The 7 Best Whole Grain Breads of 2022, According to a Dietitian

Dave's Killer Bread is nutritious, filling, and dietitian-approved

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

When it comes to choosing bread, it is best to prioritize whole wheat and whole grain options. The American Heart Association recommends selecting whole grains for most of the grains you eat, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest making at least half of your grains whole. The best whole grain breads are made with whole grains and have a balanced profile of fiber, protein, sugar, and salt for your specific dietary needs.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed because it's packed with protein, fiber, and plant-based omega 3s. We also like Nature's Own Whole Wheat Bread because it's affordable, tastes good, and has great nutritional value.

Whole grains include all three parts of the grain kernel: the fiber-packed bran, the nutrient-dense germ, and the starch and protein-rich endosperm. Experts recommend whole grains over refined grains because including the bran and the germ means more fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating whole grains has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The fiber found in whole grains also has a positive impact on digestive health.

Not only are whole grain breads more nutritious, but the added nutrients pack more depth of flavor. However, choosing the right whole grain bread is not as simple as picking up any package that states “whole grain” in the title. To help you find the best bread we researched various options and considered their whole ingredients, nutritional value, flavor, and price.

Here are the best whole-grain breads on the market, according to a dietitian.

Best Overall: Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed

4.8
Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed

Courtesy of Target

Pros
  • 4 grams of fiber

  • 5 grams of protein

  • Company supports a social justice cause

Cons
  • Expensive

Dave's Killer Bread Organic Powerseed bread takes the top spot because it checks all of our boxes for a satisfying whole grain bread, including flavor and nutrition. It’s made from whole wheat and a seed blend that includes flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and oats. Not only do these ingredients provide protein, but they pack in fiber as well as plant-based omega 3s. These ingredients promote cardiovascular health, slow digestion, promote stable blood sugar, and keep you full longer than white bread or even some other whole grain breads.

Dave's Powerseed bread is slightly sweetened with fruit juice, bringing the added sugar content to only 1 gram—a major selling point for this bread over some of the others we tried. As with most of the breads from Dave’s Killer Breads, this bread doesn’t contain vegetable oils, which in excess may contribute to heart disease.

With 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per slice and none of the unnecessary extras, you get a lot of nutrition packed in one slice. All of Dave's Killer Breads are organic and non-GMO if that’s important to you. The company practices something called second chance employment, offering opportunities for those with a criminal background to re-enter the workforce.

Serving size: 1 slice (42 grams) | Calories per serving: 100 | Fiber per serving: 4 grams Sodium per serving: 135 milligrams |  | Protein per serving: 5 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best Budget: Nature's Own Whole Wheat Bread

Nature's Own Whole Wheat Bread

Courtesy of Nature's Own

Pros
  • 4 grams of protein

  • Inexpensive

Cons
  • Includes additives some may be sensitive to

If you are looking for a straightforward whole wheat bread without all the frills—and without the price tag that often comes along with trendier ingredients—Nature’s Own Whole Wheat bread fits the bill (pun intended). It’s made from whole wheat flour and just a handful of other ingredients. This bread offers a strong nutrition profile of 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and less than one gram of sugar.

Nature's Own includes additives and soybean oil for preservation, texture, and flavor, and there is no guarantee that the ingredients are non-GMO. However, as a brand, Nature’s Own promises to never include artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup (it’s very lightly sweetened with brown sugar).

Serving size: 1 slice (26 grams) | Calories per serving: 60 | Fiber per serving: 2 grams Sodium per serving: 110 milligrams |  | Protein per serving: 4 grams | Non-GMO: No | USDA Organic: No | Additives: Yes - Monocalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid, Soybean Oil

Best for People with Diabetes: Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread

Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Bread Organic Sprouted Whole Grain

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Low sodium

  • 5 grams of protein

  • Simple, whole ingredients

Cons
  • Usually sold frozen

  • Expensive

One of the biggest misconceptions about having diabetes is that you have to avoid carbohydrates, especially bread and other similar products. If you enjoy bread and follow a carbohydrate-monitored diet, it’s important to choose a product that’s high in fiber, as fiber-rich diets have been linked to better blood sugar management in people with diabetes.

Food For Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread not only contains 3 grams of fiber, but it also has 5 grams of protein, which can also help slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream to prevent blood sugar spikes. Another selling point is that it doesn’t have any added sugar and is very low in sodium (only 75 milligrams per slice).

As with all of the Food for Life Breads, it’s made from various sprouted grains and seeds, which contribute to its great nutritional profile and add a nice hearty flavor and texture to the bread. 

 It does contain soybeans, so if you’re allergic to soy, look for another Ezekiel 4:9 style bread.

Serving size: 1 slice (34 grams) | Calories per serving: 80 | Fiber per serving: 3 grams Sodium per serving: 75 milligrams |  | Protein per serving: 5 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best Tasting: Dave's Killer Bread Good Seed Organic Bread

Dave's Killer Bread Good Seed Organic Bread

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 5 grams of protein

  • Contains omega-3s

  • Company supports a social justice cause

Cons
  • 5 grams of added sugar

  • Expensive

Finding a whole grain bread with a favorable ingredient list and nutrition profile that doesn’t taste like cardboard can be challenging. While all of the breads on this roundup offer great flavor, Dave’s Killer Breads top the charts on taste. Their Good Seed Bread is a favorite with a nutty, slightly sweet, and not-too-grainy taste.

This bread also offers 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and, as with other Dave’s Killer Breads, contains alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat from the seeds. It does contain 5 grams of sugar, which is higher than some other breads but not over-the-top.

If you want a lighter option, it's also available in a thin-sliced version with the same great flavor, making both good options.

Serving size: 1 slice (45 grams) | Calories per serving: 120 | Fiber per serving: 3 grams Sodium per serving:  160 milligrams |  | Protein per serving: 5 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best Gluten-Free: Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread

Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Heritage Style Whole Grain Bread

Courtesy of Instacart

Pros
  • Dairy, nut, and soy-free

  • Certified gluten-free

  • Contains a variety of grains

Cons
  • Lower in fiber and protein

  • Contains eggs

A great-tasting gluten-free bread that also contains whole grains is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but Canyon Bakehouse has done it. The brown rice, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat contribute enough whole grains for this bread to carry the Whole Grain Council’s “contains 8 grams of whole grains” stamp. These grains contribute some fiber and protein that is often missing in gluten-free breads.

Importantly, Canyon Bakehouse breads are certified gluten-free, making them a safe choice for those with celiac disease and others who need to avoid gluten.

Serving size: 1 slice (42 grams) | Calories per serving: 100 | Fiber per serving: 1 grams Sodium per serving:  170 milligrams |  | Protein per serving: 2 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Additives: Yes - Xanthan Gum

Best Sprouted: Silver Hills Sprouted Power Low Fat Bread

Silver Hills Sprouted Power Low Fat Bread

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 4 to 5 grams of fiber

  • 6 to 7 grams of protein

  • Variety of flavors

Cons
  • Expensive

Sprouted grains (whole grains that have been soaked and left to germinate so they “sprout” a tiny stem) and products made with them have become popular in recent years for their possible health benefits. 

This sprouting process is one of the things that gives Silver Hills Bakery breads a leg up nutritionally, with 4 to 5 grams of fiber and 6 to 7 grams of protein in their breads. Plus, they only contain 2 grams of sugar. Their breads contain a mix of sprouted grains and seeds, giving them a perfectly nutty flavor and texture without the nuts (they are all peanut and tree nut-free). These hearty breads are sure to satisfy and keep you full for hours. 

While they are not certified organic, they do contain organic ingredients and are non-GMO certified and vegan friendly.

Serving size: 2 slices (43 grams) | Calories per serving: 110 | Fiber per serving: 4-5 grams Sodium per serving:  180 milligrams | Protein per serving: 6-7 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Additives: No

The Benefits of Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains may contain more B-vitamins, vitamin C, antioxidants, protein, and fiber. Compared with non-sprouted grains, they also have a lower starch content and fewer compounds called “antinutrients” or components that may decrease absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

Best Bread Mix: King Arthur Multigrain Bread Mix

King Arthur Multigrain Bread Mix

Courtesy of King Arthur Baking

Pros
  • 7 grams of protein

  • Can make with or without a bread machine

  • Recipe includes a variety of different whole grains

Cons
  • Higher in sodium

Want to make your own whole-grain bread without starting from scratch? King Arthur’s Multigrain Bread Mix is what you need. You can make it with or without a bread machine, and the only additional ingredients you need on-hand are vegetable oil, brown sugar or honey, and warm water.

Whole grain flour can yield a dryer, rougher texture in homemade bread when compared to refined flour, so this bread mix uses a refined flour as the base and boosts the fiber and nutrition content with additional whole grain ingredients. This is a great way to create a softer bread people enjoy while maintaining solid nutritional content. The mix is made with their “Super 10 Blend,” which contains ancient whole grains like amaranth, spelt, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, and chia seeds.

One serving of prepared bread contains 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber and does not contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. It is a little higher in sodium than some other breads on this list at 280 milligrams per serving, so if you’re watching your sodium intake, be mindful of how much you eat.

Serving size: 1/3 cup mix (43 grams) | Calories per serving: 150 | Fiber per serving: 3 grams Sodium per serving:  180 milligrams | Protein per serving: 7 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Additives: Yes - Sorbitan Monostearate, Ascorbic Acid

Final Verdict

If you want a bread that not only tastes great but also packs a nutritional punch, Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed Bread (view at Walmart) is the clear choice. Not only is it organic and made by a mission-driven company, but it also has 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to fuel your body and fill you up.

What to Look for in Whole Grain Breads

Ingredients

When accessible, choose breads where the first ingredient starts with the word “whole.” Whether that’s whole wheat, whole grain, or another ancient grain like whole wheat berries, this will signify you’re getting the benefits of each part of the whole grain—the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.  

Registered Dietitian Kimberly Greene Murachver says, “When choosing a bread, look for a product packed with whole grains for long-lasting energy and stable blood sugar during the day. I recommend reading the ingredients to make sure the first ingredient is "whole wheat flour" (or another whole grain) and that the bread contains at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. Whole grain bread is a complex carbohydrate packed with fiber, B-vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Many whole-grain breads also contain seeds that provide healthy fats, awesome texture, and have a satisfying, nutty taste that can add a greater depth of flavor than white bread.”

Fiber

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, but many of us miss that goal by a longshot. Whole-grain breads contain more fiber than refined-grain breads and typically provide anywhere from 3 to 6 grams per slice. 

Protein

Whole grains contain protein, which is why whole grain breads offer more protein than white breads. While most people consume more than enough protein from other sources, protein can help slow digestion and keep you full for longer.

Sugar

The amount of sugar in whole-grain breads ranges from zero to upwards of 8 grams per slice. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugar to less than 25 grams per day for women and less than 37 grams per day for men. Consider how sugar in bread might fit into your day, but in general, choosing those with 2 grams or less per slice is ideal. 

Sodium

Salt is a necessary component of bread making and contributes to the flavor and structure of the bread. However, some breads contain more salt than others. If you’re on a low-sodium diet or get a lot of sodium in other parts of your diet, look for breads with 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which is healthier, whole wheat or whole grain?

    To decide what is the most nutritious, it really depends on the type of grain used in whole grain products. Whole wheat products are guaranteed to contain a good amount of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Other whole grains vary in how much of each they contribute. For example, wheat berries and oats offer significantly more of each of these nutrients than brown rice or millet.

    This is why looking at the ingredients list, and the nutrition facts panel can be helpful when choosing a bread. You might want to prioritize options with higher fiber and protein contents.

    Keep in mind that most whole wheat and whole grain breads have strong nutritional profiles, so make sure to pick an option that tastes good to you, even if it might not be the top performer nutritionally.

  • Is whole grain the same as multigrain?

    In short, no. Neither of these terms has official regulated definitions, but the FDA provides some guidance, stating a whole grain should include “the starchy endosperm, germ, and bran,” either as an intact grain or with all components present. This aligns with the Whole Grain Council’s definition. This ensures there is good nutritional value in whole grain products.

    To identify whole grain products, look for the word “whole” in the first ingredient, so, for example, look for "whole wheat flour" rather than "wheat flour." The Whole Grains Council also has three different whole grain stamps that help you identify whether a product is 100 percent or 50 percent whole grain or if it contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving.

    When it comes to multigrain, neither organization provides guidance on using the label, and this term is often used to describe a mix of grains that may or may not be whole grains. Therefore, multigrain bread is not necessarily whole grain unless the packaging also states whole grain.

  • Is rye bread whole grain?

    Not usually. Most conventional rye breads contain wheat flour as the first ingredient. Not to be confused with whole wheat flour, wheat flour is a refined flour rather than a flour made from the whole grain. This makes most rye breads closer to white bread than whole grain bread.

    However, there are some great whole grain rye options. You can find these by looking for "whole rye" breads. These options are packed with fiber and micronutrients. They gained popularity in Europe and Germany, and the texture and flavor are different than typical whole grain breads.

  • Is whole grain bread good for people with diabetes?

    Yes, people managing diabetes should prioritize getting their carbohydrates from nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods, with an emphasis on whole grains rather than refined grains. This includes whole grain breads.

    Just as with the general population, at least half of their grain choices should be whole. One recommendation is to use whole grain breads as a component of lunches and snacks.

  • Is sourdough bread whole grain?

    Not usually. Sourdough bread is different from conventional bread in that it is leavened using wild yeasts and bacteria, while conventional bread is leavened using packaged yeast. This difference says nothing about the type of flour used.

    Most packaged sourdough breads are made from refined flour rather than whole grains, but whole grain options are not impossible to find. These options are easier to find through local bakeries or farmers markets. Look for "whole wheat sourdough" or "whole grain sourdough."

Why Trust Verywell Fit 

As a food-obsessed registered dietitian, Sarah Anzlovar, MS, RDN, LDN, is always looking for the best, most nutritious products on the market. She prioritizes whole food ingredients to get the most out of every meal and keep you satisfied and energized throughout your day. These are products that Sarah not only feeds her family but also recommends to her clients.

Was this page helpful?
19 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  2. Fardet A. New hypotheses for the health-protective mechanisms of whole-grain cereals: what is beyond fibre? Nutr Res Rev. 2010;23(1):65-134.

  3. Swaminathan S, Dehghan M, Raj JM, et al. Associations of cereal grains intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality across 21 countries in Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology study: prospective cohort studyBMJ.

  4. Fang L, Li W, Zhang W, Wang Y, Fu S. Association between whole grain intake and stroke risk: evidence from a meta-analysisInt J Clin Exp Med. 2015;8(9):16978-16983.

  5. Reynolds AN, Akerman AP, Mann J. Dietary fibre and whole grains in diabetes management: Systematic review and meta-analyses. Ma RCW, ed. PLoS Med. 2020;17(3):e1003053.

  6. Jonnalagadda SS, Harnack L, Liu RH, et al. Putting the whole grain puzzle together: health benefits associated with whole grains--summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite SymposiumJ Nutr. 2011;141(5):1011S-22S. doi:10.3945/jn.110.132944

  7. Ellis E. What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  8. Ellis E. Fiber. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  9. DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH. Omega-6 vegetable oils as a driver of coronary heart disease: the oxidized linoleic acid hypothesisOpen Heart. 2018;5(2):e000898.

  10. Wu F, Yang N, Touré A, Jin Z, Xu X. Germinated brown rice and its role in human healthCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2013;53(5):451-463.

  11. Yang, T.K. Basu, B. Ooraikul F. Studies on germination conditions and antioxidant contents of wheat grainInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2001;52(4):319-330.

  12. Cáceres PJ, Martínez-Villaluenga C, Amigo L, Frias J. Assessment on proximate composition, dietary fiber, phytic acid and protein hydrolysis of germinated ecuatorian brown ricePlant Foods Hum Nutr. 2014;69(3):261-267.

  13. Chavan JK, Kadam SS, Beuchat LR. Nutritional improvement of cereals by sproutingCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 1989;28(5):401-437.

  14. Oldways Whole Grains Council. What's a Whole Grain? A Refined Grain?

  15. American Heart Association. Added Sugars.

  16. U.S Food & Drug Administration. Draft Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff: Whole Grain Label Statements.

  17. Oldways Whole Grains Council. What's a Whole Grain?

  18. Oldways Whole Grains Council. Whole Grain Stamp.

  19. Gray A, Threlkeld RJ. Nutritional Recommendations for Individuals with Diabetes. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.