FROM LIVE BETTER AMERICA

No-Carb No More! Why Bread Bans Are Losing Popularity

Not many things in this world smell better than a loaf of fresh bread. However, in recent years, dieters turned their noses up at bread because it's the ultimate carbohydrate-containing food — the one everyone thinks of when they hear the word "carbs." Carbs were tabbed as a culprit behind expanding waistlines. Trend followers found the next best things to sliced bread, using lettuce leaves for taco shells and ordering burgers without buns. But now, bread is seeing a new popularity.

Beyond the Bread Ban
Sure, the low-carb and no-carb diets were popular, but they were very difficult to follow for any length of time. Essentially, low-carb diets worked because they often cut calories. And if you take in fewer calories — regardless of where the calories come from — you'll lose weight. Carbs still get a bum rap, though. "When you take away the carbohydrates, it's like taking away water from someone hiking in the desert," says Judith Wurtman, PhD, an MIT researcher who has studied the relationship between food and mood for the past 20 years. "If fat is the only alternative for a no-carb or low-carb dieter to consume to satiate the cravings, it's like giving a beer to the parched hiker to relieve the thirst — temporary relief, but ultimately not effective."

Staging a Comeback
"Clearly the anticarb craze is over," says Mani Niall, known as the chef to the stars, author of Sweet & Natural Baking and Covered in Honey, and founder of Mani's Bakery in Los Angeles. "Many bread-theme food chains have opened, and at bakeries, I've heard bread sales have increased by as much as a third recently."

Here are smart ways to help put bread back into your diet.

  • Go for whole grain. Choose bread products that list whole grain as one of the first few ingredients on the label — such as "whole wheat," "whole grain oats" or "whole rye." You can't go by color — bread can be brown because of molasses or other added ingredients. Your goal should be to eat three servings daily of foods made with whole grain, amounting to at least 48 grams of whole grain.
  • Keep it fresh. If you prefer fresh breads, Niall has a simple secret for keeping it fresh longer. "Split the loaf in two. Put one half in the freezer and eat the other. It'll keep for weeks in a freezer without being harmed."
  • Broaden your bread horizons. "You can find an amazing variety and new tastes," Niall says. "There are a lot of textures and a whole spectrum of grains to try. I specifically recommend spelt."
  • Top with flair. "Along with dipping it in a little olive oil, honey, or tomatoes, bread made with creative toppings can be livelier and have more moisture," says Niall. Try serving bruschetta-topped bread with sautéed greens and a touch of low-fat cheese, or layer pear slices with a bit of feta cheese and a drizzle of honey.
  • Navigate the menu. Smart choices for bread when you're on the run include honey multigrain baguettes, whole wheat bagels or bagels made with whole grain, seven-grain rolls, sprouted whole wheat bread and oatmeal bread.

Below, we've compiled 16 better-for-you bread recipes to whet your appetite. Try them out and then discuss in the comments: How does bread fit into your diet? Can you not live without it? Have you ever sworn it off completely? Let us know!

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  • Healthified Pear-Cheese Loaf

    Calories 170 Total Fat 6g Saturated Fat 1g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-pear-cheese-loaf/5a35bde0-c9d3-4d1e-a3a3-f70d27eeacac?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Healthified Pear-Cheese Loaf recipe</a>

  • Five-Grain Quick Bread

    Calories 240 Total Fat 6g Saturated Fat 1g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/five-grain-quick-bread/ee80653c-1b66-4770-9150-56ddc33d40cd?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Five-Grain Quick Bread recipe</a>

  • Healthified Banana Nut Bread

    Calories 140 Total Fat 5g Saturated Fat 0g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-banana-nut-bread/d1617d65-2240-4478-8326-1d34849eaa24?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Healthified Banana Nut Bread recipe</a>

  • Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Wheat Bread

    Calories 150 Total Fat 4 1/2g Saturated Fat 1/2g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/cinnamon-raisin-walnut-wheat-bread/f444c560-8b59-47a5-8a7c-337a0e457a40?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Wheat Bread recipe</a>

  • Bread Machine Oatmeal-Sunflower Bread

    Calories 220 Total Fat 5g Saturated Fat 1 1/2g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/bread-machine-oatmeal-sunflower-bread/53e6fc61-2081-41a3-887f-f18a5b339d8a#?st=6&term=bread&ps=9&pi=9#?st=6&term=bread&ps=9&pi=9?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Bread Machine Oatmeal-Sunflower Bread recipe</a>

  • Healthified Pumpkin Bread

    Calories 190 Total Fat 5g Saturated Fat 0g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-pumpkin-bread/072fe84d-d183-4c39-b6b6-849a9c949db4?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Healthified Pumpkin Bread recipe</a>

  • Brown Bread with Lemon-Cream Cheese Topping

    Calories 150 Total Fat 3g Saturated Fat 1g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/best-ever-brown-bread-with-lemon-cream-cheese-topping/87d1946f-8add-4119-a78e-5e11eca446cd?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Brown Bread with Lemon-Cream Cheese Topping recipe</a>

  • Healthified Cranberry-Nut Bread

    Calories 130 Total Fat 4g Saturated Fat 0g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-cranberry-nut-bread/ad541f15-49b2-49e3-8ef4-df4ebae34ed5?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Healthified Cranberry-Nut Bread recipe</a>

  • Heart Smart Banana Bread

    Calories 150 Total Fat 3g Saturated Fat 0g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/heart-smart-banana-bread/cd3fc30b-1009-402e-94b4-13542ebc4b69?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Heart Smart Banana Bread recipe</a>

  • Healthified Herb-Bran Muffins

    Calories 120 Total Fat 5g Saturated Fat 1/2g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-herb-bran-muffins/f20834f9-bbb7-43cb-b872-0b9debe96823?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Healthified Herb-Bran Muffins recipe</a>

  • Four-Grain Batter Bread

    Calories 100 Total Fat 1g Saturated Fat 0g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/four-grain-batter-bread/14809e44-08b9-4a27-9c9d-abdf52df4015?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Four-Grain Batter Bread recipe</a>

  • Wheat ‘n Flax Bread

    Calories 110 Total Fat 2g Saturated Fat 1/2g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/wheat-n-flax-bread/17280b64-9516-478f-a71a-8f233f3f6b40?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Wheat ‘n Flax Bread recipe</a>

  • Fiber-Rich Blueberry-Banana Bread

    Calories 180 Total Fat 5g Saturated Fat 1 1/2g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/fiber-one-blueberry-banana-bread/5ab8f8ab-ab28-40ad-b5da-77f3a19b2889?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Fiber-Rich Blueberry-Banana Bread recipe</a>

  • Healthified Zucchini Bread

    Calories 180 Total Fat 6g Saturated Fat 1/2g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/healthified-zucchini-bread/1b357b71-f890-454d-ad06-3979eb184577?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Healthified Zucchini Bread recipe</a>

  • Honey-Whole Wheat Bread

    Calories 100 Total Fat 2g Saturated Fat 1g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/honey-whole-wheat-bread/3e9ffa09-8084-4853-8c74-a727d0ee6135?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Honey-Whole Wheat Bread recipe</a>

  • Raisin Brown Bread

    Calories 90 Total Fat 1/2g Saturated Fat 0g <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/raisin-brown-bread/87ad697c-52fb-46be-8173-63af6e637f99?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549">Get the Raisin Brown Bread recipe</a>



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