Carbohydrates in the form of whole grains are an integral piece of a well-balanced diet and in the long run leads to greater weight loss. Diets that contain sufficient amounts of carbs and starches from bread also can help to maintain a healthy weight, report doctors at the Weight-control Information Network, a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. At the same time, there are some breads that are healthier and better for a diet than others.
There are a number of bread manufacturers producing lighter and thinner slices of bread, thereby cutting down on the calories. An average slice of whole wheat bread contains anywhere from 70 to 110 calories. By slicing the bread thinner or adding air to the process, a thin slice of low-calorie bread is only about 40 to 50 calories. Some bread producers have low-calories wheat versions of sliced bread that has just 40 calories per slice and provides just as much dietary fiber as the full-calorie version.
Doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health report that by reading labels closely, you can determine the healthy breads to eat on a diet. Whole grains, which provide the complex carbohydrates needed for digestion and energy, should be the first ingredients listed on the package. Marketers may advertise the product as whole grain, but the proof is in the required ingredients' list. Foods simply made with wheat flour or enriched whole wheat flour, a common first ingredient on processed bread, may be loaded with sugar, fat and other diet-sabotaging ingredients. Look for a whole grain stamp to ensure the highest quality of grains.
Rye bread can provide an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber in a diet without packing on the calories. Rye bread is dense and fiber-rich, making it more difficult to over-indulge. Sugars from rye are absorbed by the body more slowly than other grains and can help dieters maintain stable blood sugar levels. According to the National Public Health Institute in Finland where rye is a large part of the diet, rye digests in a more complete form and reduces constipation as it encourages regularity.