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Carb Zero Bread Review

June 8, 2012 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

Every so often, a product hits the market that has the potential to genuinely improve both health and quality of life. The newly introduced, “Carb Zero Bread” by Julian Bakery is a rare example of precisely that – a true innovation in the baked goods sector. In the past, there really wasn’t a good option for individuals who were seeking both gluten-free and low carb breads. You can find a few low carb breads that contain gluten. There are also many carb laden, gluten-free breads available in specialty shops. But, a combination of the two? Until recently, that didn’t exist.

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that completely avoiding bread while otherwise living a “normal” life is possible. But, for me, it was a sacrifice. I missed having sandwiches and toast. Not only were these foods a daily part of my childhood, but they’re also economical and easy to prepare. However, the notion of jeopardizing my weight loss goals and health lead me to avoid virtually all grain based products for years. I simply didn’t want to regain weight or feel the familiar bloat and lethargy that used accompany meals and snacks containing gluten and processed carbs.

Although I generally recommend avoiding grains, I do so reluctantly at times. For instance, I’ve always believed that there’s some benefit in eating unrefined oats. Still, I maintain some reservations because of the relatively high carbohydrate content. Even the best forms of oats, such as oat bran, contribute approximately 15 grams of non-fiber carbohydrates per ounce. That’s a lot of carbs to consume in order to benefit from the 4 grams of fiber that the same size serving provides. And, let’s face it, fiber is the primary reason why doctors recommend and patients consume oats.

So, along comes this new product, “Carb Zero Bread”, which boasts “Organic Gluten Free Oat Fiber” as it’s only grain source. When I saw this, my brain lit up like a pinball machine at a biker’s bar. This is what I’ve been waiting for! Each slice of this groundbreaking bread contains 9 grams of fiber from gluten free oats and psyllium. But, that’s far from all. There’s also 9 grams of protein per thin slice. The “net” carb count is, as the name implies, zero. This essentially means that the only carbohydrates present are in the form of fiber which is unlikely to provoke any undesirable effects on blood sugar. What’s more, I don’t see any ingredient listed on the label that I have a problem with at all, which is exceedingly rare.

  • Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Gluten Free Oat Fiber, Egg Whites, Psyllium, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda.

While no “structure/function” claims are made about this product, I wouldn’t be surprised if regular users find multiple health benefits. I base this on numerous scientific publications which report that daily consumption of fiber rich oats and psyllium: a) lower LDL and total cholesterol by roughly 5 to 10%; b) reduce post-meal blood sugar and insulin output; c) modulate gut hormones in a manner that supports appetite control; d) counter oxidative stress thanks to naturally occurring antioxidants including avenanthramides. In addition, a recent review that assessed the appropriateness of oat consumption in those with gluten intolerance determined that, “the majority of people with celiac disease can tolerate moderate amounts of pure oats”. The authors of the paper go on to say, “The incorporation of oats into a gluten-free diet provides high fiber and vitamin B content, increased palatability, and beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.” Finally, a few slices of Carb Zero per day may very well work wonders for anyone struggling with constipation.

Potential health benefits are one thing, but you’re probably wondering how the bread itself tastes. Don’t expect it to remind you of a fresh out of the oven baguette from an esteemed Parisian bakery. That’s not really what this product is all about. The goal here to balance flavor and nutrition for consumers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy bread at all. In reality, the taste is relatively neutral, which makes it a good vehicle for toasting, sandwiching or topping with tasty ingredients (organic cream cheese, nitrate-free cold cuts, sugar-free jams, etc.). Carb Zero comes in an original flavor and a cinnamon version, which could be enjoyed for making French toast, bread puddings or other sweet applications. In my opinion, this bread tastes best when toasted well prior to eating. Otherwise, the texture is a bit spongy. Like other members of the Julian Bakery line, it’s not cheap – $7.99 for 16 slices. However, keep in mind that this bread is more filling and nutritious than most. Availability is another issue to consider. Presently, Carb Zero isn’t widely stocked in most health food stores and markets. If that’s the case in your part of the world, you can always order directly from Julian Bakery.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Effect of 6 Weeks’ Consumption of β-Glucan-Rich Oat Products on (link)

Study 2 - Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Oat β-Glucan (link)

Study 3 - Meta-Analysis of the Effect of β-Glucan Intake on Blood Cholesterol (link)

Study 4 - The Right Fiber for the Right Disease: An Update on the Psyllium(link)

Study 5 - Semisolid Meal Enriched in Oat Bran Decreases Plasma Glucose (link)

Study 6 – Increases in Peptide Y-Y Levels Following Oat β-Glucan Ingestion (link)

Study 7 - Oat β-Glucan Increases Postprandial Cholecystokinin Levels (link)

Study 8 - Potential Health Benefits of Avenanthramides of Oats (link)

Study 9 – Introduction of Oats in the Diet of Individuals with Celiac Disease (link)

Study 10 - Unkilned and Large Amounts of Oats in the Coeliac Disease (link)

Oats Contain Bioactive Antioxidants

Source: J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6):1375-82. (link)

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16 Comments to “Carb Zero Bread Review”

  1. Laura Says:

    When I first saw this bread, I was skeptical about it, but I had been making my own cinnamon roll using oat FIBER and egg white powder and it had been successful. Like you said, the taste is not like normal bread, but for someone like me who has to avoid gluten, who wants something higher in fiber, AND low in calories this hit the mark. The taste actually grew on me and now I go to Jimbo’s once a week to stock up. I do toast it for everything.I prefer the cinnamon version even for my savory sandwiches. Sometimes I eat it plain from the toaster to get a dose of fiber and protein. I am thrilled to have a product that is zero net carbs and low calorie. It is very filling. Right now I am having a piece. I hope they don’t stop making this because I am hooked!

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you, Laura. I think I’ll try out the cinnamon version as part of a savory sandwich. You’ve inspired me to see what it’s like!

    I hope they’ll keep making it too. The more people buy it, the better the odds!

    Be well!

    JP

  3. susansusan Says:

    I bet it would be good with sesame seeds on the crust.

  4. JP Says:

    Hi Susan,

    Maybe someone from Julian’s Bakery will see your comment and consider adding sesame seeds to the mix. It would be fine by me! :-)

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Janel Johnson Says:

    thanks for your revew i had looked at this on line but every revew i wried was bad so i didnt get it but sinse you use it and say its good i will try it. I love bred but i have a glutin allergy and am on the low carb diet.

  6. JP Says:

    Hi Janel,

    I hope you enjoy it too. Here are a few of my favorite sandwich recipes:

    Toast the Carb Zero Bread very well and top with:

    1. unsweetened nut butter (almond or peanut butter) & sugar-free jam (I use the Nature’s Hollow brand)

    2. grilled onions and (melted) sliced cheese

    3. salmon salad or tuna fish salad and thinly sliced pickles

    The sky’s the limit. IMO, the key is to add flavorful ingredients to this mild-tasting bread.

    Be well!

    JP

  7. Lu Says:

    I’d like to try this no carb bread, where can I buy it? I’d also love to suggest that it be sold at Trader Joe’s, it would be a BIG HIT and sell out I’m sure!! Can’t wait to try it, and the sooner the better, I’m a big bread fan but trying to cut down/out the carbs that add the pounds. Thanks

  8. JP Says:

    Hi Lu,

    Locally, I’ve found it at Whole Foods. I’m sure other health food stores chains stock it as well. I don’t think Trader Joe’s carries it at this time – though I wish they would.

    Be well!

    JP

  9. cecilia avila Says:

    I live in Bridgeport Connecticut and I can not find this bread.

    Any ideas.

  10. Greggory Park Says:

    I probably go through more of the Low Carb #1 and Low Carb #2 bread than most anyone. Love it. That said, Carb Zero bread is a completely different animal. I applaud the efforts of Julian Bakery to make this product. I just hope they keep working on it as it’s not quite the home run that the Low Carb line is. I ordered six loafs from my Albertson’s guy as soon as he could get it. I will try it again, but I found it to be extremely dry and nearly impossible to toast. It just seemed to get drier and harder in the toaster. I have yet to find a way to successfully enjoy this bread, but I will keep trying.

    -Gregg

  11. JP Says:

    Hi Cecilia,

    You might try contacting Julian Bakery customer service. They should be able to direct you to the closest retailer that carries this product. Otherwise, you can order directly from their site. A client of mine who lives in Florida has ordered from them in the past. Therefore, I assume they can ship throughout the US.

    Be well!

    JP

  12. JP Says:

    Hi Gregg,

    My wife really enjoys their other low carb (wheat containing) breads. In the past, I’ve opted for their Purity Bread product. It also requires some toasting and is a bit crumbly. IMO, it’s also best suited for savory preparations. For instance, I love making mini-pizzas with Purity Bread.

    I’ve found lots of ways of avoiding the dryness issue: 1) Don’t over-toast; 2) add moist ingredients as toppings (cream cheese, tomato sauce + other pizza add-ons, salmon or tuna fish salad); 3) nut or peanut butter and sugar-free jam; 4) turn it into French toast (egg wash, spices).

    Having said all this, I do see your point: Low Carb 1 and Low Carb 2 more closely resemble conventional breads re: taste and texture. The only reason I avoid them is because of the gluten/wheat.

    Be well!

    JP

  13. sue in CA Says:

    I haven’t seen this bread. My biggest concern is the amount of sodium found in store breads, and I do understand why they do it .. for storage as well as flavor. My hubby is on a very low restricted sodium diet and I’ve had to resort to making all our own breads. I do low carb/low sodium for me cuz he doesn’t like the texture of the low carb breads I’ve made so far, and he gets low sodium grain breads made with no salt and no sodium baking powder/baking soda. They do taste great but too high in carbs for me but the wonderful smell is so tempting. I like to add chia seeds, flaxseeds to almost everything and sometimes sunflower kernels and pepitas too.

    just discovered your blog thru Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, enjoying the adventure of reading more. Thanks!

  14. JP Says:

    Thank you, Sue.

    Here’s the nutritional content for Carb Zero Bread. Based on your husband’s needs, I’m not certain if it’s appropriate or not. There’s no salt added in either product (cinnamon or regular flavor), but they do contain a bit of baking soda – and presumably some naturally occurring sodium from the other ingredients.

    http://www.julianbakery.com/bread-product/carbzero-regular/

    Be well!

    JP

  15. GABRIELA Says:

    I tried this zero carb bread and it has a very foul smell of eggs. I tried making a sandwich and could not eat it. Did some research on Julian Bakery and the following came up.

    http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/julian-bakery-customer-tests-low-carb-bread-claims-requests-they-immediately-cease-sales/14568

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/b/2012/07/16/low-carb-bread-consumer-fights-back.htm

  16. JP Says:

    Hi Gabriela,

    Thank you for bringing this controversy to my attention. I don’t use any of the gluten and/or wheat containing breads by Julian Bakery. However, I regularly use their Carb Zero and Paleo Breads.

    In the past, I’ve tested my blood sugar response to eating their gluten-free breads. The effects, in my case, were minimal. Still, in light of the information you’ve presented, I’ll conduct some additional testing and report back.

    Be well!

    JP

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