Although all types of bread can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, the healthiest types of bread are 100% wholegrain or wholemeal. This is because they contain all the nutritive elements from the whole grain such as fibres, vitamins and minerals. Each type of grain has its own nutritional characteristics. For instance, ancient grains such as quinoa or amaranth contain more protein, while the traditional rye and wheat grains contain more fibre. The addition of seeds gives bread extra benefits because they are full of vitamins and minerals. They also contain good fats (such as omega 3) and are very rich in fibres.
Some types of bread have also been shown to have specific health benefits. Thanks to its high fibre content, wholegrain rye bread improves gut health and prevents constipation. Bread that contains a significant amount of oat beta-glucan, a specific type of fibre, can help reduce bad cholesterol, a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
Some studies also suggest that sourdough and sprouted bread allow us to benefit even more from all the goodness of wholegrains, thus positioning them as even healthier options. Finally, healthier breads should contain a reduced level of salt.
To sum up, no single bread can be called the healthiest, but we can eat, and benefit from, a variety of healthy breads.