How to Choose a Healthy Bread


Don’t start with the front label. This one sounds good, right? “12 Grain” implies it is a good-for-you bread, but don’t draw a conclusion yet.

haggen front label

When a product is labeled “grain” or whole grain”, it means that only part of the product is made with 100% whole grain flours. So in looking at the front label we can’t conclude yet that it is the healthiest choice. So turn the package around and look at the ingredient list. Keep in mind you’re hoping that the first word is “whole”.

haggen label

In this example the first ingredient is “unbleached, enriched wheat flour”. Codeword for white, processed unhealthy flour. To ensure you are getting 100% whole wheat bread, look at the ingredient list—not the front of the package.

Remember that the first item on the ingredient label is the one in the highest weight amount. “Whole wheat flour” or “100% whole wheat flour” should be the first ingredient in the list. Don’t fall for words such as “wheat flour,” “unbleached wheat flour,” “multigrain,” “enriched,” or “stone-ground wheat flour.” These are deceptive ways of saying processed refined white flour.

This is the ingredient list of  Dave’s 21 Killer Bread:


Whole Wheat Flour is the first ingredient.

“Whole” should be a part of the first ingredient, such as: “whole wheat flour,” “whole grain rye flour,” or “whole grain pumpernickel flour.”

daves label

You can also check for the whole grain seal on the package. Some manufacturers have it and some don’t.

To choose a healthy bread, look for these nutrition stats on the Nutrition Facts label:

  • Calories: 100 or fewer per slice
  • Fiber: 2 grams or more per slice
  • Sodium: 225 mg or less per slice
  • Protein: 4 grams or more per slice
  • Fat: 2 grams or less and 0 grams of saturated fat



Weight Training during Caloric Restriction Enhances Lean Body Weight Maintenance


Weight training while restricting calories preserves muscle. In one study, dieting while weight training resulted in lean mass (muscle) gained, most fat lost and almost the most weight.

Keep in mind that the “weight training and dieting” group put on muscle weight which is why they didn’t lose as much total weight as the diet only group. But it’s a benefit to have more muscle.

The diet/caloric restriction only group lost muscle and didn’t lose as much fat as the “weight training and dieting” group.

  Control Diet Weight Training Weight Training & Diet
Weight (kg) -0.38 -4.47 0.45 -3.89
Fat (kg) -0.07 -3.56 -0.62 -4.32
Lean mass (kg) -0.31 -0.91 +1.07 +0.43

(8 week program, 40 obese women)



Ballor, D.L., Katch, V.L., Becque, M.D., Marks, C.R., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 47(1): 19-25, 1988.


Is Salad Really the Best Choice When Dining Out?


Hmmm. You ordered the Steak Salad for dinner when you went out last night? You assumed it was a healthier choice because its salad, right? Seared sirloin atop mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions, pecans and a Blue Cheese vinaigrette with a blue cheese crumble. Sounds healthy…

Well, think again. If you are a man trying to lose weight, this salad is 60% of your calorie needs for the whole day contributing 914 calories, the fat content of the salad is 63 grams, 21 grams more than your total daily needs, the 1543 mg sodium content of the one salad is what you can have in an entire day and the saturated fat of 18 grams is more than you should have in the entire day. There are 5 teaspoons of added sugar too. And really, the fiber contribution is only 5 grams, not much considering a man should have 38 grams in a day.

Your beverage choice matters too. A Cadillac Margarita has 500 calories and 53 grams of sugar. A pint of beer has around 220. Th best choice is a glass of wine, a 4 ounce pour is about 125 calories.

One of the best choices you can make at a restaurant is to order plain grilled fish or chicken and vegetables. If the entree comes with potatoes ask if they can substitute more vegetables for the potatoes. In this example, grilled salmon and a double portion of asparagus would have 595 calories, 27.2 grams of fat mostly from heart healthy fat, >1,500 milligrams of Omega 3 fats, only 7.6 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 1010 mg of sodium.

Data based on Outback Restaurant items and a man’s nutritional needs for weight loss: 1500 calories.