Diabetes and bread don’t seem to go in the same sentence, do they?
And yet, bread is a staple food in most people’s lives. A clear example is having toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and bread on the side of whatever dish we plan on having for dinner.
But here comes the important question: Should diabetics skip out on eating bread entirely? And if not, which bread is okay to eat?
Well, we’d like to delve a little deeper and give you all the info you need and just what kind of bread you can eat without having to worry about any health-related consequences.
The Best Type of Bread for Diabetes?
Let’s just cut to the chase, since we don’t want to keep you waiting for too long, dear readers.
The best types of bread a diabetic should consume are the following:
- Made from almonds;
- From coconut flour;
- Made from flaxseed;
- From chickpeas.
Admittedly, some of these special bread is harder to find than your average loaf. Still, they are worth searching for.
Or, if you don’t feel like searching to buy them, you always have the option to make your own healthy bread at home!
But before we give you some tasty low-carb recommendations, let’s look at some more information regarding this subject.
Rye Bread and Whole Wheat?
You surely have heard the popular advice of consuming whole wheat instead of white bread. This is indeed true, and the reason is that whole wheat grains are a more complex carb. It’s the simple carbs you should be avoiding.
However, having said that, once you take whole grains and grind them to make flour, it alters the way our bodies digest them.
The science behind it is that the grain’s bulky fiber component becomes less digestive by being broken down. And that, for a person diagnosed with diabetes, can only mean one thing: spikes in one’s blood sugar.
How GI Enters Into This
Perhaps you’ve already heard of the glycemic index scale. The GI ranks each carb from 0-100 based on how much they cause one’s blood sugar levels to go up after their consummation.
It’s a no-brainer that those who rank high on this scale cause a rapid increase in one’s blood glucose levels, while the lower the carbs are on the GI, the better. What is considered low GI, you ask? Anything below 55.
And, as someone who has diabetes, you should definitely aim for any carbs low on the glycemic index. The lower, the better it is for you.
Getting back to the whole wheat grains: in kernel form their GI is merely 30, while once transformed into flour it skyrockets to 71. You can see what we mean. Whole grains are great, but the bread made from their flour…not so much.
If you are looking for a truly healthy rye bread option, your best bet would be to choose pumpernickel. It has a GI of 41-46 and is made with whole rye grains.
Of course, some of you might complain that pumpernickel is not for everyone’s taste, and plus it isn’t what you would call a ‘sandwich bread’, and you’d be absolutely right.
As for the more average bread, let’s take a look at their GI levels:
- Average rye bread has a GI of 57 to 78;
- Whole wheat grain bread has a GI of 68 to 69;
- White wheat bread has a GI of 71;
- And 100% white wheat bread has a GI of 85.
We are sure we don’t need to tell you that these are all unhealthy options – you can see for yourselves that their GI is well above 55. So it’s best to avoid them.
Diabetes and Sourdough Bread?
You may or may not have heard of this type of bread. It is made in a rather traditional way: first the starter dough ferments, thus not needing any sugars or yeast for it to rise. Would you be surprised if we told you that such a method is much better for everyone?
You see, by making sourdough, you are helping the production of beneficial bacteria in your gut. And this bacteria is crucial indeed since it not only aids in the healthy digestion process but also has an influence over our blood sugar response.
So, as you can guess, sourdough bread has a lower GI than most others:
- Rye sourdough bread has a GI of 48;
- 80% barley sourdough bread has a GI of 53-66;
- Wheat bread made from sourdough has a GI of 54.
In other words, all of these are better options for when you feel like having a slice of bread.
But There is More to it Than That…
While the GI scale is absolutely important for choosing the best bread for diabetics, one should also look at the whole picture. Namely, one needs to take the overall carb intake into consideration as well.
Let’s take an average slice of bread – it can range from about 10-20 g of carbs per serving. And while that may not be all that bad, it’s still better to consume even less.
So technically, yes, cutting bread (at least traditional forms of it) is always the better option if one happens to be diabetic.
And before you get confused and say that your dietitian or some other info you’ve read clearly states that you can eat up to 45g in a meal or even more.
You should know that plenty of diabetics have reported the best results when they take care to eat that many carbohydrates in one day, not just one meal.
And even if it might sound drastic, it is still possible and completely safe to eat 80 g of carbs in one day. You don’t even have to give up on bread, just make sure it’s the right type.
There are plenty of low-carb bread options you can look for online.
But to give a proper answer to the initial question -Is skipping out on bread the best option for diabetics? – then yes, the less ‘traditional’ supermarket-bought bread you consume, the better for you and your blood sugar.
Bread or Cereal?
Another commonly-asked question is whether bread is a better alternative than cereal. The answer is an absolute yes. The reason is simple: most bought cereals are simply too high in their sugar content.
Still, not every single cereal out there is the same. But most kinds, especially those you will find stacked on the shelves of your local supermarket, have a much higher sugar, salt, and carb content than your usual slice of bread.
Some Low-Carb Bread Options?
As we said, there are plenty of options online if you cannot seem to find them at your local stores. You can make a really tasty cheese, tomato, and avocado sandwich using 0-carb flaxseed bread or maybe a nice low-carb focaccia (an oven-baked, Italian bread).
Both of these options are packed with fiber, which makes them even more healthy, and not just for those with diabetes! Your options don’t have to be limited if you are creative.
And remember, you can always stop eating bread altogether. That will always remain the best choice.
But for all of you out there who find you simply cannot go without some bread at least once in a while (or even on a daily basis if controlled) then all you need to do is make a choice from the list of low GI, low carb options we’ve provided you.
And the many more you can find if you are inquisitive.
You can also find plenty of recipes for bread, pizza, buns, and many other tasty treats all made with low-carb bread options. Let your imagination run wild while maintaining your health! What could be better?