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7 Healthiest White Breads on Grocery Shelves—and 5 to Avoid

Dietitians scoured the shelves to bring you the best and worst white breads to help you craft the healthiest sandwich.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino
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In the bread aisle, white bread is still one of the most popular loaves in the U.S., even amidst the rise of whole-grain alternatives. It's a staple for quick and easy sandwiches, the perfect base for French toast, and the star of bread pudding. And with the average American eating approximately 44 pounds of bread in a year—yes, you read that right—it's important to consider what exactly we're fueling our bodies with, even in something as seemingly simple as a slice of bread.

While bread has almost always faced some dietary scrutiny, whether due to low-carb or grain-free diets like Keto and Paleo, it's worth noting that bread can pack a nutritional punch. This fermented cereal product can be a great source of nutrients such as fiber and protein. And when brands use enriched flour, it offers essential nutrients like thiamin and folic acid, which both are essential for proper cell growth and development.

However, not all loaves are created equal. Many store-bought options are hiding a secret: they're loaded with added sugars and high sodium levels, which are especially prevalent in white bread varieties. Plus, many white breads tend to be low in fiber.

But fear not! We've scoured the shelves to bring you the best and worst white breads to spare you from scrutinizing label upon label at the grocery store. Simply toast a slice and layer on your favorite nutritious toppings—think avocado or low-sugar nut butter—and kick-start your day the right way.

How we chose the best white breads:

Choosing healthier white bread is not necessarily an easy task as many brands are chock-full of unwanted ingredients such as added sugars and artificial ingredients. But with these quick tips, finding your favorite nutritionally-dense white bread can be a cinch.

We utilized the following guidelines when choosing what we consider the healthiest white breads on grocery store shelves:

  • Contains fiber: Because of the refining process typically used when white bread is made, many white breads are free from fiber. Fiber is a satiating nutrient, which gives bread some "staying power" in the body. Eating bread without fiber may result in you feeling hungry shortly after mealtime. Plus, you miss out on the gut health-supporting benefits of fiber when you eat low-fiber bread.
  • Little to No Added Sugar and Lower in Sodium: There's a startling connection between "low sodium" processed foods (this includes bread) that also contain high added sugars to "make up" for the inevitable change in taste. We've steered clear of options with excessive added sugars (capping at 1-2 grams per serving) and kept sodium levels in check.
  • Protein/Additional Nutrients: Many bread companies utilize "enriched" flour which adds essential nutrients such as thiamin, folate, and even iron to wheat flour. While we love to see this inclusion—even in the unhealthiest breads—we made sure that these nutrients were also accompanied by a decent amount of protein. Protein not only aids in satiety, making you feel fuller for longer, but it may also help with portion control.

Best Breads

Best: Dave's Killer Bread White Bread Done Right

daves killer bread white bread done right
Dave's Killer Bread
Nutrition (1 slice): 110 calories, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 180 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein

"Dave's Killer Bread White Bread Done Right is a great choice for anyone who loves white bread but wants to include some whole grains and fiber," says Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND, Owner of Soccer Mom Nutrition. "Made with five types of fiber and vitamin boosting whole grains: quinoa, spelt, rye, millet, and barley, White Bread Done Right is more flavorful than regular white bread." With 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, this is a great choice for most consumers, but Magill does warn that those with a sesame allergy should watch out as this bread does include sesame flour.

 10 Best Whole Grain Breads on Grocery Shelves, According to Dietitians

Best: Sola Sweet and Butter Bread

Sola: Sweet and Butter Bread
The Sola Company
Nutrition (1 slice): 40 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 140 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (7 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Sola is known for their "low carb" breads that are good for those who are trying to reduce their overall carbohydrate intake. With only one gram of net carbs (aka, what's left after subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols), and with 4 grams of protein per slice, the bread itself can leave you feeling satiated, unlike many other bread products. Additionally, this bread has 0 grams of added sugars, making it an ideal choice for people trying to limit this ingredient.

Best: Sara Lee Delightful White Made with Whole Grain

sara lee delightful white
Sara Lee
Nutrition (2 slices, 90 calories, 1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 200 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (6 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

"Sara Lee Delightful White Made with Whole Grain sandwich bread is a great option for those white bread lovers that want the classic light fluffy white bread texture but also want the benefits of whole grains," says Lindsay Gillon, RDN, CDN, CDCES, Owner of Lifestyle Nutrition WNY. "One serving of this bread offers an impressive 6 grams of fiber but weighs in at only 90 calories, 200 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 1 gram of added sugar. Oh, and did I mention that a serving is not just one, but TWO whole slices?"

 10 Best High-Fiber Breads, According to Dietitians

Best: Schmidt Old Tyme 647 White Bread

Schmidt: Old Tyme 647 White Bread
Schmidt Old Tyme
Nutrition (1 slice): 40 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 140 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (8 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

"I highly recommend Schmidt's Old Tyme 647 White Bread which has 8 grams of fiber per slice," says Michelle Rauch, MSc RDN, a registered dietitian. "Old Tyme 647 has other varieties such as wheat, multigrain, and Italian with a similar nutritional profile. Two slices meet over half your recommended daily amount of [fiber] (14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed or 25 to 30 grams per day as recommended per the USDA)." Additionally, this bread is friendly to those who are following a Keto diet, and for those following Weight Watchers, each slice only counts as 1 point on the app.

Best: Carbonaut White Bread

Carbonaut: White Bread
Nutrition (1 slice): 80 calories, 3 g fat (0 g sat fat), 140 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (7 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein

"One of the better choices for white bread is the Carbonaut White Bread," says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT, Owner of One Pot Wellness. "What makes this white bread a better choice than other white breads is that it is low in net carbs, high in protein, and fiber. In addition, it is also vegan and keto-friendly to cater [to] a diversity of dietary preferences". Chun explained that choosing a high-fiber and high-protein bread for breakfast can help you feel fuller for longer and provide a steady release of energy throughout the morning. "I also love that this bread does not contain added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or additives which makes it a satisfying and nutritious option for white bread."

Best: Hero Classic White Bread

Hero Classic White Bread
Hero Bread
Serving size: 1 slice.  45 calories, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 180 mg sodium, 11 g carb (11 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5 g protein

This unique white bread has zero net carbs, thanks to the 11 grams of fiber that "cancel out" the carbohydrate grams. Made with protein-packed ingredients like fava bean flour, it also contains 5 grams of protein per slice. The resistant starch used to make this bread also acts as a prebiotic fiber, which can support gut health.

 10 Ways To Heal Your 'Leaky Gut'

Best: Rudi's Organic Country White Bread

Rudi's Organic Country White Bread
Serving size: 1 slice. 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 170 mg sodium, 21 g carb (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 3 g protein

Made with organic wheat flour and free from any artificial ingredients, this bread is a hearty option that makes for a satisfying toast or PB&J. Plus, it is non-GMO and vegan-friendly.

Worst Breads

Worst: Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Bread

Pepperidge Farm, Hearty White Bread
Pepperidge Farm
Nutrition (1 slice): 130 calories, 1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 230 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein

Pepperidge Farm's "Hearty" White Bread may seem healthy at first glance, but with a whopping 230 milligrams of sodium per slice, this bread isn't your best nutritional choice. Additionally, this bread only has 1 gram of fiber per serving—far less than many other brands—and includes 4 grams of added sugar, or 8% of your daily value. The upside to this bread is that it's fortified with certain nutrients like folic acid and thiamin, but there are many different ways to get ample amounts of these nutrients if you skip this bread.

Worst: Pepperidge Farm Homestyle Oat Bread

pepperidge farm homestyle oat
Pepperidge Farm
Nutrition (1 slice): 130 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 210 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein

Unfortunately, Pepperidge Farm has made our list twice with their Homestyle Oat Bread. Each slice contains not only saturated fat, but 210 milligrams of sodium (two slices would have you at about 30% of your daily sodium limit as recommended by the American Heart Association) and 4 grams of added sugar. So, don't let the idea of "oatmeal" bread trick you into thinking this may be a healthier alternative.

Worst: Wonder Bread Classic White Bread

Wonder Bread
Wonder Bread
Nutrition (1 slice): 70 calories, 0.8 g fat (0 g sat fat), 90 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbs (1.5 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar), 2.5 g protein

It may not come as much of a surprise to consumers that Wonder Bread's classic white bread isn't the healthiest option on grocery store shelves. Although relatively low in fat, this bread is also low in both fiber and protein as compared to other brands that offer a bit more of a nutritional boost. Although the website claims that Wonder Bread contains "as much calcium as an 8 oz glass of milk in 2 slices," we can't help but recommend that you just drink milk instead. Milk not only provides calcium, but it also provides vitamin D which aids in calcium absorption.

 The 10 Unhealthiest Breads To Leave on Grocery Shelves

Worst: Martin's Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread

martins butter bread
Nutrition (1 slice): 80 calories, 1 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 105 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 3 g protein

We're not sure why Martin's felt that they had to state that their bread is "real," but perhaps it's because their bread contains numerous ingredients with "sugar" and "cane sugar syrup" coming in as the fourth and fifth ingredients, respectively. It's perhaps not surprising that a bread with the word "butter" in it isn't the healthiest, but with saturated fat and only 1 gram of fiber, there are many other brands on the market that can fulfill your white bread cravings without sacrificing health.

Worst: Sara Lee Texas Toast

sara lee texas toast
Sara Lee
Nutrition (1 slice): 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 200 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein

Okay, we know Texas toast is delicious. Thick and fluffy, Texas toast hits the spot. However, one slice of Sara Lee's Texas toast contains 200 milligrams of sodium and less than 1 gram of fiber—so where's the nutritional payoff? Thinner bread can be just as satisfying and much more nutritionally dense than this Texas Toast which also includes 2 grams of added sugars with sugar coming in third on the ingredients list. Additionally, this bread isn't suitable for those with a sesame allergy as it does contain sesame seeds.

Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more about Lauren
Sources referenced in this article
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