Bread Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

slices of bread on a plate

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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Bread can be a nutritious food and part of any diet. Nutrition experts recommend choosing whole-grain options more often since they provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Bread can be made from various grains in either whole or refined varieties. The nutritional information for bread varies by brand and type, as do the number of calories in bread.

Bread Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for one slice (32g) of whole wheat bread.

  • Calories: 82
  • Fat: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 144mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 1.4g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Manganese: 0.7mg

Carbs

One slice of whole wheat bread contains 13.8 carbohydrates. Bread is considered a high-carb food and can also be a source of fiber, depending on the type. Whole wheat bread contains 1.9g of fiber.

Fats

Bread is low in fat, with a slice of whole wheat bread providing 1.1 grams of fat.

Protein

Whole wheat bread contains 4 grams of protein per slice. Bread is relatively high in protein, though it is not a complete protein source.

Vitamins and Minerals

Whole wheat bread is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including several B vitamins, manganese, folate, selenium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. These come from the whole wheat grain.

Refined bread can also contain vitamins and minerals that have been added back during manufacturing. Sometimes, you will see the word "enriched" on a package of commercially prepared bread.

Enriched foods have had the nutrients added back into them because these vitamins and minerals were stripped away during the manufacturing process. Enriched products are usually made from refined grains (grains that have been processed so that the whole grain is no longer intact).

Calories

A single slice of commercially prepared whole wheat bread provides roughly 82 calories. Commercially prepared white bread is slightly lower in calories (about 75 calories per slice). This type of bread typically has slightly more carbohydrates than whole-wheat bread, but less fiber, meaning the net carb intake is about the same.

Rye bread may or may not be made from whole grains depending on the brand. It can also be made from a mixture of refined grains and whole grains. A typical slice of rye bread provides 83 calories.

When you check the nutrition label, you might see that two slices of bread listed as a single serving. That's because the typical amount consumed as a snack or as part of a meal (an amount referred to as the "NLEA serving size" by industry experts) is two slices of bread rather than one.

Health Benefits

Most of the health benefits of bread come from the whole grain variety.

Provides a Nutritious Source of Energy

Bread provides calories (energy) primarily in the form of carbohydrates. Carbs are your body's preferred energy source. When you eat bread, you are providing your body with fuel for your daily activities.

May Improve Heart Health

If you choose bread made from whole grains, you're also getting a source of fiber. Whole grains high in fiber have been shown to help reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. Consuming 28 to 30 grams each day of whole grains may lower total serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), considered “bad” cholesterol.

May Help with Blood Sugar Control

Studies show that consuming more whole grains can help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Research shows eating 1.5 servings of whole grains, such as bread, daily can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels. 

May Support Weight Loss

Weight loss experts generally recommend consuming foods with fiber if you're trying to lose weight. Fiber can help you feel more satisfied after eating less, which can be useful if you're trying to create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

Research supports consuming whole grains for reaching a healthy weight. Those who consume more whole grains tend to have more ideal body fat percentages and lower weight than those who do not.

Allergies

Some people are allergic to gluten, often found in bread. If you have gluten allergy or intolerance, stick to certified gluten-free bread options. Wheat is also a common allergen, so if you are allergic to wheat, it's important to make sure your bread is wheat-free.

Some breads contain nuts and seeds which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Watch for reactions and stay clear of bread with nuts or seeds if you are allergic.

Varieties

The nutrient content in a slice of bread will vary from one brand and type of bread to the next. If you compare bread at the supermarket, you'll notice that the size and thickness of a slice can be significantly different from one loaf to the next.

Even though whole-grain bread tends to be higher in calories, you're also getting the benefit of insoluble fiber—a kind of fiber that does not get absorbed by the body and promotes digestive health.

Compare bread nutrition facts and calorie counts for a few popular brands and varieties of bread.

  • Wonder Classic White Bread: 65 calories, 0.75g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g sugar, 2g protein
  • Pepperidge Farm Soft 100% Whole Wheat Bread: 70 calories, 0.75g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1.5g sugar, 3g protein
  • Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread: 80 calories, 0.5g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 0g sugar, 4g protein
  • Food for Life Gluten-Free Brown Rice Bread: 110 calories, 2.5g fat, 19g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g sugar, 2g protein
  • Orowheat 100% Whole Wheat Bread: 90 calories, 1g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 4g protein
  • Arnold Organic Rustic White Bread:  130 calories, 1g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 4g protein
  • Arnold 12 Grain Bread: 110 calories, 3g fat, 19g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 5g protein
  • Pumpernickel (made at home and sliced thin): 50 calories, 0.6g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 1.3g fiber, 0.1g sugar, 1.7g protein
  • Sun-Maid Raisin Bread Cinnamon Swirl: 100 calories, 1.5g fat, 18g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8g sugar, 3g protein
  • Challah (made at home or prepared in a bakery, thick sliced): 173 calories, 7g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 7g protein (nutrition facts will vary based on the recipe)

Use the nutritional label rather than front-of-package product claims to guide your decisions. Be sure to read them closely: the nutrition facts listed above are for a single slice of bread.

Low Calorie Bread Choices

  • Arnold Bakery Light 100% Whole Wheat Bread: 40 calories per slice
  • Nature's Own Wheat Bread: 40 calories per slice
  • Pepperidge Farm Light Style Bread: 45 calories per slice

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which bread is healthy?

    The healthiest bread for you will depend on your nutritional goals. You might be trying to reduce your sugar intake, increase your daily fiber, or eat more protein. However, nutritional experts agree that choosing whole grains over refined is best for health.

  • Is eating bread good for weight loss?

    Eating bread can be part of any diet, including one focused on weight loss. Weight loss depends on calorie balance—consuming fewer than you burn each day. The fiber in whole grain bread can help you feel full, reduce hunger and cravings, and support weight loss.

  • Is bread good to eat every day?

    Eating bread every day is OK. Choose whole-grain bread varieties to ensure you get the most benefits from eating bread. Research shows that eating whole grains every day supports health.

6 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. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Whole grains.

  2. Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.

  3. McRae MP. Health benefits of dietary whole grains: An umbrella review of meta-analysesJ Chiropr Med. 2017;16(1):10-18. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2016.08.008

  4. Ma Y, Olendzki BC, Wang J, et al. Single-component versus multicomponent dietary goals for the metabolic syndrome: A randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(4):248-257. doi:10.7326/M14-0611

  5. Maki KC, Palacios OM, Koecher K, et al. The relationship between whole-grain intake and body weight: Results of meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trialsNutrients. 2019;11(6):1245. doi:10.3390/nu11061245

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Food allergies.