If you're following a specific diet (such as keto or paleo) or you're trying to manage your blood sugar levels, one of the hardest things to give up when you're going low-carb is bread. The good news is, there are more and more low-carb bread options in grocery stores and recipes that rely on wholesome ingredients and deliver on taste.
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When searching for a low-carb bread, "it's important to pay attention to ingredient labels," says Mary Ellen Phipps, RDN, LD, founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition.
For gluten-free options, Phipps says to look for breads that are made with grain-free flours like almond, tapioca and arrowroot. "And be careful of low-carb options that add unnecessary amounts of fiber in the form of inulin or other processed fibers. While most people can tolerate these, some people can experience GI upset as a result."
To help you achieve your health and wellness goals, we rounded up the best low-carb bread and bread alternatives out there for you to enjoy.
How We Chose
We tapped three registered dietitians for their recommendations on picking low-carb bread and bread alternatives. Along with their input, we carefully selected the products on this list based on the following criteria:
- Carb count
- Ingredient list
- Fiber content
What Is Considered 'Low-Carb'?
While there is no strict definition of "low-carb," dietitian Justine Chan, RD, CDE, says bread with fewer than 15 grams of carbs per serving can be considered low-carb, depending on the diet you're following.
Low-carb diets come in many varieties, from fairly relaxed to very strict. Generally, there are three categories:
Relaxed: The USDA recommends adults get 45 to 65 percent of calories from carbs, or no less than 130 grams a day, according to the USDA. So, technically, a relaxed, low-carb diet could include an amount only slightly less than that — say 100 grams per day, or 40 percent of calories from carbs.
On this type of diet, people are usually just cutting out non-nutritive carbs, such as sugar and refined grains, but they will often include some whole grains. In that case, any type of whole-grain bread is a good option.
Moderate: The middle ground is a diet that includes somewhere between 50 and 100 grams of carbs per day. There may be some wiggle room for grain foods, but not much. You might be able to include some breads made with high-fiber whole grains that have lower net carb counts, but you may also have to seek out very low-net carbs or zero-carb breads.
Instead of counting total carbs, tracking net carbs will give you the number of carbs your body actually digests.
You can calculate net carbs with this equation: Total carbs – fiber – sugar alcohols = net carbs
Strict: This includes the popular ketogenic diet. Fifty grams of carbs per day is the max with this eating style, but carbs often need to be much lower to get into ketosis. Some keto diets suggest eating only 5 percent of daily calories from carbs. There are some breads suitable for keto diets — those that are very high in fiber and very low in net carbs.
1. Best Overall: Dave’s Killer Bread Thin Sliced
- 13 grams of carbs per slice
Dave's Killer Bread now offers a best-selling Thin Sliced 21 Whole Grains and Seeds option, and it's lower in carbs and calories than their other bread products.
The original version of this bread has 22 grams of carbs per slice, while this thin-sliced choice has only 13 grams of carbs and 2 grams of dietary fiber per slice.
This bread is a great choice for making sandwiches and toast, with the hearty seeded crust adding texture and the mixture of grains giving it a subtle, sweet taste.
Dave's Killer Bread products are all organic, and the thin-sliced version still delivers 140 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 12 grams of whole grains per 70-calorie slice.
Buy it: Target.com; Price: $5.49
2. Best Budget: Nature’s Harvest Light Multigrain Bread
- 18 grams of carbs per 2 slices
This budget-friendly bread offers 18 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per two-slice serving. On top of that, it's very low in sugar with only 1 gram per serving, which might be beneficial for anyone watching their blood sugar levels.
Made with whole-wheat flour and whole grains such as oats, barley and amaranth, this light multigrain bread is a light, filling and affordable option.
Buy it: Ralphs.com; Price: $4.49
3. Best Gluten-Free: Carbonaut Gluten-Free White Bread
- 15 grams of carbs per slice
Made of chicory root fiber and coconut sugar, this Carbonaut bread is the perfect option for anyone avoiding gluten.
Even though you'll only get 15 grams of carbs in a slice of this bread, you'll get a sufficient dose of fiber, with each one offering 14 grams. Beyond white bread, Carbonaut also has varieties like Seeded and Cinnamon Raisin.
Enjoy this high-fiber bread with peanut butter, jam or fruit.
Buy it: Heb.com; Price: $7.70
4. Best Sprouted: Ezekiel 4:9 Flax Sprouted Whole-Grain Bread
- 15 grams of carbs per slice
If you're a fan of Food for Life's Ezekiel bread, the Ezekiel 4:9 Flax Sprouted Whole-Grain Bread is their lowest carb option, providing 15 grams of carbs and 3 grams of dietary fiber per slice.
Made from freshly sprouted and organically grown grains, this bread option is not only hearty enough to keep you full, it's also rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and natural fiber with no added fat or sugar.
Choosing the Flax variety will also give you a dose of omega-3 fatty acids, thanks to the addition of flaxseeds.
5. Best Paleo: Mikey’s Hearty Sliced Bread
- 7 grams of carbs per slice
Mikey's clean ingredient list delivers a tasty gluten-free and paleo low-carb bread option. Each slice has just 7 grams of carbs and offers 3 grams of dietary fiber (which brings your net carbs to 4 grams). Plus, you get 6 grams of protein per slice for staying power, mainly because the first ingredients are eggs and almond flour.
Mikey's Hearty Sliced Bread is also free of grains, dairy and soy, so if you're allergic or avoiding those ingredients, this one is a good choice.
Buy it: Mikeys.com; Price: $9
6. Best Seeded: Sola Deliciously Seeded Low-Carb Bread
- 7 grams of carbs per slice
Sola Deliciously Seeded Low-Carb Bread has just 7 grams of carbs and 4 grams of dietary fiber per 80-calorie slice. Each slice provides 5 grams of satiating protein and is sweetened with monk fruit and stevia leaf, rather than added sugar.
The unique seed blend in this bread gives it texture and nutrients, with ingredients like flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower and chia seeds.
Another great thing is that this bread will stay fresh for up to two weeks at room temperature and can be stored frozen for up to 6 months. The company recommends freezing shortly after receiving and removing from the freezer as needed.
Sola's other bread options, Golden Wheat and Sweet Oat, also have 4 grams or less of net carbs per slice.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $22.31
7. Best Wheat: Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat
- 11 grams of carbs per slice
If you're looking for a soft sandwich bread that offers whole-grain nutrition, search no further than Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat bread, which has 11 grams of carbs and 2 grams of dietary fiber per 60-calorie slice.
The deliciously sweet and soft wheat in this bread makes it a great option for sandwiches and more. And because it's made with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, you'll reap the nutritional benefits of 13 grams of whole grains per serving without the potentially harmful additives.
Buy it: Target.com; Price: $3.19
8. Best Multi-Grain: Wasa Multi-Grain Crisp Bread
- 8 grams of carbs per crisp
For some extra crunch and wholesome ingredients with limited carbs, try Wasa Multi Grain Crispbread. Each slice has just 8 grams of carbs and offer 3 grams of fiber.
The combination of four grains (rye, wheat, oats and barley) provides 12 grams of whole grains and only 35 calories per slice.
Use this low-carb crispbread with jam, nut butter, spreads, tuna salad and more for a satisfying meal or snack.
And if you're looking for a gluten-free option, try the Wasa Gluten-Free Original Crispbread, which has just 10 grams of carbs in a slice.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $3.52
9. Best Alternative: La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb Whole-Wheat Tortillas
- 11 grams of carbs per wrap
With ingredients like corn, wheat and Ancient grains, La Tortilla Factory offers an array of wholesome tortillas in different sizes.
Their Low-Carb line of tortillas includes the La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb Whole Wheat Original Size, with 11 grams of carbs and 8 grams of gut-healthy fiber per 50 calorie wrap. Plus, each tortilla packs in 5 grams of protein and has zero sugar, hydrogenated oils or fake dyes.
This is the perfect low-carb option for those who prefer a wrap or a breakfast burrito as opposed to a sandwich.
Buy it: Target.com; Price: $4.99
3 Things to Consider Before Buying Low-Carb Bread
With so many products to choose from, maybe you're wondering how to go about picking the best low-carb bread for you. Before you buy, here are a few things you should consider.
1. Nutrition Info and Serving Size
If you're going low-carb, look for bread that falls between 10 and 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving. "High-carbohydrate bread would be anything over 20 grams of carbs per slice," says Anna Rios, RDN, a Sonoma County-based dietitian.
Many low-carb bread choices are also low in calories, but not all of them. If you're trying to reduce the number of calories you eat from carbs, be sure to check the nutrition label to see if the bread you're choosing actually has fewer calories. Thin-sliced and "light" varieties often have fewer calories.
It's also important to be mindful of the serving size of your bread. If the serving size is one slice and you plan to make a sandwich with two slices, for example, that will double the carbs and calories in your meal.
Low-carb bread also tends to be higher in protein, averaging around 6 grams per slice, Chan says. "In contrast, regular bread [such as sliced white bread] only has about 3 grams of protein per slice."
When choosing a low-carb bread, dietitians say you should opt for whole grains when possible. There are so many benefits of whole grains: They're rich in complex carbs, which are a great source of energy for the brain, nervous system and physical activity.
The USDA recommends adults get at least half of their grains from whole-grain foods. Look for those with at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving, and check out this helpful guide to buying whole grains.
3. Source of Fiber
You'll want to look for low-carb bread and alternatives that are made from ingredients with soluble fiber, such as psyllium, oats or resistant potato starch, Chan says. "That's because this type of fiber helps to promote good gut bacteria, slow down digestion and lower blood sugar and cholesterol."
What About Homemade Low-Carb Bread?
For a few reasons, making your own low-carbohydrate bread at home is a great idea. When you make your own bread at home, you can control exactly what goes in it and avoid any additives or preservatives sometimes added to breads on store shelves.