While bread may have a bad reputation for causing weight gain, not all breads are bad for you. And to prove it, we’ve rounded up some of the best breads available online and did all the research about how to find healthy options for you. These include sandwich bread, English muffins, and more!
We found that the best healthy breads include only unprocessed, whole-food ingredients and fit into your diet or lifestyle–whether that be vegan or keto, there’s a bread for everyone. Keeping these things in mind, here are some of our favorite healthy breads, with Dave's Killer Bread taking first place. We've also prepared a buying guide at the end with the help of nutritionist Kara Swanson to help you pick your own bread!
Kara Swanson is a certified nutritionist and the founder of Life Well Lived. She is married to her best friend and the proud mother of three. Her passion is to make nutrition simple+easy+delicious!
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
One more thing to look out for is that enriched bread has still been processed to remove much of the original nutrients, though a fraction of them are added back in. This still isn't great for blood glucose levels, but it is marginally nutritionally better than regular white bread.
The most common healthy bread base is whole wheat, and other great alternatives and additions include sprouted wheat, oat flour, buckwheat, rice flour, and rye.
But no matter what the front of the package says, always be sure to read the ingredients list—you’ll often find that breads that claim to be “whole wheat” or “multi-grain” still contain mostly white flour.
Note, however, that white whole wheat and white bread are not the same thing. White whole wheat is, in fact, made from whole wheat, bran and all - just a different type of wheat from standard red wheat-based whole wheat loaves. It has a milder taste and softer texture, but it still contains the vitamins and minerals present in the original grain.
It can be really overwhelming when you go to the bread aisle because there are so many options to choose from. And labels can be tricky and misleading.
So what exactly should you look for? First, stay away from processed white breads. They have no nutritional value and do nothing for our health. Instead, find a bread that is full of whole grains and has few ingredients.
You need to be particularly discerning if you’re looking for a gluten-free or low-carb bread. Often, these types of breads require a little extra help to achieve that satisfyingly bready texture, which usually means extra stabilizers, binding ingredients, and gums.
Some additives to watch out for are potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, and partially hydrogenated oils that have been linked to cancer or heart disease. On the other hand, don’t shy away from breads that include a long list of seeds and different grains—that kind of complex ingredient list is very good for you.
Ingredients always matter and it's a good habit to read the ingredient list if you don't already. Look for a short list because, after all, bread should only be a handful of ingredients.
If you don't know what an ingredient is, it's probably not something you want to put in your body. Or you can also further educate yourself and look up an ingredient you're not sure about! Knowledge is powerful.
Besides plain old sandwich white bread, there are a plethora of different, healthy options of breads out in the market. We'll go over a few of the healthier options here, but note that types of breads are not limited to what we've listed.
Sprouted whole-grain breads are arguably one of the most healthy types of bread out there. They have an advantage over traditional whole-grain breads because the grain used has been allowed to sprout.
This process increases the nutrient profile of the grains, including increasing antioxidants, and even decreases the amount of carbohydrates in it. They're also high in fiber and protein, making them more filling than other breads.
Sprouted bread is a really great option not only because it has an increased nutritional value, but it's high in fiber too. Plus, you're able to absorb the nutrients from the bread better. Next time you're at the store keep an eye out for sprouted bread and grab one to try!
Whole wheat bread is a subset of whole-grain breads and is often a common sight in most supermarkets. These breads are made from the whole grain—bran and germ and all, so they contain all of the nutrients you would find in the original grain.
Since the bran, or the outer layer of the grain is full of fiber, naturally, the flour produced is also high in fiber. And like sprouted breads, whole-wheat is filling and nutritious, but be sure to double-check the ingredients list, since some bread are labeled whole-wheat despite being made mostly of refined flours.
Choosing a 100% whole-wheat bread is a great idea because it's loaded with fiber. And we know from research that high fiber foods aid in weight loss, keep you feeling fuller longer, and keep you regular. Small tweaks like buying a healthier bread can really add up big time when you're trying to lose weight and creating a healthy lifestyle.
Sourdough is known for its slightly acidic, sour taste, which is developed through the fermentation process the dough goes through. However, due to this, sourdough contains healthy probiotics that are beneficial for gut health.
Likewise, the fermentation process also helps decrease the amount of phytate acid in the bread, allowing you to more readily absorb healthy minerals contained within the bread. It also has a low Glycemic Index, so it won't spike blood sugar levels as much as other breads.
And though sourdough can be made of either white or whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat is the healthier, more nutrient-rich option.
Sourdough might actually be my favorite bread! It's so delicious and is actually really healthy too. What's great about sourdough is that it contains probiotics to aid in gut health and has a lower glycemic index so your blood sugar levels stay stable. Sourdough is great any way you eat it, but I love toasting it and making chickpea avocado toast with it.
100% rye breads are the way to go, as most rye breads can still be made of a combination of wheat and rye flour. But rye bread, in general, is considered more nutritious than traditional wheat flour-based options.
Rye contains a high amount of soluble fiber, which keeps you fuller and more satisfied for longer, slowing down your body's digestive process and releasing less insulin, so it has less of an impact on your blood sugar levels.
If you want to make your rye bread even more healthy, then you can also choose sprouted rye bread, since the sprouting process further increases the fiber content of the final product.
We traditionally stick to the same bread every week, but it's a good idea to branch out and try something new like rye bread. Rye is really nutritionally dense and is a great way to change and spice up your toasting game.
Try to aim for 3 grams and above per slice for both. Just make sure the fiber and protein come from natural, whole ingredients and not concentrate. Grains and seeds—especially flax- and sesame seeds—are solid options that contribute to both heart and muscle health.
Choose a bread that's high in fiber and nutrient-dense ingredients and you will stay fuller longer and spend less time in the pantry.
A great snack that is popular in our house is a piece of toast topped with peanut butter, chia seeds, and mashed raspberries. It's a yummy and filling snack that's full of fiber from the bread and chia seeds, healthy fats from the peanut butter, and antioxidants from the raspberries.
You can also choose a loaf without added sugar by checking the ingredients list for sugars, which typically end in "-ose," such as sucrose and glucose.
Breads didn't originally have sugar in them, but in the culture we live in now, it's almost always assumed that sugar (a cheap additive) is added to cause us to want more of it. So be careful to pay attention to how much sugar is in each slice of bread.
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Dave’s Killer Bread
Organic Good Seed Bread
Full of Tasty Seeds and a Protein and Fiber Boost
All Natural Spelt Bread
A Low-Gluten Wheat Alternative Spelt Bread
Low Carb 7 Grain Fiber Bread
Balances High Fiber and Low-Carbs
Gluten-Free, Artisan Baker 10 Grains & Seeds Bread
Gluten-Free and Packed With Flavor
Whole Grain Veggie Bread
Tomato and Basil for a Nutritional Twist
SoLo Carb Bread, Country White
A White Bread Option That's Low-Carb
San Francisco Boudin Bakery
A True San Franciscan Sourdough
Gluten-Free English Muffins
Make Gluten-Free Eggs Benedict
Low-Carb, All-Natural, Sprouted Veggie Bread
Best Bread for Weight Watchers
Organic Sunflower Seed Bread
A Complex Flavor and Dense Textured German Rye Bread
Looking for healthy fillings to go with your healthy bread? It's so easy to make substitutions or use low-fat options to make a healthier tuna salad or egg salad that still tastes great. Here's one avocado-based filling from The Cooking Foodie. Note that the video for the Avocado Egg Sandwich runs from 0:00 to 1:56.
Another yummy recipe I'm obssessed with is topping a toasted piece of whole-grain bread with dairy-free cream cheese, cucumber slices, and (lots of) dill! It's a simple and delicious snack that keeps me satisfied.
The healthiest thing to do is to eat in moderation, get regular exercise, and sleep well; but, in terms of eating, it can be difficult when there are so many temptations out there. However, even tempting, sugary and snack foods have healthier options, so you don't have to feel bad about eating them! Take a look at the links below for options to consider.
No. 1: Dave’s Killer Bread | Organic Good Seed Bread
No. 2: Virginia Gourmet | All Natural Spelt Bread | 2 count
No. 3: Sami’s Bakery | Low Carb 7 Grain Fiber Bread
No. 4: Schar | Gluten-Free, Artisan Baker 10 Grains & Seeds Bread | 3 count
No. 5: Daily Kneads | Whole Grain Veggie Bread | Tomato & Basil
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