If you’re on a low-carb diet, like keto or Atkins, you probably think you have to break up with bread—which is seriously sad because bread is delicious and sandwiches are pretty much life. I get it, though, when you're keeping a close eye on your carb count, it's a lot of precious grams to use up all at once.
But carbs are also a major source of energy that give our bodies fuel, says nutritionist Latrice Love, RD. So while you probably shouldn't cut them out completely, it’s fine to keep a closer eye on how much you consume.
While this is easier said than done, the good news is that you're far from the only one facing this predicament—and the low-carb gods have heard your prayers loud and clear. In fact, new low-carb breads have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and tasty brands that don't taste like cardboard (promise!) continue to pop up in aisles all over the place.
While the latest bakehouse creations still contain a few grams of net carbs (total grams of carbs minus grams of fiber) per serving, they still taste satisfying and “carby”—as they should!
You'll probably find that many low-carb breads on the market are actually whole-grain breads, Love says. "Whole grains are packed with more nutrients compared to refined grains, and they're made from whole-wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole-grain cornmeal, and brown rice," she adds.. Then, there are other low-carb breads that pack lots of dietary fiber and are made using nut flours. So less carbs, but more nutrients—sounds like a good tradeoff.
What does "low-carb" actually mean, though? Well, it really depends on your individual daily carb goals. Regardless, "I would say up to 12 grams of net carbs per slice qualifies," suggests nutritionist Kelly Jones, RD. Of course, if you're making a sandwich, you'll want a low-carb bread that falls lower on the net carb spectrum, since you'll use two slices. But if you're making toast or an open-faced sandwich, go ahead and opt for a slice with a slightly higher count.
A good rule of thumb when browsing the bread aisle: "Choose options that contain the highest fiber content possible in relation to the total carbohydrates," says nutritionist Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.
Ready to prep some avo toast? Opt for one of these nutritionist-backed low-carb breads, all of which are totally delicious.
Net carbs: 6 grams
“My family's favorite bread hands down is Schmidt Oldtyme 647 Wheat Bread," says Harris-Pincus. "It contains only 40 calories and six grams of net carbs per slice, but provides seven grams of fiber.”
Plus, it tastes like regular white bread, so you'll totally forget it's low-carb, she says.
Per serving: 40 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 130 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 2 g protein
Net carbs: 3 grams
With just three net carbs per slice, the Golden Wheat flavor is perfect for peanut butter toast. The Sweet and Buttery, Deliciously Seeded, and Sweet Oat varieties hit the mark, too, though.
That said, “it's not gluten-free and does contain sugar alcohols,” says nutritionist Maggie Michalczyk, RD, so keep that in mind if you're avoiding those ingredients.
Per serving: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 8 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 160 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein
Net carbs: 0 grams
“Coming in at zero net carbs, these thins are low-carb and made without any sugar alcohols or filler ingredients," says Michalczyk. They're also gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.
Per serving: 140 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 140 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein
Net carbs: 0 grams
Need a solid option for hearty, but low-carb sandwiches? “Two slices of this bread runs at 90 calories, 14 grams of carbs, 14 grams of fiber, and 14 grams of protein," says Moon. "With all that fiber, your blood sugar won’t spike.” Sign me up!
Per serving: 45 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 7 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 90 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 7 g protein
Net carbs: 8 grams
This bread from Dave's Killer Bread is a favorite of Love's because "it's whole grain and low calorie," she says. Instead of endless grams of sugar, the bread is sweetened with organic fruit juices. To add to its nutritional value, you'll also find tons of seeds on it, including pumpkin, black sesame, and sunflower seeds.
Per serving: 60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 95 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein
Net carbs: 0 grams
Because all of its carbs comes from fiber, this bread clocks in at zero net carbs, and you don't have to settle for basic wheat. The bread is available in several varieties, including cinnamon raison, seeded wheat, and golden wheat. The bread, a #1 best seller on Amazon, has nearly 2,500 positive reviews from people who swear that it's tasty.
Per serving: 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 170 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
Net carbs: 6 grams
“Base Culture’s 7 Nut and Seed bread is perfect for anyone who loves nut butter and coconut, since cashew butter, almond butter, and coconut oil are main ingredients,” says Jones. You’ll taste a bit of sweetness from honey, but each slice is still low in net carbs and offers some protein and satiating fats.
Per serving: 110 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 220 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein
Net carbs: 12 grams
Sprouted grains (like those in Ezekial bread) can increase fiber and antioxidants and might be easier to digest, says nutritionist Maggie Moon, RD. “The ingredients [in this low-carb bread] are simple and wholesome and offer up a good amount of all nine essential amino acids,” she adds.
Since each slice contains 12 grams of net carbs, which is on the higher end, you’ll want to stick with just one for avocado or nut butter toast.
Per serving: 80 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 15 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 75 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein
Net carbs: 10 grams
“Coming in at 10 net carbs per serving, this bread is a good low-carb choice that you can bake up at home," says Michalczyk. "I like the really simple ingredients (nothing artificial!). Plus, it's gluten- and dairy-free.”
The only downside is that this boxed mix needs to be baked, so set aside an afternoon to do it and you’ll have low-carb bread for the whole week.
Per serving: 110 calories, 6 g fat (0 g saturated), 12 g carbs, <1 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein