People of all ages now want to know the carb content of every food they eat, whether their aim is to cut weight, put on muscle, or just maintain a healthy body image.
Since bread is one of the more common culprits for excess carbs, we tend to focus on the macronutrients in every slice.
But how many carbs are really in a single slice of bread? Does it vary that much from one type to the next?
Today we’re diving deep into the carb and bread connection, and why the conversation is not so simple as just counting carbs.
Why care about carbs?
With so much talk about carbs, it’s reasonable to ask what the big deal is!
First let’s understand what carbohydrates are, from a scientific angle.
The definition provided by experts from the Cleveland Clinic states that carbohydrates are “naturally occurring sugars, starches and fiber in food.”
Sugar is the fundamental component of every starch and fiber compound, which is the origin of the distinction between simple and complex carbs.
While the sugars found in soda, candy, and chocolate frosting are simple carbs, the ones found in whole-wheat grain bread and cereals contain more starch and fiber and are therefore more complex. The compounds are clearly distinguishable at a molecular level!
Simple and complex carbs are processed by our bodies in very different ways, but the glucose that we get from each type of carb is ultimately the same form of energy.
The difference comes in how quickly the carbohydrates are digested, and how fast that glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream as a result.
That’s why we experience a quick “sugar high” when we drink processed fruit juice or eat a candy bar, and why we enjoy more sustained, even energy when we have a piece of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter.
The simple sugars in the juice are already stripped down to the most basic components and require very little work on our part as they absorb into the blood.
The toast, on the other hand, is loaded with more complex starches and fiber, which demands a longer digestive process and thus is absorbed over a longer period of time.
The addition of peanut butter (or any other healthy fat), serves to further increase the digestive demands of the bread, meaning our bodies absorb the nutrients even slower.
This forms the basis of how we think about good carbs versus bad carbs, slow carbs versus fast carbs, and it also informs the Glycemic Index, which we use to determine the impact of certain foods on blood sugar.
With that info in mind, the recent battle against carbs comes from the notion that our intake of these starches and sugars is way too high for our lifestyle demands.
Some of us only exercise a few hours a week, and many of us don’t exercise at all. That means that on a carb-heavy diet, the glucose we absorb from carbs is usually converted and stored as fat. This is cited as a primary cause of becoming overweight or obese.
The problem is that carbs are ubiquitous in our society, from cereal and toast in the morning to sandwiches and potato chips at lunch. Dinnertime is usually marked by big bowls of pasta or rice that can cheaply and easily feed many people at once.
There are convenience, cost, and cultural factors all at play here, but recognizing how carbs work is our first step toward a healthier future.
Not all slices are the same
Now that we know the basics of carbs, let’s talk about bread.
For a long time, bread shared the bottom panel of the food pyramid with cereals, pasta, potatoes, and rice.
It was considered the ultimate staple food for decades, but times changed.
The truth is that 99% of bread found at bakeries and in the grocery store is loaded with carbs, many of which are the bad “simple carbs” that spike blood sugar and tack on fat.
To illustrate just how carb-heavy these products are, we went through a list of popular store-bought bread from Verywell Fit, taking note of carbs and sugar content:
- Classic white bread - 12g carbs, 2g sugar
- Whole wheat bread - 12g carbs, 1.5g sugar
- Sprouted grain bread - 15g carbs, 0g sugar
- Cinnamon swirl bread - 18g carbs, 8g sugar
- Challah bread - 35g carbs, 0g sugar
- Rustic white bread - 25g carbs, 3g sugar
- Gluten-free brown rice bread - 19g carbs, 1g sugar
- Pumpernickel - 10g carbs, 0.1g sugar
- 12-grain bread - 19g carbs, 3g sugar
Consider the public perception of these various products and how we are led to believe that some are significantly healthier than others.
Yes, there are some differences in sugar content, and nutrient content is generally higher in sprouted grain and darker bread, but the numbers speak for themselves.
For anyone looking to cut down on carbs, it’s clear that no mainstream bread is a safe bet.
Fiber is a factor
As explained in the Cleveland Clinic article, dietary fiber is simply “a form of carbohydrate that is not broken down during digestion. It passes through the stomach, small intestine, colon, and then out of the body.”
For this reason, food scientists say that to determine the “net carbs” of a food item, we must subtract the total grams of fiber from the carbs.
So if a slice of bread contains 16 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of fiber, the result would be a total of 11 net carbs.
For anyone looking to decrease their carbs overall, fiber is something that shouldn’t be ignored! It is also great for digestion and provides a feeling of fullness that can be otherwise tough to achieve when cutting calories.
Unfortunately, none of the bread products listed in the previous section have a fiber content greater than three grams. For white bread, it’s only one measly gram!
Bread buyers need to be aware of the role fiber plays in net carbs, and make smarter decisions based on their overall carb intake if they truly want to shed the pounds.
Nutritionally dense bread
Counting carbs has become a tiresome chore for longtime followers of diets such as Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, and Keto.
These ways of eating can have massive positive health outcomes for those who stick closely to the tenets, but each one requires a major reduction in carbs.
As outlined in a beginner’s guide from Healthline, the Standard Keto Diet recommends that only five percent of daily calories come from carbohydrates, while 20 percent come from carbs and 75 percent from fat.
Paleo prohibits processed carbohydrates altogether, and South Beach is not very generous either.
Considering those bread stats from earlier, it would seem that bread has no place long-term in these diets.
While some bread is definitely better than others in terms of fiber, healthy grains and general nutrition, it’s still a huge amount of carbohydrates to eat in one sitting, and it can dismantle your entire game plan if you slip up.
Fed up with the crazy numbers of carbs in most bread, we decided it was time to get bread back on the menu for those keto and low-carb warriors out there.
Inspired by our love of delicious bread and the feeling that a great low-carb option was missing from the market, we created Superfood bread, a great-tasting nutritional powerhouse.
Compared to the most “healthy” bread at the supermarket, our product is on a different level.
With nine grams of fiber and only two net carbs per slice, we created a bread that actually can help people succeed in living the low-carb lifestyle, rather than throwing them off course.
Our bread has been praised by tons of satisfied customers who thought they would never be able to enjoy bread again.
Made from just five simple ingredients and three sources of complex carbs, Superfood bread is also completely dairy and gluten-free.
No more wandering the aisles of the supermarket in the futile search for a low-carb bread. This stuff is the real deal. It tastes great, fits your diet, and is delivered fresh right to your door.
For far too long, people have been misled by bold claims on the back of the bread labels.
Promises of vitamins and minerals, fancy packaging, and wholesome branding failed to get to the real point: too many carbs are bad for the body.
We are proud to say that our Superfood bread is at the center of a revolution, where health-conscious foodies can finally enjoy the full flavor and texture of real bread without having to worry about carb overload.
Don’t hesitate to check out our FAQ or ask any questions of your own to see how Superfood bread can work for you.
Give us a follow on social media to see how thousands of people are making the most of this delicious, low-carb bread.