Health Wellness
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As you well know, bread is a staple all over the world and it’s been around pretty much since the beginning of time. They don’t say really great things are “the best thing since sliced bread” for nothing. But with all the over-processed, refined foods out there and all the things we’re learning about our health and nutrition, is it really something we should be eating?

Now, we’re not here to tell you what to do and we’re certainly not going to tell you not to eat bread (peanut butter toast is our lifeblood), but we do want to let you know about what’s in the food you’re buying and what key things you should be looking for when surveying the options out there.

Health Canada defines a serving of bread as one slice or 35g. A lot of commercial slices are closer to 45g (don’t even get us started on Texas toast) so you have to factor that into your calculations when considering what you want out of your bread. According to registered dietitian Shauna Lindzon, one slice of bread should contain at least 2-3g of fibre and no more than 1.5g of sugar. She says that calories aren’t overly indicative of a healthy slice since “the more whole grains, the more calories there will be” but some nutritionists suggest 110 is a good benchmark per slice.  You should also look for at least 3g of protein.

It’s not all about the numbers, though; ingredients are just as important. Lindzon says, “the first thing consumers should focus on is if the bread contains ‘whole grain, whole wheat including the germ'” and warns that in Canada “whole wheat” doesn’t mean “whole grain.” Health Canada gives more information, but basically, “100% whole wheat” bread is better than white, but might contain only a small amount of the whole grain and still be highly refined.

Additionally, you want to avoid high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for a number of reasons. In Canada, that can be tricky because HFCS is often labeled as “glucose-fructose” in ingredients lists and Canadian law does not require that manufacturers distinguish between sugars, allowing the blanket term “sugar/glucose-fructose” to be the only indicator.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge you need to make an informed decision, let’s take a look at Canada’s most popular breads to see how they measure up.