Whether it’s a slice of toast with breakfast or a good old-fashioned sandwich for lunch, sliced bread is a staple in American kitchens. It can be a convenient source of complex carbs, fiber, and whole grains –and even a good source of protein– but the nutrition and ingredients vary dramatically from loaf to loaf depending on the types of flour used, amount of sugar added, and other ingredients added to soften the texture and extend shelf life.
With all of the options there are today, the bread aisle can easily overwhelm even the savviest of shoppers. So we polled a few of our fellow registered dietitians (RDs) to see what breads they recommend — and buy! Here’s what they had to say:
Dietitians Top Choice: Any and all varieties of Dave’s Killer Bread
These delicious, good-for-you loaves were recommended by several RDs. Not only do they taste great, but they’re high in fiber and loaded with whole grains while having fewer total carbohydrates than other loaves.
Many varieties are available, even English muffins and bagels! You can find Dave’s Killer Bread at most large retailers including Walmart, Target, Kroger, and in discounted 2-packs at Costco.
McKenna Welshans, RD, ACSM-CEP, suggests Dave’s Killer Bread Good Seed Thin-Sliced, noting “one of my favorite things to do with it is toast it and top it with eggs and avocado for breakfast or fresh homemade chicken salad for lunch.”
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 70, Total Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 115mg, Carbohydrates: 13g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 3g
Yasmine Junqueira, RD, enjoys the nutty flavor of their Powerseed Bread, and recommends the brand to individuals with diabetes in particular, for the fiber and lower total carb content in the thin-sliced varieties.
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 100, Total Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 140mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 5g
Elle Penner, MPH, RD loves the 21 Whole Grains and Seeds loaf for the protein punch and soft texture.
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 120, Total Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 180mg, Carbohydrates: 22g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 5g
Another soft loaf Penner likes is Orowheat’s 100% Whole Wheat which is slightly lower in calories and sugar and widely available at most grocery stores.
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 100, Total Fat: 1.5g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 140mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 4g
Gluten Free? We’ve got you covered with Glutino’s Multigrain Sandwich Bread.
This loaf is made up of a beautiful blend of starches and flours that make you forget that gluten is missing. While not as packed with protein or fiber as Dave’s Killer Bread, it is low in calories, sugars, and total carbohydrates.
Taylor Conrady, RD, keeps a gluten-free household and saves by ordering a 6-pack from Amazon to store in the freezer.
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 80, Total Fat: 3.5g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 170mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 1g
Budget-friendly Store Brand Loaves
Healthy, sliced bread can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. Many grocery stores have their own nutritious budget-friendly loaves.
Claudia Utesch, RD, CLC recommends the grocery brand whole grain option. They are affordable; you can always count on them being in stock, and they tend to have a soft texture.
Look for “made with whole grains” or “100% whole wheat” to ensure you are grabbing the healthiest choice. Keep your eye on the calories and sodium as these can vary significantly from loaf to loaf.
Here are two nutritionally noteworthy store-brand loaves to consider:
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 170, Total Fat: 2, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 320mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 10g
Nutrition per slice: Calories: 80, Total Fat: 1, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 150mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 3g
Tip: If you prefer the taste and texture of a loaf with higher calories and sodium, one slice might be enough to satisfy.
We hope these dietitian favorites help ease your decision fatigue the next time you’re in the bread aisle. Here’s an easy-to-read list for future reference!