12 Best Breads: Does Your Fave Stack Up?
Searching for a healthy loaf of bread at your local grocery store is like looking for a needle in a wheat stack. The bread aisle is jam-packed with cleverly labeled brands that sound extremely healthy.
Many boldly splash empty health claims on the front label. Making matters worse, many manufacturers stoop to using food coloring and brown packaging to make their breads look more nutritious than they really are!
Please don’t be fooled by these Healthy Food Imposters using label tricks like “multi-grain,” ”7-grain,” or “made from whole grain,” to entice unsuspecting shoppers into buying their breads.
Sadly, these phrases are typically found on breads that do not contain 100% whole grains. These imposters may be “enriched”* with vitamins and other good stuff you can get from 100% whole-grain breads. Worse yet, many are highly processed breads that contain a long list of harmful junk ingredients.
*NOTE: Enriched breads have had the good nutrients stripped out along with the fiber and other vitamins and minerals, so the manufacturer has to further process to artificially add some nutrients back into the food. Does that even make sense?
For the sake of your health (and your sanity) on your next shopping excursion, go armed with a little BrandAid know-how and bypass those Healthy Food Imposters. There’ll be no more loafing in the bread aisle because we’ve fed you the Doughy Dozen BestBrands that are made from real, whole-food, quality ingredients.
BrandAid Guidelines for Breads
To ensure that you make the healthiest bread choice, quick-scan the front label and then focus on the ingredients list. Now you’re ready to put your trust into our simple BrandAid guidelines:
When buying bread look for:
- The phrase “100% Whole Grains” on the front label.
- An ingredients list that is not too long or packed with words you can’t pronounce.
- The very first ingredient to be “whole grain” or “stone ground” – not “enriched wheat flour!”
- Each slice to contain 120 calories or less and at least 3 grams of fiber or more per slice.
Avoid these junk ingredients:
- Refined grains like wheat flour, enriched wheat flour, and bleached or unbleached wheat flour.
- Refined sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup.
- Artificial sweeteners of any kind.
- Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).
- Preservatives or emulsifiers like sodium or calcium propionates, sodium diacetate, acetic acid and lactic acid, hydroxylated lecithin, mono- and digleycerides, or sucrose fatty acid esters.
- Artificial colors or flavors.
These specific varieties within the major brands for breads listed below have met the Brand Doctor’s standards for ingredients and taste. Plus, they pack a nutritional punch without all the harmful junk ingredients found in most breads.
Note: Remember, all varieties of the same brand are not created equal! Please make sure you are choosing the recommended variety within each brand
Doughy Dozen BestBrands
Pepperidge Farm 100% Natural, 100% Whole Wheat
Pepperidge Farm 100% Natural, 9 Grain
Pepperidge Farm 100% Natural, German Dark Wheat
Pepperidge Farm 100% Natural, Honey Flax
Arnold Natural 100% Whole Wheat
Sara Lee Hearty and Delicious 100% Multigrain
Sara Lee Hearty and Delicious 100% Whole Wheat
Sara Lee Hearty and Delicious 100% Wheat With Honey
EarthGrains 100% Natural 7-Grain
EarthGrains 100% Natural Wheat Berry With Honey
EarthGrains 100% Natural Whole Wheat 100% Stone Ground
Nature’s Own Organic 24 Grams Wholegrain All Natural 100% Whole Wheat
And, to make it a baker’s dozen, we included the Brand Doctor’s favorite BestBrand bread:
Food For Life: Ezekiel 4:9 Sesame
(in the frozen food section)
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.
In Our Opinion: The information contained in the eBrandAid e-newsletters is strictly based on the opinions of the eBrand Doctors. We have created a set of guidelines that we believe will help shoppers to better understand and decode food labels on products found in most grocery stores. Our mission is to help shoppers find the healthier brands that have the least amount of chemicals and other junk ingredients.