Does bread contain cholesterol? White bread, rye and more

Bread generally does not contain cholesterol, but varieties that include animal products, such as milk and butter, do contain cholesterol. White bread and other types of refined grains can raise a person’s cholesterol level.

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 can raise LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol in the blood. However, studies suggest that dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels.

This article goes into more detail about bread and cholesterol, the role of whole grains in cholesterol management, and how people can follow a healthy diet to reduce the risk of heart disease.

The cholesterol content of bread depends on certain factors.

There are two types cholesterol: one in the blood and another in food, called dietary cholesterol.

Most bread is made with flour, water and yeast and is cholesterol free. But some types are made from animal products that are high in saturated fat, which often contain cholesterol.

Additionally, bread made from white or refined grains can raise LDL cholesterol levels. We explore this in more detail below.

Saturated and trans fats

Some varieties of bread contain animal products such as milk, butter or eggs, which contain saturated fat.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)foods high in saturated fat are usually high in cholesterol.

However, dietary cholesterol has little effect on a person’s blood cholesterol. Saturated and trans fats in foods have a greater effect on raising a person’s cholesterol level.

Learn more about types of fat.

Below is a table of the approximate cholesterol and saturated fat content of various types of bread.

White bread

White bread contains refined bread flour – a process that removes bran and germ to give the flour a finer texture.

However, the process also removes essential nutrients such as:

Thus, manufacturers add vitamins by “enriching” the refined flour but do not replace the fiber.

This lack of fiber means that white bread is less likely making a person feel full and more likely to overeat. Refined grains, also called refined carbohydrates, are also digested faster by the body, which can raise blood sugar.

A person with high blood sugar is more likely have higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL or good cholesterol.

Learn more about the difference between LDL and HDL cholesterol.

Types of white bread include:

  • ciabatta bread
  • white pita bread
  • white chopsticks
  • focaccia
  • white sourdough
  • white wheat tortillas
  • pancake
  • white bread

Whole grain bread contains all the nutrients and fiber of grains, making it a good source of dietary fiber.

The CDC states that fiber prevents the body from absorbing fats and cholesterol. It can reduce triglyceride levels – another type of fat in the blood – and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

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. To research connections higher blood sugar levels with high LDL cholesterol levels.

Types of whole grain bread include those made with the following:

  • whole wheat
  • whole barley
  • Brown rice
  • whole grain oats
  • oatmeal
  • sprouted grains
  • whole rye
  • multi whole grain

Learn more about what makes whole grains so healthy.

Here are some answers to common questions about bread and cholesterol.

Does rye bread contain cholesterol?

Rye bread does not contain dietary cholesterol because it does not contain butter or other animal products.

Does gluten-free bread contain cholesterol?

Gluten-free bread made with animal products, such as milk, butter or eggs, may contain cholesterol.

Learn more about the best gluten-free bread.

Bread is a staple in the diet of many people around the world. Although most types of bread do not contain dietary cholesterol, some may include animal products high in saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat are generally high in dietary cholesterol.

However, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are more likely to raise LDL cholesterol levels in our blood, as well as refined carbohydrates such as white bread.

People should try to increase their fiber intake, including eating more whole-grain breads, which can help lower cholesterol levels. This can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.