Low Carb, Low Calorie Options For Your Daily Bread
The Bible advises us that man cannot live on bread alone (Deuteronomy 8:3). Most people take that advice much more literally. Spirituality not withstanding, those delicious carbs are often the toughest thing to give up when dieting.
One ounce of bread is generally 70 to 80 calories, regardless of whether it comes in the shape of a bagel, a pita pocket, a slice of white, a wrap or submarine roll—but wraps, rolls, tortillas and bagels are more than one ounce (a bagel can weigh as much as six ounces!). The key to managing your bread calories and carbs doesn’t have to be restricting yourself to less bread, as in fewer pieces. You should look for lighter-weight bread. There are also bread alternatives, like crispbreads, flatbreads and rice cakes that can go the distance with tuna salad or a piece of cheese.
We’ve included some of our favorite “diet bread tricks” below. If you would like to share your own, just use the "Contact Us" box on this page. This is Page 1 of a two-page article. Click on the black links below to visit Page 2.
Light bread is half the calories of regular bread. Most are 40 or 45 calories per slice; regular bread tends to have 70 to 100 calories per slice. Light breads are filled out with extra air and sometimes extra fiber. This replaces the fattening fat and flour: the bread is “full-size” but spongy. Yet, it gives the appearance of a “regular” portion. The multigrain bread at the right, Arnold Bakery Light*, also comes in oatmeal, white, whole wheat and other flavors.
*Fresh-baked bread brands tend to be regional rather than national.
Thin-sliced bread has the density of regular bread, but it’s sliced to be half as thin (you can see in the photo at the right that it’s half the height of the Light bread above). You get all of the “chew” with half the calories. Because it’s dense and thin, it has the added benefit of toasting up to be nice and crisp. This Very Thin whole wheat bread from Pepperidge Farm is just 40 calories a slice (Very Thin is also made in white). Pepperidge Farm also makes Deli Flats, very thin-sliced “roll” that looks like a very flat English muffin.
Baguette, Baton, Ficelle, Flûte
Some French-style breads are long and narrow, and you have control over how thick or thin to cut the pieces. So you can have thinner slices of bread and enjoy the flavor and texture of a fine bread with relatively few calories—a half ounce (four thin slices) is 35 calories. You can’t make a sandwich with them, but they do make excellent toasts to go with eggs, jumbo “croutons” for salads and soups, or general crunchy-crusted accompaniments. We enjoy ours with cottage cheese, plain yogurt, sugar-free jam and diet spreads. See a definition and photo of the different types of French bread.