You may have heard from your doctor, or even a friend, that you should eat more fiber. Dietary fiber can help with many chronic health conditions.
You might suffer from constipation. We all know fiber can help with that.
Most Americans do not eat enough fiber. One way to fix this is by switching out your refined flour bread for a high fiber choice.
In this article I will show you exactly how to do this. Let’s get started.
Why Is Fiber Good For You?
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate. It is a large molecule called a macronutrient. You cannot break down and absorb dietary fiber in your digestive tract. Even though you don’t absorb the nutrients from dietary fiber, it still affects your health in many different ways.
Feed Your Microbiome
All the microbes that live in your gut need to eat, like every living creature. They eat the plant fibers that your body cannot absorb.
Bacteria and other microbes produce short chain fatty acids which are fuel for your own cells. Short chain fatty acids help to train and prime your immune system to recognize bad guys. They even produce some vitamins which you can absorb.
You can nurture your good gut bacteria by eating plenty of the foods they like, such as dietary fiber.
Control Blood Glucose
Fiber affects your postprandial glucose response. This is how high your blood glucose rises after you eat a meal.
When there is fiber in your food, it moves more slowly through your stomach and small intestine. The glucose in that food takes longer to be absorbed into your bloodstream. A slower glucose response means you need less insulin to process that sugar (1).
Improve Cardiovascular Health
When you eat more dietary fiber, you lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. There are a couple ways that fiber can help to lower your blood cholesterol.
Fiber adds bulk to the diet. This helps to bind and excrete cholesterol. Production of short chain fatty acids may also decrease cholesterol synthesis in the liver (2).
Get Rid of Toxins
Fiber in your gut can also absorb carcinogens and toxins. This stops them from getting into your body. Fiber speeds up the time it takes for food to move through your intestines, so there is less time for harmful substances to be absorbed, or reabsorbed (2).
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
The FDA recommends 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1000 calories that are eaten per day. This works out to about 25 grams each day for an adult woman, and 38 grams for a man. Most Americans eat less than 20 grams of fiber every day.
How To Find High Fiber Bread
The best way to find if a bread is high in fiber is to read the nutrition label, and the ingredient list.
This is not the same as reading the name and description of the bread. A product might be called “Fiber King” and still be made with over half refined flour.
Companies are pretty crafty about describing their products so they sound high in fiber, without actually saying they are made with whole grains.
For instance, if a bread is “100% wheat,” that just means it is made from wheat. It might be made from 100% refined white flour, which is still wheat. You want it to be 100% whole wheat.
A multigrain bread just means it contains more than one grain. It doesn’t mean they are necessarily whole grains.
Look at the ingredients in your bread. These should list whole wheat or other whole grains. If a bread contains bleached or enriched flours, that is not whole grain. If it just lists “wheat flour,” assume it is a refined flour and not whole wheat.
The Nutrition Label
Companies must list fiber on the nutrition label in the amount per serving. The label tells you the number of slices in a serving.
Is there a high fiber white Bread?
Hero Classic White Bread has 11 grams of fiber per slice. This is way above what you get in most brands of bread. Hero Bread is not just made with flour. It has resistant wheat starch, flax seed and fava bean protein.
Is 100% whole wheat bread high Fiber?
100% whole wheat bread has more fiber than the same loaf made with refined flour. That being said, some brands more fiber than others. For instance, Dave’s Killer 100 Whole Wheat Bread has 3 grams of fiber per serving. Natures Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread has only 2 grams of per serving.
These are still better than many refined flour breads, which can have less than one gram of fiber in a slice.
Real high fiber breads often have a mix of different grains or seeds that boost the fiber content. This is why it’s important to read the label, instead of just looking at the name or description of the bread.
Seven Highest Fiber Bread Brands
All of the following breads have at least 4 grams of fiber per slice.
Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds has 5 grams of fiber per slice.
Mestemacher Whole Rye Bread has 8 grams of fiber per slice.
Schmidt Old Tyme 647 Wheat Bread has 8 grams of fiber per slice.
Silver Hill Squirrely Bread has 4 grams of fiber per slice.
Oroweat Double Fiber Bread has 6 grams of fiber per slice.
Three Bakers Golden Flax Bread has 4 grams of fiber per slice, and is gluten free!
Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse 100% Whole Wheat Bread has 4 grams of fiber per slice.
The Last Crumbs
You need a certain amount of fiber in your foods every day. This feeds the microbes in your gut, stabilizes blood sugar, improves cardiovascular health and keeps you from becoming constipated.
Switching out a low fiber bread for one that is more substantial is a good way to increase this macronutrient. The best approach is to look at the nutrition label and see the amount of fiber per slice.
Try some of the high fiber breads listed above, or hit the bread aisle and start reading labels to see what else is out there. What is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.