Wheat wraps and wheat bread are both high in fiber, B vitamins and a multitude of minerals, especially if you choose a whole-grain variety. But depending on your diet and your specific needs, wheat bread is generally a bit healthier. Wheat bread is lower in calories, sodium and saturated fat, but it doesn’t have quite as much fiber as wheat wraps.
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If you’re counting calories, you might want to opt for wheat bread instead of wheat wraps. Two slices of whole-wheat bread, weighing a total of about 2 1/4 ounces, offer around 160 calories. But a wheat wrap of the same weight has nearly 200 calories, or 25 percent more than you’ll get from whole-wheat bread.
Wheat tortillas have about 10 percent more sodium than wheat bread. If your blood pressure is on the high end, your doctor surely warned you about the importance of controlling your sodium intake. High amounts of sodium in your diet force your body to retain water, resulting in more work for your heart muscle to circulate blood. Limit yourself to 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily if you’re healthy, or 1,500 milligrams if you already have high blood pressure. Two slices of wheat bread have approximately 290 milligrams of sodium, whereas a wheat tortilla has nearly 330 milligrams.
Saturated Fat Comparisons
When it comes to saturated fat content, wheat bread is definitely the healthier option. Since saturated fat is related to high cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease, it should make up less than 10 percent of your calories -- 22 grams at the most for a 2,000-calorie diet. Two slices of whole-wheat bread provide less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat. One 2 1/4-ounce wrap has over 3 grams of saturated fat, making it a less desirable option for a healthy diet.
You definitely want more fiber in your diet. Fiber from grains helps keep you feeling full, while regulating your bowel movements. For optimal health, you need 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. So if you're on a 2,000-calorie diet, you should get 28 grams of fiber daily. Wheat tortillas give you nearly one-fourth of that amount, with around 6.5 grams. Whole-wheat bread isn’t too far behind, however. You’ll get about 4 grams of fiber, or almost 14 percent of the recommended amount, from two slices.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Bread, Whole-Wheat, Commercially Prepared
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Tortillas, Ready-to-Bake or -Fry, Whole Wheat
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fiber