Stop avoiding bread and start enjoying it again! I’ve narrowed down the best bread for diabetics so you can confidently add bread back into your diabetes meal plan.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ve likely worried about whether or not you can eat bread and still manage your blood sugar. The popular belief that bread is a forbidden food for diabetics just isn’t true, as long as you’re choosing the right bread.
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How to choose a bread that is good for diabetes
Not all bread is created equal, especially when it comes to blood sugar control for people with diabetes. There are a few key things you’ll want to look at when it comes to choosing the perfect bread for you.
This is the total amount of carbohydrate in the bread, including fiber and other sugars. Look out for the serving size, since sometimes a serving is one slice, and other times it’s two slices.
Depending on how many carbohydrates you should be eating at one sitting (check with your diabetes care team if you’re not sure!), you may need to be careful of which bread you choose.
Often, sticking to 15-20 grams of carbohydrate or less per serving of bread is a good place to start. Choosing a low carb bread can help you to enjoy sandwiches and toast without spiking your blood sugar.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that you’re not able to actually digest. Including high fiber foods is great for blood sugar management, since fiber can help to slow down the absorption of glucose and help to regulate blood sugar. A bread with 3 grams of fiber or more per serving is considered a good source of fiber.
If you are looking at low carb breads, chances are you will see the term ‘net carbs.’ This term does not actually have a legal definition and is not used by the American Diabetes Association or the FDA. But many food manufactures still include it. So, let’s talk about what it means.
Net carbs are calculated by taking the total carbohydrate and subtracting out all of the fiber and sugar alcohols. The reason for this is that it is assumed that fiber and sugar alcohols aren’t digested, so only the non-fiber carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and used for energy. But here’s the thing, not all sugar alcohols go undigested. Some sugar alcohols are partially digested, so they can have a slight impact on blood sugar. Generally, the higher the net carbs, the more of an impact that food will have on your blood sugars. But some individuals do still see an increase in blood sugar levels from foods with sugar alcohols. So, look at the net carbs, but be sure to still focus on total carbs as well and your individual blood sugar response.
My preferred way to calculate net carbs, which I find to be a more accurate representation of how a food will impact blood sugar, is to subtract out all fiber, but only one half of sugar alcohols. Of course, remember, when it comes to carb counting (and especially if you take medication to lower blood sugar or insulin) talk to your diabetes care team to see how they prefer you count net carbs when choosing low carb bread options.
Just because a bread is low carb, doesn’t mean ingredients don’t matter. They still do. So using the food label to look for high quality ingredients is important
When looking at the ingredients in your bread, you’ll often see terms like “whole grain”, “whole wheat”, or “refined wheat”. When you choose a bread that has whole grain or whole wheat in the ingredients, the grain has all of its fiber and nutrients intact. Refined grains have had the bran and germ removed from the grain, stripping it of essential nutrients, vitamins, and fiber.
The more nourishing option (and generally best for blood sugar) in most cases is to choose bread with whole grains intact.
Don’t fall for the trap of brown colored bread, either! Many breads have been colored brown and labeled “whole wheat”, while they actually contain refined grains. Get savvy at the grocery store and look for the phrase “100% whole grain” or “whole” in the ingredient label.
Top 12 Best Bread for Diabetes
BFree Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf
Net Carbs: 6 grams
Bfree brown seeded sandwich bread is free from gluten, dairy, and soy as well as vegan, kosher, and non-GMO. They check off a lot of boxes for people who need to avoid specific ingredients while being tasty and low carb.
Pros: One slice has 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. So while it’s low carb, this bread also has the stats to help keep you full and satisfied.
Cons: Each slice comes in at 100 calories, which could be high depending on how many slices you’re eating and your specific energy needs. One slice provides 8% of your DV for sodium, which isn’t a big concern unless you’re limiting your salt intake.
Ezekiel Bread Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
Net Carbs: 12 grams
Ezekiel bread uses freshly sprouted organic grains and legumes to produce a bread that has a great texture and flavor. Sprouted grains can help you to absorb more nutrients by breaking down the natural phytate, a nutrient that blocks absorption of nutrients like iron, vitamin C and zinc. They are also more easily digestible, so your stomach may be able to better tolerate this bread than breads that use non-sprouted grains.
Pros: With 6 different grains and legumes used to make this bread, it’s a complete source of plant protein. With 80 calories and 5 grams of protein, this bread can help to fill you up and keep you satisfied without adding too many calories to your meal.
Cons: At 12 grams of net carbs per slice, using two slices for a sandwich and including other carbs at a meal could be too high in carbohydrates for one meal, depending on your meal plan.
Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Powerseed Thin-Sliced
Net Carbs: 9 grams
This thin-sliced powerseed bread from Dave’s Killer Bread is chock-full of amazing texture, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids. By including whole and ground flaxseed, each slice has 240 mg of ALA-omega 3 fatty acid, which could help to lower inflammation associated with diabetes.
Pros: Each slice is low in calories, low in sodium, and has 3g of protein and fiber. What’s not to love about that?
Cons: Thin-sliced means thin sliced. It makes for great toast, but don’t expect the thin slices to hold together a hearty sandwich.
Angelic Bakehouse 7- Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
Net Carbs: 14 grams
Another sprouted grain bread, Angelic Bakehouse 7- sprouted grain bread uses sprouted wheat berries, quinoa, millet, oat groats, barley, rye berries, and amaranth to give you your daily dose of ancient grains.
Pros: With 5 grams of protein and 3g of fiber per slice, the digestion of sugar from the bread will be slow and steady compared to a bread with less protein and fiber.
Cons: At 14 grams of net carbs per slice, it could mean that having a sandwich with other carbohydrate foods leads to a higher blood sugar than you would like.
Base Culture Keto Bread- Cinnamon Raisin
Net Carbs: 6 grams
A traditionally sweet and sugary bread turned low-carb! This cinnamon raisin bread from Base Culture allows you to enjoy a sweet and flavor-packed bakery style bread without the blood sugar spike. It’s also free of grains, gluten, and dairy for anyone who needs to avoid those specific ingredients.
Pros: This low carb bread is keto-approved and made with zero artificial ingredients or preservatives. At only 6 net carbs per slice, you can enjoy a slice (or even 2) and still feel confident while managing your diabetes.
Cons: This bread is a little higher in fat than most other breads, coming in at 5 grams per slice, although most of the fat is heart-healthy unsaturated fat.
Sola Golden Wheat Low-Carb Sandwich Bread
Net Carbs: 2 grams
This Sola Golden Wheat Sandwich Bread is a favorite with many people who eat low carb or keto. With only 2 grams of net carbs, you can confidently add more variety of carbohydrate foods at your meal without worrying about your blood sugars.
Pros: Sweetened with stevia, this bread has no added sugars, but still has the slight sweetness that “regular” bread has. And with only 70 calories per slice, it’s a great low-cal option!
Cons: It does contain some sugar alcohols, which can cause digestive distress in some people.
Julian Bakery Keto Thin Bread
Net Carbs: 0 grams
Essentially a carb-free bread, Julian Bakery Keto Thin Bread is perfect for sweetened breakfast treats like french toast or to make a killer peanut butter and jelly. The texture is closer to pound cake than a light and airy sandwich bread.
The ingredient list is short, including mostly almond flour, eggs, butter, and cream cheese. It’s 100% grain and gluten-free as well as non-GMO.
Pros: At zero net carbs and 8 grams of protein, you’re free to fill the rest of your diabetes-friendly meal up with healthy carbs like fruit, starchy vegetables, or legumes without worrying about spiking your blood sugar.
Cons: At 140 calories per slice and 12 grams of fat, this bread may not be the perfect fit for everyone’s nutrition goals. Because of it’s cake-like texture, this low carb bread probably won’t pair as well with savory sandwiches or toasts.
Kiss My Keto Bread
Net Carbs: 0 grams
Another zero carb bread, Kiss my Keto bread actually has 5 grams of carbohydrate, but the 5 grams of fiber makes for zero net carbs. This is a lower calorie keto bread with only 60 calories per slice and 4 grams of fat, which may better suit some people’s nutrition goals.
Kiss my Keto bread uses vital wheat gluten, which is essentially the gluten removed from whole wheat, which is high in protein and low in carbs.
Pros: With 6 grams of protein per slice, this bread can almost count as your main protein source at a meal (or at least a big portion of it!).
Cons: The nutrition facts label lists 4 grams of sugar alcohols, but no sugar alcohols are listed in the ingredients. It’s unclear what sugar alcohols are used, but if you have a sensitivity to them, you may want to avoid this bread.
Outer Aisle Cauliflower Sandwich Thins
Net Carbs: 2 grams
Different from all the rest, Outer Aisle’s Cauliflower Sandwich Thins are made primarily from cauliflower, eggs, and parmesan cheese. You can heat them in the air fryer, toaster oven, or conventional oven and enjoy it like you would a bagel or slice of toast.
Pros: Only 2 grams of carbs, 60 calories, and a whopping 5 grams of protein per slice, you’ll feel full and satisfied after a meal or snack with these cauliflower slices.
Cons: Since the base is cauliflower and egg, you’ll need to heat this bread in a toaster oven or air fryer. It wouldn’t be a great replacement for a cold sandwich.
Unbun Sliced Bread
Net Carbs: 2 grams
Unbun has a variety of buns, bagels, and breads all Keto-approved. Their sliced bread is light and flavorful, and still filled with hearty fiber to help keep you full and regulate blood sugar.
Pros: A large portion of the 8 grams of fiber comes from psyllium, a gel-forming fiber that helps to add bulk to the stool and a prebiotic that helps to feed good gut bacteria.
Cons: This bread might be too high in sodium if you’re watching your salt intake. One slice has 10% DV for sodium, which can add up quickly when it’s just one part of one meal.
The bottom line on low carb bread
When choosing the best bread to help manage your diabetes, there’s a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Net carbs, protein, fiber, and of course flavor are all important pieces of the puzzle. One thing’s for certain, just because you have diabetes, does not mean you need to give up bread!
Have you tried any of the breads listed? Which is your favorite? And if you want more low carb bread options, check out my favorite brands available at ALDI.