Diabetes is a difficult disease to live with, especially when it comes to eating your favorite bread. Most people who are diagnosed with the condition need to make a few major adjustments to their lifestyle to stay healthy and maintain stable blood glucose levels on a daily basis. Altering your diet is often one of the main changes recommended by healthcare professionals. Dietary changes tend to include reducing unhealthy fats and increasing protein. Many diabetics assume they are meant to give up all carbs—but this isn’t always necessary. While you should always consult with your doctor about diet plans, there may be some types of carbs that are actually good for you as a diabetic. If you love bread like we do, then you’ll want to know what breads are best for your diabetes. We’ll cover everything from whether diabetics should eat bread at all, to the best breads for people with type 2 diabetes.
Bread and Diabetes
Many people assume that people with diabetes should always avoid bread. Some even go on the low-carb keto diet. However, there are actually some cases where bread is appropriate. With diabetes, it is recommended that you eat foods that help you to control your blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight. Too many calories and too much fat can cause blood sugar to spike, which can be dangerous for diabetics. Diabetics are often encouraged to eat three meals a day that consist of healthy carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein, fiber-rich foods, and good fats. Foods that contain excessive amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, or sodium can be problematic for diabetics. While you may think that breads count as “unhealthy carbohydrates,” this isn’t always the case. Certain low carb breads for diabetics can be safe to eat. Medical professionals usually recommend low carb breads made with whole grains because these breads contain plenty of fiber and low amounts of refined carbohydrates. Let’s look at a few types of diabetic-friendly bread in more detail.
The Healthiest Breads for Diabetics
Are you wondering what kind of bread is OK for diabetics to eat? Luckily, there are plenty of types of bread, and some are healthier than others. White bread is usually around 75 on the GI index. White bread is also problematic for diabetics as it is made with white flour. White flour contains refined carbohydrates, which can lead to a higher glycemic index and interfere with glucose control. Here is a list of the best bread for type 2 diabetes and why they tend to be a better option than white bread.
Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread
Many professionals recommend whole wheat bread for diabetics because of its high fiber content. It’s slightly lower on the GI index at 74 since whole wheat bread is made with whole wheat flour, which does not affect blood glucose levels as severely or as quickly as refined carbs.
Rye bread is made of grains—compared to white bread. It has fewer calories (roughly 60 per slice) and a much lower GI score at 56-78. When looking for a healthy rye bread, you may want to start with pumpernickel, which is on the lower end of the GI index. Keep an eye on the ingredients list when shopping for rye bread, as some may contain processed sugars, preservatives, and additives.
Blue Corn Tortilla
Tortillas are usually made with white flour—but if you are looking for a healthier option for wraps and fajitas, try corn or blue corn tortillas instead as they have a GI of 46. Studies have shown that blue tortillas have 20% more protein than white tortillas, meaning they may be the best wraps for diabetics. Whole wheat tortillas are another alternative to white tortillas, as they have an even lower GI than corn. Be sure to find a brand that uses 100% whole wheat flour.
Flax, Oat Bran Pita Bread
Joseph’s Flax, Oat, and Wheat Pita are great options for diabetics. Pita bread is great for snacks or even for DIY over pizzas. With this brand, you’ll get 6g of protein and only 60 calories per piece. Oat bran, in particular, is actually great for diabetics. Oat bran has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, thanks to its high-fiber content. Plus, its beta-glucan helps to slow down the digestion process, making it easier for your body to digest carbs without causing sugar spikes.
Bread Recipe Ideas For Diabetics
Rye Bread Open-Faced Sandwich
Rye bread is probably the best sandwich bread for diabetics. Try adding a healthy fat like avocado with some sliced tomatoes and a few arugula leaves for a healthy snack or a light lunch.
Blue Corn Tortilla Wrap
Instead of having a sandwich for lunch, swap it for a blue corn tortilla wrap. Throw in some spinach, vegetables, chicken, and maybe even a little cheese.
Flax, Oat Bran and Wheat Pita Chips with Dip
Using Joseph's pita bread discussed above, create crispy pita chips by throwing them in the oven for a few minutes. Then grab your favorite healthy dip and enjoy a tasty, low carb, high fiber snack. Dips that suit diabetics include:
Try making your dip at home using your own ingredients if you want to keep your dip low in unhealthy fats.
- Avocado guacamole dip
- Spinach artichoke yogurt dip
- Red pepper hummus
- Shrimp spread
- Cranberry dip
- Onion dip
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