Reading Food Labels – How to Find the Healthiest Bread
One of the best ways to start improving your health quickly is by learning how to read nutrition labels in order to purchase and consume only healthy foods. When looking for the healthiest breads, not all food labels are created equal. Some manufactures seek to fool consumers by tricky packaging. Here is how to read food labels to make sure you are consuming the healthiest bread.
The first things you’ll want to look for on food labels are the serving size and servings per container. Simply put, these numbers give you the amount that will be used to determine total nutritional value of the food. For example, the serving size for Ezekiel bread is 1 slice and the servings per contain are about 20 slices. If you make a sandwich and eat 2 slices, you are eating 2 servings. That is 2 times the amount of calories, fats, sugars, carbohydrates and other items listed on the label.
The next section on a food label includes calories and calories from fat. Most people mistakenly only look at this section to determine the nutritional value of a food product. If the package says 200 calories and the servings per container is 2 that means there are actually 400 calories in the bag. Breads can range between 70-150 calories per slice. In order to avoid consuming too many calories, you’ll want to find healthy bread that ranges on the lower end of that spectrum. The % daily value tells you the percentage of how much of that item you should be having based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Moving down on the food label you will see Total Fat. Despite that feeling you may get when hearing this word, fats are not bad for you. There are a lot of healthy foods that contain fats such as almonds, coconuts, and avocados. What you want to be careful of are Saturated Fat and Trans Fat because they are linked to obesity and heart related diseases. If a food product contains less than 0.5 grams of Saturated fat, the manufacturer can omit to state included Saturated Fat on their packaging as per the FDA guidelines. Because of this, Food For Life has been praised for its transparency as our healthy Ezekiel bread really has 0 grams of Saturated Fat and 0 grams of Trans Fat.
Next you’ll see Sodium which is the main component of salt. It is recommended that you eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day so make sure you buy low sodium breads.
Underneath Sodium is Total Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the breads, grains, fiber, and sugars in the foods. Be cautious of the Total Sugars on the label because high sugar consumption has been linked to heart problems and obesity as well. White, wheat, and whole wheat breads all generally contain sugar. Manufacturers also are not currently required to report added sugar on their labels, meaning that consumers can be consuming more sugar than they are aware of. Food For Life bread is 100% transparent and has 0 grams of sugar. Additionally, Dietary Fiber is listed right under Total Carbohydrates. If your bread has a low amount of Dietary Fiber, the carbs are likely simple carbs and will digest similarly to sugar to rapidly increase your blood sugar levels. Choose breads with a Dietary Fiber of 3-4 grams.
Following Total Carbohydrates is Protein. Protein is very important because they are the building blocks for muscle. You want your bread to be high in protein because foods high in protein lead to better satisfaction in meals and promote lean muscle tissue. While most bread has 0-3 grams of protein, Food For Life bread has a leading 4 grams of protein.
The last components of food labels are the vitamins and minerals. Any bread that is white, wheat, or whole wheat has lost most (if not all) of their nutrients while being processed and provide very little health benefits to the body. On the other hand, Food For Life’s sprouted grain process produces bread with nutrients that are easily accessible and digested by the body. You want to avoid bread with low vitamin/nutrient content.
One important thing to note is that by July 2018, all food manufactures will be required to update their food labels. This change includes a refreshed, easier to read design, reporting of added sugar, and clearer messaging. This will be a huge win for consumers looking to more easily make fitness and diet related decisions. Since this change is not coming for another year, the best thing you can do when looking for healthy bread is buy from manufactures that are transparent.
Ezekiel bread is the most recommended bread on the market because it is organic, contains sprouted grains, has more nutrients, holds less sodium, and is better for your health than any other bread. One slice transparently has only 80 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 75 mg sodium, 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 80 mg of potassium.
Find a Store near you that has bread with Food For Life’s Ezekiel bread and impressive, transparent food labels.