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With or without diabetes, bread loves to taunt you and your waistline. But like mama always says, the key to a happy union is setting high standards. You wouldn’t put your mouth on any old pair of lips, so why put your mouth on any old slice of bread?
Time to set and maintain your bread dating standards. We’ve even included a list of the most diabetes-friendly breads. Let’s find your perfect match!
Bread worthiness depends on the carb content, and not all carbs are created equal.
Simple carbs, aka sugar, are the one-night stands of the food world. They taste great but spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry and, frankly, a little used.
Sodas, pastries, white rice, pies, cookies, cakes, artificial syrups, candies, and white bread are usually loaded with simple carbs.
Tall, dark, and nutritious, complex carbs may not have the same dangerous allure of simple carbs, but what they lack in immediate physical attraction, they more than make up for in substance.
Their rich vitamin and mineral content takes longer to digest and therefore doesn’t spike your blood sugar. It’s almost like they really care.
Complex carbs are made of starches and fiber that are found in natural foods like brown rice, whole grains, oatmeal, peas, beans, lentils, fruits, seeds, nuts, and soybeans.
All carbs (except those from fiber) will eventually break down into sugar during digestion, and should be monitored if you have diabetes.
Many nutritionists recommend deducting grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs, since fiber isn’t digested by the body and doesn’t affect blood sugar.
This is also the system the ketogenic diet follows. So, if a slice of bread has 17 grams of net carbs and 5 grams of fiber, you’d subtract the fiber and end up with 12 carbs per slice.
Chia bread: Udi’s Gluten Free Millet-Chia Bread
Full of nutritional yumminess found in ancient grains (so #cultured), this bread has a total carb count of 24 grams and 5 grams of fiber per slice.
Consumers rate it 4 out of 5 stars and strongly suggest toasting it for the best flavor and texture. It’s an affordable bread and can be found at Target, Walmart, Amazon, and various other retail outlets.
Almond flour bread: Barely Bread Grain Free Sliced Loaf
Definitely our most bougie pick (you can purchase six 11-ounce loaves for $118.91 here), this almond flour bread has an impressive nutritional profile, boasting a mere 6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber (which deducts to just 1 gram of carb, as demonstrated above).
It’s completely grain-free. You can also find it in the freezer section of most Whole Foods locations.
Spelt bread: Berlin Bakery Whole Grain Spelt Bread
Boasting a light, fluffy texture, this bread is made with stone-milled, whole grain spelt flour. One slice has just 16 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. It’s an affordable option at $5.99 for a 19-ounce loaf.
Flaxseed bread: Thin Slim Zero Carb Bread
Another fiber powerhouse, this bread has 7 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber, which reduces the effective carb count to zero! It’s in the midrange price at $12.99 online.
Whole grain tortilla: Mission Carb Balance Whole Grain Tortilla
If you need a big fiber boost, try these affordable and widely available whole grain tortillas guaranteed to fill you up. Don’t be scared of the 31 grams of carbs, as they also include 23 grams of fiber.
Organic whole grain bread: Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds
This is a great whole grain, organic option that’s widely available. It’s meaty and seedy and boasts a carb count of 22 grams and 5 grams of fiber. Online prices between $3 and $5.
Sprouted bread: Ezekiel Sprouted Bread
This unique bread features six sprouted grains and a legume profile based on an ancient bible verse. Now that’s the kind of bread you want to bring home to mom.
This unique combination forms a complete plant based protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It has 15 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber per slice. You’ll find it online and at local grocery stores, usually in the freezer section.
Pumpernickel bread: Great Low Carb Bread Company
Yummy, tangy pumpernickel bread has just 8 net carbs and 7 grams of fiber. A 16-ounce loaf costs just $7.99.
Gluten-free corn tortilla: Guerrero White Corn Tortillas
Flexible, thin, widely available, and with no aftertaste, these corn tortillas have 22 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber per serving. Taco Tuesday anyone? Find it online.
How do you know a bread is diabetes-friendly? It should be:
- low in carbs
- free of added sugars
- high in fiber
- Full of whole grains, nuts, nut flours, and seeds
Remember simple carbs? Breads made with refined carbs (e.g. white flour) spike your blood sugar and aren’t good for anyone — especially peeps with diabetes.
What’s more, they contribute nothing to the relationship because processing strips away the good stuff, like fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
When reading labels, ingredients are listed in order of quantity. So, whatever is listed first makes up the highest percentage of that recipe or formula.
Swipe left on breads that list sweeteners like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, or molasses among the first ingredients.
And watch out for breads that contain raisins or other dried fruit, as these raise the carb and sugar content.
To help you avoid some truly regrettable hookups, stay away from these:
Pillsbury’s Date Quick Bread and Muffin Mix
Loaded with refined flour and sugar, this stuff has 28 grams of carbs, 14 grams of sugar, and just 1 gram of fiber per serving.
With ingredients as cheap as its price, this bread should be benched for good. High fructose corn syrup is third in the ingredient lineup, followed by a bunch of unpronounceable chemical additives. It has 13 grams of carbs, 2 grams of added sugar, and 0 fiber per slice.
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
With 28 grams of carbs, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 8 grams of sugar per serving, this popular cornbread mix is bad news for diabetes. Can’t quit cornbread? Try making a healthy homemade version instead.
We love playing matchmaker, but ultimately, setting bread standards is up to you. Here’s a quick refresher to boost your nutritional know-how:
- Serving size: Bread is usually calculated as one slice per serving, so you’ll have to double the nutritional information if you’re noshing on a typical sandwich.
- Calories: This number is comprised of three macronutrients that fuel our bodies — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Eating too many calories can lead to weight gain. Try a calorie calculator to determine your target number.
- Fat: This can be further broken down into saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. For the most part fat isn’t as scary as sugar. Except for trans fat; that’s some scary stuff. Trans fats are chemically altered and well known for being unhealthy. On the other hand, polyunsaturated fats like those found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts are even known to help reduce cholesterol and heart disease.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol is only found in animal products like butter and cheese; therefore, most bread is cholesterol-free.
- Sodium (aka salt): Too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure. It’s super easy to overindulge in sodium, especially if you enjoy packaged and processed foods. You’ll want to research a little to determine your target sodium range.
- Carbohydrates: This provides a net count of total carbs per serving, lumping simple, complex, and fiber carbs together.
- Fiber: These are plant based carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar because they aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream like other carbs. The Joslin Diabetes Center suggests filling up on 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day.
- Sugar: After fiber, there’s a section for “total sugar” and a section for “added sugar.” Those with diabetes, or anyone trying to lose weight, should keep sugar intake as low as possible. Be especially wary of added sugars, which are guaranteed to spike your blood sugar.
Too good to be true? Know your buzz words
Some products like to whisper sweet nothings that sound healthier than they are. Watch out for these:
- Fiber enriched: Breads labeled fiber enriched still carry a lot of carbs, so you’ll want to enjoy these in moderation.
- All-natural: Like using a filter on your profile piece, this label is misleading. The FDA doesn’t regulate the use of this term, and it can refer to food containing artificial flavors, synthetic substances, and even added color.
- Multigrain: Many people assume this refers to whole grains, but it simply means the product includes multiple grains — not necessarily whole grains.
- Sugar-free: This only means the product doesn’t contain cane sugar. It could contain other natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or artificial sweeteners that can still spike your blood sugar.
- Grain-free vs. gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Gluten-free products often contain rice flour and sugar — both of which will take your blood sugar to spike town. The term “grain-free” denotes a product with zero grains which should, by default, also be gluten-free. These tend to be lower in carbs and are better for blood sugar control.
If you have prediabetes or diabetes, or if you just want to eat healthier, creating a tailored meal plan is a great first step toward reaching your health goals.
Meal plans aren’t one-size-fits-all. Do your own research and talk to a trusted doctor or dietician to create the best meal plan for you.
Some basic guidelines when creating a meal plan include:
- Choosing healthy fats in moderation.
- Including omega-3s (found in fish oil, flax seeds, soybeans, and walnuts).
- Adding flavor through herbs and spices while cutting down on salt, sugar, and trans fat.
- Cooking at home and eating out less. Restaurant meals are loaded with extra sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.
- Substitute sugar with a diabetes-safe option such as plant based stevia.
Carb counting method
This method involves exactly what it sounds like. Calculate a daily carb count that works for you and stick to it each day. Your ideal carb count will depend on various factors like age, weight, and activity level.
If you’re taking insulin, carb counting is a little more complicated because you need to match carbs consumed to your insulin dose.
If you’re on insulin and want to try the carb counting method, it’s recommended that you track your normal food intake and blood sugar levels for a few days. Then share this information with your diabetes care team so they can help you tailor your approach.
The plate method
If you’re a visual learner and not big on numbers, the plate method may be right for you. It’s a great option for those with prediabetes and anyone wanting to eat healthier.
It’s not a great option if you’re on insulin, so be sure to consult with your diabetes care team before trying this method.
This method is all about portion control. Start by filling half your plate with non-starchy veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, or greens. A quarter of the plate goes to starchy grains and veggies, and the last portion goes to lean proteins.
Healthy fats aren’t included in this meal plan, but you can include them as part of the preparation process or as a dressing for the other foods.
For the detail oriented person, the diabetic exchange list method may be just right. Some people find the system too rigid, as it requires precise measurements and ratios. Others appreciate how exacting it can be.
The premise of this system is simple; foods with similar nutritional profiles are organized into groups which can be substituted or swapped out.
For example, a snack could be either two slices of bread, or an apple with a glass of milk. To use this method you’ll want to keep the diabetic exchange list handy, as well as some measuring cups, spoons, and a kitchen scale.
All of these plans should be discussed and crafted with the help of your diabetic care team.
Whether or not you have diabetes, indulging in the wrong kinds of carbs is a bad habit that will not lead to happily ever after. Make healthier bread choices by choosing a bread that is:
- low in carbs
- free of added sugars
- high in fiber
- rich in whole grains, nuts, nut flours, or seeds
Diabetes nutrition doesn’t need to be a drag. Yummy, healthy food exists. You just need to do a little speed dating to find what works for you.
What is the very best bread for diabetics? ›
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. Here are some delicious and healthy breads to try: Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Wheat Pita Bread.What bread does not break down into sugar? ›
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 is the best bread for kidney disease and diabetes? ›
I recommend whole grain, whole wheat or multigrain bread for people with kidney disease. Be careful to check the sodium in whatever bread you buy. Bread is a surprising source of salt! Historically, white bread was recommended because it has less phosphorus in it.Is Dave's Killer bread healthy 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.How many pieces of bread should a diabetic eat? ›
Even high-quality, whole grain starches elevate blood glucose to some degree, so it's still important to limit portions — stick with ½ to ¾ cup cooked grains or just 1 slice of bread at meals.Does toasting bread remove sugar? ›
While toasting bread is proven to lower its glycaemic index, giving it a less dramatic effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, there are a few disadvantages of toasting your bread.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.
White bread is typically recommended over whole wheat bread on a renal diet due to its lower phosphorus and potassium levels. All bread contains sodium, so it's best to compare food labels and choose a lower sodium variety.What kind of bread is good for kidneys? ›
Traditionally, white bread was recommended for people with kidney disease because it has less potassium and phosphorus.What should a diabetic with kidney disease eat for breakfast? ›
Proteins: lean meats (poultry, fish), eggs, unsalted seafood. Carbs: white bread, bagels, sandwich buns, unsalted crackers, pasta. Drinks: water, clear diet sodas, unsweetened tea.
What cheese can you eat with diabetes? ›
- 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.
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 bread is OK for type 2 diabetes? ›
- Almond flour bread. Almond flour bread is made from almond flour. ...
- Spelt, flaxseed, chia seed. ...
- Whole-grain wraps and tortillas. ...
- Organic whole-grain bread. ...
- Sprouted bread. ...
- Traditional pumpernickel bread. ...
- Gluten-free bread. ...
- Multigrain sandwich bread.
- Walnuts. Serving size: about 14 shelled halves. ...
- Almonds. Serving size: about 23 nuts. ...
- Pistachios. Serving size: about 45 nuts. ...
- Peanuts. Serving size: about 28 peanuts.
Cheese and Whole-Grain Crackers
They are a good snack choice if you have diabetes. While crackers can be high in carbs, the fat in the cheese and fiber in the crackers may prevent them from spiking your blood sugar. Consumption of dairy products, like cheese, is linked with a lower risk of diabetes in some studies.
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.What happens when you stop eating bread and sugar? ›
Drowsiness, nausea and aches have all been associated with cutting back significantly on carbs. This happens when your body no longer has glucose to rely on as a source of energy but hasn't made the switch to use stored fat as an energy source.Does quitting sugar mean no bread? ›
With bread being such a staple of many diets I often get asked “Can I eat bread when I quit sugar?” Well the short answer is yes.What happens if you don't eat sugar or bread? ›
Your cravings will diminish.
“People usually have no cravings, no symptoms, and are losing weight,” said Dr. Ian K. Smith. Plus, when you no longer have sugar stored in your body as fat, you have the ability to become leaner.
- 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.
Is there a bread with no carbohydrates? ›
Shibolim FlaxSeed Bread (1 Pound) Low Carb, Zero Net Carbs Per Serving, Keto Friendly, Rich in Fiber & Protein, Vegan.Is sweet Potato good for diabetics? ›
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.What can I eat instead of bread and pasta? ›
Eating plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans and lentils can help. Lean meat and fish also can be good sources of healthy protein to include in your diet instead of rice, pasta, bread and potatoes.What kind of sandwich is kidney friendly? ›
Remember: If possible, make meat sandwiches from low-sodium, fresh-cooked meats such as chicken, turkey breast, roast beef, pork or fish in 2 to 3 ounce portions. Egg salad or fried egg sandwiches are good low-sodium, high-protein choices.What cheese is good for kidney disease? ›
Hard cheeses such as cheddar, Edam and Red Leicester are high in phosphate. Better options include: cream cheese • cottage cheese • mozzarella • feta • brie • Stilton.Is spaghetti OK for kidney disease? ›
Pastas and noodles are actually good for CKD patients, especially since they can fit a renal healthy diet (also check our useful guide on pizza for kidney dieting). Some dishes may be more suitable for you than others, depending on your specific needs.What are the 3 early warning signs of kidney disease? ›
- Changes in urination. Healthy kidneys help filter blood to create urine. ...
- Fatigue. ...
- Itching. ...
- Swelling in your hands, legs, or feet. ...
- Shortness of breath. ...
- Pain in the small of your back. ...
- Decreased appetite. ...
- Puffiness around your eyes.
These items might include breakfast sausage, ham, bacon, frozen breakfast sandwiches, French toast, waffles, and pancakes. One can still enjoy these items, but they should be altered to reduce sodium content.What flour is kidney-friendly? ›
|Regular baking ingredients||Kidney-friendly baking ingredients|
|Whole-wheat flour||White flour (lower in phosphorus and potassium)|
|Self-rising flour||Plain, all-purpose white flour (lower in sodium and phosphorus)|
“A diabetes-friendly breakfast is one that includes a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in the right proportions, which helps balance blood sugar,” says Al Bochi. A simple diabetes-friendly breakfast she recommends is a plate of eggs and avocado on whole-grain toast.
Are boiled eggs good for kidneys? ›
Egg whites provide a high quality, kidney-friendly source of protein. Plus, they're an excellent choice for people undergoing dialysis treatment, who have higher protein needs but need to limit phosphorus.What foods are hard on the kidneys? ›
Don't eat ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, lunch meats, chicken tenders or nuggets, or regular canned soup. Only eat reduced-sodium soups that don't have potassium chloride as an ingredient (check the food label.) Also, only eat 1 cup, not the whole can.What bread does not turn into sugar? ›
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 is the best bread without 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.What type of bread has no sugar? ›
Examples of breads that are naturally sugar-free are sourdough, 100% whole wheat, rye, or pumpernickel. Some prepackaged loaves may contain added sugars or sweeteners, so it's best to check the label and ingredients list.What milk is best for diabetic person? ›
Milk. Switching to lower-fat milk, such as semi-skimmed milk (green top) from whole milk (blue top), which contains the most fat, is a good start. To make even more of a difference, try 1 per cent fat milk (orange top) or even better skimmed milk (red top).Can diabetics eat Philadelphia cream cheese? ›
Share on Pinterest Cheese is safe in moderation for people with diabetes. People with diabetes can safely eat cheese as part of a balanced, healthful diet.How many slices of pizza can a diabetic eat? ›
How many slices of pizza can a person with diabetes eat? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some suggest ½ a slice, while others say two slices should be the maximum amount. Other factors determine your daily carb intake, including your activity level and food choices.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.Is mayonnaise good for diabetics? ›
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.
Is toast better than bread for diabetics? ›
GOOD FOR DIABETICS: People who have diabetes should eat toasted bread rather than plain bread. A study published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2018, found that toasted bread has a lower glycemic index. The glycemic index estimates the effect of a food on your blood sugar level.What bread has the least amount of 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.Which is better for diabetics whole wheat or rye bread? ›
For those with diabetes, rye bread may be a better choice than wheat bread if you're trying to optimize your fiber intake at mealtime. However, you can still enjoy other types of bread, provided they are made with 100% whole grains.Is sourdough the best bread for diabetics? ›
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.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 can I eat that has no sugar? ›
- Vegetables. Compared to fruits, most vegetables contain less sugar. ...
- Meat. Seafood, pork, beef, and chicken are all sugar-free. ...
- Beans, Nuts, Lentils. If you don't eat meat, soybeans, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds are great sugar-free, high-protein foods.
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.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.Is sourdough and rye bread OK for diabetics? ›
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that sourdough can not only be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, but that it can also help with managing blood sugar levels – crucial when dealing with diabetes – in addition to other health benefits.What is the best rye bread for diabetics? ›
Pumpernickel bread is coarse, slightly sweet, and heavy rye bread. It is one of the healthier bread made from sourdough starters and coarsely ground rye. In addition, the fermented rye and lower GI value make pumpernickel bread ideal for diabetes.