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Breaking Bread the Healthy Way

Think you're eating the best bread?

Maybe not, according to CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

Ashton explained what's true and false about bread selection, and how you can make better choices at the grocery store.

CLAIM: If the bread is brown and has the word wheat on the label, it must have a lot of fiber.
FALSE:
Don't be fooled by the color or the word wheat. Many manufacturers add caramel food coloring to make consumers think the bread is healthier than it is.

Look at the first ingredient on the package. If it's "wheat flour" or "enriched bleached flour" that tells you mostly white flour was used, not the fiber rich "whole-wheat flour"

CLAIM: breads with names like "seven grain" and "100 percent natural" are the best choices.
FALSE:
Just saying "seven grain" or 100 percent natural" can be deceiving. Look for labels that say "100 percent whole grain or 100 percent whole wheat" You want whole grains because they're naturally low in fat, cholesterol free and loaded with fiber.

CLAIM: A plain bagel can have over 300 calories.
TRUE:
People don't realize how many calories can be packed into an ordinary bagel. And now with supersized bagels, the added calories can wreak havoc on your diet.

And when you add toppings on them, the calorie count goes up even more. It's probably better to eat a whole wheat mini bagel if you have to indulge, because it's hard to leave the other half of the large bagel uneaten.

Ashton also recommended coring out some of the bread with your finger, so you can have the taste of the bagel, but not all the calories.

CLAIM: Bread can have a lot of salt.
TRUE:
Bread may not taste salty, but there may be a lot hidden salt. And for those trying to curb their salt intake for health reasons, beware. If you eat 3 servings of whole grain bread a day, and each slice has 200 milligrams of sodium, that's 600 milligrams -- more than a fourth of the maximum amount of salt recommended per day.

As for Ashton, she said she only eats bread on the weekends.

"(I go) totally wild," she said. "I don't even core out my bagel."