Nutrition and health

Bread – A nutritious and healthy food

In this section on Nutrition and Health you will find all of the information you need about the nutritional value and health benefits of bread and why bread is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Bread is a key staple in the British diet and provides many of the nutrients required for normal development and good health.

Source: McCance and Widdowson’s Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset (PHE 2019) per 40g slice White Bread Wholemeal Bread
Energy (kcal) 94.4 86.8
Carbohydrate (g) 19.48 16.8
Starch (g) 18.32 15.72
Total Sugars (g) 1.2 1.12
Fibre (g) 1.16 2.8
Protein (g) 3.48 3.76
Total Fat (g) 0.84 1
Saturated Fat (g) 0.16 0.184
Salt (g) 0.4 0.4

Here are some key nutritional facts about bread:


White bread is fortified with calcium and four medium slices per day would provide over 30% of the recommended daily intake of calcium which we need every day to maintain healthy bones and teeth.


Bread, especially wholemeal, is an important source of dietary fibre which helps to keep our digestive system healthy, helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels and makes us feel fuller for longer.  On average in the UK, bread provides 17-21% of fibre intake across all age groups.


Bread is a low fat source of protein which is required by our bodies for growth, renewal and repair.  Pairing bread with another lean protein source for example as a chicken sandwich or beans on toast is an excellent way to meet daily protein requirements.


White bread is fortified with iron. Iron is important for energy and concentration, promoting a healthy immune system and healthy blood.  Wholemeal bread naturally contains iron from the wheat bran and wheat germ as part of the grain used to make the wholemeal flour.

Vitamins & Other Minerals

Bread contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including B group vitamins thiamine (B1), Niacin (B3) which are important for releasing energy from food and maintaining healthy skin, eyes and nails. It contains the B vitamin Folate (Folic Acid) which is important for pregnancy as it can help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.  Due to the recently updated Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, bread will soon also include another B vitamin, Folate (Folic Acid) which is important for pregnancy as it can help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.


On average, in the UK, bread provides 11–12% of energy.  Bread is relatively low in calories. An average medium slice of white bread contains 77 calories, brown contains 72 calories and wholemeal contains 79 calories.


Bread is a low-fat food, where an average medium slice of white bread contains 2.1g of fat, brown bread contains 2.0g and wholemeal contains 2.5g. It’s important to carefully consider what you have with it and choose healthy options for spreads and toppings.


Most breads are low in sugar which is important for healthy teeth and maintaining a healthy weight. In general bread contains no added sugar, where it is added for example in some wholemeal loaves to balance the flavour profile, it is normally around 1%.