The Search for
Good Vegan Bread
look for healthy vegan bread in the supermarket. We read
dozens of different brands. We feel lucky if we find even one loaf that
is both healthy and vegan. Let's compare the labels on a lousy
product and a great one.
First we will look at a loaf of white
bread we bought. Our
local grocery store sells tons of it so people must like it.
analyze the label to see if it is vegan and healthy. Learn more about
reading nutrition labels.
First we check the Nutrition Facts:
- A serving size (2 slices) contains 100 calories
and 10 come from fat.
Ten percent fat is perfect. So far so good.
- The sodium content per serving is 210 mg, which
is more than double
what it should be. It should be 100 or less, the same as the calories.
- The calorie density is 100 calories in 41 g of
bread. To calculate
calories per oz, first divide 41 by 28.35. A serving weighs 1.45 oz.
Second, divide 100 calories by 1.45. The calorie density is 69 calories
per oz. Enough to cause weight gain, but typical for bread. We'll give
them a pass on this one.
Now for the real test of this bread. Read the list of ingredients.
Is it healthy, and is it vegan?
- The first ingredient is enriched four, which is
just white flour. This
is one of the bad carbs we try
to avoid. As we read further, we learn that this stuff they
call bread is just a concoction of white flour, high frustose corn
syrup, and chemicals.
- It contains whey, which is a dairy product. It
is not a vegan bread. Some of those chemicals may be animal products
too. Who would know?
We hated to spend the money on this stuff; we wouldn't even feed it to
the ducks. Unfortunately, most of the bread in the supermarket is
similar to this. Even brown bread that is labeled "wheat bread" is
usually made of white flour. Try to find a bread that says "100% whole
wheat". If you live in the U.S. have a local natural food store, you
may find the next product there:
sprouted grain bread
This Ezekiel 4:9 bread is made by a company called Food for Life. Let's
analyze the label and see if it is any better than
the white bread.
First we look at the Nutrition Facts:
- This is a little hard to read, but there are 80
calories in one slice,
and 5 calories from fat. It is 6% fat. Excellent.
- One slice contains 75 mg of sodium. Perfect.
- Now for the calorie density. Divide 34 g by
28.35. A slice weighs 1.2
Divide 80 calories by 1.2. The bread has a calorie density of 67
calories per oz. The calorie density is almost the same as the white
Let's check the ingredients:
This is a great product, a healthy vegan bread.
Ezekiel bread is
interesting because it is not made of flour, but
whole grains and beans. It is dense and flavorful, and very healthy.
However, it is important to note that the calorie density is high. If
you don't understand the concept of calorie density, please read our page on
the calorie content of foods. It is the key to
our vegan weight loss plan
and the secret of permanent weight loss.
Food for Life also makes a low sodium version of this bread
contains no salt at all. Some people need a salt-free bread, but we
must warn you that the favor is very bland. We like the regular version
better, which is still a low sodium product, in our opinion.
The company also makes burger buns, English muffins, and sprouted
grain tortillas. Most stores keep them in the freezer, and
we freeze or refrigerate ours again as soon as we get home.
breads contain no preservatives and will get moldy at room temperature.
If you are trying to lose weight and seldom eat bread, freeze
individual slices (or 2 at a time) in ziploc bags.
We live in a
small town, but our supermarket actually carries Ezekiel bread in their
freezer. It is not cheap, but worth the money. The best prices
we have found for this bread are at Trader Joe's. Get there early in
the day, or the best breads may be sold out.
Other good breads
Check your natural food store for other good vegan
bread. It will often
be in the freezer section, unless your store is in a big city and does
a lot of business. If you are sensitive to gluten, there are
gluten-free breads like rice bread.
always keep some whole wheat pita bread in the freezer. Read labels
carefully and try to find one without added oil. We cut it in triangles
and dip it in fat free hummus.
Flour products like bread are a big part of the western diet. If you
are trying to lose weight, focus on cooked whole grains
bread. Cooked grains are satisfying and they have a low