The 10 Healthiest Store-Bought Breads Recommended By Dietitians
While the low-carb craze did its best to put bread out of business, this hearty, crusty, deliciously starchy food group is here to stay. While some bread on the grocery store shelves is highly processed and doesn't contain much more than high-glycemic, refined carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar, there are plenty of incredibly nutritious, healthy bread brands available, and we're here to share the very healthiest breads with you.
"Whole grain/multigrain, sprouted bread, and traditionally made sourdough (from a bakery or farmers market) are good choices compared to refined white bread," says Holli Ryan RD, LDN. Don't just go by the color of the bread, though, as some bread is marketed as wheat bread, but really just white bread disguised with caramel coloring. "Make sure that "whole grain" is listed as the first or second ingredient on the label," urges Ryan.
Keep reading to learn which healthy bread dietitians eat and recommend!
How we chose the best healthy bread brands.
Here are some of the key ingredients or nutrients dietitians look for in bread:
- Whole ingredients. Choose bread that has whole grains, nuts, and seeds that add plenty of fiber, healthy fats, and protein to the bread.
- Fiber. Not all bread on the list is high in fiber, but plenty have at least 3 grams per slice, making them a high-fiber food. The Dietary Guidelines recommend 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories eaten. Fiber from bread can help keep bowel movements regular, lower cholesterol, and slow down digestion to help keep you full and satisfied after eating.
- Protein. Bread that includes whole ingredients can provide more balance in your meals by contributing protein in addition to carbohydrates. Ingredients like seeds, nuts, flax, bran, and whole grains contribute filling protein to each slice of bread.
The 10 healthiest breads to buy:
Dave's Killer 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Bread
"Dave's Killer 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Bread has a blend of 21 grains and seeds, which adds 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to each slice. "This bread is a versatile kitchen staple – perfect for elevating your breakfast with creamy avocado toast, crafting a hearty and delicious sandwich, or transforming your mornings with a delectable French toast creation," says Tiffany Lankford, MS, RD, LD.
Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is made from barley, lentils, millet, soybeans, spelt, and wheat for a high protein and high fiber bread that's organic and vegan. "Sprouting increases the digestibility of the grains and makes nutrients more accessible," says Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD.
Bread Alone Whole Wheat Sourdough
While sourdough bread like Bread Alone Whole Wheat Sourdough may not be the highest in fiber or protein, you may be able to better absorb the nutrients in this bread than others. "The fermentation process used to make whole wheat sourdough bread helps reduce the number of phytates that bind to certain minerals and make them harder to absorb," says Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN owner of Malina Malkani Nutrition and author of Safe and Simple Food Allergy Prevention. "Consequently, whole wheat sourdough bread is gentler on the digestive system, contains more bioavailable nutrients, and takes longer to digest, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels after a meal," Malkani adds.
Arnold's 100% Whole Wheat Bread
"Each slice of Arnold's 100% Whole Wheat bread contains 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of plant-based protein, and 24 grams of whole grains, which supports digestion and heart health," says Catherine Karnatz, MPH, RD, dietitian and owner of Nutrition Education RD. This bread is hearty and readily available at most grocery stores.
Silver Hills Flax Omegamazing Bread
"Silver Hills Flax Omegamazing Bread contains whole and ground flax and chia seeds, which provide Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acids (ALAs)," says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT of One Pot Wellness. Each slice also contributes 5 grams of protein from ingredients like sprouted whole grains, flax seeds, chia seeds, and vital wheat gluten.
"Omega-3 fatty acids are known to impact brain, eye, and heart health, reduce inflammation, and provide numerous health benefits, while the high fiber content also helps with feelings of fullness, aids in digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar levels," adds Chun.
Equii Classic Wheat
Equii bread is incredibly high in protein, with 10 grams in each slice. "On a sandwich, I love that it gives me 20 grams before I even add my fillings," says Caroline Thomason, RD CDCES. While some high-protein breads are crumbly and dry in texture, this one looks and feels like a hearty sandwich bread.
Little Northern Bakehouse's Seed and Grains
While gluten-free doesn't automatically make something healthier, it's a must for anyone with celiac disease. "While not all gluten-free breads are created equal, Little Northern Bakehouse's Seed and Grains offers two grams of filling fiber per slice thanks to its seedy and crunchy blend, including chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds," says Gaby McPherson MS, RDN, LDN.
One Mighty Mill
One Mighty Mill is a unique bread that mills wheat into flour using a stone mill, just before baking the bread. "Unlike most commercially processed flour (and therefore bread), no nutrients are stripped during the milling process and the wheat retains all of the whole grain components, so nothing needs to be added back," explains Sheri Kasper, RDN, LDN from Fresh Communications. Each slice has 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, making it as satisfying as it is delicious.
Canyon Bakehouse's Ancient Grain bread
Canyon Bakehouse's Ancient Grain Bread is another healthy gluten-free option, as it's made of sorghum, millet, amaranth, and teff, instead of wheat. "The texture and taste is very similar to regular bread, and it's dairy, soy, and nut-free," says Megan Huff, RD, LD, an Atlanta-based dietitian. Each slice has just 70 calories and is a low-sodium option with only 95 milligrams.
Joseph's Pita Bread
"Joseph's pita bread contains healthy ingredients such as flax, oat bran, and whole wheat," says Amy Beney MS, RD, CDCES. Each pita has just 60 calories but 6 grams of filling protein and 2 grams of fiber. With just 9 grams of high-quality carbohydrates per slice, it's a great choice for people managing their carb intake as well.