10 Best Low-Carb Breads (and Bread Alternatives) Picked by a Nutritionist

Whether you’re cutting back on carbs for a specific diet (such as Keto , Paleo or Atkins ), or you’re a diabetic trying to manage your blood sugar levels , one of the hardest things to give up when you’re on a low-carb diet is bread. It’s comfort food at its finest. But the good news is there are more and more low-carb bread options in grocery stores and recipes that rely on wholesome ingredients and deliver on taste.

“It’s important to pay attention to ingredient labels," says Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition . For gluten-free options, Phipps says to look for breads that are made with grain-free flours like almond, tapioca and arrowroot. "And be careful of low-carb options that add unnecessary amounts of fiber in the form of inulin or other processed fibers. While most people tolerate these fine, some people can experience GI upset as a result," advises Phipps.

Unlike "low-calorie" or "reduced-fat" claims, the FDA has not legally defined what "low-carbohydrate" means. Therefore, for the purposes of this list all of the options below have no more than 14 grams of total carbs and no more than 9 grams of net carbs. " Net carbs are the carbohydrates that your body can digest. Our bodies can’t fully digest fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate. So net carbs is referring to the total number of carbohydrates in a food after the fiber has been subtracted out,” explains Phipps. Sugar alcohols are subtracted as well when calculating net carbs.

While the parameters for this list are not extremely low carb, they are lower than what your average slice of bread might deliver. For comparison, a typical slice of bread can have 20 grams of carbs and only 2 grams of dietary fiber, for a total of 18 grams of net carbs, which is twice the limit used here.

It’s also important to realize that whole grain-based foods , like bread, are rich in complex carbohydrates and are a great source of energy to fuel physical activity, your brain and your nervous system. The USDA recommends adults make at least half of their grains whole grains . To be sure you are selecting foods high in whole grains, look for those with at least 8 grams of whole grains per slice. (Experts recommend eating 48 grams of whole grain a day.)

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