Choosing the Right Bread for The South Beach Diet: World Bread Day
|It’s World Bread Day, and here are some suggestions about choosing bread for the South Beach Diet.|
Today is World Bread Day, and I did bake the bread you see in the picture above. I confess I made it in my favorite Oster Bread Machine, using a mix, but I’m guessing some of you are surprised that I make bread at all. After all, you can’t eat bread on the South Beach Diet can you?
If you’re doing the South Beach Diet, you should also think about what else you’ll be eating that day before you reach for the bread. It’s not overly complicated, but there are a few things to remember. This post will share a few things I’ve learned.
FLOUR IS MOST IMPORTANT
Check the label to see what type of flour is used before you buy any type of bread if you’re doing South Beach. Be sure it says “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain.” Be careful that it doesn’t say “wheat flour” instead of “whole wheat flour.” Other grains in addition to wheat are great if you like that type of bread. There’s also a type of flour called white whole wheat, made from a variety of wheat which is lighter in color, which is good, but not often used in commerially produced bread. I’ve heard that white whole wheat can be used just like white flour in baked goods, but haven’t really experimented with it yet.
CHECK FOR ADDED SWEETENER
Bread needs some sugar, honey, or molasses to make the yeast grow, but if you’re on South Beach you want to choose bread with the absolute minimum amount of sweetener. Usually bread with molasses will have the least sugar carbs, but there are some good choices that use a very small amount of honey too. Be very careful not to get bread with high fructose corn syrup, which seems to find its way into a lot of supposedly healthy products.
THINK ABOUT WHAT ELSE YOU’RE EATING
Bread isn’t permitted for phase one of South Beach, which many people consider to be the hardest part of the diet. Actually I found that when you start re-introducing higher-carb foods into your diet, after you’ve completed phase one, monitoring how many carbs you’re eating can be more challenging than avoiding them altogether. South Beach doesn’t encourage counting carbs, one thing that sold me on the diet. Instead, you monitor your carb intake by gradually adding back higher-carb foods and keeping track of whether you’re still losing weight (phase two) or maintaining your weight (phase three). If you’re eating bread that day, you may have to forego things like low-glycemic rice, low carb pasta, and higher carb veggies like sweet potatoes. Probably the best choice for either phase two or phase three of the diet is a balance of foods, with different choices every day.
Below is the ingredient and nutritional information from the bread mix and the commercial brands of bread I buy. These breads may not be available where you live, but you can learn what to look for on the label. I also eat a lot of 100% whole wheat pita bread, which I sometimes toast in the oven to make crisp pita chips. I don’t eat bread every day, so I keep it in the freezer.
BOB’S RED MILL BRAND
100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD MIX
This is the mix I used to make the bread shown above. It has sunflower seeds in the bread, which I love. This bread actually has more sweetener, hence more carbs, than either of the two commerial breads below, but it’s still pretty good for South Beach. Note that the serving size is for 1/2 inch slice, which is thicker than the two purchased breads. It’s a fairly dense, heavy bread, with a good flavor. I’ve served this bread many times for guests and everyone has always raved about it. When my grocery store stopped carrying it, I found out you can order it online. (The company also makes a low carb bread mix, which I’m planning to try.)
100% WHOLE WHEAT CARB COUNTING BREAD
This is the lowest carb count I’ve seen on bread, with only 6 net carbs per slice. (Carbs minus fiber equals net carbs.) The bread does have fructose and molasses both, but in very small amounts, since there’s less than 1 gram of sugar per slice. The slices are small and fairly thin, which obviously reduces the amount of carbs. I like this bread, but in my opinion it’s not as tasty as either of the other two brands I buy. I do like that it has three grams of fiber per slice, if that’s important to you.
GREGORY’S CLINTON WHEAT SHOP (Utah)
JACK SPRATT SPROUTED WHEAT BREAD
Added later – I wrote about World Bread Day for Blogher Food and Drink, and linked to some great bread recipes that I had seen, but if I missed you, go visit the Blogher post about World Bread Day and leave a link to your bread recipe in the comments.