The white bread or brown bread debate is one of my favourites with chronic kidney disease. If you’ve read anything online or been given an outdated, you’ve probably seen that white bread is best. But really is it? Let’s take a look at the best bread for CKD.
Previously, white bread or refined carbohydrates were often recommended for those with kidney disease because they are lower in potassium and phosphorus. But, those are not nutrients of concern for everyone. The two things that have the biggest impact on our kidney function are protein and sodium.
Potassium and phosphorus are very individual. And if you’ve checked out my previous post on phosphorus absorption, you’d know that we actually absorb this type of phosphorus less.
And not everyone needs to limit potassium.
So, that being said, we also know that brown bread or other whole grains are higher in fibre which help to keep us full, control our blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and can help to preserve kidney function as part of a balanced diet.
Now our nutrition when we have kidney disease is very individualized and it is important to speak with your kidney dietitian to determine what the best foods for you are.
Here are my top tips for the best bread with CKD
1. Whole grains
Whole grain includes all three parts of the grain. This means that they are higher in fibre, vitamins B and E compared to refined grains (e.g. white bread).
Reading food labels can help you determine if a bread product uses whole grains. In fact, it should appear first in the ingredient list. Look for:
- Whole grain whole wheat flour
- Whole rye
- Whole oat or oatmeal
- Whole corn
- Whole barley
One reason we are told to avoid bread is due to carbohydrates, especially if we have diabetes. But just because you live with diabetes, does not mean to you need to avoid carbohydrates, that is a personal choice. Check out my blog post on what you can eat with CKD for more information.
Fibre is important not just for keeping us full, but fibre from whole grains helps to lower our risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Look for at least 2 g fibre per slice.
Of course limiting sodium is important to help us preserve our kidney function. Look for breads with less than 150 mg sodium per slice.
As always, avoiding breads with phosphorus additives is important. Remember to read the food label for “PHOS” in the ingredient list.
The amount of sugar in bread varies, and most can be naturally occurring. However, avoiding added sugars is important. Reading the ingredient list for sources of sugar like: molasses, honey, sugar, high fructose corn syrup. Look for less than 3 g added sugar per slice.
Here are my best breads for CKD
Does this article resonate with you?
Whole grains are a great addition to any kidney-friendly diet. Do you need some support with planning nutritious and delicious meals and finding the best bread for CKD? Well, Emily offers personalized meal planning and grocery shopping lists to help support you on your kidney nutrition journey and building your confidence with plant-based meals. Connect with Emily here.
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