For blood sugar control, we need a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat alongside our carbohydrates to keep blood sugars stable after meals. You can do that by either paring your carbs with high-protein, -fiber, and -healthy fat foods, but you can also look for carbs that are naturally higher in these satiating, digestion-slowing macronutrients.
One of the most common carbs we eat is bread, and the bread aisle is often thought of to be a minefield for those with diabetes or prediabetes as many options can be particularly harmful to your blood sugar levels.
To help you navigate the bread aisle, we scoured the internet for loaves of bread that are standouts when it comes to lacking a balanced nutrition label and may be more likely to spike blood sugar than other options.
Similar to white bread, this Italian loaf delivers 80 calories per serving. Generally, this is lower in calories for a slice of bread, but the overall nutrition might not be the best for blood sugar control.
With 16 grams of carbs per slice and less than 1 gram of fiber, this bread doesn’t deliver much staying power between meals.
If you love an Italian sandwich, be sure to balance out your carbs with protein options like turkey or ham, cheese, and veggies for a boost in fiber.
This bread is super sweet in the mornings, but probably not doing your blood sugars any favors if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Two slices clock in at about 180 calories, 34 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar.
Interestingly, turning this bread into French toast by dipping it in an egg wash would actually improve your blood sugar response. Be sure to choose a low-sugar syrup to top it off.
Kelsey Lorencz, RD with Zenmaster Wellness tells us that one slice of this bread has 26 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of added sugar, and only 1 gram of fiber.
She explains, “If you’re eating a sandwich, you can double it for over 50 grams of net carbs just from the bread alone. The lack of fiber and large slices make it easy to eat more carbohydrates than intended, potentially spiking your blood sugar if you have diabetes.”
Lorencz shares that potato breads might be another landmine to look out for if blood sugar is your concern.
She states, “With 22 grams of carbohydrate and less than 1 gram of fiber, this bread will quickly raise your blood sugar and potentially lead to a crash shortly after. The fiber in bread helps to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream during the digestion process. With such little fiber, the carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugar and released into the blood.”
If you’re eating bread that is higher in carbohydrates and not rich in fiber, pair it with another high-fiber food or a serving of protein and fat. These nutrients slow down digestion, so that blood sugar rises more steadily and is less likely to crash.