- Is bread good for type 2 diabetes?
- Benefits of eating bread for type 2 diabetes
- What is the best bread for type 2 diabetes?
- Understanding glycemic index
- Meal plan samples with bread for type 2 diabetes
- Types of bread to avoid
- When should I see a dietitian?
- The lowdown
If you have diabetes, deciding what you should eat can be complicated. Carbohydrates are present in different foods, including desserts, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and bread. Food with lots of carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar levels and potentially cause some complications that you should avoid.
Maintaining a healthy carbs level is necessary since it's unrealistic to give up carbs entirely. The American Diabetes Association (ADA)¹ recommends that people with type 2 diabetes include some starchy foods in a healthy meal plan, but it's crucial to beware of the portion size. If you have been nervous about your bread consumption, here's what you should know about bread for type 2 diabetes.
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Is bread good for type 2 diabetes?
There's no clear answer to this question. Some types of bread often have high carbs, while others are overly processed and have high sugar and empty calories. Some types are healthier options for anyone with type 2 diabetes.
How will I know whether bread is safe for type 2 diabetes?
Be aware of the packaging label for the type of bread you're about to buy. You'll have to look at its calories, carb, sugar, sodium, fat, and fiber content. Here are what to look out for:
Look for bread with 90 calories or less per slice. You should note that this doubles up when you eat two slices. Therefore, the best bread to consider should have nuts and seeds. These types of bread have healthy fiber and protein but will still have high calories. It's best to eat one slice.
You need to watch out for how much carbs you're eating if you have diabetes. High carb intake can impact your blood sugar. However, you need to understand that carbohydrates are made of three things: sugar, starch, and fiber.
Fiber is the healthy carb that you want to be consuming as it doesn't spike your blood glucose level, while you want to consume the least amount of starch and sugar as they cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar and increase insulin resistance.
Therefore, you should look for the total carbs, then fiber content, and subtract that amount from the total carbs to get the net carbs.
Another thing to bear in mind is that bread is often considered a simple carb. Simple carbs are those made of highly processed carbs, such as flour. They can cause a rapid and sharp spike in blood glucose levels as the body breaks them down quickly.
If your bread is high in fiber, that would be more beneficial as it will slow down this process and potentially prevent a sharp spike in your blood sugar level.
Fiber is crucial in a type 2 diabetes-friendly diet. It helps slow down blood sugar rise by bulking the food, delaying the breakdown of food into glucose, and slowing down the absorption from the digestive system into the bloodstream. The soluble fiber was also found to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and total cholesterol levels. Therefore, look for fiber of at least three grams per slice.
Fats come in three forms: trans-fat, saturated, and unsaturated. People with diabetes should maintain low saturated and trans fat. They should also eat enough unsaturated fat as they were found to significantly lower glucose and HbA1c and improve insulin secretion capacity.
Most types of bread have low-fat content unless they have nuts or seeds. Look for bread with 0 grams of trans fat and the least amount of saturated fat. Aim to below 0.4 grams per slice. On the other hand, aim for a higher level of unsaturated fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats).
Some examples of this would be whole wheat and multigrain bread.
High sodium levels cause high blood pressure. With blood pressure and cardiovascular complications being some of the most common conditions that coexist with diabetes, keeping your sodium levels low is important. Aim for less than 120 milligrams per slice.
Nutritional facts for bread
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a slice of whole-wheat bread contains the following nutrients:
Fat: 1.1 grams
Fiber: 1.9 grams
Sodium: 144 grams
Please note that the nutritional content of bread differs by type. For instance, a single slice of whole-wheat bread provides 82 calories and 1 gram of fat, although this varies according to the brand. When it comes to commercially prepared white bread, you can get about 75 calories and 1 gram of fat per piece. They have pretty high carbohydrates, which can be 15 grams or more.
Typical rye bread has 83 calories, 1 gram of fat, 1.9 grams of fiber, 2.7 grams of protein, and 16 grams of carbohydrates.
For a person with type 2 diabetes, the healthiest bread should have low carbs and probably have high fiber and proteins. It's essential to look at the nutritional label of the bread before you decide on your bread.
Benefits of eating bread for type 2 diabetes
Bread contains carbs needed to provide your body with energy. People with type 2 diabetes should maintain at least 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day. If you choose whole-grain bread, you'll be getting a good amount of fiber and maintaining a reasonable amount of calories.
Fiber is good for keeping your glucose level in check, especially with its ability to make you feel more satisfied, reducing the need to eat more.
Bread also contains essential micronutrients, such as selenium, thiamin, and folate, which are beneficial for your body. These micronutrients are not necessarily crucial in managing type 2 diabetes but can be vital in improving your immune functions and blood clotting.
It is important to be careful not to over-consume bread, as regardless of how healthy the type of bread you are eating, bread should not represent more than 25% of the size of your meal.
What is the best bread for type 2 diabetes?
Whole-grain types of bread are the most suitable choices for a person with type 2 diabetes. Here are options you can make:
Almond flour bread
Almond flour bread is made from almond flour. Almond flour is made from finely ground almonds, and it's very low in carbs. One slice has only 2 grams of net carbs. It is high in protein and fiber, giving it a low glycemic index.
It's advised to maintain your consumption to the minimum since they might be high in calories.
Spelt, flaxseed, chia seed
These types of bread have high fiber, healthy fats, and protein. All these are suitable for a healthy diabetes diet. However, some can have higher calories, with a slice containing 100 calories. If you find such types of bread, it's best to keep your intake to one slice.
Whole-grain wraps and tortillas
If you prefer eating these bread types, look for 100% whole-wheat and lower-carbs. You can also try a high-fiber, low-carb tortilla. You can fill in your meal with scrambled eggs and vegetables or lean proteins for your lunch.
Again, it's vital to pay attention to the calories available per serving since they can be high in wraps and tortillas.
Organic whole-grain bread
Many bread-making companies turn to organic whole-grain bread to make diabetes healthy bread. Some of these types of bread have thin slices to lower their carbohydrate level per serving.
Sprouted bread types such as Ezekiel bread are suitable for people with diabetes. These types of bread use whole grain that has begun to sprout rather than flour. A study² examining the impact of different types of bread on the blood glucose and insulin level in overweight men reported that sprouted-grain bread improved the blood glucose level by lowering glycemic response.
Traditional pumpernickel bread
This bread also has a low glycemic index. Rye flour is sometimes mixed with wheat flour, pumpernickel, and sourdough starter. However, pay attention to your portion, as it is slightly higher in net carbs and sodium than multigrain and whole wheat bread.
Most commercial gluten-free types of bread are not usually the best option for type 2 diabetes. However, it's suitable for diabetes and celiac disease. Doing away with gluten can be tricky for bread manufacturers since it gives bread texture and elasticity. Therefore, they turn to refined starch, which is high in carbs.
Some exceptions to that would be the use of almond or coconut flour, which are both very low in carbs and are gluten-free. This makes them suitable for people with diabetes. However, they may not be as readily available as other types of bread and are often more costly.
If you're looking for gluten-free bread, take note of its fiber, fat, calorie, and carb levels to ensure safety. You should also look for gluten-free bread made of whole grains such as millet, quinoa, and brown rice.
Multigrain sandwich bread
Multigrain sandwich bread contains the whole, unrefined grains with high fiber levels. This lessens the effect of the high carbs on your glucose level. Look for whole-grain bread with buckwheat, brown rice, barley, bran, oats, and quinoa if you prefer this bread.
Understanding glycemic index
The glycemic index (GI) is a rating system for carbohydrates-containing foods. It indicates how quickly certain foods affect your glucose level. Several factors such as the nutritional composition, ripeness, amount of processing used, and cooking method determine food's glycemic index.
However, this index doesn't consider the amount of food or carbs consumed per serving. This is called the glycemic load (GL). So it is important to know the difference between them and take them both into account.
Understanding the glycemic index of particular foods improves your awareness of the food you're putting on your plate and how it would help you manage type 2 diabetes.
The glycemic index classifies foods into low, medium, and high glycemic on a 0–100 scale. Here is a breakdown of these three classifications:
Low glycemic index
A low glycemic index is at 55 or lower. Low glycemic foods are broken down slowly, meaning that the glucose level rises gradually once they're eaten. Some of the food with low glycemic index include:
Some types of fruits, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and berries
Non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach
Whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and barley
Legumes, such as black beans, oatmeal, and lentils
If you have type 2 diabetes, it's recommended to consume mostly foods with a low glycemic index to manage your blood sugar level.
Medium glycemic index
A medium glycemic index falls between 56–69. It also contains foods that take some time to be broken down to glucose and absorbed into the blood, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar than high glycemic foods but a bit faster than the lower glycemic index ones. These include:
Cooked sweet potato
High glycemic index
A high glycemic index falls at 70 and above. The body usually breaks down high glycemic foods quickly, causing a rapid increase in your blood glucose rating. Some high glycemic foods include:
Sugary soft drinks
Sugar and sugary foods
It's crucial to avoid foods with a high glycemic index if you have type 2 diabetes since they would spike your glucose levels.
Meal plan samples with bread for type 2 diabetes
There's no one-size-fits-all meal plan for a person with type 2 diabetes. Your doctor or dietitian should recommend good meal plans to consider. You need to create a plan to keep your net carbs low while high in fiber and healthy proteins and fats. Here are three ways you can plan your meal:
With this method, you need to establish the maximum number of carbs you will be eating at each meal. You should consider your exercise level, medication, and health before deciding on it. It also requires portion control and learning which carbs you're eating.
The plate method
In this approach, half of your plate should contain non-starchy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and green pepper. One quarter should have starchy foods and grains, such as bread and beans, and the remaining quarter to be filled with protein-rich foods.
You can also add a fruit serving based on your overall meal plan. You can also complete the meal with low-calorie water or unsweetened tea.
Creating an exchange list
In this approach, you will need to group similar foods and substitute them with others to achieve a particular nutritional value. When it comes to bread, it will be on the starch list. Each item in this list contains 15 grams of carbs, 80 calories, and 3 grams of protein.
Therefore, you can exchange one slice with food on the protein list or a high-fiber diet to maintain a diabetes-friendly meal.
Now that you understand different approaches for your diabetes-friendly meal, here are examples of breakfast meal plans you can choose, which include bread:
A slice of Ezekiel bread, one poached egg, half a small avocado, and one orange. Total carbs = 39
A slice of Dave's Killer Bread Organic, an ounce of almonds, three-quarters of a cup of blueberries, and 100g of cooked oatmeal. Total carbs = 35
Two-egg veggie omelet, half a cup of black beans, a slice of Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat, and three-quarters cup of blueberries. Total carbs = 34
Types of bread to avoid
The worst bread for a person with type 2 diabetes is made with only refined carbs, such as white flour. Grain processing to make flour softens the texture and strips away vitamins, fiber, and minerals, leading to a higher glycemic index.
Manufacturers enrich processed grain with vitamins and minerals, but they don't often increase fiber content. That's why it's crucial to read the labels of your bread to check whether it has a high fiber content.
You should also avoid bread with sweeteners such as molasses, high-fructose corn syrup, and sugar. You should also do away with bread with dried fruits or raisins since they are too high in carbs.
When should I see a dietitian?
You need to see a dietitian before including any bread into your meal plan. A dietitian will help you determine which type of bread is suitable for your diabetes-friendly meal, depending on its nutritional content, weight, how well-controlled your diabetes is, and other health conditions. They will also recommend stopping eating certain types of bread based on your glucose response. You need to see a dietitian before including any bread into your meal plan.
It's crucial to understand the nutritional facts of the bread you're about to choose. It helps you determine whether it has the lowest net carbs levels and high fiber, making it ideal.
Another crucial factor to consider is checking your blood sugar before eating bread or after eating it several times. This will help you understand how your body responds to it. Finally, work with your dietitian to create a meal plan that works best.
The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing whole grain bread or 100 percent whole wheat bread instead of white bread. White bread is made from highly processed white flour and added sugar.Can Type 2 diabetics have bread? ›
In short, yes. If you have diabetes, you can certainly eat bread, as long as you keep in mind the number of carb servings that particular bread provides. Choosing healthier breads like whole-grain ones with a high fiber count is best for keeping blood sugar levels low.Can Type 2 diabetics eat multigrain bread? ›
Multigrain bread has low carbs. It has a low glycemic index and is ideal for diabetic and heart patients. It also helps keep a check on your body weight.Is sourdough bread good for type 2 diabetes? ›
Fortunately, sourdough bread can be good for people who have or are predisposed to diabetes. Research suggests not only is sourdough an ideal part of a balanced diet, but it can also help to manage blood sugar levels and provide other benefits, which is important when dealing with diabetes.Which bread raises blood sugar the least? ›
Sprouted grain bread wins the contest because it's high in fiber and protein, which means it won't have as much of an impact on your blood sugar levels. The key indicator is your glycemic response.What bread is lowest in sugar? ›
Sourdough contains less sugar, even when made with white flour. Both light and dark rye bread have a relatively low GI. Try to buy fresh from the bakery instead of the store, and go organic when possible. Even “healthy” multigrain bread can contain nasty sugar levels.Is Dave's Killer bread good for diabetics? ›
Dave's Killer Bread is a healthy choice for diabetics. All flavors in the "thin sliced" are good choices, and Powerseed in the large size is great as well. In addition to Dave's, the best breads are Ezekiel, 100% whole wheat or whole grain, spouted, and sourdough.Can diabetics eat peanut butter? ›
Peanut butter contains essential nutrients, and it can be part of a healthful diet when a person has diabetes. However, it is important to eat it in moderation, as it contains a lot of calories. People should also make sure their brand of peanut butter is not high in added sugar, salt, or fat.Is Ezekiel bread good for type 2 diabetes? ›
High in Carbohydrates
Ezekiel bread is a high-carb food. People with diabetes and those trying to lose weight should only eat it in small amounts. Ezekiel bread is not consistent with a keto diet.
Grapes are a beloved fruit that is healthy and safe for people with diabetes. They are safe to eat, and you can include them in a diabetic diet because they don't cause a rise in blood sugar. Consuming grapes can lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Due to their fibre content, grapes keep one feeling full.
Sweet potatoes have a sterling nutritional profile, making them a great food for people with diabetes. Here's how to start incorporating them into your diet. Sweet potatoes are one of the most popular foods for diabetes at Everyday Health, and with good reason.Are tomatoes good for diabetics? ›
Tomatoes are not high in sugar, and neither are carrots. Tomatoes, similar to carrots, are considered a non-starchy vegetable in meal planning for diabetes. This means that the amount of naturally occurring sugar is minimal in a serving.Is Oatmeal good for a diabetic? ›
Not only are oats nutritious and satiating, they can also offer specific benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. According to MedlinePlus, adults with type 2 diabetes may benefit from eating whole grains like oats, due to their potential glucose and cholesterol-lowering effects.How many slices of whole wheat bread can a diabetic eat? ›
Most people with diabetes should aim for 45 to 60 milligrams of carbs per meal, according to the American Diabetes Association. One slice of whole-wheat bread contains 12 grams of carbohydrate. This fits well within your total per-meal carbohydrate intake.What brand of bread has no sugar? ›
For a great-tasting loaf without any sugar, pick up some Nature's Own Life 100% Whole Grain Sugar-Free Bread. Packed with whole grains, it's a good source of fiber with 11 grams of whole grain in every slice.Does toasting bread reduce sugar? ›
The longer the toasting typically means the more harmful chemicals in the bread. That said, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found toasting bread does have one health benefit. It lowers the glycemic index, so it is less likely than regular bread to spike blood sugar.What bread has the least amount of sugar and carbs? ›
- loaf of seeded bread.
- ezekiel bread sprouted whole grain bread. ...
- Dave's Killer Bread 21 Powerseed Thin-Sliced. ...
- Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted 7-Grain Bread. ...
- Alvarado St. ...
- Trader Joe's Sprouted 7-Grain Bread.
Low-glycemic foods score 55 or less and include: 100-percent stone-ground whole-wheat or pumpernickel bread.Are bagels OK for diabetics? ›
Bagels are naturally higher in carbohydrate than a slice of bread, but if you want to enjoy a bagel while living with diabetes, you absolutely can! Look for varieties (like the ones below) that are higher in protein and fiber, and pair it with an additional protein source.Can diabetics eat pizza? ›
The short answer to this question is yes, people with diabetes can enjoy all types of pizza. However, it's a good idea for all people, not just those with diabetes, to limit their intake of pizza.
- Goat cheese. Goat cheese may be the healthiest cheese option for people with type 2 diabetes. ...
- Cottage cheese. ...
- Romano cheese. ...
- Cheddar cheese. ...
- Feta cheese. ...
- Mozzarella cheese.
The following are the best brands and flavors for those who have diabetes. Blue Bunny Ice Cream: This brand offers vanilla and chocolate options. Both contain 20 grams (g) of carbohydrates per ½-cup serving. Breyers Creamy Vanilla: This contains minimal fat and 17 g of total carbohydrates per ½ cup.Which nuts should diabetics avoid? ›
Avoid nuts that are coated in salt — Dobbins notes that sodium is bad for your blood pressure — and sugar. More bad news if you love the sweet-and-savory combo: Chocolate-covered peanuts and honey-roasted cashews are high in carbs and not the best choice when you have diabetes, Dobbins says.What time should diabetics stop eating at night? ›
Try to fast at night
Try to go 10 to 12 hours each night without eating, Sheth advises. For instance, if you eat breakfast at 8:30 a.m. every morning, that means capping your nighttime meals and snacks between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. each night.
- vegetables. nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes. ...
- fruits—includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes.
- grains—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains. ...
- protein. ...
- dairy—nonfat or low fat.
Popcorn is a very popular and healthy whole-grain snack food. It has been deemed a suitable snack food for people with diabetes, partly because of its low calorie density. One cup (8 grams) of air-popped popcorn contains just 31 calories.Can diabetics eat pasta? ›
People with diabetes can eat pasta but should choose whole grain types and watch their portion size. Diabetes-friendly pasta recipes may include alternative types of pasta, along with healthy vegetables, protein, and low-fat sauces.Can diabetics eat potatoes? ›
Can people with diabetes eat potatoes? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), starchy vegetables such as potatoes can be included in the diet of a person with diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrate consumed at any given meal or snack is what is most important.Is watermelon good for diabetes? ›
Watermelon is safe for people with diabetes to eat in moderation. However, it is best to consume watermelon and other high GI fruits alongside foods that contain plenty of nutritious fats, fiber, and protein.Which color grapes are best for diabetics? ›
Also, grapes deliver a better insulin control as well as enhances insulin sensitivity. Grapes in all types i.e., green, red, or blue-purple are good for people with diabetes.
People with diabetes often aim to eat foods with a low glycemic load, including low-glycemic fruits. Strawberries fall into this category, as the fruit doesn't quickly raise glucose levels. You can eat them without worrying about a blood sugar spike.What is the best way to cook potatoes for a diabetic? ›
The most healthful way to cook potatoes is to boil, steam, or microwave them without adding other ingredients. Preparing potatoes in this way will ensure that they are very low in sugar, salt, and fat.Is corn good for a diabetic? ›
Yes, you can eat corn if you have diabetes. Corn is a source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It's also low in sodium and fat. That said, follow the advice of the American Diabetes Association.Can diabetics eat potato chips? ›
Resist the Crunch of Sodium-Laden Chips and Crackers
You may love their lip-smackin' saltiness, but potato chips, tortilla chips, or corn chips (including those in restaurant nachos), crackers, and pretzels are not the best food choices for people living with diabetes.
Lettuce: the diabetic patient should eat plenty of lettuce. These have a low glycemic index and thus helps to lower your blood sugar level. Ac up of lettuce gives 5 to 10 calories of energy. Lettuce is also rich in vitamins especially vitamin A, K, and other minerals.Are cucumbers good for diabetes? ›
Early trials suggest that cucumber is one of the most effective plants for not only reducing blood sugar levels but also lowering the risk of hypoglycemia during a blood sugar drop. For people with diabetes, cucumber may be a helpful addition to their diet to moderate blood sugar levels more effectively.Which vegetable lowers blood sugar? ›
The American Diabetes Association recommends filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables at meals, such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, squash and mushrooms.Can diabetics eat Cheerios? ›
Plain Cheerios are the best choice for a diabetic diet. Why? Because the flavored versions are much higher in sugar and won't provide the same benefits. It's best to stick with the whole grain, plain-flavored version so that you don't risk a spike in blood sugar in the morning.What affects A1C the most? ›
The lifespan of red blood cells is one of the biggest influences on A1C levels. That's because the A1C test measures the percentage of your red blood cells that have glucose attached to the hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Changes in red blood cells can changeTrusted Source your A1C.How can I lower my A1C fast? ›
- Exercise. Physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently, so it can better process the glucose in your blood. ...
- Eat Right. ...
- Take Medications as Prescribed. ...
- Manage Your Stress. ...
- Stick to a Schedule. ...
- Drink in Moderation. ...
- Monitor Your Numbers.
Whole-grain foods contain a variety of beneficial nutrients, and research shows they are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. For those with diabetes, choosing whole grains over refined grains can help to maintain optimum blood sugar readings.What can diabetics substitute for bread? ›
Whole-grain wraps and tortillas.
Look for wraps that are 100-percent whole-wheat, whole-corn, whole-rice, or lower-carb (many contain non-GMO ingredients), or try a lower-carb, high-fiber tortilla: “It may have half the carbohydrates and twice the fiber of a typical slice of bread,” Weiner says.
Yes, a person with diabetes can eat mayonnaise. Mayonnaise has less than a single gram of carbohydrates per tablespoon. But with 10 grams of total fat (1.6 grams of that coming from saturated fat) it can be considered high fat. So you may want to limit the amount of mayonnaise you eat or find an alternative.What is the healthiest bread to eat? ›
- Sprouted whole grain. Sprouted bread is made from whole grains that have started to sprout from exposure to heat and moisture. ...
- Sourdough. ...
- 100% whole wheat. ...
- Oat bread. ...
- Flax bread. ...
- 100% sprouted rye bread. ...
- Healthy gluten-free bread.
People with diabetes can also benefit from diets that allow up to 26% of their daily calories to come from carbs. For people who eat 2,000–2,200 calories a day, this is equivalent to 130–143 grams of carbs ( 12 ). Since carbs raise blood sugar, reducing them to any extent can help you manage your blood sugar levels.Is peanut butter good for diabetics? ›
Natural peanut butter is considered safe for people with diabetes. It's best to avoid the “low-fat” varieties of peanut butter. They sound healthy—but most brands simply add more sugar to make up for less fat. This can spike blood sugar levels and leads to more daily carbohydrates.What can I use instead of bread for sandwiches? ›
- Corn, reduced-carb or whole-grain tortillas.
- Cheese wraps or cheese slices.
- Coconut wraps.
- Cauliflower bread.
- Cucumber slices.
- Sweet potato slices.
- Bell pepper slices.
- Portobello mushrooms.
Whole-grain bread, Ezekiel bread, and rye bread are among the most healthful options. Bread made from whole or sprouted grains contains essential nutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Others, such as processed white bread, contain very few nutrients.What bread has low glycemic index? ›
Low-glycemic foods score 55 or less and include: 100-percent stone-ground whole-wheat or pumpernickel bread.What carbs Should a Type 2 diabetic avoid? ›
White bread, rice, and pasta
White bread, rice, and pasta are high carb, processed foods. Eating bread, bagels, and other refined-flour foods has been shown to significantly increase blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (19, 20).
So people reduce their carb intake, go on a low carbohydrate diet, and focus on eating healthy fats and (in many cases) too much protein. But what this solution crucially fails to address is insulin resistance, which is the true cause of those high blood glucose numbers.