If you’re looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, you may want to think twice before reaching for that loaf of bread. According to dietitian and nutritionist, there are certain types of bread that can be detrimental to your blood sugar levels. From white bread to sourdough, here are the five worst breads to eat for blood sugar, according to a dietitian.
5 Worst Breads To Eat for Blood Sugar, Says Dietitian — Eat This Not That
If you’re trying to keep your blood sugar levels in check, you may want to think twice before reaching for a slice of bread. According to dietitian and nutritionist, Karen Ansel, MS, RDN, some breads can be worse for your blood sugar than others. Here are the five worst breads to eat for blood sugar, according to Ansel.
1. White Bread
White bread is made from refined flour, which has been stripped of its fiber and other nutrients. This makes it a high-glycemic food, meaning it can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels. Ansel recommends avoiding white bread altogether.
2. Sweetened Breads
Breads that are sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners can also cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels. Ansel recommends avoiding sweetened breads, such as cinnamon raisin bread, banana bread, and other sweetened varieties.
3. Refined Grains
Refined grains, such as white flour, are also high-glycemic foods. Ansel recommends avoiding breads made with refined grains, such as white sandwich bread, white rolls, and white bagels.
4. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener that is often added to processed foods, including some breads. Ansel recommends avoiding breads that contain high-fructose corn syrup, as it can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels.
5. Processed Breads
Processed breads, such as pre-sliced sandwich breads, can also be high in sugar and other additives. Ansel recommends avoiding processed breads, as they can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to bread, Ansel recommends whole grain breads, such as whole wheat, rye, and oat breads. These breads are made with whole grains, which are high in fiber and other nutrients. They can help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
For blood sugar control, we need a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat alongside our carbohydrates to keep blood sugars stable after meals. You can do that by either paring your carbs with high-protein, -fiber, and -healthy fat foods, but you can also look for carbs that are naturally higher in these satiating, digestion-slowing macronutrients.
One of the most common carbs we eat is bread, and the bread aisle is often thought of to be a minefield for those with diabetes or prediabetes as many options can be particularly harmful to your blood sugar levels.
To help you navigate the bread aisle, we scoured the internet for loaves of bread that are standouts when it comes to lacking a balanced nutrition label and may be more likely to spike blood sugar than other options.
Although these breads may be some of the worst for blood sugar, it’s worth noting that all foods belong in a balanced diet for blood sugar. While these recommendations are meant for individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes, consider balancing these options with a protein source and high-fiber foods like vegetables to still incorporate them into your lifestyle in moderation.
PER 1 SLICE: 80 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (<1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 2 g protein
Similar to white bread, this Italian loaf delivers 80 calories per serving. Generally, this is lower in calories for a slice of bread, but the overall nutrition might not be the best for blood sugar control.
With 16 grams of carbs per slice and less than 1 gram of fiber, this bread doesn’t deliver much staying power between meals.
If you love an Italian sandwich, be sure to balance out your carbs with protein options like turkey or ham, cheese, and veggies for a boost in fiber.
PER 1 SLICE: 90 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein
This bread is super sweet in the mornings, but probably not doing your blood sugars any favors if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Two slices clock in at about 180 calories, 34 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar.
Interestingly, turning this bread into French toast by dipping it in an egg wash would actually improve your blood sugar response. Be sure to choose a low-sugar syrup to top it off.
PER 1 SLICE: 130 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein
Kelsey Lorencz, RD with Zenmaster Wellness tells us that one slice of this bread has 26 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of added sugar, and only 1 gram of fiber.
She explains, “If you’re eating a sandwich, you can double it for over 50 grams of net carbs just from the bread alone. The lack of fiber and large slices make it easy to eat more carbohydrates than intended, potentially spiking your blood sugar if you have diabetes.”
PER 1 SLICE: 120 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein
Lorencz shares that potato breads might be another landmine to look out for if blood sugar is your concern.
She states, “With 22 grams of carbohydrate and less than 1 gram of fiber, this bread will quickly raise your blood sugar and potentially lead to a crash shortly after. The fiber in bread helps to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream during the digestion process. With such little fiber, the carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugar and released into the blood.”
If you’re eating bread that is higher in carbohydrates and not rich in fiber, pair it with another high-fiber food or a serving of protein and fat. These nutrients slow down digestion, so that blood sugar rises more steadily and is less likely to crash.
PER 2 SLICES: 140 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 4 g protein
Although this might be a nostalgic favorite, it is not the friendliest option for our blood sugar. With 29 grams of carbs per two-slice serving, this bread might cause blood sugars to rise quickly without a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat.
This bread does have 3 grams of fiber in two slices, which is higher than some! Wonder Bread also makes a Smart White that now contains 5 grams of fiber per serving and 5 grams of protein.
That little boost helps keep blood sugars more stable after your meal while still enjoying your favorite white bread.