Gluten-Free Breads: Best and Worst Picks
Bread gets a bad rap these days, with gluten-free and keto diets getting so much buzz these days. But being mindful of carbs doesn’t mean that bread is off-limits, and gluten-free breads have really come a long way. But take heed when browsing the bread aisle; many gluten-free, grain-free breads aren’t much better than plain old white bread. Read on for a rundown on the best and worst gluten-free breads in stores.
First things first
Before we delve into best and worst picks for gluten-free bread, let’s first manage our expectations. Gluten-free bread will never be a perfect replacement for that crusty, mouthwatering sourdough option. I find that gluten-free breads are much better when freshly toasted; don’t let it sit for too long once toasted or the texture won’t be quite as nice.
Top picks for gluten-free breads
The following options are made entirely with unrefined ingredients.
- Per slice: 110 calories, 8 grams carbohydrate (4 net carbs), 4 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
- Ingredients include eggs, almond butter, flax, arrowroot flour, psyllium, almond flour, apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pecans, hemp hearts
- Small slice
- Nutty flavor and texture
- Per slice: 100 calories, 9 grams carbohydrate (5 net carbs), 4 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
- Ingredients include eggs, cashew butter, flax, arrowroot flour, dairy-free cheese (blend of coconut oil, tapioca flour, olive juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, hemp protein powder, smoked paprika), psyllium
- Small slice
- Mild savory, cheesy flavor
- Per serving (2 slices): 180 calories, 12 grams carbohydrate (4 net carbs), 8 grams fiber, 0 grams added sugar, 7 grams protein
- Ingredients include blanched almond flour, eggs, flax, coconut flour, psyllium seed husk, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar
- Small slice
- Neutral flavor and texture
OK picks for gluten-free bread
The following options contain a blend of whole grains and refined, processed starches.
Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain
- Per slice: 90 calories, 17 grams carb, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams added sugar, 2 grams protein
- Ingredients include brown rice flour, tapioca flour, whole grain sorghum flour, whole grain millet
- Contains 2 grams of added sugar per serving, from added sugars such as agave, cane sugar and molasses
Sam’s Choice Multigrain Bread
- Per slice: 80 calories, 16 grams carb, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram added sugar, 2 grams protein
- Ingredients include brown rice flour, tapioca starch, tapioca syrup, whole grain sorghum, whole grain millet seeds, amaranth seeds, teff seeds, red quinoa seeds
- Moderately sized slice, lighter in color, neutral texture
- Relatively similar to traditional bread
Worst picks for gluten-free bread
The following options are each primarily a blend of refined, processed starches. Some contain added isolated fibers.
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- Per slice: 40 calories, 15 grams carbs (1 gram net carb), 14 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams protein
- Ingredients: Modified resistant tapioca starch, oil, cornstarch, psyllium and chicory root fiber (added isolated fibers), modified cellulose, coconut sugar, rice bran, xanthan gum
Udi’s Whole Grain
- Per serving (2 slices): 140 calories, 22 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams added sugar, 3 grams protein
- Tapioca starch is the first ingredient after water, followed by brown rice flour
- 3 grams added sugar per serving, thanks to the three different types of sugar listed: cane sugar, tapioca syrup and molasses
Editor’s note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples nor is she paid to recommend items. A version of this originally appeared on WGNO’s “Get FUELED with Molly” segment.