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Weighing In On Bread

December 29, 2009

Those super-heavy, "all-natural" loaves of bread may look and sound like they're healthy, but their density signals that they probably contain more calories than most other loaves. Plus, they're typically made with simple sugars like high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltose that will add even more calories.

If you're watching your weight and wondering, "Can I eat bread?"--don't despair. I'm here to tell you that you really can have your bread and eat it too without automatically putting on weight. There's a simple rule--the weight and starch connection--that will help you choose a loaf wisely.

What's the weight and starch connection?

Starches, such as breads and baked goods, usually contain a standard amount of calories by weight, about 80 calories per ounce, whereas heavier breads are going to contain a higher calorie count. Most slices of regular bread weigh about an ounce (80 calories); a single slice of dense, "all-natural" bread, however, might weigh 2 or even 3 ounces (160 to 240 calories).

So if you're looking for a low-cal bread, start by assessing how much the loaves weigh. Pick up two different loaves, holding one in each hand; the one that is lighter is generally going to be the one with fewer calories. It's that simple.

Muffins and most other baked goods, like banana breads and plain cakes, contain roughly 125 calories per ounce. So if you pick up a "healthy," "all-natural" bran muffin and it feels like a brick, consider the caloric consequences: A standard 4-ounce muffin weighs in at around 500 calories, almost the equivalent of 7 slices of standard bread.

Remember to "weigh in" on breads and starches before you buy them--it's easy, free, and could perhaps save you a ton of calories in the long run!

Source: Yahoo Health

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