Cooking with Marlene Koch

Better Choices for Every Body
Bread 2.0 - Making Better Bread Choices

When it comes to dietary staples, one needn't look much further than bread. Bread, often referred to as the "staff of life," has formed the main part of the average diet for centuries. Check out my new video on how to make better bread choices:

No Knead to Banish the Bread

So it seems a bit ironic that bread is often listed as one of the first foods to go when one is looking to limit carbohydrates. The reality is that one ounce of plain bread averages just 80 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate, and is a valuable source of energy for any diet. The problem is that variations in size, density and ingredients can vastly alter the nutrient content of the bread we choose, converting a simple healthy whole grain piece of bread into a budget busting nightmare.

Great Bread Choices For Every Body

Fortunately for all us who love bread, there are more slim and healthy bread choices than ever. From portion-controlled, calorie-conscious hamburger buns, to tortillas packed with healthy fiber and English Muffins that fill you up but not out, here's a primer on some of today's best bread bets.

Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns

  • "Light" buns, like Delightful Hamburger Buns by Sara Lee have just 80 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrate and 6 grams of fiber per bun compared with up to 40 grams of more of carbohydrates and 200 calories in a traditional bun. The hot dog buns offer a similar savings.
  • "Thin" buns, like Orowheat and Earthgrain Sandwich Thins, make it easier than ever to enjoy calorie-conscious sandwiches and burgers. Both offer just 100 calories per bun and 4 grams of hearty fiber. Selections range from wheat and wholegrain to white.


  • Looking for a tasty way to boost the fiber in your diet? Grab a tortilla! Reduced-carbohydrate, high-fiber tortillas are amazing for creating healthier carb- and/or calorie-conscious recipes. Mission Carb Balance and La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Wraps are two brands to look for.

Bagels and English Muffins

  • Skip the bagel store with its large, dense bagels (where just one-quarter of a bagel equals one carb choice) and head to the grocery store. The makers of Thomas' English Muffins now offer Bagel Thins. With just 110 calories, 24 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber, this 1½ carbohydrate choice selection puts bagels back on the breakfast menu.

Sandwich Breads

  • While whole grain breads are a healthy choice, be sure to read labels to find more carb- and calorie-friendly choices. "Light" breads, such as those made by Sara Lee and Wonder Bread have just 40-45 calories and 9 grams of carbs per piece. Add to that a healthy dose of fiber and these are bread selections that every body can love.
  • Move over wheat. Rye and pumpernickel are also great "whole grain" selections. Check the label for choices that offer no more than 18 grams of carbs and 100 calories per piece. Lastly, do you love white bread? The lactic acid used to sour "sour dough" also brings down the glycemic index (the rate at which it raises blood sugar). Switch to sour dough for a better-than-white choice.

Recipe: Stuffed Seafood Salad Rolls

Here's a great recipe that makes great use of blood sugar friendly sourdough rolls. Light mayonnaise and low-fat yogurt keep fat in check while protein rich crab and shrimp will leave you satisfied for hours for just 250 slim calories.

NOTE: Consult your doctor first to make sure my recommendations fit your special health needs.

Marlene Koch, RD, is a registered dietitian who has specialized in delicious food and healthy lifestyles for over twenty years. Marlene holds a degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Los Angeles, California. Marlene is a best-selling author of healthy, low-sugar cookbooks. Marlene is a frequent guest on TV, radio and websites such as iVillage and
Read more about Marlene Koch

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