Top 4 Healthiest Types of Bread in Stores

It’s possible to still eat bread and stay on course with your health goals, as long as they are the right kind. Read on to find out which are the healthiest types of bread in stores!

Bread, most notably white bread, has earned itself a bad reputation among dieters and health enthusiasts, and that is for good reason. But the truth is there are many different types of bread in existence, some of which have been eaten for thousands of years and offer a great number of health benefits, while some types have their drawbacks. Nevertheless, healthy and right breads are always welcoming additions to a well-balanced diet!

You may know breads are made up of three main ingredients: flour, water, and salt. However, the ones that you find in supermarkets nowadays contain a dozen or more ingredients, some of which are problematic to your digestion! That’s not to mention some breads these days are low in nutrients and high in calories.

These shouldn’t deter you from enjoying bread, as long as they are the healthy options! So what are some of the healthiest ones you can eat? Below are some of the top choices when it comes to having breads for breakfast or snacks, as well as some of the health benefits of each type of healthy bread.

Table of Content

What is a Bread?

A bread is a baked food product made of flour or meal that is moistened, kneaded, and sometimes fermented. A major food option since prehistoric times, it is now made in various forms using a variety of ingredients and methods throughout the world.

Here’s a fun fact: People started baking as early as 12,000 years ago in the Neolithic era by combining meals and water and heating the product on hot stones. These first breads were the kinds of flatbread that the ancestors ate, just like the pita which is enjoyed throughout the Middle East.

What is Bread Made of?

In its most basic form, bread is a hydrated meal that bakers heat to form a solid loaf. Bakers define bread as some combination of flour, a leavening agent, water, and salt.

  • Flour: The flour comprises the carbohydrates content of bread. While wheat flour is the most common base for breadmaking, you can also make bread from finely ground rye, which is what is recommended as the healthier alternative!
  • Leavening agent: The leavening agent is what makes the bread rise, often through the production of carbon dioxide – a byproduct of fermentation. In yeast breads, the fungus yeast (in the case of sourdough) consumes the carbohydrates in the bread dough and produces carbon dioxide. Other ones get their structure from ingredients such as baking soda and eggs.
  • Water: Water hydrates the flour and disperses ingredients throughout the dough.
  • Salt: Salt doesn’t just act as a seasoning in baking, but it also enhances the browning, flavors, and texture of bread as well as strengthens the gluten network within that bread!

Top 4 Healthiest Bread Options

1. Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread is one of the healthiest store-bought bread options considering it’s made with a blend of whole grains and seeds, such as:

  • Millet
  • Malted barley
  • Sprouted barley
  • Sprouted oats
  • Sprouted rye

The Ezekiel bread is free from preservatives, additives, and artificial flavors and colors, which is why it’s usually found in the freezer section of grocery stores.

Ezekiel bread is a type of sprouted grain bread that is prepared using traditional methods of soaking, sprouting, and baking, which studies show to make the grains easier to digest and their nutrients more absorbable. Sprouting also increases concentrations of fiber, which benefits our digestive systems by pushing waste and toxins out of the gut and regulating bowel movements.

Compared to processed breads that don’t contain sprouted grains, the benefits of Ezekiel bread extends to having more proteins, fiber, and absorbable vitamins and minerals, such as iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine (vitamin B1), and vitamin B3. It also contains less harmful antinutrients, like phytic acid (a mineral blocker or enzyme inhibitor), making it easier on your digestive system compared to many other breads, especially white bread.

2. Sprouted Grain Bread

If your main goal this year is to drop some weights, you’d want to opt for high fiber, low-calorie breads, such as those made with sprouted grains.

Studies show that higher whole grain consumption is linked to health benefits like easier weight management, protection against type 2 diabetes, and even enhanced protection against certain types of cancer.

As mentioned above, Ezekiel bread is one type of sprouted grain bread, but it’s not the only type! There are many traditional ones made with sprouted grains that originate from different parts of the world, including those that use grains like barley and oats.

Because these grains are rich in selenium, fiber, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B5), and iron, sprouted grain breads are good additions to your morning breakfast!

Sprouted grain bread is also considered a healthier option than white ones or even those made with unsprouted whole grains as the sprouting process enhances absorption of nutrients and digestion by partially breaking down proteins and carbohydrates in the grains. During the sprouting process, beneficial enzymes are released too!

Sprouted grain foods also have a low glycemic score, which is beneficial for people who struggle with blood sugar fluctuations.

3. Sourdough Bread

If you’ve ever tasted mashed avocado toast on sourdough before, you’d have noticed that sourdough bread gives off that signature tart taste. That is what makes sourdough bread healthy!

Sourdough bread is a traditional type of bread with a very long history that is made with only three basic ingredients: flour (whole grain flour), water, and salt.

The flour used is the one that has been slowly fermented with water in order to create a “starter”, an alternative to baker’s yeast that makes bread rise naturally and gives sourdough bread its signature tart taste.

Not only does sourdough bread stands out in terms of flavor, but it’s also thought to have some health benefits too, including more absorbable nutrients, such as selenium, B vitamins, and iron.

Fermentation is defined as “the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence.” When the bread is made with a fermented sourdough starter, it winds up having a lower gluten content, lower antinutrient content, and lower pH compared to regular refined bread.

Additionally, some research suggests that sourdough tends to have a lower glycemic index which leads to greater satiety compared to other white breads. This could be due to its fiber, protein, and carbohydrate digestibility and absorption.

4. Rye Bread

Is rye bread healthy? If you choose a traditionally made rye bread that is made with whole-grain rye flour and is low in added sugar, then yes it is.

Rye seeds are grains high in fiber and beneficial compounds that have the ability to help fight against inflammatory markers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and high blood pressure. Rye flour, when used in baking, contains much less gluten than barley, which means it’s a good choice for those who are gluten-sensitive.

Whole rye seeds contain the grain’s endosperm, which holds fiber and many other nutrients – including phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B’s. It has one of the highest concentrations of protective lignans and soluble fiber, supporting better digestion and making you feel fuller!

How to Choose Healthy Bread

When choosing healthy breads, look for those made with whole grains that have been sprouted. These made with sourdough starters are also preferred over those made with instant yeast.

When shopping for breads, do read the ingredient labels and try to opt for those made with whole wheat berries, rye, barley, oats, and other grains!

Here are some of the ingredients you may come across in healthy breads:

  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Millet
  • Brown rice
  • Flaxseeds
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Herbs, such as rosemary and thyme
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Sea Salt

Sprouted grain breads, especially sourdough, can also be found at traditional bakeries. Just make sure the grains that they used are sprouted first and are “whole grain.”

Sprouted flour is prone to growing mold over time if placed at room temperature, hence it’s recommended to freeze your bread, sourdough or rye bread .etc, within two to three days of making it. Storing in the fridge is also welcome to prolong its freshness.

Breads to Avoid

Now that you know some of the healthiest bread options, what bread should you avoid?

“White bread” is the generic name given to types of bread that are refined, made with bleached white flour, and lacking nutrients, including fiber, protein, and other minerals.

White flour goes through a long process that “strips” away natural nutrients. Consuming lots of white bread:

  • Won’t fill you up
  • Often contains unhealthy additives and chemicals
  • Lacks nutrients, considered as “empty calories”
  • Thought to raise your risk for weight gain and issues like type 2 diabetes

Note: While whole grain and sprouted ones are thought to be better choices for people with mild sensitivities to gluten compared to white flour products, those with severe gluten intolerances should still avoid these breads. Grains like all types of wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten, even after being soaked and sprouted, so they aren’t safe for people with gluten allergies.


Can breads be healthy? There is no doubt that they can be healthy, provided that they are made with sprouted whole grains. Sprouting grains helps diminish levels of enzyme inhibitors and releases nutrients to be more easily absorbed. The breads recommended here are those that have lower glycemic index scores and tend to make you feel fuller since they impact your blood sugar less drastically. Do be mindful about the choice you make when buying your next bread and avoid those which were mentioned earlier on!

In any case, where you crave having breads, you can always consider refreshing crab on toast for a more summery and refreshing taste!


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