How to Eat Bread on Almost Any Diet, from Gluten-Free to Keto
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Whether you're on a gluten-free, low-carb, keto or paleo diet, there are healthy bread products you can still enjoy.
If you’re following a special diet—whether gluten-free, paleo or keto—you may have to say goodbye to eating and baking bread as you know it.
But don’t worry—there are many bread (and bread-like) recipes and products that fit within the guidelines of different dietary restrictions. Here’s how to make or buy bread that fits your dietary needs.
Gluten is a key component in traditional bread flours, but gluten-free bread recipes use ingredients like gluten-free all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, rice flour or tapioca flour.
How to buy it: Several companies, such as Bob’s Red Mill, make varieties of gluten-free flour. When you’re buying gluten-free bread, read the labels to look for possible gluten content. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands.
If you’re limiting your carbohydrate intake, it’s important to monitor the type and amount of bread you eat. However, there are still ways to enjoy the comforting taste of bread without breaking your low-carb diet.
How to make it: Low-carb recipes like these Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks use vegetables instead of grains. You can also get creative and make sandwiches or burgers using bun substitutes such as lettuce or portobello mushrooms.
Keto Diet Bread
The keto diet is about eating lots of healthy fats and proteins, and very few carbs. That means traditional bread products are off the menu. But if you get creative, you can make keto-friendly versions of your favorite bread recipes.
How to make it: Many keto recipes use vegetables like cauliflower and zucchini to make things like breadsticks and pizza crust. Keto cloud bread—which is made from eggs, cream of tartar, and yogurt or cottage cheese—is another high-protein, carb-free bread substitute.
How to buy it: Look for bread products that are labeled “keto,” such as Lewis Bake Shop keto bread, which is available at Walmart.
Following a vegan or plant-based diet means avoiding animal products including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey. Grains are still on the table, though, so there are plenty of vegan bread options.
How to make it: Whether you want a basic vegan yeast bread or a sweet loaf like this Vegan Pumpkin Bread, there are plenty of vegan bread recipes to try.
How to buy it: You can find many vegan breads at the grocery store—look for loaves that don’t have eggs, honey, butter, milk, royal jelly, gelatin, whey or casein. You may also want to avoid monoglycerides, diglycerides, and lecithin.
Mediterranean Diet Bread
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating lots of vegetables, fish, healthy fats, whole grains and fruit, as well as moderate amounts of dairy, meat and wine. (Here’s the difference between whole grain vs. whole wheat.)
How to make it: Try this Seeded Whole Grain Loaf recipe, which calls for whole wheat flour, oats, millet, sunflower seeds and flaxseed.
How to buy it: Look for store-bought bread that contains whole grains, including whole wheat breads. Avoid added sugar, as well as trans and saturated fats.
The paleo diet, sometimes known as the caveman diet, is all about eating unprocessed foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, eggs, grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish. Grains (including bread), as well as dairy, soy and starchy vegetables are out.
How to make it: There are some paleo bread recipes, like this paleo sandwich bread from Lexi’s Clean Living by food blogger Lexi Davidson. Her recipe uses almond flour, tapioca flour, applesauce, baking powder and salt. Other paleo bread recipes call for many more ingredients that you may not have on hand, such as arrowroot starch and flaxseed meal.
How to buy it: Browse the bread or health food section for breads labeled “paleo,” such as Base Culture paleo bread.