Breads: Best and worst loaves for your health revealed

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  • Do you know the healthiest bread for your diet?

    Every household has a few loaves of bread in it, whether it’s for a nice slice of toast for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch or a quick beans on toast dinner.

    Whilst you might think that all breads are basically the same when it comes to our health and our diet, we were astonished to see just how much the healthiest breads differ in calories and fat to the worst offenders.

    It’s hard to believe that one popular bread brand contains a whopping 127 calories per slice, compared to another which contains just 57 calories per slice. So if you’re watching your waistline, it’s definitely worth finding out which loaves to reach for, and which to avoid altogether.

    MORE: Healthiest chocolate bars: the best and worst chocolate for your diet

    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.

    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.’

    Credit: Getty Images

    “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…