"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from other persons. Each of us has cause to think deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
Most bread sold in stores is pretty worthless. Nutritionally, speaking. Food packaging is filled with misleading information. When you see “multi-grain” on a package of bread, it means nothing. When you see “high fructose corn syrup” as one of the ingredients in bread, buy something else. High fructose corn syrup is an added sugar linked to obesity and diabetes.
My first book, Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time, was motivated by my work helping older adults with diabetes gain control through health literacy. To simplify food choices for readers, I developed “The Nancy Rule” for buying bread and pasta. This is still a great rule, whether you have diabetes or not. “The Nancy Rule” is this: (1) 4 or more grams of dietary fiber per slice or per serving and (2) the first ingredient includes the word “whole”.
For most people, at least half of the grains we eat should be whole grains. When you look at the nutrition fact labels of packaged foods, ingredients are listed by order of weight and in decreasing order. So the first ingredient listed is very important. If the first ingredient is “wheat”, that is not the same as “whole grain wheat”. The word “whole” is key. Whole grain means you are getting the bran, which is the outer part of the grain. When you process grains to remove the outer coating of the grain (which is where the bran containing good stuff like B vitamins and dietary fiber is) you have a product that is shelf stable for weeks and months instead of days.
Read food labels and make sure most of the breads that you buy meet “The Nancy Rule”.
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect
Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.