Breads: Best and worst loaves for your health revealed

Everyone loves a slice of toast or a sandwich, but by making healthy bread choices you could cut some calories. Do you know the healthiest bread for your diet? We rate low calorie bread to loaf shockers

Burgen Premium Soya And Linseed Loaf: 1/10
(Image credit: Roland Hoskins/Associated Newspapers/REX/Shutterstock)

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 (opens in new tab) and all white loaves (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) Cromwell Hospital Nutrition, a lot of choosing the healthiest bread is making sure it's got enough fibre content.

Credit: Getty Images

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...

Burgen Premium Soya And Linseed Loaf: 1/10

Burgen Premium Soya And Linseed Loaf: 1/10

(Image credit: Roland Hoskins/Associated Newspapers/REX/Shutterstock)

Per 100g (An average slice of this bread is around 40g)-

Cals: 287 (Per slice, 126) Highest calories per 100g

Fat: 11.0g Highest fat

Saturated fat: 1.5g Highest sat fat

Sugar: 4.2g Highest sugar

Salt: 0.75g

Weight: 800g

Price: £1 (Cheapest at Asda)

Verdict: This bread might look healthy but don't be fooled, it's actually packed with calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar - the worst of all the breads we looked at!

Tesco Tiger Bloomer bread: 4/10

Tesco Tiger Bloomer bread: 4/10

(Image credit: Tesco)

Per slice (An average slice of bread is around 50g) -

Cals:101

Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat:0.2gLowest sat fat

Sugar: 1.0g

Salt: 0.3g

Weight: 400g

Price: £0.70 (Available at Tesco)

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 wins the saturated fat contest hands down, as it barely contains any. Plus it would go nicely with some cheese and maybe a glass of wine...

Kingsmill 50/50 Medium Sliced Bread: 5/10

Kingsmill 50/50 Medium Sliced Bread: 5/10

Per 100g - (An average slice of this bread is around 40g)

Cals: 232 (Per slice, 93)

Fat: 1.8g

Saturated fat: 0.3g Low sat fat

Sugar: 3.4g

Salt: 0.9g

Weight: 800g

Price: £1.00 (Cheapest at Tesco)

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.

Hovis Tasty Wholemeal Bread

Hovis Tasty Wholemeal Bread

Per 100g - (An average slice of this bread is around 29g)

Cals: 221 (Per slice, 64)

Fat: 1.8g

Saturated fat: 0.4g

Sugar: 4.1g

Salt: 0.9g

Weight: 400g

Price: 85p at Ocado

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!

Warburtons Medium Sliced White Bread: 7/10

Warburtons Medium Sliced White Bread: 7/10

Per 100g (An average slice of this bread weighs 40.3g)-

Cals: 244 (Per slice, 98)

Fat: 2.0g Low fat

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Sugar: 3.0g

Salt: 0.9g

Weight: 400g

Price: £1.05 (Cheapest at Sainsbury’s)

Verdict: With high calories per slice, at 98, you don’t want to overindulge. But with only 2.0g of fat per 100g, this Warburtons Sliced White bread is a pretty good option. The slices are really lightweight, but fill your sandwich with fresh salad leaves and you won't notice the difference.

Tesco White Toastie Thick Bread: 7/10

Tesco White Toastie Thick Bread: 7/10

Per 100g (An average slice of bread weighs 50g)-

Cals: 239 (Per slice, 119)

Fat: 2.2g

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Sugar: 2.5g

Salt: 0.8g

Weight: 800g

Price: £0.55 (Available at Tesco (opens in new tab))

Verdict: Tesco White Toastie Thick Bread is surprisingly healthier than most with low fat, sugar and salt contents and it’s purse-friendly choice. Especially if you love a slice or two of white toast on those cheat days!

Weight Watchers White Danish Bread: 8/10

Weight Watchers White Danish Bread: 8/10

Per 100g (An average slice of this bread weighs 20.6g)-

Cals: 243 (Per slice, 50)

Fat: 1.6g Low fat

Saturated fat: 0.5g Low sat fat

Sugar: 2.5g

Salt: 1.0g

Weight: 400g

Price: £1.00 (Cheapest at Morrisons)

Verdict: If you're watching your weight, then what better bread to go for than Weight Watchers! It really does what it says on the packet, with only 50 calories per slice plus low fat and saturated fat. Not bad for just £1.00 a loaf.

Hovis Nimble Sliced Wholemeal Bread: 8/10

Hovis Nimble Sliced Wholemeal Bread: 8/10

(Image credit: Tesco)

Per 100g (An average slice of this bread weighs 22g)-

Cals: 233 (Per slice, 51) Lowest cals per slice

Fat: 2.5g

Saturated fat: 0.6g

Sugar: 2.2g

Salt: 0.93g

Weight: 400g

Price: £0.85 (Cheapest at Tesco)

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.

Cranks Proper Organic Seeded Farmhouse Bread: 9/10

Cranks Proper Organic Seeded Farmhouse Bread: 9/10

Per 100g (An average slice of bread weighs around 50g)-

Cals: 227

Fat: 2.1g

Saturated fat: 0.3g

Sugar: 1.0g

Salt: 0.8

Weight: 800g

Price: £1.50 (Cheapest at Ocado)

Verdict: Crank's Organic Seeded Farmhouse Bread is a great buy. It has the 2nd lowest sugar content and it's an organic product too.

Weight Watchers Thick Sliced Wholemeal Brea: 9/10

Weight Watchers Thick Sliced Wholemeal Brea: 9/10

Per 100g (An average slice of this bread weighs 8.6g)-

Cals: 225 (Per slice, 64)

Fat: 2.2g

Saturated fat: 0.7g

Sugar: 2.6g

Salt: 1.0g

Weight: 400g

Price: £1.00 (Cheapest at Morrisons)

Verdict: Weight Watchers sure know how to make delicious low calorie bread! And this wholemeal loaf is no different. With just 64 calories per (thick!) slice, it's a great low-calorie choice that'll fill you up too.

Biona Organic Rye Bread Amaranth/Quinoa Wheat Free Bread: 10/10

Biona Organic Rye Bread Amaranth/Quinoa Wheat Free Bread: 10/10

Per 100g (the average slice of bread is around 50g)-

Cals: 195 One of the lowest calories

Fat: 0.7g

Saturated fat: 0.3g

Sugar: 4.3g

Salt: 0.98g

Weight: 500g

Price: £1.89 (Cheapest at Tesco)

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

Waitrose Farmhouse Batch Sliced Bread: 10/10

Waitrose Farmhouse Batch Sliced Bread: 10/10

Per 100g (An average slice of this bread weighs 50g)-

Cals: 229 (Per slice, 115)

Fat: 1.2g Lowest fat

Saturated fat: 0.3g Low sat fat

Sugar: 1.7g

Salt: 0.7g

Weight: 800g

Price: £1.35 (Available at Waitrose)

Verdict: Waitrose Farmhouse Batch is the best of the bunch! With just 1.2g of fat per 100g, it has the lowest fat content 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!