Your favourite loaf may look and taste healthy, but it could also be loaded with salt, researchers have found.
Many breads considered wholesome choices actually contain high levels of salt – in some cases more than a third of the daily recommendation of 5g in just two slices.
Researchers from The George Institute of Global Health analysed 1439 bread products from 2010 to 2017, including loaves, rolls, crumpets, bagels, English muffins and flat breads.
The loaves with the highest salt levels were Schwob’s Dark Rye, with just one slice containing more than double the amount of salt as a serving of Kettles sea salt crisps.
Flat bread such as wraps, naan, roti and tortillas also included unnecessary high levels of salt, on average containing a third more salt than white bread.
So how to choose the perfect loaf? Here DL dietitian Lisa Urquhart provides her tips on choosing bread, as well as some of her top picks. Note: a serve is two slices of bread or one wrap.
Watch the sodium
Our recommended daily limit is 2300mg and a serve of bread may give 600-700mg or more. Aim for less than 300mg per serve and you’ll be on the right track.
Choose breads with whole grains, wholemeal flour or other seeds. Most of us need about 25g of fibre a day, so go for breads with 5g or more per serve.
Be carb savvy
Carbs are an important brain fuel but overdoing them can play havoc on blood glucose levels. Aim for up to 2 exchanges (30g carbs) or less per serve.
Here are a few of Lisa's top picks from the bread aisle and bakery:
- Wattle Valley Soft Wraps Wholegrain – Grains add extra fibre and the sodium content at 215mg per serve is fairly low.
- Bill’s Activated 7 Seeds Multigrain Sourdough -- Contains no artificial additives and is 100 per cent organic. It’s also lower GI and has less salt than others on the market, with 184mg of sodium per serve.
- Baker’s Delight Cape Seed Loaf -- With just 267mg per serve, this bread is quite low in salt, packed with 11 seeds, grains and beans while keeping the carbs down.