Grocery visits are fun until you step into the bread aisle and get lost in the endless sea of whole wheat bread, multigrain loaf, and brown bread slices. While we understand that not all bread is created equal, it can be hard to pick the healthiest one.
With dozens of options available, understanding the nutritional differences and the amount of fat and sugar in the bread will help you make the best choice. We’ve listed the healthiest options for 10 best bread in India from brands like Theobroma, Bonn, and Harvest Gold.
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You may be surprised to know that bread that says 'whole wheat' or brown is not the healthiest option. Instead, bread made with whole grains carries the most nutritional value. So, always pick the one that says '100% whole grains' or 'whole sprouted grains'.
There are many more factors to consider and ingredients to look out for before choosing a bread. Therefore, we present an all-inclusive buying guide to help you understand the different terms mentioned on the packaging.
When you're on your next grocery run, look for bread labelled as '100% whole grain' or '100% whole wheat' as they're naturally low in fat and are cholesterol-free. Whole-grain bread is primarily made with wheat, but you can check the ingredient list for other grains, like oats, flax seeds, barley, buckwheat, etc.
Different grains have different benefits as they offer healthy fibre, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and at times, phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Whole-grain bread loaded with all these nutrients offers many health benefits. It protects from diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
Many bread manufacturers use terms like 'wheat' and 'multigrain' and don't mention a percentage to lure you into buying a bread that looks healthy but consists of 75% all-purpose flour. So, make sure the packaging says 100% and whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredients on the label.
Make this a general rule of thumb when buying any food item; the shorter the list of ingredients, the healthier is the food. Bread should have only four ingredients – flour, yeast or a starter, water, and salt. Other ingredients you might find are olive oil, nuts or seeds, and sprouted or unprocessed whole grains, which are acceptable ones.
You might also find sweetener (sugar, corn syrup) and preservatives in a store-bought bread to give it longer shelf life. Though it is best to avoid preservatives and artificial colours and flavours, natural preservatives like honey, vinegar, cultured wheat, glycerol, and ascorbic acid are not harmful.
Any additive that you find is hard-to-pronounce is best to be avoided. Also, stay away from partially hydrogenated oils, added sugars, and fats and bread with high fibre content, leading to bloating and gas discomfort.
Most brands add a dose of sodium to control the yeast activity and add flavour to the bread. The amount of sodium an adult should intake per day should be less than 2000 mg and at least 1500 mg for kids. So, you must consume within the limit, especially if you have high blood pressure.
A slice of whole-grain bread has around 200 mg of sodium, so if you eat three slices of it, you'll be consuming 600 mg sodium. There are brands like Britannia and Bonn that make bread with 200 mg or less sodium per slice.
Bread is a staple food for many people; from breakfast toast to sandwiches at lunch and artisan bread for dinner, they rely on bread for their daily diet. Therefore, keeping a check on the fibre content in your bread is an essential factor. Eating plenty of fibre lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, etc.
Your bread should have 2-4 grams of fibre per slice, implying that it is indeed a whole-grain product. The packaging might mention the grams of fibre the bread has per gram of carbohydrates. An ideal count would be – 1 gram of fibre per 10 grams of carbohydrates.
A single serving of bread is considered approximately 28 gm, which is equivalent to one slice. While some pieces are thicker than others, some vary in their size, making it challenging to keep a note of how many servings you are eating. Why is it important to keep a check on the serving size?
It helps determine your nutritional intake, including calories. For instance, if you eat a slice of whole grain bread, it forms the part of the whole grain you eat during the day, which should be around 30% of your daily food intake. Ideally, two slices (200 calories) will be good enough and the rest of the whole grain intake should come from other food items.
You can check the serving size information on the label. For instance, Harvest's family pack (700 gm) has a serving size of 26.92 gm, and hearty brown bread (400 gm) has 28.57 gm. If the serving size is not mentioned, you can use its net weight as the basis.
Whether you're an everyday bread eater or an occasional one, it's good to understand the difference between different bread types available in the market. By choosing one of these bread, you'd know that you're eating the healthiest one. So, let's take a look!
Whole wheat is the most common type of whole grain bread you'll find in the market. However, there are other options to choose from, like whole barley, whole rye, brown rice, and whole-grain oats, to name a few. Whole-grain bread is unrefined; therefore, it retains most nutrient-rich components like bran, germs, and endosperm.
On the other hand, refined flour in white bread is milled to give it a finer texture and improve shelf life, but it takes away all the dietary fibre, vitamin B, and iron. This makes whole-grain bread a healthier alternative to white bread. So, if you're on a diet and looking for something nutritious for snacking, whole-grain bread is the way to go.
As the name suggests, sprouted loaves of bread are made from sprouted grains. The process of sprouting breaks down the starch in the grains, thus lowering the carbohydrate content and making the bread healthier than conventional ones. The sprouted grains are also rich in fibre, vitamin B, vitamin C, folate, etc.
Sprouted bread also decrease the anti-nutrients (substances inhibiting the absorption of minerals) in our body, making it easy to digest. If you want 100% sprouted grain bread, you'll have to check the store's frozen section because these loaves of bread do not contain preservatives and are more susceptible to spoilage.
Sourdough bread has a characteristic tangy flavour that comes after its starter ferments the sugar in the dough. A starter is a wild yeast cultured at home, using flour and water and added to the bread at regular intervals to help it rise, get the fluffy texture, and acquire the fermented taste.
And, the process of fermentation makes the bread easy to digest and have a better effect on sugar levels because of the low glycemic index. The lactic acid in sourdough makes important minerals like magnesium, iron, and zinc easily digestible. It also lowers the bread pH, thus breaking down phytates and making minerals easy and quick absorption.
Multigrain bread made with 100% whole grains is rich in fibre, making it a nutritious option. However, manufacturers mix refined flour with wheat flour and add synthetic nutrients to replenish nutrients lost in the milling process. And these additives are not suitable for our health.
Multigrain bread contains different grains like wheat, oats, millets, and quinoa, which are beneficial for your health if used with their bran and germ. If you find terms like bleached and enriched mentioned in the ingredients list, the bread is not entirely whole grains. So, try and avoid getting those multigrain bread.
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A Wholesome Bread from India's Largest Food & Beverage Brand
Theobroma is a prominent patisserie brand in India that offers an exclusive range of cakes, desserts, chocolates, brownies, bread, and a lot more savouries. They have one of the finest multigrain bread you’ll find in India.
Made with 8 different types of flour, including whole wheat, jowar, ragi, soya, and oats, the bread is nutritious and a perfect choice for sandwiches. With all these healthy ingredients, the bread makes for a great breakfast that'll give you long-lasting energy.
The bread has a unique blend of flavours and textures that come from a mix of watermelon seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and oats. This multi-seed mix makes it a perfect accompaniment to soup. The bread tastes best when consumed within two days.
If you’re looking for healthy bread for your breakfast ritual or evening snacks, a slice from The Baker’s Dozen will suffice the purpose. Each bread is freshly baked using the most authentic ingredients. The Multigrain Loaf has 100% whole wheat flour and mix seeds (pumpkin, flax, sesame, and sunflower) as its ingredients.
There’s no preservative, artificial colour, or other additives mixed in the bread, making it a nutritiously rich product. The hand-crafted bakery initially started making sourdough bread, but they have a range of items on their menu today.
Right from gluten-free bread to regular loaves, sponge cakes, croissants, and cupcakes, they have it all. They have 16+ stores in 7 cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, and Pune, but you can order online through Magson’s, Spencers, Nature’s Basket, Modern Bazaar, etc.
Made using German's baking methods, the Fourgrain Sourdough Bread by The Baker's Dozen is the best one in the country. With the right texture, consistency, and the choice of seeds (pumpkin, sesame, flax, and sunflower), this bread is total heaven.
Many food critics have referred to this bread as the most satisfying food experience they've had. They say it is baked to perfection and the liberal sprinkling of grains speaks about the bread's quality.
The ingredient list is simple, and the bread has a perfect crunch and the flavour of grains to remind you of a Parisian bakery. You can pair it with a soup of your choice or Indian curry to enjoy the full taste.
The Good Butter is like your own local neighbourhood bakery that lures you with its fresh aroma of bread and cookies. It is a small-scale bakery in Pune that ships its deliciousness across India. This Whole Wheat loaf is made of 100% organic whole grain flour and a starter to give you wholesome nourishment.
The bread is fermented using the slow process to offer the perfect texture and retain natural flavours. It has a perfect crunch and a sour taste that makes it a fantastic sourdough bread. The brand also offers cookies, biscuits, cereals, frosted cakes, and a lot more bakery items.
The only con is that not all the products are delivered across India. And, the bread is shipped only if the delivery estimate is one day to keep its freshness intact. Though this is a good thing, and you'll probably have to visit Pune to relish the freshness of their products.
Ever since its inception in 1993, Harvest Gold has become a renowned brand name in every household. All their slices of bread are packed with love and nutritious ingredients. This whole wheat bread is made of 100% wheat flour, including the bran, making it a good source of dietary fibre.
If you're health-conscious and concerned about your sodium and fibre intake, the bread from Harvest Gold will make for an ideal breakfast companion. It is also a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Top it off with an avocado, egg, and sesame seeds to have a filling meal.
Bonn is another popular brand that makes us feel nostalgic every time we see its products in the market. The brand was founded in 1985 and has been India's one-stop for bread, biscuits, cakes, cookies, rusks, and other bakery items.
Made with quality ingredients and 53% wheat flour, this Atta Bread has a crisp and delectable taste that you'll love. It is one of their most-selling bread that you'll find in every grocery store near your home. As you open the packaging, your kitchen will fill with the buttery aroma of this tempting bread.
To get the most out of this bread's flavours, toast it, add your favourite topping, and enjoy with a hot cup of tea. Most users are satisfied with taste and texture; however, they complain about the percentage of wheat flour in the bread, which makes it a not-so-healthy option.
This multigrain bread from English Oven is baked with simple and healthy ingredients to give you an earthy flavour of multiple grains in every bite. It consists of oatmeal, which fights bad cholesterol and the other grains help in easy digestion.
The bread is a good alternative if you don't find Gold Harvest and Bonn bread near you. The bread tastes fresh and soft, but it contains all-purpose flour (Maida), which is not a healthy ingredient. So, if you're diet conscious and prefer bread made with 100% whole wheat flour, this is not ideal for you.
La Americana Gourmet is a brand of Bonn group that offers exquisite bakery products to fulfil the needs of modern customers. The loaves of bread are fresh, extravagant tasting, and promote good health. All the ingredients are naturally sourced to deliver the final product that's rich in nutrients.
The Whole Wheat Bran Bread is one of La Americana's top-selling products. It combines the goodness of healthy carbohydrates with antioxidants, dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. The bread is free from preservatives, making it a healthy option to have during breakfast and lunch.
The fibre in the bread helps in easy digestion and regulating cholesterol. The brand's irresistible range of products also includes whole wheat multigrain bread, garlic oregano bread, milk bread, whole wheat bran burger bread, and more.
Paushtaa is a homegrown brand that offers super healthy bakery items. All the products are packed with superfoods, purest ingredients, and preservatives-free processing. This Sourdough Bread is made with 100% organic whole wheat flour, multigrain seeds, yeast, salt, and water.
If you're looking for the healthiest bread with no sugar, additives, and artificial colours, Paushtaa is the brand to rely on. The only disadvantage is that the brand has its operations limited to Delhi NCR. Other than that, their products are entirely organic and taste delicious. Some more items to check out are healthy cookies, flax sticks, and chia cakes.
Britannia is India's leading food brand that's been there since 1892. Its bread is the top-selling product that we all have grown up loving since childhood. The bread is readily available in every store across India, making it convenient for everyone to get one fresh in the morning.
The Whole Wheat Bread is packed with the goodness of whole grains of wheat, making it low in saturated fat and a good source of fibre. However, the brand doesn't commit to its 100% whole wheat label as the ingredients list wheat flour (32%) and refined wheat flour on the packaging.
Adding refines flour and preservative takes away most of the healthy nutrients from the bread. But its brand value, ease of availability, and good texture make it a top 10 product on our list. If you don't have access to organic or 100% whole wheat bread, you can have Britannia bread once in a while.
The process of making bread at home is not as difficult as it seems. You need the right set of ingredients and a few tips and tricks to get that perfect homemade bread. In this video, we learn how to make whole wheat brown bread with fewer ingredients.
You can check out the video for the complete recipe. And do share your thoughts with us when you try it.
Whenever we for grocery shopping, we're always looking for ways to add healthy food items to our cart. But once in the store, every aisle looks like a maze and we end up picking all the wrong stuff. To help you choose the best food items, we've some articles with recommendations from the best brands available in India.
So, let's get reading!
The market is flooded with dozens of bread options, making it difficult to choose the healthiest one. In the article above, we tried to cover all the aspects that'll help you pick the best bread in India. We hope that it will be of help to you and your family.
Author: Srishti Sikka
No. 1: Theobroma | Multigrain Loaf
No. 2: The Baker's Dozen | Multigrain Loaf
No. 3: The Baker's Dozen | Fourgrain Sourdough
No. 4: The Good Butter | 100% Organic Wholewheat Sourdough Loaf
No. 5: Harvest Gold | 100% Atta Bread
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