When it comes to nutrition, many dieters and health-conscious people eliminate bread from their diets because of the carbohydrates. While it’s always sad to say goodbye to a beloved food, many people don’t realize that cleaning up your diet doesn’t mean you have to cut out bread completely to see results. Instead, you can choose a healthier type of bread.
Unfortunately, with so many options out there, this can be quite difficult to do. How do you know which to choose? "Each person has to find the right fit for their taste preference, nutritional needs, allergies, or intolerances," registered dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus told Prevention. When shopping for a loaf of healthy bread, avoid fake sugar and look for non-artificial sweeteners like stevia. It’s also a good idea to look for bread that’s low in calories and high in fiber to help keep you satiated longer.
Now that you know how to choose healthy bread, here are a few popular bread brands that stand out for their healthy product options.
Dave’s Killer Bread
Dave’s Killer Bread has been a fan favorite for years, and it’s not just because of the cool name. What keeps many consumers coming back is the fact that Dave’s Killer Bread reportedly uses high-quality organic and non-GMO ingredients — a huge plus when you’re looking for healthy options. The brand’s products include bread variants like Powerseed and Goodseed, and are packed with organic flaxseed, whole seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, to name a few.
Another popular option is the 21 Whole Grains and Seeds loaf, which is loaded with 22 grams of whole grains, ALA omega-3, protein, and fiber. All of those are important ingredients for your health (via Dave’s Killer Bread). ALA is a fatty acid that is important for your health but can’t be made in your body, so you must get it from your diet (per Healthline). Whole grains are another crucial ingredient in some of Dave’s offerings; they are important for your overall health because they are rich in protein, fiber, and B vitamins. Additionally, whole grains are said to help control weight, lower blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system (per the Cleveland Clinic).
If you have a nutritional allergy or intolerance and are looking for a gluten-free bread option, Happy Campers is a good choice: All of the brand’s products are certified gluten-free, organic, and non-GMO. They are also free from any added sugars and all major allergens, and are vegan-friendly, per the Happy Campers website.
While you may think that many consumers choose gluten-free bread because of a sensitivity or an allergy, only a small portion of people are actually restricted to this type of bread. A 2012 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology reveals that only about 1% of the population has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which gluten consumption can damage the patient’s intestines. Others may choose to go gluten-free because gluten can be inflammatory, can cause thyroid problems, and is not necessarily nutrient-dense (via Clean Eating Kitchen). It has also become popular because of its purported health benefits, which include weight loss and boosted energy (per Mayo Clinic).
Whatever your reason may be for going gluten-free, Happy Campers is a great option. Try the Classy Sliced bread, which is packed with whole-grain buckwheat, quinoa, and some prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics keep your digestive and immune system healthy, and are good for your bones as well as your overall health (via WebMD).
Alvarado Street Bakery
If you’re into sprouted whole grains, then you must try Alvarado Street Bakery’s loaves. The company offers a huge assortment of sprouted whole grain bread that is high in fiber and plant protein.
The brand’s Sprouted Whole Wheat bread has 6 grams of protein. Meanwhile, the Sprouted Wheat Sonoma Seeds bread has 7 grams of protein, and is also high in fiber, which is great if you’re looking for a low-glycemic option (per Alvarado Street Bakery). Many people choose a low-glycemic diet because it helps with weight loss, reduces cholesterol levels, and helps improve blood sugar regulation (which is good for people with diabetes), per Healthline.
Alvarado Street Bakery also offer a few varieties of bread with flaxseed, which provides healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber. Many people go for the flaxseed option because flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to help improve cholesterol, heart health, and blood sugar, as well as ease symptoms of arthritis. Others choose it because it’s a good source of soluble fiber, which helps to prevent constipation (via Medical News Today).
If you’re looking for another gluten-free option, then Udi’s is a great choice. This well-known brand carries many gluten-free bread varieties such as Hearty Sprouted Grains, Hearty 7 Seeds and Grains, Omega Flax and Fiber, and Millet-Chia, just to name a few.
The brand’s Millet-Chia bread is made from tapioca starch, brown rice flour, and millet, which is a whole grain. It is low in sugar (2 grams), high in protein (6 grams), and has 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is ideal if you’re choosing a gluten-free diet to help with weight loss (per Udi’s).
Gluten-free bread achieves its bread texture because of the stabilizers and resistant starches in it. So if you’re choosing a whole grain option, that means it contains resistant starch. This essentially means that when you consume it, it won’t be completely digested in your small intestine, but instead "ferments in your large intestine and feeds beneficial gut bacteria," as WebMD explains.
Pepperidge Farm may not be the first brand that you think of when it comes to choosing a healthy bread, probably because many consumers associate the company with goldfish crackers. However, this popular brand that you can get in most supermarkets also offers a range of healthy loaves.
From whole wheat to 7 grains to oatmeal and multigrain, there’s an option for everyone. The brand also has quite a few varieties of whole grain loaves, which come with a plethora of health benefits. In fact, research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that people who ate about 4 servings of whole grains per day had a 22% lower risk of total mortality, 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 20% lower chance of dying from cancer compared to those who ate little to no whole grains.
If you’re looking for a good whole grain option, then consider trying Pepperidge Farm’s 15-Grain bread. You’ll get 46 grams of whole grains per two slices, as well as 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of dietary fiber.
If you’ve checked out the aisles at Target or Walmart, you may have seen different varieties of Arnold’s bread. Arnold offers an assortment of organic and non-GMO bread, as well as several other rye bread options.
In addition to that, the brand has a line of "favorites," which includes 18 different types of bread (with keto being the newest variety). If you visit their website, you’ll see that since 2019, Arnold has made the phrase "No Added Nonsense" part of their branding. This means that the brand’s products are now free from high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial preservatives and colors, potassium bromate, SSL/CSL, azodicarbonamide, and bleached flour.
If you’re looking to lose weight while supporting your digestive health, registered dietitian Jessica Crandall says to be mindful of your portions and caloric consumption (via Eat This, Not That!). "I usually look for slices of bread to have less than 20 grams of carbs per slice (especially for my clients who are watching their blood sugar) and usually around 100-150 calories per slice," she shared. By these standards, Arnold’s 100% whole wheat option would be a great choice.
Food For Life
Another fan favorite, Food For Life’s bread can be found in the freezer section at your local grocery store. Wondering why Food For Life’s products aren’t displayed with other brands’ loaves on the shelves? Per the company, standard bread has added preservatives like wheat starch and BHT, while Food For Life’s bread (which is sold frozen) does not have those ingredients and can last up to twelve months in the freezer (via Food For Life).
If you browse through their website, you’ll notice they have a variety of whole-grain, sprouted grain, and gluten-free bread, which all sound healthy. But which one should you choose?
"First off, when you’re reading the ingredient list you should be looking for the word ‘whole grain’, which means that the grain is still intact and hasn’t been processed and essentially re-fortified," explained Jessica Crandall, a registered dietitian (via Eat This, Not That). The brand’s Ezekiel 4:9 organic flourless sprouted bread is a good choice, because it has whole grains and is high in fiber (which is great for weight management).
Base Culture produces loaves that are free of gluten, grains, preservatives, and dairy. Instead, the brand’s products contain nuts, fruits, and seeds, as well as ingredient flavors like honey, vanilla, and cocoa. They offer different loaves of bread, which all have pure Paleo ingredients. The brand’s Keto bread, for instance, contains eggs, almond butter, and flaxseed meal.
According to the founder of the company, she couldn’t find baked goods that were satisfying enough when she was on a Paleo challenge, so she decided to make her own (via Base Culture).
If you don’t know what a Paleo diet is or are interested in trying it, it can best be described as "eating like a caveman" (or to be more specific, "eating like how we think cavemen used to eat"). Some people call it the Stone Age diet because it’s high in both protein and fiber. When you’re on the Paleo diet, you can eat eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils, but you’ll have to avoid foods like dairy, sugar, wheat, and grains (via WebMD).
Another brand known for its sprouted whole grain bread is Angelic Bakehouse. The brand’s 7 Sprouted Whole Grain bread is low in sugar and high in protein and fiber. Angelic Bakehouse’s loaves don’t have anything artificial in them like stabilizers or dough conditioners, and are free of nuts, dairy, eggs, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Angelic Bakehouse also fresh presses its sprouted grain bread into the dough to add more flavor. According to the brand’s website, the sprouted grains in the bread increase soluble fiber, which 95% of people reportedly have a deficiency of. The company also states that the sprouted grains in the bread are beneficial to health, because they increase antioxidants and B vitamin levels, while helping to ease digestion.
Angelic Bakehouse offers a 7 Sprouted Reduced Sodium bread for consumers who are managing their blood pressure. It is also well-suited for those who are following the American Heart Association‘s recommendation of consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.
Nature’s Own lives up to its name because it focuses on healthy ingredients. The brand provides a variety of flavors and styles of bread without using artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or high-fructose corn syrup (via Nature’s Own). High-fructose corn syrup is an artificial sugar made from corn syrup that can cause health issues like diabetes or obesity if consumed in excessive amounts, says Healthline. Additionally, the products also have zero grams of trans fat per serving. As you may be aware, trans fat is the worst type of fat you can eat, and is known to increase the risk of heart disease (per the Mayo Clinic).
If you’re looking to try something different from whole grain or sprouted bread, then you may want to try the brand’s newest thick-sliced rye bread, which is low in fat and has no cholesterol. If you’re wondering if it’s healthy for you, Shira Sussi, founder of Shira Sussi Nutrition, confirmed it (via Well+Good) by saying, "Rye is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, and antioxidants." Sussi also explained that due to the bread’s high fiber content, it can help improve heart health by reducing a person’s cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Moreover, it travels slowly through the digestive system and is not completely digested, meaning it contributes to the well-being of your gut, too.
Just like the brand Arnold, Oroweat also adopted the phrase "No Added Nonsense," referring to the ingredients that aren’t in its loaves: high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and other generally unhealthy additives.
While many consumers may have grown up on the brand’s potato or Italian bread, Oroweat now offers a range of healthy breads that are organic and non-GMO (via Oroweat). If you’re unsure as to why you shouldn’t be eating GMOs (genetically modified organisms), it’s worth noting that there are concerns about how they impact the environment, as well as how they may trigger allergic reactions in some people (per Healthline).
If you’re looking for a healthy bread that scores low on the EWG (Environmental Working Group) index, then you should try Oroweat’s Original Oatnut bread. This bread scores a 1.8 out of 10 (with 1 being the best) for having low weighted scores in terms of nutrition and ingredient concerns, as well as a moderate weighted score when it came to processing concerns. While this bread can be regarded as a healthy and nutritious option, it may contain ingredients that can trigger major allergies. Thus, it pays to read the product’s label prior to purchasing it.
If you’re looking to jump on the sprouted bread train, then Silver Hills is a great option, with different varieties of sprouted bread available in stores.
Silver Hills has been in the business of breadmaking for over three decades. "Whole grains are healthy. Sprouting makes what’s already healthy about whole grains even better," states the Silver Hills website. According to the company, consumers can get more nutritional value from sprouted whole grains. Aside from the fact that this type of bread is easier for the body to digest, it can also be an excellent source of energy.
According to Healthline, sprouted grains have many other health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss and helping to prevent chronic diseases. They’re also lower in gluten, which makes it easier for people who have a gluten sensitivity to consume and enjoy foods that feature them in their list of ingredients (like Silver Hills’ bread offerings).
If you’re on a low-carb diet and are looking for a healthy bread option that’s also high in protein, then you should give Sola’s bread a try. Aside from being low in sugar, it contains 6 grams of protein and only about 4 grams of net carbs. This low-carb bread features the company’s signature "Sola sweetener," which consists of stevia, allulose, erythritol, and monk fruit. As the brand’s website proudly states: "Finally, low-carb foods that do not taste like cardboard."
Reducing your carb intake can be tough, especially if you’re a carb lover. However, doing so can provide many health benefits, including appetite reduction and reduced blood sugar levels. This type of dietary restriction can also help increase your "good" cholesterol levels and boost your heart health (via Healthline). Moreover, Sola’s bread is high in protein. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, protein helps build and repair your cells, and is necessary for proper growth and development. Give Sola’s Deliciously Seeded bread a try — it has 5 grams of protein and only 2 grams of net carbs.
Schmidt Old Tyme
Schmidt Old Tyme has been around for 135 years, so the brand must be doing something right. Schmidt Old Tyme offers a selection of bread with healthy ingredients, including the low-carb, low-calorie, and high-fiber 647 bread variant. According to Schmidt Old Tyme’s website, while the 647 wheat bread tastes just like traditional bread, it is cholesterol-free and low in fat, and has 6 grams of net carbs and 8 grams of fiber. In other words, it’s an exceptional choice for consumers who want (or need) to stick to a low-carb or high-fiber diet.
Meanwhile, Schmidt Old Tyme’s Omega Me Crazy! loaves are packed with both omega-3 and protein. The 21 Grain and Seeds variety in particular contains 304 milligrams of omega-3, 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 22 grams of whole grains per serving. This makes Omega Me Crazy! an excellent choice for health-conscious consumers or bread aficionados with specific nutritional requirements.