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Can A Vegan Eat Bread? Plus The Best Vegan Breads

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Yes- bread is vegan friendly as long as the ingredients are vegan, and there are no medical contradictions for the vegan consumer.

Ok, that was the short and simple answer, but how do you spot non vegan ingredients in bread?

Is all vegan bread organic? Is it healthy?

Lets discuss!

Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for medical or dietary advice. Always talk to your doctor about any major dietary changes, health concerns, or supplements. This is not a comprehensive list of all vegan breads or all healthy breads. Some foods may not appropriate for individuals with certain medical conditions. See our Disclaimers for more details.

*Consumer Notice: This post contains affiliate links that are marked in this manner: (affiliate link*)”. If you click on these links and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Makes Bread Vegan?

Simply this- the absence of animal products.

But wait a second you say: what counts as an animal product?

I am so glad you asked! This can be tricky.

We typically think of the following when we hear “animal products”: meat, fish, dairy (ie: milk, cheese, yogurt, butter) and eggs.

But vegans also avoid animal byproducts, meaning-ingredients that come from animals, but aren’t as explicitly named as one of the four categories above (still, certain countries may require certain allergens to be listed at the bottom).

Here is a list of ingredients found in breads that aren’t vegan ingredients (please note, this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Egg protein
  • Milk/milk fat
  • Butter/butter fat
  • Casein (a protein found in dairy)
  • Whey (another protein found in dairy)
  • Lactose (a sugar found in dairy)
  • Fish oil
  • Maybe: Mono or diglycerides (can be vegetable or animal derived).

Additionally, some vegans may avoid refined sugar because it is often processed with bone char. However in our experience, many self identifying vegans do not avoid refined sugar.

You can learn about the topic in our article here.

But… Yeast! Can Vegans Eat Yeast?

Bakers yeast is used to help bread rise.

But its does not come from an animal, so why is there some confusion as to whether or not vegans can consume bread made with yeast?

Yeast cells are known quite widely known as “living cells.” They require certain nutrients to grow.

However, it is well accepted that yeast do not feel pain or have sentience. In our experience, most self identifying vegans do not seem to have an issue with yeast being a vegan ingredient (including myself!).

Types of Bread That Are Usually Vegan

What breads can vegans eat? Here’s a list of types of breads that are usually made with 100% vegan ingredients!

Of course, there will be exceptions and this is not a comprehensive list, but in general, we have found the following tend to be vegan more often than not:

  • Baguette
  • Sourdough
  • Rye bread
  • Ciabatta
  • Focaccia
  • Pita bread
  • Water Challah
  • Roti/Chapati
  • Whole Food Plant Based Breads (one popular example might be from the Ezekiel bread via the Food for Life bread brands line).
  • Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread

Vegan Bread Brands

Disclaimer: The following brands available in the US have a link that goes to a page suggesting it is a complete vegan bread line. Of course, brands (and links) may change, so always check the label.

While other bread brands have vegan options, we just included the brands we found that appear to be completely vegan. This is not a comprehensive list, and certainly, a plethora of other brands carry options that vegans may decide to purchase.

For example, Little Northern Bakehouse and Natures Own have lots of vegan breads, however their entire bread line is not vegan. For example, Natures Own 100% whole grain Sugar Free bread contains butter (non vegan) but their Perfectly Crafted Multigrain Bread appears to be vegan.

What Bread Is Not Vegan

Again, the following breads can be made vegan, but from what we have most commonly seen (or how these breads are traditionally made) they are less likely to be vegan.

Check the ingredients list to be sure!

  • English Muffins
  • Crumpets
  • Bagels
  • Cheese bread
  • Challah (traditional)
  • Soda bread
  • Garlic bread

As you probably noticed, loaf or wheat sandwich bread was not mentioned in either list! This is because from what we have commonly seen, sandwich bread is really a toss up (yes, even if it’s labeled as whole wheat bread)!

Again, you will need to scrutinize that ingredients list!

FAQ For Can a Vegan Eat Bread?

Any questions we didn’t cover below? Leave em in the comments!

What Is Whole Food Plant Based Bread? Can Vegans Eat That?

While we are not aware of a official definition for whole food plant based (Wfpb), it could be described as focused on whole, minimally processed plant based foods that are free from animal products (hence the plant based terminology).

A popular example of this type of bread might be Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread. You can find the ingredients here.

Based on this definition and example, yes! Wfpb bread is typically vegan friendly because animal products are often absent.

How Will I Know If the Bread is Vegan When I Eat Out?

Some restaurants post ingredients on their websites, and others do not.

The best way to find out may be to straight up ask! If the server doesn’t know the answer, he/she should be able to find someone who does.

How Can I Easily Spot Vegan Breads At the Store?

If the bread is labeled as vegan, or certified vegan, than you can be quite confident it’s vegan!

Otherwise, – you’ll probably have to read the ingredients even if its listed as GMO project verified, organic, or lentil grain bread!

But what about those allergen statements you might find in the US? In the USA, commercially sold food products should contain an allergen statement if an ingredient in the product contains a protein from one of the 8 major food allergens (the non vegan ones are: milk, eggs, fish, and crustacean shellfish).

This leaves vegans to determine themselves if honey, gelatin, or any other non vegan ingredient is absent.

What Stores Carry Vegan Breads?

Good news! You likely aren’t limited to Whole Foods Market! (breathes a sigh of relief 🙂 )

In our experience, you can find vegan breads in just about every grocery store. Of course, you’ll want double check the ingredients list to make sure its vegan.

If you are at a bakery, you may have to ask one of the employees for the ingredients list.

Should I Only Eat Gluten Free Vegan Bread?

Certain medical conditions, like Celiac Disease require a gluten free diet. Check out our article: “Is Vegan Gluten Free?” to learn more!

Aside from whether gluten free is medically warranted – being gluten free does not mean you have to buy specialty gluten free breads!

Sure, there are many gluten free vegan breads, but, there’s also several other starches to eat that are gluten free and nutritious.

And lastly, gluten containing foods, such as whole grain bread are another way to get important nutrients. So needlessly giving up gluten without medical indication is not recommended by many health professionals.

What Vegan Bread Is the Healthiest?

Did you know some breads can contain lots of sodium and a fair amount of added sugar?

Sodium and added sugar are two things (among others) the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 suggest we be more mindful of.

So with that being said, here are some tips for choosing a generally healthier bread than what is typically available:

To learn more about these tips, including information about sprouted grains, check out our post, Plant Based Breads 101!

And lastly, what might be healthy for you may be different for someone else. It’s also important to keep context in mind. Consider how the type of bread you choose might fit into your overall dietary pattern.

Best Vegan Breads

Keeping the above tips in mind, what are the healthier vegan breads if you are are looking for lower sodium/sugar options?

Here are a few!

Disclaimer: What is considered healthy is highly individualized, and should take total dietary pattern and one’s medical conditions into consideration.
This is not a comprehensive list of all vegan breads that may be healthier than others. The following list is based on the this: <2 grams (g) added sugar per serving, <140 mg of sodium per serving, and includes whole grain ingredients. The writer has also tried them, and enjoys their taste (another important factor for me!).

Vegan Bread Options at the Store

FYI: These breads are not certified gluten free. Check our post here to learn more about gluten free breads.

*Consumer Notice: The next two sections contain affiliate links that are marked in this manner: “affiliate link*”. If you click on these links and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you.

Food for Life: Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread

Picture of Food For Life's Ezikel 4 9 bread

Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

Nutrition Facts: Per 1 Slice Serving: 80 calories, 75 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 0 g of added sugars, 5 g protein. Source: https://www.foodforlife.com/product/breads/ezekiel-49-sprouted-whole-grain-bread

Taste: In our opinion, this bread has a slightly nutty taste that may come from the sprouted whole grains.

Highlights: Aside from being a lower sodium/no added sugar sprouted grains bread, it has a decent amount of plant based protein, and even contains lentils and soybeans!

This bread is also USDA Organic if that is important to you. P.S. They also have a cinnamon raisin bread variety that is very tasty too!

Here is our affiliate link* to Food For Life’s Flourless Sprouted Grain Bread:

Dave’s Killer Bread: Powerseed

Ingredients: Organic whole wheat (organic whole wheat flour, organic cracked whole wheat), water, organic Powerseed® grain and seed mix (organic whole flax seeds, organic sunflower seeds, organic brown sesame seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, organic black sesame seeds, organic ground whole flax seeds, organic rolled oats), organic wheat gluten, organic fruit juices (organic apple, organic pear, organic peach) , organic oat fiber, contains 2% or less of each of the following: sea salt, organic vinegar, organic cultured wheat flour, yeast, enzymes, organic acerola cherry powder.

Nutrition (per serving): 100 calories, 135 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 1 g added sugar, 5g protein. Source: https://www.daveskillerbread.com/powerseed

Taste: In our opinion, this bread has a hearty whole wheat sandwich bread flavor, that isn’t overly sweet! We love to use it for sandwiches!

Highlights: In addition to being low in added sugar and under 140 mg of sodium per serving, it contains has a decent amount of plant based protein, and fiber coming form the whole grain and seed mixture!

Affiliate link* to Dave’s Killer Powerseed Bread:

Vegan Bread Recipes

Mhhmm the smell of freshly baked bread!

Here are some vegan bread recipes we thought were pretty neat!

Subbing Non vegan Ingredients

When making bread, sometimes the recipe will call for animal products.

Here is a list of swaps that may help you veganize your loaf bread recipe:

  • Swap honey for maple syrup or blackstrap molasses
  • Consider switching from butter to vegan butter/margarine or oil
  • Trade buttermilk/milk for plant based milk.

Can Vegans Eat Bread? What Are the Best Vegan Breads: In Summary

Yes vegans can eat bread! Generally speaking, vegans choose breads with 100%plant based ingredients. However, if they have certain medical conditions in which gluten or wheat is contraindicated, they might not eat many common varities.

The best vegan breads in terms of healthfulness depends on a lot of factors, including access, affordability, and personal health goals.

Some general tips to keep in mind include going for whole grains (unless medically contraindicated), opting for lower sodium and low/no added sugar breads.

Did this post clarify what breads are compatible with a vegan diet? What are your favorite vegan bread products? Leave us a comment below!
If you would like to learn more about keeping things 100% plant based, why not explore our blog? We go over topics including Vegan For Beginners, and Making a Vegan Grocery List.
Sign up for Plant Powered You’s e-mail subscribers list for more helpful posts about a vegan diet, and may the fork be with you!

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