The 8 Best Whole Grain Breads of 2021, According to a Dietitian

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The 8 Best Whole Grain Breads of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Breads packed with flavor and nutrition that truly satisfy

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Our Top Picks
"Made from a mix of whole wheat and their powerseed grain blend, it's packed in fiber, protein, and plant-based omega 3’s."
"This has great flavor, good nutrition, and an incredibly reasonable price."
"It doesn’t have any added sugar and is very low in sodium."
"It has a nutty, slightly sweet, and not-too-grainy taste."
"It carries the Whole Grain Council’s “contains 8 grams of whole grains” stamp, and is certified gluten-free."
"This bread is organic and non-GMO, vegan, and never contain peanuts or tree nuts."
"With a mix of sprouted grains and seeds, these have a perfectly nutty flavor and texture without the nuts."
"It uses their 'Super 10 Blend,' which contains ancient whole grains like amaranth, spelt, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, and chia seeds."

A walk down the bread aisle can have your head spinning. With hundreds of choices, packages full of claims like “good source of whole grain,” and newer products like sprouted grain or even grain-free options popping up, a seemingly simple task like buying bread can feel completely overwhelming.

The American Heart Association recommends choosing whole grains for most grain servings , and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest making at least half of your grains whole. These recommendations are based on the fact that whole grains contain more fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than their refined counterparts. Eating whole grains has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The fiber found in whole grains also has a positive impact on digestive health.

But choosing a healthy whole grain bread is not as simple as picking up a package that states “grain” in the title. We’ve rounded up the best whole-grain breads on the market right now to help you take the guesswork out of what to buy.

Best Overall: Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed

Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed

Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed bread takes the top spot because it checks all of our boxes for a satisfying whole grain bread, including flavor and nutrition. It’s made from a mix of whole wheat and powerseed grain blend, which packs in the fiber and protein and adds plant-based omega 3’s. These three nutrients slow down digestion, promote stable blood sugar, and keep you full longer than white bread or even some other whole grain breads.

It’s slightly sweetened with fruit juice, bringing the added sugar content to only one gram—a major selling point for this bread over some of the others we tried. As with most of the breads from Dave’s Killer Breads, this bread doesn’t contain vegetable oils, which in excess may contribute to heart disease.

With 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per 100-calorie slice and none of the unnecessary extras, you get a lot of nutrition packed in one slice. All of Dave's Killer Breads are organic and non-GMO if that’s important to you.

Best Budget: Nature's Own Whole Wheat Bread

Nature's Own Whole Wheat Bread

If you’re looking for a straight-forward whole wheat bread without all the frills—and the price tag that often comes along with those trendier ingredients—Nature’s Own Whole Wheat bread fits the bill (pun intended). It’s made from whole wheat flour and just a handful of other ingredients and offers a strong nutrition profile of 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, less than one gram of sugar, and only 60 calories per slice.

As a brand, Nature’s Own promises to never include artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup (it’s very lightly sweetened with brown sugar). With great flavor, good nutrition, and an incredibly reasonable price, you can’t go wrong.

Best for People with Diabetes: Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread

Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Bread Organic Sprouted Whole Grain

One of the biggest misconceptions of having diabetes is that you have to avoid carbohydrates, especially breads and other similar products. If you enjoy bread and follow a carbohydrate-controlled diet, it’s important to choose a product that’s high in fiber, as fiber-rich diets have been linked to better blood sugar management in people with diabetes.

Food For LIfe’s Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread not only contains 3 grams of fiber, but it also has 5 grams of protein, which can also help stabilize blood sugar. Another selling point is that it doesn’t have any added sugar and is very low in sodium (only 75 milligrams per slice).

As with all of the Food for Life Breads, it’s made from various sprouted grains and seeds, which contribute to its great nutritional profile and adds a nice hearty flavor and texture to the bread. 

 It does contain soybeans, so if you’re allergic to soy, look for another Ezekiel 4:9 style bread.

Best Tasting: Dave's Killer Bread Good Seed Organic Bread

Finding a whole grain bread with a favorable ingredient list and nutrition profile that doesn’t taste like cardboard can be challenging. While all of the breads on this roundup offer great flavor, Dave’s Killer Breads top the charts on taste. Their Good Seed Bread is a favorite with a nutty, slightly sweet, and not-too-grainy taste.

This bread also offers 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and as with other Dave’s Killer Breads, contains alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 from the seeds. It does contain 5 grams of sugar, which is higher than some other breads but not over-the-top.

If you want a lighter option, it's also available in a thin-sliced version. The thin-sliced Good Seed bread offers half the calories and only 2 grams of sugar (but only 2 grams of protein) with the same great flavor, making both good options.

Best Gluten-Free: Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread

Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Heritage Style Whole Grain Bread

A great-tasting gluten-free bread that also contains whole grains is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but Canyon Bakehouse has done it. The brown rice, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat contribute enough whole grains for this bread to carry the Whole Grain Council’s “contains 8 grams of whole grains” stamp. These grains contribute some fiber and protein that is often missing in gluten-free breads.

Importantly, Canyon Bakehouse breads are certified gluten-free, making them a safe choice for those with celiac disease and others who need to avoid gluten.

Best Low Calorie: Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted Flax Seed Bread

Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted Flax Seed Bread

Alvarado St. Bakery Flax Bread is one of the best nutritional bangs for your calorie buck on the market, making it great for those looking for a lower-calorie option. With only 50 calories per slice, you still get 3.5 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fiber plus some omega-3’s (ALA) from the flaxseed. It’s also one of the lowest sodium breads we tried, making it a great option for those who need to watch their salt intake.

The high-quality ingredients in this bread—such as sprouted wheat berries, ground flax, and dates—are what make it stand out from other low-calorie options. Alvarado St. Bakery breads are organic and non-GMO, vegan, and never contain peanuts or tree nuts, making them a great option for those with nut allergies. Look for this bread and others from the brand in the freezer aisle.

Best Sprouted: Silver Hills Sprouted Power Low Fat Bread

Sprouted grains (whole grains that have been soaked and left to germinate so they “sprout” a tiny stem) and products made with them have become popular in recent years for their possible health benefits even beyond whole grains. 

Sprouted grains may contain more B-vitamins, vitamin C, antioxidants, protein, and fiber. Compared with non-sprouted grains, they also have less starch content and fewer compounds called “antinutrients” or components that may decrease absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

This sprouting process is one of the things that gives Silver Hills Bakery breads a leg up nutritionally, with 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein in most of their breads. Plus, they only contain 2 grams of sugar. Their breads contain a mix of sprouted grains and seeds, giving them a perfectly nutty flavor and texture without the nuts (they are all peanut and tree nut-free). These hearty breads are sure to satisfy and keep you full for hours. 

They are also organic, non-GMO, and vegan friendly.

Best Bread Mix: King Arthur Multigrain Bread Mix

King Arthur Multigrain Bread Mix

Want to make your own whole-grain bread without starting from scratch? King Arthur’s Multigrain Bread Mix is what you need. The mix is made with their “Super 10 Blend,” which contains ancient whole grains like amaranth, spelt, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, and chia seeds. 

One serving of prepared bread contains 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber and does not contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. It is a little higher in sodium than some other breads on this list at 280 milligrams per serving, so if you’re watching your sodium intake, be mindful of how much you eat.

Final Verdict

If you want a bread that not only tastes great but also packs a nutritional punch, Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed Bread (view at Walmart) is the clear choice. With 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and only one gram of sugar per slice, this bread will satisfy your taste buds and fill you up without a big blood sugar spike and crash.

What to Look for in Whole Grain Breads

Ingredients:

Choose breads where the first ingredient starts with the word “whole.” Whether that’s whole wheat, whole grain, or another ancient grain like whole wheat berries, this will signify you’re getting the benefits of each part of the whole grain—the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.  

Fiber:

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, but many of us miss that goal by a longshot. Whole-grain breads contain more fiber than refined-grain breads and typically provide anywhere from 3 to 6 grams per slice. 

Protein:

Whole grains contain protein, which is why whole grain breads offer more protein than white breads. While most people consume more than enough protein from other sources, protein can help slow digestion and keep you full for longer.

Sugar:

The amount of sugar in whole-grain breads ranges from zero to upwards of 8 grams per slice. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugar to less than 24 grams per day for women and less than 36 grams per day for men. Consider how sugar in bread might fit into your day, but in general, choosing those with 2 grams or less per slice is ideal. 

Sodium:

Salt is a necessary component of bread making and contributes to the flavor and structure of the bread. However, some breads contain more salt than others. If you’re on a low-sodium diet or get a lot of sodium in other parts of your diet, look for breads with 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving. 

FAQs

Which is healthier, whole wheat or whole grain?

To decide what is the most nutritious, it really depends on the type of grain used in whole grain products. Whole wheat products are guaranteed to contain a good amount of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Other whole grains vary in how much of each they contribute. For example, wheat berries and oats offer significantly more of each of these nutrients than brown rice or millet. This is why looking at the ingredients list and the nutrition facts panel can be helpful when choosing a bread.

Is whole grain the same as multigrain? 

In short, no. Neither of these terms has official regulated definitions, but the FDA provides some guidance, stating a whole grain should include “the starchy endosperm, germ, and bran,” either as an intact grain or with all components present. This aligns with the Whole Grain Council’s definition. Neither organization provides guidance on using the label multigrain, and this term is often used to describe a mix of grains that may or may not be whole grains. 

To identify whole grain products, look for the word “whole” in the first ingredient. The Whole Grains Council also has three different whole grain stamps that help you identify whether a product is 100 percent or 50 percent whole grain or if it contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving.

What Experts Say

“When choosing a bread, look for a product packed with whole grains for long-lasting energy and stable blood sugar during the day. I recommend reading the ingredients to make sure the first ingredient is "whole wheat flour" (or another whole grain) and that the bread contains at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. Whole grain bread is a complex carbohydrate packed with fiber, B-vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Many whole-grain breads also contain seeds that provide healthy fats, awesome texture, and have a satisfying, nutty taste that can add a greater depth of flavor than white bread.” —Kimberly Greene Murachver, MS, RD, LDN, CDE

Why Trust Verywell Fit? 

As a food-obsessed registered dietitian, Sarah Anzlovar, MS, RDN, LDN, is always looking for the best, most nutritious products on the market. She prioritizes whole food ingredients to get the most out of every meal and keep you satisfied and energized throughout your day. These are products that Sarah not only feeds her family but also recommends to her clients.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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