Burgen, Tip Top and Helga’s


From white, wholegrain to soy & linseed, dietitian Melissa Meier breaks down the nutrition of each bread available in supermarkets – and reveals her top pick. 

White or wholemeal? No longer is that your only choice. The bakery section of the supermarket is expanding at the rate of knots, which has made choosing the healthiest loaf a tricky task. Here’s what you need to know about the different varieties available on the shelf, so you can have your bread – and eat it, too.

White bread

My pick: Wonder White High Fibre, nutritional information per 2 slices

  • 740kJ (177cal)
  • 6g protein
  • 31.6g carbs
  • 5.6g fibre
  • 300mg sodium

Usually a childhood favourite, white bread is unfortunately at the bottom of my list because it’s made with refined wheat flour. It’s typically lower in fibre and micronutrients, and has a higher glycaemic index (FYI that means it’s rapidly digested, which spikes your blood sugar and leaves you feeling hungry soon after). If white bread is the only option in your household, your best choice is a high-fibre white loaf.

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Multigrain bread

My pick: Tip Top 9 Grain Original, nutritional information per 2 slices

  • 770kJ (184cal)
  • 9g protein
  • 26g carbs
  • 4.8g fibre
  • 296mg sodium

A step above white is multigrain, which is white bread with grains added to it (think: rye, corn, oats and barley). The extra grains improve the nutritional merit of this loaf and lower the glycaemix index.

Wholemeal bread

My pick: Tip Top The One Wholemeal, nutritional information per 2 slices

  • 723kJ (173cal)
  • 7.2g protein
  • 27.4g carbs
  • 6.3g fibre
  • 289mg sodium

Wholemeal bread is made of wholemeal flour, so it comes with more micronutrients than your standard white loaf (think: iron and healthy fats). Although it ranks a little higher in terms of glycaemic index, it’s still a nutritious choice.

Wholegrain bread

My pick: Burgen Wholemeal & Seeds, nutritional information per 2 slices

  • 765kJ (183cal)
  • 11g protein
  • 19.3g carbs
  • 9.2g fibre
  • 320mg sodium

Now we’re talking. Wholegrain bread is made of wholemeal flour and has extra grains added to it. It’s also low GI, so it’s a win-win.

Soy-linseed bread

My pick: Burgen Soy Lin, nutritional information per 2 slices

  • 751kJ (180cal)
  • 11.2g protein
  • 19.9g carbs
  • 5.6g fibre
  • 361mg sodium

With the added goodness of soy and linseeds, this bread is nutrient-dense. Along with grain benefits, it provides healthy omega-3 fats that support your heart and brain, so is a really good choice.

Sourdough bread

My pick: Bills 100% Wholemeal Sourdough, nutritional information per 40 grams

  • 416kJ (100cal)
  • 3.3g serve
  • 15.9g carbs
  • 2.6g fibre
  • 93mg sodium

Sourdough has a low GI and due to the fermentation of the dough, is also a source of probiotics (in case you’re not up to speed, these are the good bacteria you want to have in your gut). If wholemeal sourdough is on offer, that’s even better.

Rye bread

My pick: Burgen Rye, nutritional information per 83 grams

  • 859kJ (206cal)
  • 8.8g protein
  • 6.4g fibre
  • 388mg sodium

Rye can be a good choice, but I’d suggest checking the ingredients list and nutrition information panel for the percentage of rye and amount of sodium. The darker the bread, the higher the wholegrain rye content, and the lighter the bread, the lower the wholegrain rye content.

Gluten free bread

My pick: Helga’s Soy & Linseed Gluten Free, nutritional information per 2 slices

  • 880kJ (211cal)
  • 4.4g protein
  • 33.1g carbs
  • 5.9g fibre
  • 330mg sodium

Last but not least, gluten free bread – and boy oh boy have we opened a can of worms! There’s a huge range of gluten free breads on offer, and with that, comes a huge variety in nutrition. From personal experience, I think soy-linseed gluten free bread is best.

My top pick…

At the end of the day, there are plenty of healthy breads on the supermarket shelf. The best bread for you depends on a couple of different factors, but for the average Joe, my top pick is a wholegrain loaf. Get toasting!

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.

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