Low Glycemic Bread for the Gluten Intolerant and Diabetics

Low Glycemic Bread

With diabetes and other sugar-related problems on the rise, glycemic index (GI) has become a common term known and understood by people around the world.GI is the ranking given to foods on a scale of 1 to 100. The ranking tells you the effect of a particular food or food product on your blood sugar – that critical element in your body which is responsible for so many health complications today, starting with diabetes.

Food is considered to have low GI when the index falls below 55. A low GI means a particular food will take some time to break down in your intestine. Hence the increase in your body’s blood sugar will be gradual and steady. On the other hand, GI index of over 70 causes sudden fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. And that just isn’t good for your health. Low GI food helps in tackling diabetes and is also useful during weight-loss.

Though bread is an integral part of most people’s diet, its high glycemic index makes it unsafe for consumption, especially if you’re suffering from sugar-related problems or are at a risk of them. Fortunately, bread-makers have come up with healthy alternatives. So you’ll find several low glycemic breads that you can eat without harming your health.

Choosing low glycemic bread

Basically, all breads with a GI less than 55 are good; anything over that can cause problems.

Choosing the right low glycemic bread is a key consideration if you’re looking for something that’ll help you keep your sugar levels under control. There are some general points to be considered while choosing low glycemic bread. For one, check out the nutrition facts label. The first ingredient on the label should have the word `whole’ mentioned. Next, check out the label for grams of fiber per serving – it shouldn’t be less than 5 as that would make it a low-fiber and high-glycemic bread. Finally, if the bread contains rye or buckwheat flours, go for it – the GI value of these grains is remarkably low. There’s a variety of low glycemic breads you can buy off the shelf or bake at home quite conveniently.

Whole-grain bread

With a GI less than refined white bread, many whole-grain breads are suitable for those diagnosed with diabetes or on a weight-loss regimen. Among the popular whole-grain breads with low GI are coarse barley bread and pumpernickel bread. The coarse barley variety has a GI of 34, which makes it an ideal low glycemic food. You can also go for wheat kernel (cracked to 50 percent) bread with a GI of 58. When cracked to 100 percent, the wheat kernel bread’s GI gets further reduced to 51.

Pumpernickel bread

Pumpernickel bread, which ranks at 50 on the GI scale, is made of coarsely ground rye flour. It’s raised with the help of sourdough starter. This starter, along with soluble rye fiber, helps lower the GI of this bread. So you can safely opt for the sourdough bread if you’re diabetic or trying to manage your weight. This has a 54 GI value, which can be further raised if the bread is made using higher percentage of sourdough.

Barley bread

Whole barley grains are quite healthy in terms of their glycemic index. Bread made of such grains has a low glycemic index of 30. Apart from the low GI level, this kind of coarse bread has other health benefits too, as it comes packed with nutrients such as phosphorous and magnesium. Also, the carbohydrates level of this bread is pretty low, which helps in lowering its GI since carbohydrates get converted into sugar on being broken down in the body. And sugar, or excess of it, is definitely not healthy for you.

Pita bread

With a mid-range glycemic level of 57, it’s a better option than the traditional white bread. The whole-grain pita bread is even better since the phytates contained in it help further lower the GI. Phytates are compounds that help in slowing down the spike in blood sugar after eating.


They have the same make-up as your common bread   but don’t contain yeast. With a value of 52, corn tortillas fall in the mid-scale GI category, while wheat tortillas are much lower with GI of 30. Tortillas work as a great alternative to bread in Panini’s as well as hot sandwiches. Cold cheese or ham sandwiches also go great with tortillas, without causing a damaging effect on your sugar levels.

Ezekiel bread

The Ezekiel bread or the sprouted bread, made with sprouted ancient wheat grains, barley and rye, is also low on GI. You can also use sprouted millet, chia or quinoa to get bread that’s great as a low glycemic food. Sprouted flax, almond, raisin and cinnamon are other options in low GI breads that are seen to work well for diabetics and those striving to lose weight.


What you definitely should avoid in breads is the white refined flour variety which has really high glycemic values. If you’re diabetic or are otherwise being careful about your weight, go for the low glycemic bread. Low glycemic bread will help prevent the dangerously sudden spikes and falls in your blood sugar than can lead to a higher risk of diabetes and related complications. Replacing your normal white bread with some low glycemic variety will keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy and stable condition. If you want to pick up some easy tips for baking your bread at home, check out Kelly Herring’s e-book which contains lots of recipes and advice to become gluten free.

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