Bread is the food of life, as the saying goes. It’s full of good stuff, like fiber, carbohydrates, and nutrients.
All of that keeps the human body humming along, happy and healthy as can be, and so do the calories that all of those vital things amount up to.
So what bread has the least calories?
Calories aren’t a bad thing. They keep us going, and depending on your dietary needs, you may need bread with more or less calories.
For an exact number, always to look at the bread calorie count on the packaging, because many companies have their own unique recipes, but we can still pull an average calorie count out of the works.
What’s in a
That’s an excellent question. Ingredients that you’ll find in most breads are sugar, salt, yeast, water, butter/margarine, vegetable or canola oil, and one or more types of flour.
Some types of bread may also contain eggs, nuts, fruits, and seeds or grains. Your best bet to knowing exactly what is in your bread is to a) make it yourself, or b) read through the ingredients listed on the label.
Below is a round-up of the healthiest breads you’ll find in your supermarket or bakery, and we’ll tell you what’s in them, their average calorie count, and how they compare.
What Bread Has the Least Calories?
Whole Grain Bread Calories
Multigrain sounds good, and it is, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s the bee’s knees.
Multigrain bread is essentially white bread with grains added to the dough.
This does make it a healthier alternative to white bread, but whole grain bread is made from whole grain flour and therefore is packed with nutrients that white flour lacks – unless artificial nutrients are added, some of which include iron, protein, Vitamin E, and magnesium.
Average calorie count per 100g: 259
Whole Wheat Bread Calories
Unlike whole grain bread, which can be made from any whole grain (like oats, wheat, barley, and brown rice), whole wheat bread is only made from milling the wheat kernel.
As whole wheat still uses the entirety of the wheat grain, it still has much better nutritional value than white bread and carries similar benefits to that of whole grain bread. Wheat bread calories are slightly lower than grain bread calories too.
Average calorie count per 100g: 241
French and Sourdough Bread Calories
French and sourdough breads are actually some of the healthiest breads around.
Largely, this is in part due to the fact that sourdough is made from only three ingredients: flour, water, and salt. As sourdough is left to rise for far longer than most other kinds of bread, letting the ‘wild yeast’ that naturally occurs in flour get to work, the result is a bread that, on average, contains more minerals and nutrients than white bread and is also easier for the human body to digest.
Through the long rise-time, the phytate levels in the dough are lessened. This is important, because phytates bind themselves to minerals, which makes it much harder for our bodies to absorb them.
Though lower in fiber than whole grain breads, sourdough will make you feel fuller for longer, therefore saving you calories throughout the day.
Average calorie count per 100g: 287
Rye Bread Calories
Rye is a whole grain bread made from the rye grain. It’s a good alternative for people who want something healthy and more filling than other breads. Rye has lots of fiber, folate, manganese, and selenium, and is low in saturated fat.
Like sourdough, it has a sharper, almost tangy taste, and will help you feel fuller for longer too.
Average calorie count per 100g: 259
Pita Bread Calories
Pita bread, traditionally from the Middle East and Mediterranean, is commonly thought of as one of the healthier breads you can choose.
Although the average calorie count per 100g is around the same as the other breads we’ve been looking at, pita isn’t nearly as dense and is generally served in lower quantities, hence is usually less calories. Plus it’s very low in fat.
One of the downsides to pita bread is that it can be high in sodium, which can encourage your body to retain water (and thus weight).
Average calorie count per 100g: 275
Though gluten-free products are being considered a trendy diet fad at the moment, they aren’t always a healthier alternative – unless of course you have been diagnosed with celiac disease.
In order to make bread without gluten, the flour has to be made from something other than rye, wheat, or barley – the three products that most flour is made from. This means that gluten-free flour is often made of a mixture of rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and/or buckwheat flour.
Unfortunately, gluten-free bread tends to lack in nutrients and fiber, can have high glycaemic counts, and may possess a number of additives to help the taste, texture, and shape of the loaf.
Given how varied gluten-free bread can be, it’s difficult to find an average for how many calories a loaf contains. In general, most sit around the same levels as the other types of bread that we’ve covered here. But, there are some that will have far more, or far less.
If you are on a gluten-free diet, carefully read over the ingredients on the label, compare nutritional labels, and find the brand that suits you. Or, head to your local bakery and ask what they make their gluten-free bread from.
And don’t forget, you can even try baking it yourself!
Is Low Calorie Bread a Myth?
As you can see, there isn’t much difference between calorie counts in breads — there’s no real low calorie bread unfortunately.
So long as you aren’t eating sweet breads – like sweet rolls and sugar lacquered pull-aparts – the calories in bread seems to hover between 240 and 290 per 100 grams, which is roughly two half-inch thick slices of bread. Even white bread calories and pita bread calories sit in that range.
Instead, ask what the healthiest bread is. In that case, either sourdough or whole grain bread is the best bread around.
Now you know everything about bread calories — any questions?