Here is a list of the ingredients you want to avoid in bread:
Partially hydrogenated oils – yes, the evil trans-fat lurk in the bread aisle too. Make sure they don’t make the jump to your shopping cart.
Potassium bromate – used as a dough conditioner. It is harmful if consumed as is, but thankfully disappears during the baking process. Unless. Unless some of it doesn’t. Want to take the risk? Europe, Canada, and many other countries have banned the use of this additive.
Azodicarbonamide – a popular dough conditioner. It also bleaches the flour (makes it whiter). It’s considered safe in the US at up to 45 parts per million, but is banned from use in Europe because studies showed it could cause asthma or allergic reactions.
DATEM – an acronym for Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Monoglycerides. Another dough conditioner used to improve volume and uniformity. It is considered safe by the FDA, but a study in 2002, on rats, showed “heart muscle fibrosis and adrenal overgrowth”.
Artificial colors – you’d be surprised but some breads include artificial colors.
Here are additional indicators of a less nutritious bread:
enriched flours instead of whole grain flours
ingredient list with more than 10-15 ingredients (the average is over 20)
bleached flour vs. unbleached flour.
low fiber count (less than 2 grams per slice)
excessive amounts of fats and sugars (more on this in the next post)