The problem with low-carb bread

A lot of people miss bread on a low-carb diet. There are lots of special low-carb breads sold in stores, but be careful! They usually suffer from one of two common problems:

  1. The bread is full of carbs and the nutrition information is full of lies
  2. The bread is not edible

A good example of the first problem was Julian Bakery’s low-carb bread. As I wrote earlier it turned out that people’s blood sugar increased just as much as by eating real bread. And when the “low-carb” bread was sent for analysis it turned out to contain 17 times more carbs (!) than specified.

Julian Bakery’s bread used to be an example of the first problem: high-carb bread fraudulently marketed as low-carb.

After being exposed they apparently decided to change the recipe into a truly lower-carb version. Instead of using “Sprouted Whole Grains” i.e. wheat flour as the main ingredient they are now using “Non-GMO Wheat Protein Isolate” i.e. gluten (!) as the number one ingredient. Not very Paleo. The result can be seen in the video above.

Have you found a good option for real low-carb bread? Share it in the comments below.

The best low-carb breads

Earlier about fake low-carb products

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  1. Shelly
    I have no comment on low-carb bread (the closest we get is an occasional batch of Oopsie rolls), but the video is hilarious. He reminds me of my dad.
  2. I completely agree regarding ready-made low-carb bread. As Julian Bakery example shows, you just never know what's inside, and whether you can trust the low-carb claims.

    I therefore think the only solution is to make your own bread from scratch. It's not very hard, and actually less complicated than making traditional bread, as you don't have to mess about with yeast. Avoid all grains and use nut flours and flax instead.

    Of course, the result is never going to be exactly the same as traditional wheat-based bread, but it can be quite tasty in its own way, and most importantly, you will know exactly what's inside.

  3. Angela
    I agree with carbophobic; I have always made my own flax bread at home and have always been happy with it.It's ok for those times I crave a sandwich. Plus, it's full of fibers!
  4. Donna E
    This is a really funny video.

    Sometimes if I am at a restaurant that has really good French bread, I eat some crust with butter on it, but other than that, I just don't miss bread anymore. I think it's a question of time for most people who go low carb.

  5. Patrick
    It's definitely a sponge. Julian Bakery’s should keep this formula of bread & market it as sponge bread (it's for cleaning purposes only.) I guess Julian Bakery’s has once again failed to make the bread even lower in the carbs. Funny video about, how to clean the house, or clean up the people.
  6. Lauri
    Following a low carb plan and eating bread in any form is like being a vegetarian and eating fake burgers and chicken at every meal. There is so much more one can have that isn't bread, why are people pining for it? Yes, it tasted good, but it's not a part of my life anymore, I don't seek it out, I don't scroll through websites and blogs looking at pictures of it and even better - eating a couple of lettuce wraps is usually more vegetables than many vegetarians (that I know) eat.

    If one is going to make the change to a healthier life, realize bread is not a part of it and move on.

    Replies: #13, #107, #123
  7. I was going to recommend Eddie's flaxseed bread recipe, but he got there before me!

    Carole AKA CarbsaneR

  8. Anne
    I have not had bread in 9 years and I have no desire to add it into my diet. I react badly to both baker's yeast and gluten. There are some yeast and GF breads but because of diabetes I am on a very low carb diet and I don't want to waste my few carbs on a food that is low in nutrients.

    Love the video - now that is putting bread to good use!

  9. Thanks Carole

    I rarely eat bread, I have ate rice once in five years, pasta over five years ago, spuds a couple of times a year. Carbs between 30 and 50 per day. Many lowcarbing type two diabetics find dropping bread the hardest food to say goodbye to. Hence the bread recipes on our sites. Flax bread is not low in essential nutrients ! High in fibre and around 38% omega three. Flax is one of the worlds wonder foods and I highly recommend it. Consume it any way you want.

  10. well... food companies always claim one thing, but if you were to take a closer look at the ingredient labels, they are probably lying.
  11. tess
    the convenience of eating sandwiches on-the-go, and having a yolk/sauce "sponge" with certain dishes, is why i make low-carb breads occasionally. sure, i can solve the yolk-waste problem by serving benedicts in a bowl rather than on a plate, but hot roast-beef-open-faced sandwiches (gravy!), creamed eggs, sloppy joes, etc are family favorites we still like to have from time to time.
  12. JAUS
    Nonsense, what really matter is the carb content in food not the physical shape. Just because something is flat and used as a bread substitute it's automaticly bad? That dosen't make any sense what so ever. If I make a bread based on cheese and eggs there no difference to eating them in a omelette.
  13. Bread is the ONLY thing I miss on a LCHF diet. I love salad sandwiches piled with leaves and mayo. I make the flaxseed bread recipe into Panini shapes, good also for burgers. I can live without rice, pasta and potatoes, but it's good to have 'finger food', and that's where a sandwich is good.

    Carole AKA CarbsaneR

  14. greensleeves
    Being Danish, of course we must have open-faced sandwiches to bring as lunch. Otherwise you will absolutely be ostracized in your workplace. That's just Denmark. Food has to be certain way and if you deviate, the Danes will rebuke you to your face because it's a big part of the cultural identity. The whole society functions on this open peer pressure, no doubt.

    Luckily, however, Jane Faerber, the Danish LCHF blogger & author, has a fantastic recipe for sunflower/pumpkin seed bread made with eggs & parmesan cheese. It looks exactly like "regular" seed bread (kernebrod) but has only a few carbs & a few omega-6s. 2 very thin slices will allow you to "pass" in your normal Danish workplace & only set you back about 5-6 total carbs.

    So if you need "bread," try her version from her cookbook. It's basically an oopsie roll with cheese and pumpkin seeds. So it looks pretty, tastes fantastic, and is a good social cover for those times when you need to fly under the radar. It take about 15 minutes to make, an hour to bake, gives about 35-40 thin slices, and freezes very well.

    We've served it to non-LCHF Danes and they love it. We often get compliments on our home-made "bread." By the time you've buttered it, added lettuce, herring, onions & capers, no one has any idea it's LCHF or lacks wheat. :D

    Reply: #23
  15. I don't really miss *bread* on my low-carb diet, but I miss crackers and pastry. Thus far I've been able to make decent substitutes with eggs and cheese and various nut flours or butters.
  16. ThatWriterChick
    The only bread I missed when I went grain-free in 2011 was burger buns. So I found a recipe that is made from cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, 1/2 C almond flour, a tiny bit of baking powder, salt, spices and a few drops of sweetener. I get 12 thin but sturdy buns (6 tops + 6 bottoms) using a muffin top pan so I can pick up my bacon-mushroom-cheeseburgers. It's the only breadlike substance I have any use for – and it's about 2.5 grams for the top plus bottom!
  17. Heather
    Haven't had any bread in two years.
    Used to love it and ate it at every meal and in between too.
    90 pounds gone.........I don't miss the fat on my body or the bread that I don't eat!
  18. Peggy Holloway
    We use Tom Naughton's recipe (actually Chareva's) for bread made with a jar of almond butter. My daughter calls it "breadless bread." We don't have it very often, but for special occasions.
  19. Michelle
    The only thing missing from this discussion is a comment from Ondrej.
  20. A good low carb substitute for bread is minced chicken. We often use it to make pizza/meatza.
  21. Sol y Sombra
    You can't have your cake and eat it :) If you want to eat low carb, you just have to give up bread. It's as simple as that. There's no such thing as truly low carb bread. Of course there are alternatives, but none of them can really replace bread. And most of them are not healthy in the long run - not if you consume them on a daily basis. And they interfere with weight loss for many people. So the best solution, in my opinion, is to just give up bread and eat other things instead. Like real food - meat, eggs, cheese, butter, vegetables. No one needs bread to survive.
  22. Jean (UK)
    Greensleeves, Can you share the recipe? I am in the UK and don't read Danish.
    Reply: #24
  23. Jean (UK)
    Thank you, Zepp!
  24. Jean (UK)
    But the recipe doesn't seem to be on the blog. It must be only in the book. Never mind!
    Reply: #28
  25. TJ the Grouch
    Try this, it is labor intensive but superb!
    2 cups flax seed meal (finely ground)
    1/3 cup chia seeds (ground in coffee grinder to a fine powder)
    1/2 TBS of Guar gum
    1 cup unflavored whey protein
    3 cups of Mozzarella cheese
    5 eggs
    1/2 cup of bacon fat (makes it taste great, you can use olive oil or coconut oil)
    1/2 - 1 TBS of sea salt
    2-3 TBS of gluten-free yeast
    2 tsp of glucose (to kick in the yeast)
    1 - 1/4 cups of water
    Process in food processor. Fill into silicone baking forms (rectangular), let rise for 2 hrs. Do not worry, it does not rise as well as a flour based dough. Bake at 280 degrees for about 90-100 minutes (depends on oven). You can mix flavorings agents (herbs, etc.) with excellent results. After finishing baking, ALLOW TO COOL IN OVEN. DO NOT OPEN FOR AN HOUR OR TWO! It keeps well, it freezes beautifully.
  26. Zepp
    I think its this?

    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons sour cream 38%
    3 cups grated cheese
    1-2 tsp salt
    1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon of psyllium husk
    5-6 cup mixed seeds (I used sunflower, sesame and whole flaxseed. Had No pumpkin seeds)
    How to
    Eggs touched on dough hooks with mayo, sour cream and cheese. The dry parts added and stirred together into a wet dough. The batter is poured into a baking dish dressed with baking paper and bake in oven at 225 g for 25 min. Move if necessary. plate down on the bottom shelf if top gets too dark.

  27. Jean (UK)
    Thank you again! I will try both of those recipes.
  28. greensleeves


    Ok, but you must promise to credit her so we don't steal her nice recipe, that would be bad karma! :) I will provide the recipe in both Danish & English. It is none of those above.

    The result of this recipe is an attractive Danish style "bread" - half the height of an Anglo-American style white loaf, wider, and studded with pumpkin seeds. It is specifically made for the Scandinavian open-faced sandwich or "smorrebrød." So you will need a loaf pan!

    "Kernebrød – ingredienser / Multi-Seed & Nut Bread - Ingredients

    Jane Faerber

    100 g hørfrø / 100 g whole flaxseed
    150 g græskarkerner / 150 g pumpkin seeds
    100 g sesamfrø /100 g white sesame seeds
    100 g solsikkekerner /100 g sunflower seeds
    100 g grofthakkede mandler / 100 g coarsely ground almonds (do this in your own blender)
    50 g grofthakkede hasselnødder / 50 g coarsely ground hazelnuts (again, use your blender)
    150 g revet, lagret ost / 150 g grated, aged cheese (we like parmesan or nice cheddar)
    5 æg / 5 eggs
    ½ dl olie / 1/2 dl olive oil
    3 tsk salt / 3 teaspoons salt

    Sådan / Instructions

    Kerner, frø og nødder blandes i skål med olie og salt. / Mix all seeds & ground nuts with olive oil & salt.

    Æg piskes og blandes i kerneblandingen sammen med den revne ost. / Whisk the eggs well & mix in together with the grated cheese & then add seed mixture.

    Hæld dejen i en rugbrødsform beklædt med bagepapir og bag i ovnen i 60-70 min. ved 160 grader. Bage til 95C centrum temperature. / Pour the mixture into a loaf pan lined with baking parchment and bake in a pre-heated oven for 60-70 mins. at 160C (about 325F). Bake until the temperature in the center of the loaf is 95C (about 203F). "

    Don't overbake or the cheese will burn. The finished "loaf" will be about 2 to 2-1/2 in. in height & the width of your loaf pan. Let cool for about 20-30 min. in the pan, then use the parchment paper to pull the loaf out easily. Slice as thinly as possible with a good bread knife. You should be able to easily get 35-40 slices.

    Stack the slices into groups of 5 -10 separated by waxed paper, wrap in plastic twice and then in foil. Put in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. This makes it easy to take out the slices in small groups as you need them and let them defrost overnight in the fridge or in about 3 hours on the counter.

    Serve by buttering a slice & artistically topping with ham, roast beef, herring, lox, eel, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, herbs, onions, capers, mayonnaise. . .look at the pictures on any Danish food site & you will see lovely ways to make nice open-faced sandwiches, the vast majority of which are quite compatible with LCHF once you solve the "bread" problem! ;)

    Best wishes.


    Reply: #32
  29. Katya
    Someone posted this earlier, and I am so grateful! It is more bready than anything else I have tried and a small piece with butter is really satisfying. Not sure about the zero, but a couple of slices a day have not affected my numbers (weight loss, ketones, blood sugar).
    I have also made it with 5 whole eggs instead and worked fine. And I don't add the stevia.
    I believe the original source is

    Zero Carb Flax Bread
    2 cups flax seed, Ground
    5 egg whites
    2 whole eggs
    5 tablespoons flax oil, coconut oil, or olive oil
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup water
    3 packets Stevia
    Mix all dry ingredients then add the wet. Whisk together and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. This recipe can also be made into muffins: divide batter into muffin pans and bake for about 10-15 minutes.

    Nutrition info per serving (1 serving/1 slice)
    145 cal, 11 g fat, less than 1 g carbs, 6.5g protein

  30. Jean (UK)
    Thank you, Greensleeves! I am going to have a bread fest now! and I will certainly credit Jane Faerber when I use it.
    We are 'borrowing' one of your Danish musicians - Harald Haugaard - next week for a show in our village hall. I am cooking for them and I will try the bread for them!
  31. Cindy (USA)
    I've found most low carb recipes to be rather difficult with a lot of ingredients, but I ran across this one and it is excellent. I've tried different nut butters and found I like cashew the best. I've even mixed nuts like Sesame (Tahini) and Almond or Cashew.

    We have used the recipe for occasional sweets by adding dark chocolate or pumpkin or zucchini. Excellent

    Check it out and enjoy!

  32. CarbSanity
    Seems Jimmy Moore only got the memo on low-carb bread after shilling it for several years. Ditto for many in the LC community.

    So, as a fellow cruiser, what was the deal with Robb Wolf? Seems I heard something about him being determined to keep his solemn word, etc.

  33. Sami
    "Have you found a good option for real low-carb bread?" No, but I don't need one. Simply give up bread (and grain products generally), no reason to tease yourself. It will be a relief.
  34. Craig Crawford
    Holy hell this was hilarious.

    This is like those magic sponges you get, they last forever and are good for everything LOL.

  35. Brenda May
    Give a try. This company recently changed their bread formula to be GMO-free. Doing that increased their carb count, but it's still a decent alternative for occasional use. and it's WAYYYYYYYY...... more affordable. Their website is currently being redesigned to include the nutritionals, but in the meantime you could find them on Facebook and request nutritional information on a specific product that interests you. I'm fortunate that they are in my local area and I can buy my products directly from them or at select local grocers.
  36. RBC
    Here's my deal with bread - only buy it when you absolutely need it. I will only be buying bread this week because of Memorial Day burgers and hot dogs. And when you do buy bread, try to find a natural, high fiber type. Sometimes its hard to find but you'll need to really read the labels and spend a bit more.
  37. bill

    You said:

    "...when you absolutely need it."

    Don't follow this website much, do you?

  38. Dan
    I tried the Julian stuff when I first began to change my eating to LCHF. It was (a) pretty tasteless and (b) never really toasted--just got a bit firmer and had a kind of off-putting blue-ish tinge to it like a paler version of the girl in "Willy Wonka" who gets turned into a blueberry. Never re-ordered, then saw the news about the lie-filled labeling. I, too, love bread--in fact, when dieting the "old" way I'd gladly give up sweets and candies and such for a good piece of buttered toast....but now, I find other compensations in my health. I take my 86 year old Mom to a local Italian place that has amazingly great breads and always puts a big basket variety on the table--I now pick it up, RICHLY inhale the wonderful aroma, and put the basket back down. Doesn't have the "crunch" factor, but it helps. I use almond flour for lots of things--notably I do a pizza in a way I haven't seen--not making a really crusty dough, but simply layering ground almond in a pizza pan, adding lots of dots of butter, and baking that first so the almonds toast and sizzle in the butter to get nutty tastyness---THEN take it out, add cheese and toppings and put it in the broiler to melt. The melting cheese sticks the almond flour to it and provides, if not a real "crust" a nice toasty underlayer and hey, cheese is the name of the game anyhow, right? Oopsies are always a nice touch (usually I add cheese or sesame seeds or some coarse-crystal sea salt to give them variety) but are a lot of work...and because they seem so like popover dough I've done them as a savory meat compliment that can almost replace traditional dinner starches by adding beef drippings or broth to the mix to do what "Ye Olde Beefe" type faux Brit prime rib houses have been doing for years and calling "Yorkshire Pudding"

    Caveat emptor, and if you really have to try so hard to substitute you should know that even if it is technically "safe" it is going to be to REAL carby stuff what "light beer" is to a great porter, so why bother? Why not just have really tasty, satisfying truly LCHF foods instead?

  39. I've had no trouble with either Fat Bread (macadamia + coconut base) or various flax-and-coconut based muffin recipes. They help with the occasional cravings for something bread-like, especially hamburger buns. This remains my favorite bread recipe:


  40. Eric Anderson
    My answer is to make it yourself and follow a reciepe from a very reliable source like the Charlie Foundation which supports the use of the keogenic diet for kids with epilepsy.

    Here is a link to high fiber roll ==>


  41. bill
    ...and high fiber is good why?

    Please link to reputable studies if there are any.

  42. Eric Anderson
    I did not claim it was or was not. The reciepe is for small children. Visit the site. Look at several reciepes and decide for yourself. Eric
  43. Eric Anderson
    The ketogenic diet for epilepsy is 87 to 90 percent fat. The diet has been around since the 1920's and was based on the observations of the benifits of fasting made over 1000's of years. Many on lchf diets might enjoy reading the cooking variations developed for this diet that shares the high fat moderate protein and low carb lifestyle.


  44. Eric Anderson
    My favorite cinnamon roll

    1-2 pats butter
    1-2 TBS Heavy cream
    Stevia to taste
    Instant coffee to taste
    Sprinkle cinnamon
    Add hot water to QS 4 ounces.

    Where is the roll? I roll the coffee around in my mouth and enjoy the taste and latter test to verify the effect of the cinnamon on glucose, HgB A1C and lipid levels Eric

  45. Jillian
    This flax seed meal recipe is a staple in our house:

    Read the comments for hundreds of good variations and hints. I use golden flax seed meal, add a little cinnamon, bake in a 9x5 inch bread pan for 35 minutes, slice into 16 slices (thin but not impossibly thin) and toast it.

  46. I_Fortuna
    We are diabetic and we don't watch what we eat as much as how much we eat. We also practice food combining. People need carbs for muscle energy and good fats to utilize certain vitamins. We eat about an ounce of protein before the carbs. So at dinner, we will start, say, with the meat, move to the veggies and bread or pasta if served. Primarily we graze in order to control our blood sugar. Every 2 - 3 hours we have a nibble. The portions can be small and it makes a big difference. I make my own bread (mostly no-knead, sour dough and fruit breads), lacto-fermented veggies, water and milk kefir and yogurt. All of these made at home make healthful snacks and allow us to pretty much eat what we want. We use coconut oil and I eat eggs nearly every day. Our cholesterol is low. So I believe each person has to find out what works for them. We found denial doesn't work for us but balance and portion control does.
  47. I_Fortuna
    Julian bread seems to act like a good microfiber cleaning cloth. : )
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