Breads: Best and worst loaves for your health revealed

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  • Finding the healthiest bread for your diet, whether that means bread with low calories or high fibre, isn’t always easy. 

    When shopping in the supermarket, most of us pick out the same bread each time as we might think that all wholemeal bread and all white loaves are essentially the same as each other. But if you’re looking to change up your diet and eat a lot of carbohydrates, then looking at the type of bread you eat might be a good place to start.

    For example, we were astonished to see just how much the healthiest breads differ in calories and fats to the worst offenders. One popular brand was found to contain 127 calories per slice, compared to just 57 calories per slice from another brand. When it comes to our health, the bread we eat can make a big difference.

    And while most of us know that making your own bread is best way to decide what goes into it, there are still plenty of healthy options on the shelves.

    But which is the healthiest bread for your diet? An expert’s verdict:

    According to Niamh Hennessy, Lead Dietician from Bupa Cromwell Hospital Nutrition, a lot of choosing the healthiest bread is making sure it’s got enough fibre content.

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    She explained: ‘One of the key things to look for when choosing bread is its fibre content. Adults need around 30g of fibre to stay healthy every day – two slices of wholemeal or wholegrain bread contains around 5.3g of the daily fibre you need keep your digestive system in good working order.’

    And of course, wholegrain breads are always preferable if you’re keeping an eye on your health.

    Niamh explained; ‘Wholegrain breads are preferable in their fat content; gram for gram it has fewer than half of the amount of some other varieties. Another edge wholegrain bread has over other bread types is the energy it provides. As the sugars within wholegrain breads take longer to digest compared to other types of bread, wholegrains make you feel fuller for longer.’

    “And for increased nutritional value, choose a bread with seeds and grains – but make sure you stick to the recommended portion size as they can increase your calorie count for the day.”

    We’ve rounded up the 20 best and worst breads from various stores and brands and given each one a rating out of 10, 1 being bad and 10 being good. Not every slice of bread weighs the same amount so to make our comparisons fair we’ve looked at the nutritional information for 100g of each bread, as well as how much a slice weighs from each loaf.

    Niamh also warned that one thing you need to look out for in your favourite loaf is salt. “Hidden salt in bread can push you towards your recommended daily allowance, and without being mindful, you might end up eating more salt than you should in a day,” she explained. “Carefully read your labels and try to choose a medium sliced bread aiming for less than 1g of salt per 100g.”

    Find out how your favourites compares so that next time you’re in the supermarket, you can make the best bread choice for your diet! Healthy bread, here you come!

    Scroll down to see which loaf is the healthiest bread for your diet…