Pasta vs. Bread: Is Bread or Pasta Healthier?

Pasta vs. Bread: Is Bread or Pasta Healthier?

Posted on: Bread, Healthy Eating, Pasta

By Dr. Jorge, Ph.D.

Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries. 


You can’t go wrong with pasta and bread as your favorite grain-based foods. While both are certainly delicious, do you know how they compare nutritionally? Read on to learn the differences between these two hard-to-resist foods and find out which will fit best with your lifestyle and diet.

Is pasta healthier than bread? Is bread healthier than pasta?

Pasta is not necessarily healthier than bread, and bread is not necessarily healthier than pasta. Regular, refined pasta and white bread are similar nutritionally and unfortunately are not very nutritionally dense. Refined pasta, the pasta most commonly consumed, contains about 220 calories, 43 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat per serving. On the other hand, 1 slice of white bread contains about 60 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat. 

However, whole grain pasta and whole grain bread are much healthier than regular bread and pasta. Pasta and bread made from whole grains contain more protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, making these options more nutritious. Other bread options, such as sourdough bread and rye bread are also healthier bread alternatives.

Is pasta or bread higher in carbs? Is bread or pasta more fattening?

A single serving of refined pasta has approximately 70% more carbohydrates than a single slice of white bread. Neither bread nor pasta is more fattening than the other. Pasta and bread are both low in fat, each containing about 1 gram of fat.

Which is harder to digest: pasta or bread?

Generally, foods lower in fiber are easier to digest. Considering bread contains less fiber than pasta, with less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, and pasta contains about 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, pasta might be slightly harder to digest. However, pasta that is made from refined grains is easier to digest than pasta made from whole grains, which contain more fiber. Certain bread types can also help digestion, such as sourdough bread.

Does bread or pasta have more gluten?

While there is no clear answer to this depending on the type of bread and pasta we are comparing, bread generally contains more gluten than pasta. This is because the amount of gluten in a food depends on the flour used. Bread flour can contain up to 13% gluten, while all-purpose flour, a flour often used in pasta, typically has 8-11% gluten content. However, these percentages can change based on the type of grain and flour used when making bread and pasta. Regardless, both white bread and conventional pasta are considered high-gluten foods. Luckily, there are gluten-free bread and pasta alternatives for those that have gluten intolerance or simply want to cut back on gluten consumption.

Should I replace pasta with bread in a diet?

Whether or not you should replace pasta with bread in your diet depends on the types of bread and pasta being considered and what your health goals are. If you are wanting to reduce calories consumed for a certain meal, you may want to opt for bread instead of pasta for that meal. Alternatively, you can replace both pasta and bread with their respective whole grain varieties. Whole grain pasta and bread are more nutritionally dense than refined grain alternatives and tend to keep you full for longer (i.e. white bread).

Is bread or pasta better for weight loss and fat loss? Which should I give up to lose weight: pasta or bread?

When choosing between pasta and bread, both can work for weight or fat loss. Whole grain options are best for weight and fat loss. Whole grains have been shown to aid in the elimination of belly fat. Pasta and bread made from whole grains also tend to be higher in fiber, which can help you stay full for longer.

You don’t necessarily need to give up any one food while staying on track with your weight loss goals. In fact, weight loss maintenance is most successful when abiding by a sustainable lifestyle and diet. Many times, completely giving up any one food is not sustainable, since it causes you to crave it even more, which can cause you to fall behind in your weight loss goals. The best course of action is to enjoy your favorite and sometimes higher-calorie foods in moderation, to be conscious of portion size, and to choose healthier versions of your favorite foods when possible. 

Where can I buy the best fresh pasta and fresh bread online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh pastas and breads that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular pastas include fresh fettuccine and fresh tonnarelli. Some of our popular breads include everything sourdough bread, plain sourdough loaf, and sourdough 7-grain loaf. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods.


About the Author

Dr. Jorge has been a public health researcher for many years, holding both a Bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. They presently work as a medical writer and love being able to assist others in understanding various health and scientific topics.


This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.