Bread tends to get a bad rap for being enemy number one to a healthy diet (depending on who you ask). It seems that even whole wheat and whole grain options are no longer safe from added sugar—just take a look at a few food labels next time you're perusing the baked goods section of the grocery store. Despite the negative health aspects of bread made from refined carbohydrates like blood sugar spikes and inflammation, bread continues to be an unavoidable product of everyday life (imagine a world without avocado toast!).
It is, however, possible to eat bread that is good for you, but you have to know what to look for. The healthiest option in the grocery store is sprouted-grain bread, according to Harvard Health Blog.
Sprouted and whole grains come from the same seeds and contain the same nutrients, but sprouted grains have more of these nutrients available than regular whole grains. This is because sprouted grains spend less time in something called the germination process, as they are caught when they are just beginning to sprout.
"This germinating process breaks down some of the starch, which makes the percentage of nutrients higher. It also breaks down phytate, a form of phytic acid that normally decreases absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. So sprouted grains have more available nutrients than mature grains," Registered dietitian Kristina Secinaro explains.
If you do try sprouted-grain products, you'll want to keep them refrigerated to avoid bacteria growth. You'll also want to double-check the ingredients because some may not be made of 100% sprouted grains.
"I do think there are benefits to sprouted grains, but they're not a cure-all. I would replace some whole grains with sprouted grains at least once a day," Secinaro concludes.