While bread is widely eaten across the world, it should be chosen wisely, especially if you have diabetes.
After all, giving up food is not easy to pull off. The best option is to pick a bread that helps regulate the blood sugar to healthy levels. If made of whole grains such as oats and wheat bran, it will be the best bread for people with diabetes.
What’s The Impact of Nutrition on Diabetes?
Diabetes can manifest itself either as type 1 or type 2.
It is more common to meet a person who has type 2 diabetes. Although the body can produce insulin, the cells have grown insensitive and cannot get the glucose they need to function correctly.
The most common causes of type 2 diabetes include genetics, lifestyle habits, and poor diet. Due to these factors, your body cells cannot get the glucose they need.
It is for this reason that the nutrition you eat is expected to play an essential role in managing the disease. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect to take proper medication and make lifestyle changes.
Bread is mainly a source of carbohydrates and should, therefore, be chosen very carefully. The best bread for diabetics is one with a low-to-medium glycemic index (GI). Thus it will be slow to digest and able to regulate the blood sugar levels.
Naturally, bread has a high glycemic index. However, by adding ingredients with high contents of fat, protein, and fiber, you can lower bread’s glycemic index to a large extent. Only make sure that the bread doesn’t have any added sugar.
The best ingredients include chia seeds, wheat bran, flaxseed meal, and oats. Besides, spreading the bread with healthy avocado, flaxseed oil or peanut butter can greatly reduce the GI rating of bread.
What Is The Best Bread For Diabetics?
Are fond of eating the commercial bread sold in a majority of the grocery stores? It ‘yes,’ then you risk causing an avoidable spike in your blood sugar levels. After all, refined flour digests very fast leading to a quick increase in the sugar levels.
While some brands of bread are marked as ‘whole grain,’ they contain nothing but refined wheat. Others only feature a sprinkling of whole grains and bran on the crust. Thus, eating such bread only exposes you to the adverse effects of refined wheat flour.
So how do you choose the best bread for people with diabetes? If you are not careful, you could be deceived into selecting the wrong bread. The following are some of the best choices you can make when it comes to bread for people with diabetes:
1. Fiber-Enhanced Whole-Grain Bread
Although not digested, fiber is essential when it comes to maintaining your overall health. It helps make you feel full, increases the volume of wastes, and helps regulate bowel movements. For people with diabetes, fiber helps control blood sugar levels.
It works by slowing down the speed of digestion thus preventing a spike in sugar levels soon after eating. In effect, food with a high fiber content is also known to have a low glycemic index.
But it is not just the insoluble fiber content of bread that is useful. With an added soluble fiber content, food helps reduce the amount of glucose being absorbed into the blood. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you overeat bread just because it is high in fiber.
Bear in mind that it still contains a lot of carbohydrates and can affect your blood sugar levels. Eating in moderation is the best advice you can take.
2. Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread
Diabetics need to eat more whole grains if they hope to regulate their blood sugar levels. Multi-grain bread is the best way of ensuring you are getting all the healthy carbohydrates your body requires.
This is the best bread for diabetics given the fact that it is made of an array of grains including flax, millet, wheat, barley, cornmeal, and oats. However, whole wheat flour will serve as the base ingredient of the bread.
Multi-grain bread has a low glycemic index and also provides nutrients such as protein, vitamin E, and zinc.
You can buy it from the local grocery store or make it at home and add raisins and nuts to give it more flavor and an even lower glycemic index. You can either choose the lighter or heavier variety of multi-grain bread. Whichever you prefer, this is undoubtedly the best bread for people with diabetes.
3. Low-Carbohydrate Tortillas
Are you into tortillas and other Mexican dishes? If ‘yes,’ then forget about the more mainstream sandwich bread. By getting a little bit creative, you can make some of the best low-carb tortillas at home.
Examples include the following:
- Pork Rind Tortillas. Instead of using cornmeal or wheat flour, you can use ground pork rind into a flour-like consistency. Adding a little bit of flour and using it to cook your tortillas is the best way of reducing your carbohydrate intake.
- Coconut Flour Tortillas. After grinding coconut meat, mix it with some flour and prepare your tortillas. After eating this meal, you should expect your blood sugar levels to remain steady.
- Almond Flour Tortillas. When almond meal of mixed with a little bit of wheat flour, it provides the dough for making healthy tortillas. Like the other types of low-carbohydrate tortillas, this can be considered the best bread for diabetics.
- Whey powder bread. Whey powder is considered a low-carbohydrate ingredient, in addition to having lots of fiber. It is, therefore, slow digesting, which makes it a good blood sugar regulator.
Instead of bread, you can use low-carbohydrate tortillas to wrap sandwich ingredients. You can also use tortillas to make tacos, mini pizzas or burritos at home. That can only make this favorite Mexican dish great when it comes to bread for diabetics.
4. Grain-Free Bread
The best bread for people with diabetes is made without any of the high-carbohydrate grains and is full of protein. Since it contains no grains, it is also gluten-free. That is a characteristic that all diabetics would be excited about.
This type of bread has a low carbohydrate content given the fact that it is made from ingredients such as flaxseed meal, coconut flour, sweet potato flour or almond flour.
However, some of the bread marked ‘grain-free’ could be very high in carbohydrates thus making it bad for diabetics. Only buy or prepare bread you are sure has a low glycemic index and which would, therefore, help regulate your blood sugar levels.
If you intend to make grain-free bread at home, be sure to find some of the best recipes online. All you need is to do a simple Google search, and you will get numerous lists of the best recipes. Only expect the ingredients of this type of bread to be a little bit more expensive.
5. Sprouted Bread
In essence, sprouted bread doesn’t contain any flour. Instead, it is made using sprouting grains, seeds, and beans. These are ground into flour and mixed into the dough before being baked to make bread.
Through the sprouting process, the bread’s glycemic index is greatly lowered. Even so, the nutrition levels are improved to a large extent. In the sprouted form, grains are rich in fiber, protein, and amino acids.
To ensure the bread remains fresh and less crusty, it is vital that you store it in the freezer. Use it to make your favorite sandwich, and you will reduce its glycemic index even further.
6. Sourdough Bread
This perhaps the best bread for diabetics. It is prepared by fermenting a mixture of flour and water to yield probiotics, which then act as a dough-raising agent.
An increasing body of research studies has shown the benefits of eating fermented food. Apart from having a low glycemic index, it introduces into your gut the good bacteria, also known as probiotics, which aid digestion. Besides, sourdough can help improve your immunity and reduce inflammation and allergic reactions.
However, you should avoid buying the highly-processed sourdough bread from the groceries. This may have a very high glycemic index. Instead, make your sourdough bread at home or buy directly from the bakery.
Having diabetes does not mean you completely get rid of bread from your diet. However, if your doctor advises you to do so then why not? Even without a doctor’s advice, it is important that you switch to the low-carbohydrate bread which will help you better manage your health issues.
Even with the best bread for diabetics, you still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle as keep taking your medication. That involves exercising on a regular basis. It is basically about doing everything to ensure your blood sugar levels remain in proper check.
When buying commercially available bread from the grocery stores, make sure you check the ingredient list for any red flags. The best bread for diabetes is, essentially, one with less added sugar and high fiber. If you can’t find what you want from the stores, why don’t you make your own?