Sandwich Bread

Can bread really be low carb? Many bakeries claim to produce low carb bread. To verify their claims, I tested 6 different sliced bread products and analyzed their ingredients.

Test Procedure – All of the tests were done at lunch time, beginning no earlier than 11:30 AM and no later than 1:30 PM. Every test was of a grilled cheese sandwich made with two slices of the test bread, two slices of Kirkland brand american cheese (when I ran out of american cheese, I used cheddar cheese with similar macronutrients for a few tests), and a couple of tablespoons of Kirkland brand salted butter. One preprandial blood glucose measurement was made no earlier than 5 minutes before starting to eat. A postprandial blood glucose measurement was made between 60 and 70 minutes after finishing eating. At least five tests were made of each product (that is, 5 glucose measurements before eating and 5 after eating).

Test and Analysis Results The table below ranks the breads I tested from top to bottom based on how much they raised my blood glucose. The table also shows the carb counts claimed by the manufacturer for a single slice of bread (I used two slices in each sandwich), the price of a loaf of the bread and where I bought it. Carb counts are all in grams; CHO is carbohydrate.

Sandwich Bread Summary

Product Average Increase in Blood Glucose Claimed Carb Count Cost/loaf
Manufacturer mg/dL CHO Fiber Net Store
Carbs…Not! Sesame


3 2 1 $5.29
Carbs…Not! Multigrain


3 2 1 $5.29
Mahler’s California Lifestyle Cinnamon Walnut with Flax and Soy

Mahler’s Bakery

6 2 4 $3.50
Oasis Flaxseed Bread

Oasis Bakery

8 2 6 $4.89
Multigrain Marble Bread

Carb Krunchers

11 6 5 $7.99
Smart Carb #1

Julian Bakery

13 12 1 $8.39
Whole Foods

My favorite.

I would not select any bread for myself that on average raises my blood glucose by 10 or more mg/dl. The top three breads meet this criteria; the bars showing average blood glucose are green for these breads.

Breads with yellow average blood glucose bars raised my average blood glucose by more than 20 but less than 30 mg/dl.

The red average blood glucose bar indicates a product that raised my blood glucose by more than 30 mg/dl. This is a level I consider unacceptable for myself as a diabetic. Only one product exceeded this average: Smart Carb #1 from Julian Bakery, which claims it is the #1 “low carb” bread on the market and appears to be the most heavily promoted.

Smart Carb #1 has high carb ingredients that do not appear to be consistent with its claim of 12g fiber per slice, which would explain my high blood glucose after eating it. The ingredients of the other breads seemed generally consistent with their claimed carb counts.

As far as taste goes, “Mahler’s California Lifestyle Cinnamon Walnut with Flax and Soy” was my favorite, followed by “Chompie’s Carbs…Not! Sesame”. “Chompie’s Carbs…Not! Multigrain” seemed overly sweet to me. “Carb Krunchers Multigrain Marble Bread”, “Oasis Flaxseed” and “Smart Carb #1” seemed starchy to me. There was a tendency for crumbles to break off Smart Carb #1.

I now use “Mahler’s California Lifestyle Cinnamon Walnut with Flax and Soy” as a snack bread, eating a single slice with some olive oil. I use “Chompie’s Carbs…Not! Sesame” for sandwiches.

Sliced bread products still to be tested – Healthwise breads, which I have found to not raise my blood glucose much in the past, and LC White Bread, a bread mix from LC Foods.

13 Responses to Sandwich Bread

  1. helen

    Any comments on low carb tortillas being accurate ? thanx

  2. Pingback: Low-Carb Bread Consumer Fights Back | Lose Weight

  3. Hans

    Very interesting field test…I will try this with my own breads!

  4. Doug

    Great information! Thank you. I’ve been enjoying Mahler’s Vegetable Protein bread (3 net carbs)just wondered if you’ve tried it and how the it compares to the Cinnamon/Walnut loaf? Also, Julian Bakery has some newer entries in the low carb bread world: Paleo and Net Carb Zero breads. Have you tried them?

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  6. marlene

    This was an extremely helpful website. My husband has been put on a Low Carb diet and it is puzzling. He loves bread so this was a real help.

  7. DAVID

    Yes Julian Bread has changed now it taste like cardboard the slices are the size of my iPhone and so dense in hardly resembles bread. I just threw out the loaf I bought today 11-8-13 after 1 slice that why I’m on this site looking for something eatable.

  8. Laura

    I’ve tried the Paleo no carb breads, and threw them out. Firstly, they don’t toast at all. Secondly, they taste like sawdust! I actually like the Chompie’s 1 carb bread. Toasts well, makes good sandwiches, and good with hummus toasted. Definitely makes me feel like I’m having bread and takes away the deprivation factor in doing a low carb diet.

  9. Denise

    I was given a loaf of Mahler’s “Mahler’s California Lifestyle Cinnamon Walnut with Flax and Soy” yesterday, and it is delicious toasted with a little butter. Also with all-natural peanut butter (a thin spread). I haven’t tried the others but will check them out at Sprouts, as this is the only retailer of all of those mentioned, that we have in my remote small town. The Mahler’s label actually claims 7 total carbs with 5 grams of fiber (net carbs 2 grams)l. Prior to this I have eaten (sparingly) Food for Life sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel) because of its low glycemic index. I had no idea these others even existed! I saw on Mahler’s website that they also make “Mahler’s California Lifestyle with Flax and Soy” without the walnuts and cinnamon, and hope to try that as well. Thank you so much for this extremely enlightening information!

  10. Terry Pearlman

    I bougt kthe cinnamon walnut bread at sprouts one time and when I went back they were not selling it anymore.
    Where can I buy it..

    • gary

      I suggest you try Chompie’s Carbs Not! cinnamon instead. I know it is available at some Sprout’s. If yours doesn’t carry it, ask them to get it for you.

  11. Dawn

    Don’t waste your money on Chompies! Excited yesterday to find Chompies bread at my local sprout’s store. The loaf was very small and almost $7. This morning, I put a slice in the toaster and after the second bite, I was convinced I had chewed a sponge sprinkled with Splenda. Too chewy and way too sweet, very disappointed!


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    I’m a very busy guy with the site, but if you have a special request for an item that should be tested, let me know. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in on a future date.