For many people striving to improve their healthy, giving up breads and bakery items is often considered. Yet, a healthy diet doesn't mean giving up all of the foods you love, it simply means practicing moderation and choosing your treats so they are as healthy as possible. The following tips will help you enjoy your favorite bakery goods while also caring for your health.
Tip #1: Choose sliced bread
When you are looking for a bread to enjoy with a meal, such as soup, opt for sliced breads instead of rolls. Sliced bread serving sizes tend to be smaller although they feel similar to a single roll. This can save you quite a bit of calories, since you can generally enjoy two slices of bread for every roll. There are many excellent artisan breads to try, from the classic baguette to whole grain or sourdough loaves.
Tip #2: Always choose whole grain
Whole grains contain more fiber, which in turn means you absorb fewer calories. Even if you aren't watching your weight, the extra fiber is very good for your digestive health. Many bakeries even offer their sweet treats with a whole grain option. Whole grain pastries and dessert breads aren't uncommon, and they can help you enjoy a healthy splurge.
Tip #3: Check the sugars
Most bakery items contain some sugar – after all, it's a necessary component in any yeast dough. Your goal is to avoid unnecessary amounts of sugar. If you are craving a sweet treat, consider one that is at least partially sweetened by fruit. These tend to contain less sugar than those containing cream, cream cheese, or frosting, plus the fruit will contain some much needed vitamins.
Tip #4: Ask about the ingredients
An aspect of food health that is often overlooked is where it comes from. When shopping at your favorite bakery, ask about the ingredients. An apple turnover made from locally harvested apples is going to contain many more nutrients than one made from shelf-stable canned apples. Also, find out if they use organic bakery ingredients, since this will cut down on the risks of pesticide exposure. If you prefer to avoid trans fats, you will need to make sure that the bakery uses real butter and healthy seed oils, as opposed to shortening and hydrogenated oils.
Contact a local bakery or baked good supplier for more help in integrating these items into your healthy diet.