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Best Bread for Diabetics: Can You Eat Bread and Lose Weight?

By Rikki Hoffman, RDN, CDN

Our bodies break down carbohydrates into sugar molecules and then produce insulin to help digest those molecules. A diabetic may not make insulin, or their body cannot use the insulin that it does make. As a result, people with diabetes need to pay close attention to the carbohydrates they are consuming and may need to follow a low carbohydrate diet.

What bread is best for diabetics?

Bread generally contains a lot of carbohydrates, so the best bread for diabetics is bread that is lower in carbs and higher in fiber. Normally, carbs and sugars in bread will increase a diabetic’s blood sugar, but when fiber is eaten with the carbohydrates, the blood sugar does not rise as high or as fast. The breads with the highest fiber content are those made with whole grains. To make sure your bread is made primarily with whole grains, look for “whole” in the first ingredient (or the second ingredient after water). Added sugars in a bread will add to the carbohydrate count and will raise a diabetic’s blood sugar, so breads without added sugars (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave, maple syrup, fruit juices, or other sweeteners) are healthier for diabetics. 

Is bread good for Type 1 diabetes? What is the healthiest bread for Type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetics take insulin to adjust for their body’s lack of ability to make insulin and have to calculate how much to take based on the amount of carbohydrates they will be eating. Bread can certainly be a part of a Type 1 diabetics’ diet, as long as the amount of insulin the person administers is adjusted to account for the carbohydrates in their bread. The best type of bread for Type 1 diabetics, and for the general population, is 100% whole grain bread that doesn’t contain added sugars.

Is bread good for Type 2 diabetes? What is the healthiest bread for Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetics may also need to eat a low carbohydrate diet, and may or may not use insulin to help control blood sugar. Even with the low carbohydrate diet, carbohydrates can, and should, be a part of a diabetic’s diet. As with Type 1 diabetics, 100% whole grain bread without added sugars is the best bread to help keep blood sugars stable. To take it to the next level, there is some evidence that bread made with whole grain oats may be even healthier for Type 2 diabetics than other whole grain bread. Oats contain a type of fiber called beta glucans, which have been shown in studies to raise blood less and more slowly in Type 2 diabetics. 

Is multigrain bread good for diabetics? Will multigrain bread raise blood sugar?

Multigrain bread is bread that contains multiple types of grains, like wheat, rye, or barley. Multigrain breads can be made with whole grains or refined grains. Like with all breads, a multigrain bread made with whole grains is generally better for blood sugar than one made with refined grains.

Will sourdough bread raise blood sugar? Does sourdough bread lower blood sugar?

Sourdough bread will not lower blood sugar, but it may raise blood sugar less and more slowly. Some research suggests that slow-fermented breads, like sourdough, do not raise blood sugar as high as other breads that are instead made with baker’s yeast. If the main flour used is a whole grain, that would be even better for a diabetic. The fermenting process involved in making sourdough bread may also increase the availability of fiber in the bread. 

Is sourdough bread good for diabetics?

Sourdough bread is made through a slow fermentation process, which may cause this type of bread to raise blood sugar more slowly than other breads. As a result, sourdough bread could be a great choice for those with diabetes. Whole grain sourdough bread is the best sourdough bread for diabetics. 

What is the best whole grain bread for diabetics?

Any bread made with 100% whole grains is a better choice for diabetics. The high fiber content of those breads leads to a lower and slower rise in blood sugar compared to other breads. On top of that, whole grain sourdough bread and bread made from oats have been shown to further slow the rise of blood sugar, which could make them an even healthier choice for those with diabetes. 

Where can I buy healthy bread online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh breads that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, rolls, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular breads include sourdough whole wheat, sourdough 7-grain, slow fermented 3-seed bread, and sourdough rye. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods. 

 

About the Author

Rikki Hoffman, RDN, CDN has been a registered dietitian for ten years, working primarily with patients who have kidney disease. She also has a private practice which focuses on helping clients achieve lifestyle and weight loss goals. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Dietetics from Rutgers University and did her Dietetic Internship at Montclair State University.

 

This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.
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