For so many people, bread is considered a “bad” food to be avoided at all costs. I hear this from my clients often. Because they have dieted for so long, many people feel like they are “cheating” when they eat bread. It’s time to let go of this unfounded crazy thought and start thinking of bread as the delicious nutritious food that it is. As long as you don’t overdo it (as with anything), bread can be part of your healthy eating plan. Of course this does depend on the type of bread you buy.

Here are a few tips to help you select a better loaf of bread.

Aim for whole grains – Don’t be deceived by bread packaging that claims to be “whole grain”, “multi-grain”, or “all-natural”. Look past these front package claims and go straight to the ingredient list. If it doesn’t contain 100% whole grain as the first ingredient, it probably only contains a small amount of whole grain mixed with mostly refined flour.

Look for simple ingredients – Flour, water, yeast, and salt are all that’s really required to bake a loaf of bread, yet many brands have long lists of unwanted ingredients including artificial colors and preservatives, dough conditioners, and added sugar. Always read the ingredient list and look for a loaf that has just a few simple ingredients. One exception to this is a loaf of bread that contains several different types of whole grains and seeds. This will contribute to a longer list of ingredients.

Check out your local bakery – If you have a good bakery in your area, check out what they have to offer in the way of whole grain bread. Bakery bread usually doesn’t come with an ingredient list, so you will need to ask about that. Typically, it’s a fairly short list of simple ingredients, however. One thing I learned about bakery bread is that the shelf-life is only 7 – 8 days. I always ask to have it sliced and then I freeze it to avoid spoilage.

I use a couple slices of bakery bread to make Avocado Toast – topped the toasted bread with mashed avocado, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. The bakery bread is made with 100% whole grain flour, oats, and a few different seeds. It’s one of my favorite lunches – or breakfasts. Depending on how hungry I am, I may add on an easy-over egg. It’s a very satisfying and nutritious meal. Try it out for yourself. There are many creative and delicious ways to make Avocado Toast.

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS RD, is a healthy eating coach and nutrition expert specializing in weight management. She is committed to empowering people through education, support, and inspiration to make real changes that lead to optimal health and lasting weight loss - without all the craziness of dieting. Receive her 7 proven strategies to JumpStart your weight loss today! This article was originally published at and has been syndicated with permission.