Monday, April 13, 2009

Julian Bakery's Smart Carb #1 Bread Review

I'm on the prowl for a low carb bread that tastes good, is filling, and doesn't spike my blood sugar. Apparently I'm asking for the moon! No matter, I'm still on the hunt and I might have found the bread for me. I still have another one to try (and no, I won't yet say which one) but so far Julian Bakery's Smart Carb #1 is definitely number one.

My Type 2 diabetic sister and I ordered five loaves with two being sent to her address and three to mine. My three loaves of bread arrived Friday, one loaf of Smart Carb #1 and two loaves of Cinnamon Almond Raisin bread. I was so excited when I got home from work and found the box I ripped right into it! The loaves were beautiful, baked and sliced to perfection, and on the heavy, dense side but I like that in bread. And though they'd been in transit three days, they still smelled bread!

I wanted to try a slice, toasted, right then but the man person wanted to go out to eat since he was wasting away. I didn't want to shoot insulin as it would interfere with the bread test so I had a theoretically low carb dinner of baked fish, broccoli, Italian salad with no dressing, and spinach. Interestingly, the BG was a little too high two hours later so, I waited until it was at 130, still high but not horrendously so, and began my ritual for testing the bread - wash the hands, open the package, take out one slice of bread and close the package, feel the weight of the bread, smell the bread, etc. Then I put the bread in the toaster and waited. Not patiently, I might add! Oh no, I was salivating as I bounced from foot to foot in front of the toaster.

Keep in mind that other than Ezekiel Whole Grain Flourless every bread I've tried over the last nine years has caused a major spike for me (and Ezekiel bread spikes me now) and one slice means a pretty hefty injection of fast acting insulin 45 minutes before eating it or a very high blood sugar level. As much as I enjoy bread, I'm trying to keep the insulin use to a minimum while keeping the blood sugar under control so bread is something I simply don't eat. The possibility of bread that doesn't spike me is momentous, people, simply gargantuan! I'd love to have the occasional piece of toast or sandwich and the issue of boredom with eating to my meter can be substantially reduced with a bread that doesn't cause spikes.

The bread popped out of the toaster after what seemed like hours. It didn't have the lovely golden appearance toasted bread gets so I put it down in the toaster again and resumed my antsy salivation and bouncing routine.

Finally, the bread popped out again. It still didn't have that golden appearance toast gets. I imagine that's partially because of the lack of sugar in the product but it could also have been that I simply didn't toast it long enough. Regardless, the bread was hot and felt toasted, even if it didn't look it. I spread 1 teaspoon of the Smart Balance spread on the toast and stood there, savoring the appearance of the bread on my plate. Real bread! And I was about to eat it!

Julian Bakery's Smart Carb #1 Bread
I waited until the spread had melted a little and took my first bite. Oh my! The bread had a slight crunch to it and the dense texture was welcome to my mouth. The taste was very good, slightly nutty and not at all sweet, but not salty, either. It reminded me of Ezekiel bread but was much better and, as I'd suspected, with twelve grams of protein and twelve grams of fiber it was very filling. By the time I had eaten the entire slice I was very satisfied.

I thoroughly enjoyed the bread but more than that, I enjoyed the effect on my blood sugar. At one hour, my blood sugar was 12 points higher than before eating the bread and at two hours the blood sugar was only six points higher. Even better, at three hours, the BG was four points lower than before I ate the bread. Amazing! Unless you've been deprived of a food you enjoy and find a substitute that satisfies you, you probably don't understand the enormity of this. My life is about to change....french toast is in my near future!

I put a few slices in the freezer and will leave them for a week to see how they stand up to that. Since I don't need or want to eat the entire loaf quickly and the bread is made with organically grown ingredients and isn't loaded with preservatives I need a way to keep it around longer. We'll see how freezing works.

Will I buy this bread again? More than likely. It looks great, smells fantastic, tastes marvelous, isn't loaded with ingredients I can't pronounce, and doesn't spike me. The only drawback to this wonderful product is the price - at $7.99 per loaf (plus shipping) it's not what I'd call "reasonable" but if paying that will allow me to have a slice of toast or the occasional sandwich without damaging my body it's definitely worth the money. And Julian Bakery offers discounts on multiple loaves which is a plus if the bread freezes well.

If you're low carbing or if you're diabetic, do give this bread a try. I don't think you'll be sorry you did.

And here's what I did with Julian Bakery's Cinnamon Almond Raisin bread, which appears to no longer be available.


Sweeter said...

Thanks for the review. That bread certainly sounds fabulous! You have really tempted me. I'm glad you were able to find a bread that you can eat.

Laurie said...

Mmmm, you know, reading this post, I wanted a slice of toasted bread. No, I don't have diabetes, and I can eat all the bread I desire.

It made me truly understand what it must be like not being able to have a slice a bread when you want one.

I really, really hope that it freezes well for you. Yes, $7.99 per loaf is quite expensive, but I'm sure it's well worth it for you.


CookinsForMe said...

Laurie, its really tough at times! Now imagine the bread issue applied to corn & potatoes & rice in all their forms, sugar, many sugar substitutes, most flours, almost all beans, almost all grains, and most preservatives & additives and you have a little idea of what its like to eat as I do. Ehhh, it sucks at times! ;)

Enjoy your bread!

CookinsForMe said...

Sweeter, I don't know that I can afford the bread regularly but I'll certainly try! It's nice to be able to have a slice of toast. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie said...

I'm starting to understand. It must be so hard. I can't imagine going out to eat, I would think it must be near impossible.

Julian Bakery said...

Special promotion for all first time customers make sure you use Promo Code 1776 for $5.00 off your first order or you can buy 6 or more loaves for a flat $5.00 shipping rate (No Promo Code) Enjoy and thank you for the wonderful review!!!

Doug Varrieur said...

Hi there, my name is Doug Varrieur, I'm the author of the FAT TO SKINNY weight loss series and a very vocal activist against sugar and foods that metabolize into sugar. Like you I'm always on the lookout for new products to recommend to my readers and followers. As a former diabetic, yes I said former,(I've cured my own type 2) bread is always in my radar. I’ve received two loaves from Julian’s to test. The bread is very good but of course it’s bread  I’ve carefully read the ingredients and I find it very hard to believe the final net carb counts. I wrote to Julian’s and asked for documentation of their findings to review prior to recommending the product to me readers. This is what I received back;
“Doug, Our nutritional label was carefully calculated by working with a lab and nutritionist that calculated the nutritional information of each ingredient based on the amounts we used plus the additional benefit of each grain being sprouted which aids in increased fiber and digestion of our bread.
We also recommend you take a look at how our bread reacts with a Type 2 Diabetic Customer who did not see an increase in her blood sugar when eating our bread which would not be possible if our bread was not 1 Net Carb. Please go here: We also ask that you read our testimonials from people all over the country who write to us daily here:
We have over 30,000 online customers who have integrated our bread into there low carb lifestyle.
Thank You,”
This is not what I was looking for from Julian’s and on its face is not enough to warrant a recommendation without further scientific documentation of the non effective fiber. I will request the info again in hopes they will release it.
In the meantime my question to you is pretty simple. Based on your first post date it’s been almost a year since you started eating the breads. Can you tell me how your current sugar levels are being affected and if you still feel strongly that this product is not affecting your glucose levels.
Thanks, I’m looking forward to your response. If you prefer to respond outside of your blog I can be reached at Happy Easter!

ashok said...

I am a Type 2 diabetic also and tried the Julian Bakery Bread which is available in Thousand Oaks, CA. Initially I thought that the spike in my blood sugar would be very slight because of 1 net gram of Carb. But after two hours of eating, blood glucose level had gone up by 15 points and the fasting blood glucose level was high also as I experience Dawn phenomenon. I have switched to eating the bread at breakfast time as the blood sugar spike has more time to subside. At present I am not convinced about one net gram of carb theory as the spiking in blood sugar level is significant?

Anonymous said...

happy to hear that the bread worked for some of you. unfortunately, it did not work for my type 1 daughter at all. she wears a cgm and we could literally watch her numbers shooting up and it took us hours (no kidding) to get her back into a normal range. we tried several times with the same result so the whole shipment ended up in the garbage bin. no small loss given that we live in europe.

Anonymous said...

I'm a type 2 and really have problems with any kind of bread intake. My sugars literally "zoom" when I eat bread. So, when I first heard of Carb 1 I was excited. Went to the local health store and bought the last loaf they had on hand. I took it home, opened it up and popped a slice into the toaster. Slathered it with butter and chowed down on it. Very tasty, dense, and somewhat crumbly. My sugars were a 125 when I first bit in and an hour later they were at 170 and 2 hours later, 175. I tried eating another slice the next day and saw the same results, a 50-60 mg/dl spike ... shoot!!

I'm like the one poster who says he finds it hard to believe that there's only net carb gram in a slice of this bread. For ONE carb to send my blood sugar flying just doesn't happen. Sorry, don't i don't buy it ... nor will i buy the bread again.

Julian Bakery said...

Obviously many diabetics can eat our bread such as the person who wrote this blog who is a Type 2 Diabetic but other diabetics cannot. We have found some diabetics that are more resistant to fiber which offsets the carbs in our bread. We also stress to people to eat 1 slice with water and test before and two hours after to ensure nothing else interferes with the test. We do sell our Smart Carb bread to 10,000+ diabetics who eat it every day without any problems. - Thank You - Julian Bakery!

Anonymous said...

We desperately need a bread like this...just not this bread. I ordered 4 loaves based on all the glowing commentary and just found the stuff...inedible. Terrible smell/taste, nothing AT ALL like bread (I know it's a daunting challenge, but man...)

Julian Bakery said...

I can say our bread definitely is amazing as is the best tasting bread on the market with over 30,000 customers nationwide we are the # 1 best low carb high protein bread on the market. For more information on our bread goto

CharlesArchAZ said...

I recently tried your Smart Carb #1 bread, and I am very impressed with the FIBER content, quality, and texture. In short, it tastes great!
Because I am a Type 2 Diabetic, finding your Smart Carb bread is of even greater importance to me – because it actually seems to help lower my blood sugar!

I have been a Type 2 Diabetic for 15 years, and it has been difficult (until now) to find bread (or other foods) that I can eat which contained as much FIBER (good Carbohydrates) in them.
Any “regular” bread (English Muffin, etc.) sends my blood sugar soaring up to 140-160 or higher, soon after breakfast.
This is because those “other” breads are loaded with sugar, sweeteners, corn syrup, and such carbohydrates – yet only have 1 or 2 grams of FIBER. Your bread has none of this.

I experienced the effect of 12 grams of FIBER (in your Smart Carb #1 Bread) on my blood sugar after eating one delicious slice of it at breakfast one day.
Before breakfast, I had tested my blood sugar. It was 124. About two hours after breakfast, I tested my blood sugar again. It was 109! It had actually gone DOWN from 124 to 109.

This had rarely happened before. It most often goes UP after breakfast – as high as 140, 160 or higher.
I attribute (part) of this amazing result to the addition of the 12 grams of FIBER (a good carbohydrate) in one slice of your “Smart Carb #1 Bread” – to what I had for breakfast.
The 12 grams of FIBER in your bread are much higher than the fiber content in “other” breads – which typically have only 1 or 2 grams of FIBER (plus sugars and starches; the “other” two carbohydrates).

However, please note that my blood sugar reduction (noted above) does NOT happen every day. Further, it is NOT solely one slice of Smart Carb Bread that is responsible for reducing my blood sugar.
As any doctor will tell you, it is the combination of things that you eat and do that will help lower your blood sugar – and keep it at a low level.
This includes minding what you eat, and doing regular exercise to boost your metabolism.

That said, the 12 grams of FIBER in Smart Carb #1 Bread is a BIG HELP.

Breakfast for anyone is usually a great meal, and very tasty for most people.
My typical breakfast includes scrambled eggbeaters, with a slice of fat-free Borden’s American cheese mixed in (to make them creamy).

I include some pan-grilled (heated) sliced turkey or chicken breast (for protein), along with variable combinations of tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, black beans, etc.
While these menu items vary for breakfast and other meals – I never eat potatoes, rice, or beef, processed food, or any food with sugars, starch, corn syrup, or excessive salt; and very little saturated fat.

Most Heart and Health specialists believe that FIBER goes a long way toward controlling blood sugar. In fact the AHA recommends 25-35 grams a day.
So Smart Carb #1 Bread was perhaps, literally, a “life saver” for me – because now I can enjoy (Smart Carb #1) bread with my food choices, without worrying about the effect on my blood sugar.

Thank you, Julian Bakery, for having the insight to develop and market this bread.
It costs a bit more than “regular” breads, but I feel my health is worth a lot more than the cost.
Besides, eating bread is a taste I have been missing for so many years – and now I can look forward to eating it every day.


Charles Archer
Chandler, AZ.

Anonymous said...

Honestly you won't find a bread that is high in fiber and protein like this one. It has provides a ton of nutritional value. As a non diabetic this bread is worth the price. The bread tastes good for as much fiber and protein it has in it. I much rather have a piece of it than drink a protein shake or eat a fiber bar.

AnitaFoster said...

As a Type 2 diabetic with a 5.8 a1c, I was really hopeful that I would be able to put a piece of bread back into my diet. I was really excited to find this bread. Even drove 40 miles round trip to purchase a loaf. Before eating at 4pm, my blood glucose was 110. Here's how it went from there:

Holy cow. I haven't spiked this high in two years! Sure wish I would have eaten chocolate cake instead!

If I weren't diabetic, I would definitely eat this bread. It had a great flavor. But I am diabetic and I find no way on earth that a slice can only have 1 net carb. I figured that it might have had a little more, but I didn't hesitate to eat two slices thinking at most they would have 4-6 net carbs. To spike from 110 to 192 in two hours says to me, a person who tests their glucose every single day all day long, that the research on this product can't possibly be correct. Diabetics know more about food and how it processes than anyone on the planet, so we know when something doesn't appear to be labeled right. Julian's Bakery may say that many diabetics eat this bread every day and I'm sure that's true. They can tolerate higher net carbs. It doesn't mean the net carb count on this bread is correct.

I really, really wanted this to work so it's very disappointing. Back to my breadless world and normal blood sugar levels in the next few days!

Matt Besley said...

I am a diabetic and I eat Smart Carb # 1 bread daily. Recently I wrote into the Julian Bakery my great results which they posted on this blog article:

I am definitely hooked keep up the good work Julian Bakery!!

Bakery online shop said...

Its always a pleasure to see a new post on your blog...Happy Spring!!

Anonymous said...

Heres the deal, if your blood spikes as a result of using this bread than one shouldnt buy it. It appears that some peoples bodys convert some ingredient into sugar and many don't. I think it wise to test with a loaf first and check your BG after as some have done on this blog. I was reading one ladys post where she using another product ( not julians bread) that had 1 net carb and her BG spiked. She checked the ingredients one by one and found whey to be the culprit. It just happened that her liver converted the whey into sugars. Needles to say ithat product wouldnt work for her. Your individual results may vary. Keep that in mind.

Doug Varrieur said...

Julians, you should be ashamed of yourselves making a statement like this one "Obviously many diabetics can eat our bread such as the person who wrote this blog who is a Type 2 Diabetic but other diabetics cannot." It's the most ridiculous statement I've ever read. You have a responsibility to the public to be honest with your claims, you're putting people's health in jeopardy for your own profits! If you had a diabetic child I wonder if you'd feed your cow food to them? Of course you would'nt....grains are grains...Diabetics beware, if you eat this stuff you're eating bread that will spike your blood sugar. If it walks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a's a duck!

CookinsForMe said...

Doug Varrieur, I'll say again what I've said for years, including on this blog. Every body is different. Some people with Diabetes might be able to eat Julian's products without much of a spike and others might not be able to. I don't think it's fair of you or anyone else to make sweeping judgements about these products or any others. I have diabetic friends who can't eat watermelon without a huge spike but I can. I also have friends who can eat potatoes without a substantial spike but they're something I must limit.

Yes, grains are grains and grains are something I eat in very strict moderation but not all diabetics must do that.

Please remember that what works for one diabetic won't work for all diabetics.

TiresAreNotGoodToEat said...

The recipe of the this bread has been completely overhauled and it is now like eating wet cardboard. It almost feels as if it's undercooked - it's so waxy. Oh, and the taste is gone. There's nothing pleasant about it. I've been eating Smart Carb 1 for well over a year and now, I'm scared I will lose a dental crown trying to chew it.

CookinsForMe said...

I've read that the recipe changed. So be it. I don't eat the bread anymore.