This week I received the following question from :

My husband has diabetes and we always eat whole wheat bread but wanted something different for a change.  Is rye bread or sourdough bread as good of an option as whole wheat?

There are so many breads out there to choose from, it’s easy to find yourself stuck on the bread aisle pondering over things like, “which is the healthiest?” “which has more fiber?” “which has more carbs?” Although you may already know that wheat bread has more fiber and other nutritive benefits than white bread, I do have interesting news on rye bread.

According to the Lund University Faculty of Engineering, it has been recently discovered that consuming rye flour results in better blood glucose readings than compared to wheat flour. This is thought to be because wheat promotes a slightly higher insulin response than rye, which is impaired in diabetes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported another study that had similar findings. It also explained that rye is digested slower than wheat, another reason blood sugar readings were better with rye.  Although the rye we purchase here in America is made up of several types of grain, a variety of whole grains is actually recommended to receive the best nutritive benefits.

I am definitely still a pro-wheat dietitian, however you do have other options when looking for healthy grains.  The secret here is to always check ingredient labels for “whole grain,” that is, the whole kernel is incorporated. Other examples of whole grain besides wheat and rye are multi-grain and pumpernickel. Sourdough may or may not be made with whole grain, it is just dependent on the manufacturer.  The less processed and refined, the better. Check your ingredient labels and keep an eye on the carb count to know how much to serve yourself.

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