10 Breads to Always Leave on Grocery Store Shelves
Are all breads created equal? Nope! "In general," says Lisa R. Young, PhD, RDN, "you want to choose a bread whose first ingredient is a whole grain like whole wheat, oat, or rye. These are high in fiber."
But how do you know which types of bread to avoid, and how do you know you're getting the most fiber? The key is to look for at least three grams of fiber, ideally five, according to Stacy Davis, RD. Read on for the rundown of brands of bread you should avoid for your health, according to dietitians.
Thomas' Original English Muffins
When it comes to picking out your choice of bread, always be sure to check out the ingredients. "This product is made of wheat, instead of whole wheat, flour so it wouldn't be my pick," Young explains. Whole wheat grains carry essential fibers and nutrients that have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and even death, Healthline reports.
Bimbo, Soft White 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."
Sara Lee Texas Toast
Whenever you're shopping for bread, look for high fiber, which this Sara Lee Texas Toast is not. It's also a sodium bomb, says Young, "This bread is also fairly high in sodium and low in fiber."
Pepperidge Farm Raisin Swirl Bread
This sweet, delicious Pepperidge Farm Raisin Swirl Bread, is unfortunately loaded with sugar and is more like dessert than bread! "While lower in sodium than the other breads, this choice is fairly high in sugar," Young explained.
Wonder Bread Classic White
The chewy childhood fave, not surprisingly, isn't exactly packed with fiber. Wonder Bread Classic White is way too low in fiber, says Davis, "I recommend at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, five is even better."
Nature's Own Butter Bread
Lower calories doesn't always mean healthier for you, and Nature's Own Butter Bread is a great example of how you have to look at total nutrition. "While this has few calories per slice, it also doesn't provide any fiber, which is something to look for in bread," says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD. "Fiber is important for healthy digestion and maintaining a healthy weight, and bread is a good source. It also has a couple grams of sugar in just one slice, so that's something to note as you don't want to consume sugar in excess."
Pepperidge Farm Sweet Hawaiian Bread
Most healthy eaters know anything labeled "sweet Hawaiian" is going to be an issue, and Davis concurs. "This is high in calories because it's 130 calories per slice. If you are making a sandwich, you are getting 260 calories right off the bat. This one is low in fiber which won't help you feel full."
Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Bread
Another white bread with lots of calories and little fiber, Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Bread is a pass from Banna, "One slice is pretty high in calories, and also provides very little fiber and four grams of sugar. Not a very nutritious choice overall, as to be expected from white bread."
Vermont Bread Company Cinnamon Raisin
"While this doesn't have too many calories per slice, it's also high in sugar," explains Banna about this Cinnamon Raisin sweet morning treat. "This should partly be due to the raisins, but there may also be added sugar. Excess sugar in the diet can contribute to weight gain, so it's important to note the content."
Kings Hawaiian Rolls
While these soft, sweet Kings Hawaiian Rolls are great as a sometime treat, Davis pulls no punches, telling us, "All these breads are low in fiber and protein. They aren't filling. It's best to choose breads that are made with whole grains."
A previous version of this article was originally published in August 2022. It has been updated with new information.