What Is The Least Healthy Kind Of Bread?

Depending on what decade you made sack lunches in, you might be carrying certain nostalgic feelings for a specific type of bread. While older parties may be partial to the wonders of white Wonder Bread, newer generations have been exposed to the growing selection of gluten-free, non-GMO, cracked wheat bread options sold at their local Trader Joes. Considering how the bread aisle appears to be getting more and more crowded, it might be helpful to know exactly which types of bread would be the worst additions to your healthy diet.

If you're overwhelmed by all your options and unsure about which "healthy" bread to buy, one of the first things you can do is to check the ingredients list at the back of the packaging. According to Eat This, Not That, there are certain types of bread sold on shelves that are made with over 20 ingredients. Bread only really needs three: flour, water, and yeast. Which means the other additives — often with ambiguous or scary-sounding names like dough conditioners, bleaching agents, and high-fructose corn syrup — are both unnecessary and not the healthiest extras for your diet.

Avoid bread that has been "enriched"

Generally, the fewer the ingredients in your bread, the better. And if you're on the hunt for the healthiest types of bread, you'll want to stay away from anything that has the word "enriched" on the label. It may sound like a healthy word, but it's actually just clever marketing. Nutritionist Lisa Richards tells HuffPost why enriched is such a negative word in the bread aisle: "This tells you immediately that it has been processed and it's made from flour that will spike your glucose and create inflammation." 

Richards goes on to say that those looking for the healthiest type of bread should stay far away from white sandwich bread. "This bread is at the bottom of the list because it really offers little in the way of vitamins and minerals," she explains. "White sandwich bread is made with flour that has had the bran and germ removed leaving the white endosperm, which is the portion of the kernel that is primarily starch." In addition to ditching options that are filled with preservatives and lacking in nutrition, Eat This, Not That recommends avoiding breads that are high in fat and extremely dense, like brioche and bagels. 

That said, having plenty of choices in the bread aisle is still a great thing — that is, if you know how to sift through the less healthy variations and stick to more nutritionally dense options.