Picture of Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!


Best Bread for Diabetes – Brands, Carbs, & Sugar

Article Overview

best bread for diabetics graphic

People with diabetes can still enjoy bread, and in this article we cover the best bread for diabetes.

Want to know how to enjoy bread when you’re living with diabetes? Let’s talk about the best bread for diabetes and how to enjoy it!

 As I discuss often, you can absolutely enjoy bread. In fact, as a registered dietitian living with diabetes myself, I love bread and enjoy it often. Sometimes I want to enjoy plain old white bread, and sometimes I want to enjoy a heartier more blood sugar friendly option. You can eat both types while living with diabetes.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you decide to purchase them, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

What bread is good for diabetes?

Bread is one of the most commonly misunderstood foods for people with diabetes. Most people with diabetes assume they should not eat bread. This is not true!

If you are looking for a more blood sugar friendly bread, choose a type higher in:

  • Plant-based fat
  • Fiber
  • Protein

Then, you should also combine it with other foods that offer fat, fiber, and protein: nut butter, avocado, eggs, etc. And, you can also do this with plain white bread (or another lower fiber bread). Add in quality sources of fiber and protein to enjoy with it to help prevent a blood sugar spike.

bread aisle at whole foods best bread for diabetes

My top bread picks as a diabetes dietitian

To jump to my bread brand picks for diabetes, click on a section below:

best bread for diabetes sliced bread and loaves

Nutrition facts about bread and diabetes

Before we get to the best types of bread and best bread for diabetes, let’s look at the overall nutrition properties of bread.

Carbs in bread

The carbohydrate in bread comes from starch, sugar, and fiber. The type of carbohydrate matters and does differ. Some breads have more fiber, which is what we want. But, some breads have less.

How many carbs in a slice of bread?

The average slice of bread has anywhere from 12-20g carbohydrate. Some varieties have more and some have less.

Carbs in white bread

One slice of white bread contains 12g total carbohydrate, less than 1g fiber, and 2g protein.

Carbs in rye bread

A typical slice of rye bread has 16g total carbohydrate, 2g of fiber, and 1g protein.

Whole wheat bread carbs

Often the assumed best bread for diabetes, one slice of whole wheat bread contains 15-20g carbohydrate, 1-3g fiber, and 3-5g protein.

Does bread have sugar?

Yes, bread does have some sugar in it. Some amount of sugar is needed for the baking process. Sugar in bread ranges from <1g-5g/slice depending on the brand and variety. The types we’ve chosen below are lower in sugar.

best bread for diabetes sliced white bread

Whole wheat bread glycemic index v. white bread glycemic index

Many people consider the glycemic index of foods when choosing what to eat. For bread it can be helpful but because bread is often consumed with other foods, it is not the only information to consider.

Type of BreadGlycemic Index
White bread100
Whole wheat bread71

Both forms of bread are considered “high glycemic” foods. However, you can combine any form of bread with other forms of fiber and protein to reduce the overall glycemic impact.

Gluten free bread and diabetes

There’s a common misconception that gluten free bread is better for people with diabetes. It can be, but it also can be much worse.  It’ll depends on the type of flour used and other ingredients.

Does gluten free bread have carbs?

The carbs in gluten free bread is roughly the same as their gluten-containing counterparts.

Is Ezekiel bread good for diabetes?

Yes! We’ll discuss more about Ezekiel bread below but it is a great option and one of the better breads for diabetes.

Is keto bread healthy?

This all depends on what’s in the bread and how it’s made. But, the more important question to ask is if you actually enjoy keto bread? Personally, I don’t enjoy the taste or texture of these breads and thus do not recommend them.

The types of carbohydrates in gluten free bread are similar to wheat and rye based breads: starch, sugar, and fiber. Many gluten free breads are lower in fiber, but not all.

sourdough bread best bread for diabetes

Is sourdough bread good for diabetes?

Sourdough bread has similar nutrients to yeast-leavened bread and it may offer better mineral absorption. 

Carbs in sourdough bread

Research does suggest that the fermentation process that helps create sourdough bread, reduces the glycemic response when people with diabetes eat sourdough bread compared to traditional bread. This is also true for pumpernickel bread which uses a sourdough starter.

Try my Diabetes Friendly Sourdough French Toast.

sourdough french toast with blueberries and peanut butter

Is pumpernickel bread good for diabetes?

Pumpernickel bread is a dense slightly sweet bread. It is made from rye flour using a sourdough starter. As mentioned above, breads made with a sourdough starter may have less of a glycemic impact on blood sugars for people with diabetes. You should still consider protein and fiber amounts when consuming pumpernickel bread though.

*Note: Because pumpernickel bread is made from rye, it should be avoided by people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

Best bread brands for diabetes

As you’d expect, there are many bread brands that offer diabetes-friendly options. Many brands have options that are perfect for people with diabetes, while also having options that aren’t so great. It’s not really about the brand, but more about the individual qualities of each variety.

  1. Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Thin-sliced 21 Whole Grains And Seeds Bread
  2. Ezekiel 4:9 Original Bread
  3. Silver Hills Sprouted Power The Big 16
  4. Rudi’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  5. Hero Seeded Bread
  6. Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat
  7. Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat
  8. Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread
  9. Schar Artisan Baker Multigrain Bread (gluten free)
  10. Little Northern Bakehouse Gluten Free Grains & Seeds
  11. Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix
  12. Dave’s Killer Bread Epic Everything Bagels
  13. O’Dough’s Whole Grain Bagel Thins
  14. Rudi’s Organic Multigrain Bagels
  15. Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
  16. Dave’s Killer Bread Burger Buns Done Right
  17. Schar Gluten Free Ciabatta Rolls
  18. Sola Hot Dog Buns
  19. Angelic Bakehouse Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns
  20. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Hot Dog Buns
best bread for diabetes

Best low glycemic bread

An ideal bread for someone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should be low glycemic and have plant based fat, at least 2g fiber, and some protein. And, should still taste good and have great texture. These are a few of the best low glycemic bread options, including the best bread for Type 1 Diabetes and best bread for Type 2 Diabetes.

best bread for diabetes
  1. Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Thin-sliced 21 Whole Grains And Seeds Bread: Dave’s Killer Bread consistently offers breads higher in fiber and protein making them perfect for someone with diabetes. And, if you’re tempted to be worried about the sugar in the bread, it’s not as much of a concern because of the higher protein and fiber amounts.
  2. Ezekiel 4:9 Original Bread: Ezekiel bread is commonly found in the frozen bread section of most grocery stores and has lots of hearty nuts and seeds which help make it a blood sugar friendly option.
  3. Silver Hills Sprouted Power The Big 16: One slice of Silver Hills Sprouted Power bread has 6g protein and 4g fiber!
  4. Rudi’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread: If you’re looking for a classic whole wheat bread that checks all the blood sugar friendly boxes, Rudi’s is a great option!
  5. Hero Seeded Bread: Hero is a new to me brand that seems to have gotten the texture of high fiber bread down just right! And with 11g fiber/slice is low in net carbs!

Best whole grain breads for diabetes

Most whole grain bread options are also low GI breads. Some of my favorites in addition to the ones I’ve listed above include…

best whole grain bread for diabetes
  1. Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat: For a more traditional sized sandwich bread slice (smaller) Nature’s Own whole wheat offers 2g fiber and 4g protein in each slice.
  2. Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat: For a larger slice of whole wheat sandwich bread, Oroweat tastes delicious and like other options contains 2g fiber and 4g protein/slice.
  3. Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread: This option from Pepperidge Farm has a slightly different flavor profile thanks to the oatmeal and slightly more protein at 5g/slice.

Best gluten free breads for diabetes

Gluten free breads sometimes have a high glycemic impact if made with refined flours like rice and potato. There are many gluten free whole grain options out there though… these are a few of my favorites…

gluten free best bread for diabetes
  1. Schar Artisan Baker Multigrain Bread (gluten free): Schar has been my favorite gluten free bread option for years. I have celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, so I love that Schar offers options that are both blood sugar friendly and gluten free!
  2. Little Northern Bakehouse Gluten Free Grains & Seeds : Little Northern Bakehouse is another great blood sugar friendly gluten free option that offers 2g fiber/slice!

Best grain free breads for diabetes

Grain free breads offer another option for people with diabetes and can’t be left out of a discussion on the best bread for diabetes. Grain free breads tend to be higher in protein and fat and lower in carbohydrate compared to traditional breads.

simple mills grain free bread mix for diabetes
  1. Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix: If you’re looking to make your own bread at home, I love this mix from Simple Mills. It’s higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than other bread mixes and is delicious! I love to use it to make homemade focaccia bread!

Best bagels for diabetes

Bagels are naturally higher in carbohydrate than a slice of bread, but if you want to enjoy a bagel while living with diabetes, you absolutely can! Look for varieties (like the ones below) that are higher in protein and fiber, and pair it with an additional protein source.

rudi's whole grain bagels odoughs bagel thins dave's killer bread bagels best bagels for diabetes
  1. Dave’s Killer Bread Epic Everything Bagels: Who doesn’t love a delicious everything bagel?? These bagels have 13g protein and 5g fiber in each bagel.
  2. O’Dough’s Whole Grain Bagel Thins: These O’Dough’s Bagel Thins have only 19g carbohydrate and are gluten free!
  3. Rudi’s Organic Multigrain Bagels: For a classic bagel, you can’t beat this option from Rudi’s. Each bagel has 9g protein and 4g fiber.

Best hamburger buns for diabetes

Just like bagels, hamburger buns by nature contain more carbohydrate than a typical slice of bread. Look for varities with more fiber and more protein.

best hamburger buns for diabetes nature's own whole wheat hamburger buns schar ciabatta rolls dave's killer bread hamburger buns
  1. Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns: Just like their sandwich bread counterparts. Nature’s Own hamburger buns are a good whole wheat option for people with diabetes.
  2. Dave’s Killer Bread Burger Buns Done Right: Dave’s Killer Bread hamburger buns are just like their other bread products: loaded with nuts, seeds, and fiber!
  3. Schar Gluten Free Ciabatta Rolls: I love using these Schar ciabatta rolls when I want a thick bread option for sandwiches… that doesn’t have as much carbohydrate as other brands.

Best hot dog buns for diabetes

A blood sugar friendly hot dog bun can be hard to find but the brands below offer some great hot dog bun options for diabetes!

angelic bakehouse hot dog buns sola hot dog buns ezekiel bread hot dog buns best hot dog buns for diabetes
  1. Sola Hot Dog Buns: Sola is another brand that has mastered the low carb bread option. The flavor and texture are delicious with only 6g net carbs. And, you can even find their rolls at some Costco stores now!
  2. Angelic Bakehouse Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns: Angelic Bakehouse hot dog buns have 5g fiber and 7g protein in each bun!
  3. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Hot Dog Buns: As mentioned above when we discussed sandwich breads, Ezekiel Bread is usually found in the frozen section. Their hot dog buns are a great option for people with diabetes.

Best low carb bread alternatives

People with diabetes may also enjoy these bread alternatives. My personal favorite is using crunchy cold iceberg lettuce to replace a hamburger bun. Something about the hot and cold flavors mixed together is just so good! But, also remember, if you don’t actually enjoy these swaps and would rather eat traditional bread, that’s totally fine too!

low carb bread alternatives brazi bites egglife egg white wraps
  1. Brazi Bites Brazilian Cheese Bread: As a dietitian living with diabetes and celiac disease, I always have a bag of Brazi Bites in my freezer. They have just 5g carbohydrate per roll, but 3g protein as well!
  2. EggLife Egg White Wraps: Egg white or egg based wraps started to rise in popularity several years ago and egglife has consistently been my favorite brand. They’ve mastered the texture and flavor for this category!
  3. Iceberg lettuce
  4. Bell pepper halves

Best tortillas for diabetes

While not technically bread, tortillas are another topic related to bread that offers a lot of great options.

best tortillas for diabetes siete almond flour tortillas ohla grain free tortillas la tortilla factory low carb whole wheat tortillas
  1. Siete Almond Flour Tortillas: Almond flour tortillas crisp up so well in a pan and make the perfect quesadilla base!
  2. OhLa grain free tortillas: Similar to Siete tortillas, OhLa tortillas are a tasty lower carb tortilla option for people with diabetes.
  3. LaTortilla Factory Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas: If you’re looking for a more traditional tortilla but lower carbohydrate, La Tortilla Factory makes the best product in my opinion. The flavor is good, and the texture is soft and doesn’t break when rolled into tacos or other dishes.

Read more about what to look for in tortillas: Tortillas for Diabetes- Flour, Corn, Low Carb & More

Best breads for diabetes at Subway and other sandwich shops

When eating out, choose a whole grain bread that’s higher in fiber. I discuss specific options from several large restaurants in another post.

Best breads for diabetes download

Download my easy guide (with photos) to the best bread for diabetes!

best bread for diabetes download

This post was updated from its original publish date in November 2021.

Looking for more diabetes recommendations? Check out these other great resources:

More to explore...

low carb mexican cauliflower rice in stainless steel pan

Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice

This recipe for Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice is a perfect flavorful side dish and a great way to get in your veggies any day of the week.

slow cooker lentil soup with red pepper flakes and parsley

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Soup

Slow cooker lentil soup make delicious and nutritionally dense. Loaded with fiber and protein, it provides a blood sugar friendly and satisfying meal!

16 Responses

  1. Thank you so much.
    Struggling with what to eat as a type 2 to avoid adding more medication. Side effects from medication is absolutely horrible. Monitor is very helpful but I need to make better choices and your information is so helpful, can’t wait to try some new healthy products. Thank you

  2. Fantastic Article!
    I have been on the fence with going keto again (hard because I love all sweets and have an intolerance to substitutes) but do not look forward to the KETO “tasteless” breads!

    This is such a wonderful guide so I can have a yummy bread and get the best impact out of it! Win Win! I think I will pickup some Ezekiel bread asap!

  3. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when looking at the bread aisle. This article really breaks down how to choose what I need for myself. Thanks for all of this research so I can make the best decision!

  4. Thank you for this great article. I am also a dietitian and diabetes educator. I just received the Better Homes & Gardens Bread publication from November of last year. I am going to see if I can learn to make my own sourdough bread! (My nephew’s wife was editor on this publication and she makes it for her family so looking forward to trying it and see how it effects my blood sugar! )

    Karen Marschel, RDN LD CDCES

  5. I am allergic to wheat also, so NOW what do I DO? Especially breads, pastas, etc? Can I do the plain Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal bread? Suggestions for other wheat free foods? Also, I miss cerealllllll! Sick of Oatmeal!

  6. Hi! Great article. I’ve a question: what is your opinion of Sara Lee 45-Calorie bread? I noticed it’s lower on carbs than most. Thanks!

  7. I loved the article. I recently got diagnosed as type 2. I was crushed to hear the news. My wife is also type 2 and she is helping me understand this disease. I am changing my diet. It’s great to know these articles are very helpful.

    1. Most english muffins will be the same as having two pieces of toast, so if you need to count overall carbs, keep that in mind. The Dave’s Killer Bread Whole Grain English Muffins have 3g fiber and 6g protein in each one! Pair them with your fave protein source!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Balance blood sugars optin

Get a Free Guide on Balancing Blood Sugar with Fat, Fiber & Protein

*By entering your email, you also agree to receive our newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.

This site uses cookies to help improve your user experience. You acknowledge your acceptance by clicking Accept. Read our Privacy Policy here.