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Type 2 diabetes: Best bread to choose if you want to lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a condition which results in the body losing control of the amount of glucose in the blood, causing blood glucose levels becoming too high. If blood glucose isn’t controlled properly and stays too high, it can lead to a number of problems, including kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke.


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Eating a regular poor diet can increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so making diet changes is recommended.

Carbohydrates you eat and drink are broken down into glucose, and the type and amount you consume can make a difference to a person’s blood glucose levels and diabetes management.

So when it comes to one of the famous carbohydrates, bread, what type is considered best or what advice should you follow?

Diabetes UK explains: “There are two types of carbohydrate: starchy carbohydrates and sugars.

“Bread falls into the starchy carbohydrate category. All carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels.

“Carbohydrate requirements vary between individuals and depend on age, gender, weight and physical activity.

“The Reference Intake (RI) of carbohydrate is 230g for women and 300g for men.

“These figures are just a guide and are based on the requirements of an average woman and man. Depending on your nutritional goals, you may require less.”

Most supermarkets and local markets contain different types of bread, the type diabetes charity offers advice for next time you’re choosing a loaf.

Per slice, the following types of bread contain:

  • White: 79Kcal – 16.6g carbs – 0.6g fat
  • Tiger: 97Kcal – 17g carbs – 0.83g fat
  • Granary: 85Kcal – 17g carbs – 0.8g fat
  • Pumpernickel: 76Kcal – 14.5g carbs – 0.5g fat
  • Pitta: 244Kcal – 18.5g carbs – 1.2g fat
  • Seeded: 174Kcal – 29/6g carbs – 4.8g fat
  • Bagel: 230Kcal – 44g carbs – 1.2g fat

These could be served with lean chicken, ham, turkey or beef plus chopped tomatoes, grated carrot and cucumber, or reduce-fat cheddar with grated carrot and sultanas.


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Sourdough, rye and soda bread may be served with turkey, chicken or Swiss cheese with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and reduced-fat mayo.

These types of bread contain:

  • Sourdough: 79Kcal – 15.7g carbs – 0.2g fat
  • Soda bread: 104Kcal – 21.9g carbs – 0.96g fat
  • Rye bread: 55Kcal – 11.5g carbs – 0.4g fat

Brioche can be served warm with jam or pure fruit spread. It contains:

  • Brioche: 167Kcal – 23.3g carbs – 6.3g fat

Garlic and ciabatta bread contain:

  • Garlic bread: 71Kcal – 9.4g carbs – 3g fat
  • Reduced-fat garlic bread: 54Kcal – 8.98g carbs – 1.2g fat
  • Ciabatta: 75Kcal – 12.4g carbs – 1.4g fat

Garlic and ciabatta breada are often available to buy already sliced. so you can control your portion sizes.

Naan and chapatti contain:

  • Chapatti made without fat: 111Kcal – 24g carbs – 0.55g fat
  • Chapatti made with fat: 197Kcal – 13.9g carbs – 7.7g fat
  • Naan: 474Kcal – 79g carbs – 10g fat

Diabetes UK says you should try to avoid adding extra butter, margarine or ghee.

The NHS states there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but certain foods should be limited.

It advises: “You should eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.”

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