Bread does not generally contain cholesterol, but varieties that include animal products, such as milk and butter, do contain cholesterol. White bread and other types made from refined grains may raise a person’s cholesterol levels.
Bread is a staple food for many different cultures, and there are hundreds of unique types.
Some varieties of bread contain dietary cholesterol, while others may raise LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol levels in the blood. However, studies suggest dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels.
This article further explains bread and cholesterol, the role of whole grains in managing cholesterol, and how people can follow a healthy diet to lower the risk of heart disease.
The cholesterol content of bread depends on certain factors.
Most bread is made with flour, water, and yeast and contains no cholesterol. But some types are made using animal products with high levels of saturated fats, which
Additionally, bread made from white or refined grains can raise LDL cholesterol levels. We explore this in further detail below.
Saturated and trans fats
Some varieties of bread contain animal products such as milk, butter, or eggs, which
According to the
However, dietary cholesterol has
Learn more about types of fat.
Below is a table of the approximate cholesterol and saturated fat content of various types of bread.
|Bread type||Saturated fat||Cholesterol|
|brioche (77 g piece)||134 mg|
|johnnycake (49 g piece)||34.3 mg|
|biscuits (101 g piece, plain or buttermilk mix)||3.03 mg|
|cinnamon roll (60 g piece)||39.6 mg|
|challah (31 g slice)||15.8 mg|
White bread contains refined bread flour — a process that removes the bran and germ to give the flour a finer texture.
However, the process also removes essential nutrients such as:
Therefore, manufacturers add in vitamins by “enriching” refined flour but do not replace the fiber.
This lack of fiber means that white bread is
A person with high blood sugar levels is
Learn more about the difference between LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Types of white bread include:
- white pitta bread
- white baguettes
- white sourdough
- white wheat tortillas
- white sandwich loaf
Whole grain bread contains all the nutrients and fiber from grains, making it a good dietary fiber source.
A 2019 study also found that replacing white bread, which has a high glycemic index (GI) with wholemeal bread, which has a low GI, for breakfast slowed the body’s glycemic response. Research
Types of whole grain bread include those made with the following:
- whole wheat
- whole barley
- brown rice
- whole grain oats
- rolled oats
- sprouted grains
- whole rye
- multi whole grains
High LDL cholesterol levels in a person’s blood
- nontropical vegetable oils
The AHA suggests people limit their intake of the following foods:
- foods that contain saturated and trans fats
- red and processed meats
- dairy products made with whole milk
- fried foods
- foods and beverages with added sugar
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and rice
Learn more about high cholesterol foods to avoid and include.
Here are some answers to common questions about bread and cholesterol.
Does rye bread have cholesterol?
Rye bread does not have dietary cholesterol, as it does not contain butter or other animal products.
Does gluten-free bread have cholesterol?
Gluten-free bread made with animal products, such as milk, butter, or eggs, may contain some cholesterol.
Bread is a staple of many people’s diets worldwide. While most types of bread do not contain dietary cholesterol, some may include animal products high in saturated fats. Foods that are high in saturated fats are usually high in dietary cholesterol.
However, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is more likely to increase LDL cholesterol levels in our blood, along with refined carbohydrates such as white bread.
People should try to increase their fiber intake, including eating more whole grain bread types, which can help to lower cholesterol levels. This can reduce a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack.