have added sugars along with other ingredients that are not good for most people.

The hard facts are that it is best to avoid some of our most loved breads. Bagels, cornbread, croissants, rolls, doughnuts, buns and Kaiser Rolls are not recommended for those on the GI diet. If you must have them, do so occasionally, so you don't feel deprived. Eventually, you will not feel the craving as much as when initially trying to reduce consumption.

Enjoying that bread is not a thing of the past when living on the Glycemic Index diet, but it is something that needs your close attention. Read the labels, be aware of the little things that are included that can make your favorite bread a no-no, and eat in moderation.

Go ahead, run to the kitchen and grab a thin slice of bread with a little butter and enjoy. Even better, start thinking about buying friendly glycemic index breads based on your new found knowledge. If you are a sandwich lover, you may even want to try a glycemic index friendly wrap

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