White bread is at risk of becoming a niche market, predicts the vice-president of marketing for ConAgra Mills. We can only hope he’s right. But while demand for white bread fell by 20 percent between 2005 and 2010, it still has 35 percent of the sliced-bread market. Whole grains are at 21 percent, and a grab-bag “other” category is at 44 percent. We’ve evaluated scores of breads and come up with a list of the best below.
Best Bites (✔✔) below have no more than 120 milligrams of sodium per slice and are all (or almost all) whole grain. We disqualified breads made with the poorly tested artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium or sucralose. (Note that since our original breads rating, we downgraded sucralose from “safe” to “caution,” resulting in the exclusion of 11 former “Best Bites” breads that contain sucralose.) We didn’t look at breads sold only in natural food stores. Due to regional variations, our numbers may not exactly match what’s on the packages. Of course, we couldn’t evaluate delicious, whole-grain breads baked by countless local bakeries—but we suspect that most of them are high in sodium. Breads are ranked from least to most sodium, then least to most calories, within each category.
Other relevant links:
• Our selection of the best soups you can buy. See: What to Eat: The Best Soups You Can Buy
• Check out our selection of the healthiest yogurts. See: What to Eat: Here are the Best Yogurts
• Our top popcorn picks. See: What to Eat: The Healthiest Popcorns You Can Buy