Healthiest bread: The best and worst loaves for your health revealed

Everyone loves a slice of toast or a sandwich, but if you're trying to make better choices for your diet, you might want to know which is the healthiest bread

A close up of a chef holding a basket of different varieties of bread
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finding the healthiest bread for your diet - whether that means bread with low calories or high fibre - isn't always easy. So we've done the research for you.

When shopping in the supermarket, most of us pick out the same bread each time. But there's a difference between wholemeal bread and all-white loaves, and if you're looking to change up your diet then switching out the type of bread you eat might be a good place to start.

While most of us know that making your own bread is the best way to make sure you're eating a nutritious option, there are still plenty of healthy options on the supermarket shelves - the key is avoiding those that are processed and contain artificial sweeteners.

What is the healthiest bread? An expert's verdict

According to Niamh Hennessy, Lead Dietician from Bupa Cromwell Hospital Nutrition, the first thing you should consider when choosing the healthiest bread is it's fibre content.

She explained: "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."

Loaves of whole wheat bread stacked on top of each other

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And of course, wholegrain breads are always preferable if you're trying to make healthier choices when it comes to your diet.

Niamh said, "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."

She adds, "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."

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."

How we tested the healthiest bread

We've taken a look at 10 popular bread varieties available in UK supermarkets and ranked them from best to worst, according to their nutritional value. We've also given each one a rating out of 10 - one being worst for health and 10 being the best option. 

Not every slice of bread weighs the same, so to make our comparisons fair we've looked at the nutritional information for 100g of each bread.

Find out how your favourite loaves compare, so that next time you're in the supermarket you can make the best bread choice for your diet! Here's our roundup of the healthiest bread...

Healthiest bread ranked from best to worst

1. Biona Organic Rye Bread: 10/10

Biona Organic Rye Bread

(Image credit: Ocado)
  • Cals: 186
  • Fat: 1.2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.3g
  • Sugar: 3.7g
  • Salt: 1.13g

Verdict: Biona's Organic Rye Bread is definitely one of the best breads we analysed. It contains the lowest calories per 100g and while it's not the cheapest loaf you could buy, it's a really healthy option for the whole family. Rye's also good if you can't stomach wheat.


2. Cranks Wholelotta Loaf Wholemeal Bread: 9/10

Cranks Wholelotta Loaf Wholemeal Bread

(Image credit: Waitrose)
  • Cals: 227
  • Fat: 2.1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.3g
  • Sugar: 1.0g
  • Salt: 0.8g

Verdict: Crank's Wholemeal Bread is a great buy, it has the second lowest sugar content and it's an organic product too, making it a healthy option for your family.


3. Hovis Nimble Sliced Wholemeal Bread: 8/10

Hovis Nimble Sliced Wholemeal Bread

(Image credit: Sainsbury's)
  • Cals: 226
  • Fat: 2.2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 2.2g
  • Salt: 0.93g

Verdict: If you've not eaten Nimble bread before, now's the time to try. It's cheap, low in saturated fat and best of all, only has 51 calories per slice. Admittedly the slices are a little smaller than some other loaves, but choosing this healthy bread is a really easy way to cut out some unnecessary calories in your diet.


4. Warburtons Danish Light White Bread: 8/10

Warburtons Danish Light White Bread

(Image credit: Ocado)
  • Cals: 239
  • Fat: 1.4g 
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g 
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Salt: 0.95g

Verdict: If you're watching your weight, then going for a lighter bread option might be a good choice. It really does what it says on the packet, with only 50 calories per slice plus low fat and saturated fat. Not bad for little over £1 a loaf.


5. Waitrose Soft White Farmhouse: 8/10

Waitrose Soft White Farmhouse

(Image credit: Waitrose)
  • Cals: 239
  • Fat: 1.3g
  • Saturated fat: 0.3g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Salt: 1.09g

Verdict: With just 1.3g of fat per 100g, this loaf has one of the lowest fat contents by far and also boasts low sugar and saturated fat. The best part is it's super-tasty as well - we'll be adding this loaf to our shopping list, that's for sure!


6. Tesco White Toastie Thick Bread: 7/10

Tesco White Toastie Thick Bread: 7/10

  • Cals: 239
  • Fat: 2.2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 2.5g
  • Salt: 0.9g

Verdict: Tesco White Toastie Thick Bread is surprisingly healthy when compared to other bread options, with low fat, sugar and salt contents - and it’s a purse-friendly choice too. 


7. Hovis Tasty Wholemeal Bread: 7/10

Hovis Tasty Wholemeal

(Image credit: Sainsbury's)
  • Cals: 221
  • Fat: 1.8g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 4.1g
  • Salt: 0.9g

Verdict: This is a pretty good option, with just 64 calories per slice, and eating wholemeal bread means you're getting some valuable fibre in your diet too. Plus, this brown bread is thicker than lots of other options, so tastier too!


8. Warburtons Medium Sliced White Bread: 6/10

Warburtons Medium Sliced White Bread: 7/10

  • Cals: 244
  • Fat: 2.0g 
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 3.0g
  • Salt: 0.98g

Verdict: With high calories per slice, at 98, if you're trying to make healthy choices you won’t want to overindulge in this loaf. But with only 2.0g of fat per 100g, this Warburtons Sliced White bread is far from the least healthy option. 


9. Kingsmill 50/50 Medium Sliced Bread: 5/10

Kingsmill 50/50 Medium Sliced Bread: 5/10

  • Cals: 234
  • Fat: 2.2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 3.5g
  • Salt: 0.95g

Verdict: Kingsmill 50/50 bread is a good choice for kids as they won't realise that they are eating some very healthy wholemeal. Plus, it's really low in saturated fat so a healthy option for everyone.


10. Tesco Tiger Bloomer bread: 4/10

Tesco Tiger Bread

(Image credit: Tesco)
  • Cals: 252
  • Fat: 1.9g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 2.5g
  • Salt: 0.79g

Verdict: Who doesn't love a slice of freshly baked Tiger Bread? Well, the good news is, it's not too bad for you! This loaf from Tesco is low in saturated fat, as it barely contains any per slice. Plus it would go nicely with some cheese and maybe a glass of wine...


Elsewhere, we've also taken a look at healthy cereal and healthy takeaway options, and ranked the healthiest chocolate bars and healthiest biscuits.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies