The 9 Best and Worst Breads, According to Nutritionists (2023)

The 9 Best and Worst Breads, According to Nutritionists (1)

The best bread contains both protein and fiber to keep you full.

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Do you want to experience the worst decision fatigue of your life? Step onto the bread aisle of a grocery store and try to find the most nutritious bread (it's no small feat).


With seemingly endless shapes, flavors, and types, each promising their own health benefits, deciphering which bread to toss in your shopping cart can be exhausting. Read on to learn which breads are best and which ones to leave at the store.

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The best breads

To be clear: there is no need to be afraid of bread, he saysBonnie Taub-Dix, DRand author of ‌Read it before you eat it: from label to table.


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Although bread as "bad carbs' That's definitely not the case. But the type of bread you choose will determine how many vitamins and nutrients you get with each slice.

1. Wholemeal and Wholemeal Bread

If you're looking for nutritious bread, whole grain is the way to go. Whole wheat bread comes in a range of colors, flavors, and styles, and offers higher nutritional value than most other types of bread, says Taub-Dix.


Whole Grain vs Whole Grain

Whole grain and whole grain are often the same, says Taub-Dix. Whole grain refers to whole grains of an unspecified type, while whole wheat refers to whole grain cereals. However, for both types of bread, check the ingredient list to make sure you're getting 100 percent whole grains.

Unlike refined varieties, this bread contains the bran, endosperm, and germ of the seed of the grain. This is where all of the grain's vitamins and nutrients are stored, including B vitamins, magnesium, fiber, iron and proteinwhole grain council.

Compared to refined grains, these arenutritious carbohydrateshave been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseasewhole grain council. Whole grains can even help with weight maintenance and inflammation.


But the key to making a good whole wheat bread is to look closely at the ingredient list, says Taub-Dix. Sometimes bread packaging may list multigrain (more on this below), which is not the same as whole grain.

The amount of whole grain can also vary from bread to bread. If the ingredient list says "100 percent whole grain," then you can rest assured that you're not getting any refined grains in your breadHarvard Health Publishing. But labels that say "made from whole grain" don't necessarily mean you're getting only whole wheat flour.



Buy whole grain bread

  • Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Loaf ($3.39,
  • Arnold Vollkorn 12-Grain Brot ($4.24,
  • 365 von Whole Foods Market Bio-Altkornbrot (3,99 $,
  • Dam Good Whole Wheat English Muffins (19,50 $ für ein 3er-Pack,

2. Sprouted Bread

Wondering what bread does in the freezer? It's probably a loafsprouted bread. Because most sprouted breads are preservative-free, they are frozen for freshness.

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Most sprouted breads are made without flour and instead use sprouted grains that have been baked into bread, explains Taub-Dix. Usually, these breads contain a little more protein and less fat than other types of bread.


Sprouted grains may also have more available nutrients than mature grains, including folic acid, zinc, iron, vitamin C, and magnesiumHarvard Health Publishing. But if you're buying a loaf of sprouted bread, double-check that you're buying a bread that's 100 percent sprouted grains to avoid artificial preservatives or refined ingredients.

Sprouted bread to buy

  • Food For Life Flourless Sprouted Grain Bread ($5.99,
  • Alvarado St. Bakery, Sprouted Multigrain Bread ($7.99,
  • Dave's Killer Bread Organic Sprouted Thinly Sliced ​​Bread ($5.47,

The individual case

The nutritional value of these breads really depends on the particular variety you buy. These options are usually made from refined flour, which means they don't have too many nutrients like fiber, iron, and B vitamins.


But that doesn't mean you have to be afraid of bread, says Taub-Dix. Enjoying a piece of white sourdough or pumpernickel every now and then is okay. Opt for more nutrient dense versions whenever possible, but don't banish the carbs you enjoy.

3. Enriched or Enriched Bread

If you or your family members don't like the taste of whole grain bread, fortified or fortified breads are a good alternative, says Taub-Dix.


Fortified or fortified breads can help you get the nutrients and vitamins of whole grains while avoiding the taste and texture of whole grains. However, these breads may not contain as much fiber and protein — two nutrients that keep you fuller longer — as whole wheat bread.


Fortified bread to buy

Dave's Killer Bread Organic White Bread Done Right ($5.98,

4. Multigrain bread

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Don't let the similar names fool you: Multigrain bread and wholegrain bread are not just bread. multigrain breadmay‌ May be whole grain, but that's not necessarily the case, says Taub-Dix. Multigrain simply means the bread is made from multiple grains - but these can be refined and stripped of nutrients.

"Multi means many; it doesn't necessarily mean whole grain," explains Taub-Dix. "Although multigrain products sound attractive, make sure the first ingredient is whole grains."

Multigrain breads may not contain as much fiber or nutrients as whole grains, says Taub-Dix. Given that fiber plays a role in keeping your blood sugar levels steady, you may not feel as full after a multigrain sandwich made with refined grains as you would after a whole grain version.

Buy multigrain bread

  • Brownberry Whole Wheat Multigrain Bread ($5.69,
  • Dave's Killer Bread Organic 21 Whole Grains and Seeds ($19.95 per 2-pack,

5. Roggenbrot

Rye bread is primarily made with refined flour from the rye grain, says Taub-Dix. Although you can find whole grain versions of rye bread, it depends on the ingredient list of your loaf of bread.

Although darker breads like rye and pumpernickel (more on that below) may seem more nutritious than lighter-colored varieties, that's not always the case, says Taub-Dix. It depends on what is written on the packaging.

"Don't assume that the darker the color, the better the bread," she says. “Some breads are colored with molasses or dyes. A lot of people say, 'Oh, I'll buy some brown bread,' but that doesn't necessarily mean anything."

Again, look for "whole grain" on the ingredients list.

Buy rye bread

  • Dave's Killer Bread Organic Righteous Rye Bread ($14.99,

6. Pumpernickelbrot

Pumpernickel bread, like rye bread, is often made from rye flour, which can be refined, whole, or a mixture of both. Pumpernickel bread is often heavier and sweeter than most breads, so you might want to double-checksugar contentof the bread you choose, Taub-Dix suggests.


"Sugar is also the master of disguise," she says. "It doesn't have to be spelled 'sugar' — it could be in the form of molasses, cane juice, and high fructose corn syrup. Sometimes there can be more than one source of sugar in your bread without realizing it.”

One good thing to keep in mind is that one packet of sugar contains about 4 grams of sugar, says Taub-Dix. And in general, you should stay under 24 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of sugar each day.

Buy pumpernickel bread

  • Mestemacher Natural High Fiber Brot (14,39 $ pro 3er-Pack,
  • Easy Kneads Gluten Free Pumpernickel ($6.65,whole food)

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7. Sourdough Bread

What exactlymakes sourdough, well, sour? It is the fermentation of flour and lactic acid bacteria in the flour.

Unlike many other types of bread, sourdough requires a starter, which is a combination of flour and water that has been fermented over several days. But despite the sour taste, sourdough bread isn't all that different from other types of bread, says Taub-Dix.

Usually made from rye flour, sourdough is generally made from white flour unless you buy a specific whole grain version or make your own.

Buy sourdough bread

Bread Alone Organic Whole Wheat Sourdough ($6.99,

The least nutritious breads

While these breads are often the least nutritious on their own, they can still form part of a balanced diet. Many specialty breads are also part of different cultural cuisines, which means they shouldn't be neglected just because they may not be as nutritious as other varieties.

Bottom Line: Enjoy these breads in the company of a more nutrient-dense eating plan.

8. White bread

When it comes to nutrition, white bread is not very important. Unless you're specifically buying whole-wheat white bread (which exists, says Taub-Dix), it's safe to assume that sliced ​​white bread is low in whole grains and therefore nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein ​​and fiber.

As mentioned above, it's okay to enjoy whatever bread you like best. However, as often as possible, try pairing a white bread sandwich with more nutrient-dense foods like fibrous vegetables and lean protein.

9. Bread specialties: ciabatta, pita, focaccia and brioche

Most specialty breads such as ciabatta, flatbread, focaccia, and brioche are made with refined white flour. Often these breads are also made with higher-fat ingredients like butter or eggs, says Taub-Dix.

Also, never assume a bread specialty is gluten-free, she advises. As with any bread, you should look for aGluten free labelon the packaging for gluten intolerance or gluten intolerance.




What bread do nutritionists recommend? ›

The Bottom Line. In general, you want to look for whole-grain bread that has some fiber, protein and not too much sodium or added sugar per slice. Sprouted grain bread hits all those marks and has a hearty texture that I think is delicious when toasted.

What's the most unhealthy bread? ›

We know uber-processed white bread is never healthy, but Bimbo, Soft White Bread is a terrible choice, says Young. "This bread is relatively high in sodium and higher in calories than a single slice of most breads. It also contains almost a tsp of sugar. This would be the worst choice."

What is the most gut friendly bread? ›

Sourdough. Sourdough is easier on the stomach than other kinds of bread due to its prebiotics, making it easier to digest. Additionally, sourdough contains probiotics that are created during its fermentation process: Yes, there's a science to sourdough starter.

What is the best bread to boost metabolism? ›

Like with all breads, a multigrain bread made with whole grains is better for weight loss than one made with white refined flour, but either multigrain bread or white bread can be a part of a weight loss diet plan when they're combined with other healthy foods and exercise.

What bread should I eat everyday? ›

Whole-grain bread, Ezekiel bread, and rye bread are among the most healthful options. Bread made from whole or sprouted grains contains essential nutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Others, such as processed white bread, contain very few nutrients.

What is healthier than eating bread? ›

Cooked sweet potato slices make an excellent and tasty substitute for bread buns, especially with burgers. They may also be used in a variety of recipes for grain-free breads and flatbreads. Other vegetables, like eggplants, bell peppers, cucumbers and mushrooms, also make great bread substitutes.

What is the best bread for inflammation? ›

The Arthritis Foundation lists rye bread and millet as two varieties that work well for anti-inflammatory diets. Rye bread is anti-inflammatory because it is high in fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Millet is also nutrient rich and full of fiber (plus, it's naturally gluten-free).

What breads to avoid? ›

Other types of breads to avoid are those that list sweeteners — such as sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, or molasses — among the first ingredients. Lastly, avoid breads that contain raisins or other dried fruit, as these are higher in carbohydrates.

What bread should you not eat? ›

The highly processed flour and additives in white, packaged bread can make it unhealthful. Consuming too much white bread can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

What bread has the most probiotics? ›

The Hidden Benefits of Sourdough Bread

Similar to other fermented foods such as sauerkraut , kefir and pickles, sourdough bread is fermented by using lactobacillus cultures, which are gut-healthy probiotics .

What bread is gentle on the stomach? ›

"Whole wheat sourdough is great for those with sensitive stomachs thanks to the slow fermentation process and naturally occurring good bacteria that partially breaks down GI irritants such as phytic acid, wheat, and gluten," says Greene. Sourdough is made with the help of yeast and beneficial bacteria.

Which cheese is best for gut health? ›

Why it's good for you: Cheese lovers, rejoice: cottage cheese is a great pick for your gut. As with other fermented foods, cottage cheese often delivers probiotics (check the package labels for live and active cultures), and it's high in calcium, which is important for strong bones.

What foods speed up your metabolism the most? ›

  1. Fish & Shellfish. Metabolism-Boosting Powers: Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein. ...
  2. Legumes (Also known as beans) ...
  3. Chili Peppers. ...
  4. Lean Meats. ...
  5. Low-Fat Milk. ...
  6. Broccoli. ...
  7. Lentils. ...
  8. Oatmeal.

What can I use instead of bread for sandwiches? ›

Here are some bread substitutes to try
  • Corn, reduced-carb or whole-grain tortillas.
  • Cheese wraps or cheese slices.
  • Coconut wraps.
  • Cauliflower bread.
  • Cucumber slices.
  • Sweet potato slices.
  • Bell pepper slices.
  • Portobello mushrooms.
Jun 29, 2022

How many slices of bread a day is healthy? ›

An average person can consume up to 8 slices of white bread per day. Make sure though to balance that consumption with other carbohydrates sources. For example, you may replace 3 slices of bread with 1 large potato or have 1 medium potato and 1 slice of bread.

Is peanut butter good for you to eat? ›

Peanut butter is loaded with so many good, health-promoting nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, iron, selenium and vitamin B6. Research shows that people who regularly eat nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, are less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

What country eats the most bread? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Turkey has the largest per capita consumption of bread in the world as of 2000, with 199.6 kg (440 lb) per person; Turkey is followed in bread consumption by Serbia and Montenegro with 135 kg (297 lb 9.9 oz), and Bulgaria with 133.1 kg (293 lb 6.9 oz).

What is America's favorite bread? ›

There is no food more American than the classic cornbread. The soft, but firm baked bread made with cornmeal is easily the most important memorabilia of the American past, which is especially associated with the American South.

Are tortillas healthier than bread? ›

A one-ounce slice of bread typically contains 75 to 100 calories. Corn tortillas, the traditional choice for tacos and enchiladas, generally have 60 to 65 calories in each small six-inch piece. Flour tortillas are slightly higher in calories because they contain added fat to make them softer and easier to roll.

What can I eat instead of sandwiches? ›

Healthy lunch ideas for work that aren't sandwiches
  • Butternut squash, apple and wild rice soup. This soup is comfort in a bowl. ...
  • Oven roasted falafel. ...
  • Bistro chicken pasta salad. ...
  • Three grain salad with goat cheese. ...
  • Artichoke and spinach rotini salad with tuna. ...
  • Lunchbox granola bar.

What bread is good for arthritis? ›

Instead of white bread, choose whole grains

Research shows that fiber-rich foods, such as whole grain breads, cereals, and rice, can lower serum levels of C-reactive protein, decreasing inflammation.

What bread causes the least inflammation? ›

Whole grains:Oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and other unrefined grains tend to be high in fiber, and fiber also may help with inflammation.

What is the fastest way to get rid of inflammation in the body? ›

Follow these six tips for reducing inflammation in your body:
  1. Load up on anti-inflammatory foods. ...
  2. Cut back or eliminate inflammatory foods. ...
  3. Control blood sugar. ...
  4. 4. Make time to exercise. ...
  5. Lose weight. ...
  6. Manage stress.
Jan 15, 2020

Which bread raises blood sugar the least? ›

Sprouted grain bread wins the contest because it's high in fiber and protein, which means it won't have as much of an impact on your blood sugar levels. The key indicator is your glycemic response.

What animal should not eat bread? ›

Bread products contain very little nutritional value for wildlife. In fact, they can be full of sugars, sodium and carbohydrates. Sadly, these ingredients can be deadly to birds, squirrels, fish and many other animals that are not equipped to digest this unnatural diet.

What happens when you stop eating bread? ›

Well, aside from looking better and feeling great, there's another benefit to going without bread. Cutting out these carbs helps naturally lower blood sugar levels. This means less insulin production, which leads to fewer cravings for sweets and junk food later.

Why is it good to not eat bread? ›

Researchers found that eating two slices of white bread (120 grams) per day increased obesity risk by 40%. By decreasing carbohydrate consumption such as bread, the body burns stored energy as glycogen (which is the image of stored carbohydrates in the liver and muscles), which leads to water loss and weight loss.

Which Dave's Killer bread is healthiest? ›

The only Dave's product that meets our high formulation standards is Dave's Powerseed Bread (both regular and Thin-Sliced) because it's free of processed sugar and is instead sweetened with a small amount of organic fruit juices. This is the healthiest bread we've reviewed on Illuminate Health.

What is the most healthy fruit? ›

Lemons came out top of the list, followed by strawberry, orange, lime, and pink and red grapefruit. In this article, we look at the nutrition and the many and varied health benefits of these and other fruits you can find in the supermarket.

Is Ezekiel bread good for you? ›

Ezekiel bread is about as nutrient-dense as a bread gets. It's a type of sprouted bread, made from a variety of whole grains and legumes that have started germinating (sprouting). Compared to white bread, which is made of refined wheat flour, Ezekiel bread is much richer in nutrients and fiber.

Is sourdough the healthiest bread? ›

Scientists, nutritionists, and health experts all agree that naturally-fermented sourdough bread is healthier than 'regular' white or whole wheat bread – for a multitude of reasons! Sourdough is more nutritious, easier to digest, and has a lower glycemic index. Sourdough also contains less gluten than other bread.

What sliced bread will boost your gut health? ›

Good ol' sourdough. Wirtz explained that some research suggests that sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic to feed the gut bacteria. Because it undergoes a fermentation process, eating sourdough bread allows better digestion, promotes higher nutritional uptake of minerals and vitamins, and improves gut health.

What vegetable has the most probiotics? ›

Broccoli and other vegetables in the cruciferous family are in the list of probiotic food in India as they are rich in fibre. So it is recommended that you include cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, Kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage regularly to your diet.

What bread causes the least gas? ›

If the only FODMAP that seems to be an issue if wheat, sourdough bread may be a good option to switching to. Although this is a bread that still contain wheat is has a much lower fructan/FODMAP content and often causes less bloating after people eat it.

What fruit has the most probiotics? ›

What fruits are high in probiotics?
  1. Bananas. Bananas are a popular yellow fruit that is easily available in the market. ...
  2. Custard Apples. Custard apples are rich in antioxidants and are extremely beneficial for heart and brain health. ...
  3. Watermelon. ...
  4. Grapefruit. ...
  5. Almonds.
Oct 7, 2022

Which cheese is superfood? ›

Probiotics found in Swiss cheeses - such as Emmental and Gruyère – could help reduce inflammation and subsequently boost immunity.

Why do nutritionists recommend whole wheat instead of white bread? ›

Whole-wheat still a winner, many experts say

“With the processing (of white), whole-wheat is the better choice because of the fiber, vitamins such as folic acid, B6 and E, and minerals including chromium, magnesium and zinc.”

Why do nutritionists recommend eating whole grain bread? ›

Whole grains provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Whole-grain foods help control of cholesterol levels, weight and blood pressure. These foods also help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.

What bread does Dr Mcdougall recommend? ›

If you are still struggling to follow my recommendations, for now take a pledge to do nothing more than eat more starch. Buy a loaf of whole wheat bread (with no added fat, milk, or eggs in the ingredients) every day and eat it all.

Is Sourdough the healthiest bread? ›

Scientists, nutritionists, and health experts all agree that naturally-fermented sourdough bread is healthier than 'regular' white or whole wheat bread – for a multitude of reasons! Sourdough is more nutritious, easier to digest, and has a lower glycemic index. Sourdough also contains less gluten than other bread.

What is the healthiest bread to eat for weight loss? ›

Whole grain bread is the healthiest pick for weight. It provides you with the nutrition of several whole grains like oats, barley, corn and others. Whole grain means whole kernel -the bran, germ and endosperm, which makes them highly nutritious.

What bread is healthier than whole wheat? ›

Sprouted grain bread has a higher concentration of nutrients like iron than whole wheat bread. Whole grain sourdough bread is also a great choice because of its relatively low glycemic index.

What is the healthiest grain to eat? ›

Here are the 11 healthiest grains to eat, according to nutrition expert Malena Perdomo, MS, RDN, CDE.
  • 01 of 11. Barley. ...
  • 02 of 11. Quinoa. ...
  • 03 of 11. Amaranth. ...
  • 04 of 11. Buckwheat. ...
  • 05 of 11. Teff. ...
  • 06 of 11. Oats. ...
  • 07 of 11. Farro. ...
  • 08 of 11. Bulgur Wheat.
Feb 6, 2023

What to eat instead of bread? ›

Here are some bread substitutes to try
  • Corn, reduced-carb or whole-grain tortillas.
  • Cheese wraps or cheese slices.
  • Coconut wraps.
  • Cauliflower bread.
  • Cucumber slices.
  • Sweet potato slices.
  • Bell pepper slices.
  • Portobello mushrooms.
Jun 29, 2022

What is the healthiest brand name bread? ›

The 10 Healthiest Sliced Bread Brands
  • Ezekiel. Ezekiel's 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread has been one of Nutritious Life founder Keri Glassman's favorites for ages. ...
  • Dave's Killer Bread. ...
  • Bread Alone. ...
  • Rudi's. ...
  • Alvarado Street Bakery. ...
  • ROYO Bread. ...
  • Manna Organics. ...
  • Simple Kneads.

What foods to avoid Dr McDougall? ›

The McDougall Program Basics

The exclusion of animal foods, including red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish – all of which provide toxic levels of fat, cholesterol, protein and, very often, infectious agents and harmful chemicals.

Are avocados allowed on McDougall diet? ›

McDougall believes the Starch Solution is a long-term answer to sustainable weight loss and improved health outcomes. However, the Starch Solution eliminates all animal products, vegetable oils, simple sugars, and processed foods. It also limits dietary fats like those from nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Is it OK to eat sourdough bread everyday? ›

It's nutritious.

Sourdough contains a variety of vitamins and nutrients, making it super beneficial to your day-to-day health.

Which is healthier ciabatta or sourdough? ›

Sourdough bread is healthier than traditional ciabatta bread. Ciabatta bread is a popular type of Italian bread, and therefore, is less nutritious than sourdough bread due to the leavening agent used. However, if you are searching for a healthier ciabatta bread, you can choose one made with sourdough or whole grains.

Which is better rye or sourdough? ›

As long as they're made with whole grains and have limited or no added sugar, both rye bread and sourdough bread are healthy bread options. Sourdough bread may be even healthier than regular bread because the fermentation makes certain vitamins and minerals easier for our bodies to absorb.


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