When going grocery shopping, bread is a universal staple in almost every culture in the world. The healthiest breads might even not be too hard to find. Today, there's a variety for any kind of diet: gluten-free, low-carb, vegan, paleo, and even keto.
Still, even among those, there are brands of bread that are healthier than others. Many breads boast of sprouted grains, rye flour, endosperm, whole grain flour, grams of fiber, sprouting, no high fructose corn syrup, and first ingredient marketing hype. These contain no added sugars, preservatives, additives, fillers, colorings, or other artificial chemicals and sweeteners. They also pack in a variety of other nutritious ingredients such as chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut flour, amaranth, and more that are high in antioxidants, omega-3 healthy fats, fiber, protein, and probiotics.
From a dietitian's standpoint, these would always be recommended over a regular, white loaf of bread made with typical white flour. That type of bread might be the best bread for a dessert, but refined grains shouldn't be turned to all the time, according to nutritionists. Here are some of our favorite healthy bread options you can find at the grocery store.
Healthiest Bread According To Nutritionists
1. Whole Wheat Bread
If you're a regular white bread lover, you'll always opt for the same pretty white loaf. Unfortunately, most white bread is made with bleached flour and enriched with artificial additives, colorings, and chemicals.
Instead, go for whole wheat bread and enjoy all the health benefits it has to offer. Whole wheat bread is made of complex, whole grain carbohydrates which keep you fuller for longer and prevent the inevitable sugar crash you'll feel from the processed white bread made with refined flour.
It's also high in fiber which promotes healthy digestion and gut health. Additionally, whole wheat has been linked to a reduced rate of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and even Type 2 diabetes.
However, always check the label before making a purchase, as chances are, many brands can still have plenty of additional sugars, fillers, and chemicals to enhance the flavor and prolong shelf life.
Some of our favorite grocery store brands include Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, Nature's Own 100% Whole Grain Sugar-Free, and Dave's Killer Bread 100% Whole Wheat.
2. Gluten-Free Bread
For those who are following a gluten-free diet, whether it's due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance, allergy, or simply preference, there are some amazing brands you can find in the aisles of your grocery store.
The gluten-free label ensures that the product doesn't contain wheat, rye, or barley, all grains that are most commonly found in bread. Instead, the ingredient list contains rice flour, brown rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, oat, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, or some sort of combination of these gluten-free grains that are high in fiber and low in sugars.
Since the gluten-free trend engulfed the world, brands with gluten-free bread started popping out left and right. Most of them tried to add a bunch of extra ingredients to make up for the lack of flavor, while others went the natural route, and let the real ingredients shine through.
Some of our favorite, gluten-free healthy bread options include those which filled out their ingredient list with other amazing, nutritious foods such as nuts, seeds, and superfoods. Our handpicked bread brands include Eban's Bakehouse Fresh Baked Gluten-Free Seeded Bread, Happy Campers Classy Slice, Olivia Superfree Multi-Grain Bread, and Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Pumpkinickel Bread.
3. Grain-Free Bread
If you're on a keto or paleo diet and you still want a delicious slice of bread in the morning, grain-free bread will be your next best friend. It's usually made from eggs, and nut and seed flours, keeping the carbohydrates to a minimum. This will keep your blood sugar and cholesterol levels on the low while aiding weight loss and fat loss.
These types of bread are high in dietary fat, and therefore calories, so it's important to keep that in mind before you completely switch them out for regular bread. Believe it or not, there are plenty of brands on the market that are tackling the grain-free zone, some of which are extremely popular amongst keto dieters.
The brands with the healthiest bread which doesn't contain any grains include Base Culture Keto Bread, Julian Bakery Paleo Thin Almond Bread, Barely Bread 100% Grain-free Sliced Loaf, Outer Aisle Cauliflower Sandwich Thins, and Unbun Unbread.
4. Sourdough Bread
The sourdough bread trend continues, even after the lockdown. Made from a whole wheat flour sourdough starter put through a fermentation process, this bread is high in probiotics and fiber, promoting healthy digestion and feeding your microbiome. So yes, whole wheat sourdough is a thing.
Additionally, it has a lower glycemic index, less yeast, fewer preservatives, and it's better suited for those with gluten sensitivity (as the gluten gets broken down into amino acids before you consume it).
Your best bet would be to get it from a bakery, but there are some high-quality brands you can find in the bread aisle of your favorite grocery store. These include The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread, Whole Foods Sourdough Loaf, Bourke Street Bakery Sourdough Bread, and even a gluten-free, grain-free sourdough version from Base Culture.
5. Rye Bread
Extremely popular in European countries, rye bread is considered a healthy bread that helps keep your blood sugar levels low, promotes weight loss and healthy digestion, and contains a high level of calcium, B vitamins, and fiber. Rye is a gluten-containing grain, but unlike wheat, it has a lower glycemic index, lowers your insulin response, and may even reduce in?ammation in people with metabolic syndrome.
Some of the best rye bread brands you can find in the supermarket aisles include Dave's Killer Bread Righteous Rye, Mestemacher Rye Bread, and Oroweat Bread Schwarzwalder Dark Rye Bread.
6. Banana Bread
Although technically not bread, banana bread has gotten extremely popular over the last few years with people using it as an alternative to their morning PB&J toast. There are plenty of recipes out there, both gluten-free and containing gluten, but there are some mixes you can even buy in stores. Add in raisins for a special treat.
Our favorite brands are Simple Mills Muffin and Banana Bread Mix and Lakanto Banana Nut Muffin and Bread Mix.
Where To Purchase The Healthiest Bread
If you cannot imagine your life without bread but aren't interested in baking one yourself, there are only two things you can do: go to your local bakery or buy it in a store. Even though your first option should always be the freshly baked bread from the bakery on the corner, sometimes the price point is too high or it's simply not convenient. Luckily, there are some healthy bread brands on the market that deliver both, high-quality ingredients, and delicious taste. Oh, and there's a third option: you can get most of them on Amazon.