What’s Healthier: Bread vs. Pita vs. Naan? (2024)

ByLucy Yanckello, Ph.D.

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

Bread is a beloved carbohydrate source be it leavened with yeast, steamed, fried, or gluten free. One of the oldest staples in our diets, there are dozens of types of bread around the world with different flavors, textures, and purposes. In fact, some of the most popular types of breads, both considered flatbreads, are naan and pita. Read on to learn more about the difference between the two, and how they compare to loaf bread in flavor, texture, and nutrient profile.

Which is healthier to eat: bread or pita or naan?

In contrast to loaf bread, pita bread and naan are considered to be flatbreads. Pita bread is yeast-leavened and round, turning into layers when baked that create a pocket that is easily filled. Naan is also yeast leavened, and contains water (or milk), flour, salt, and the addition of butter and yogurt.

Depending on what your nutrient needs are, bread, pita, and naan can all fit into a healthy diet. Naan and pita have many of the same benefits of other breads, including carbs, iron, and vitamin B. B vitamins are necessary to help break down and convert food into energy all while keeping hair, skin, and eyes healthy. Iron is essential for oxygen transport through the blood and preserves many vital processes in the body including immune function, body temperature, and digestion.

All three are relatively low in fiber (around 1 to 2 grams). Because their ingredients are similar, loaf bread and pita both have very similar nutritional profiles, including similar levels of protein and fat (around 2 to 3 grams). Naan is higher in protein (around 9 grams) and fat (around 5 grams) than pita and other breads.

Is pita bread OK for weight loss? Is naan OK for weight loss? Can you still eat pita and naan when trying to lose weight?

Every food, including pita bread and naan, can have a place in a healthy diet when trying to lose weight, as long as they’re enjoyed in moderation. The higher protein content in naan will allow you to feel fuller for longer, curbing cravings that cause excess snacking. On the other hand, naan has almost three times the carbohydrate content (45 grams) compared to loaf bread and pita (around 13 to 17 grams). So yes, you can still eat pita and naan when trying to lose weight, but in moderate amounts.

Is pita OK for IBS? Is naan OK for IBS?

Pita bread and naan unfortunately are not great choices for IBS. Pita bread and naan are made with wheat flour, meaning they are high in FODMAP, or Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. This is an acronym for a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. This poor absorption leads to fermentation by the gut bacteria which results in the production of gas and other byproducts. This leads to Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.

What’s the difference between naan vs. bread? Which is healthier: bread or naan?

Naan is a flatbread, whereas bread comes in loaves. Naan is higher in fat, protein, and carbohydrates than loaf bread. The higher protein content of naan will allow you to feel fuller for longer and curve cravings. However, the fat content of naan (from butter in the recipe) comes largely from saturated fats, which should account for less than 10% of your total daily caloric intake according to the USDA. Both naan and bread can find their place in a healthy diet in moderation.

What’s the difference between pita vs. bread? Which is healthier: normal bread or pita?

Pita is a flatbread whereas bread comes in loaves. Despite their difference in shape, pita and bread have similar ingredients - largely water, yeast, flour, and salt. Because of the similarity in ingredients, the nutrient profiles of pita and normal bread are basically identical. Both pita and loaf bread have relatively low fat, fiber, and protein content.

What’s the difference between pita vs. naan? Which is healthier: naan or pita?

Naan and pita are similar in that they are both flatbreads, but naan contains butter and yogurt, whereas pita does not. As stated earlier, naan is high in fat, and specifically high in saturated fats. Pita on the other hand is considered to be a low fat food. Naan does have other benefits, including a higher protein content which will keep you fuller for longer and curb cravings. There are some pros and cons to both naan and pitas in terms of nutrient profiles, and both can be eaten in moderation in any healthy diet.

Where can I buy fresh bread online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh breads and pastas 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 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

Lucy Yanckello received her Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She currently works as a medical writer and enjoys being able to help people better understand nutrition and science.

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.

What’s Healthier: Bread vs. Pita vs. Naan? (2024)

FAQs

What’s Healthier: Bread vs. Pita vs. Naan? ›

Because their ingredients are similar, loaf bread and pita both have very similar nutritional profiles, including similar levels of protein and fat (around 2 to 3 grams). Naan is higher in protein (around 9 grams) and fat (around 5 grams) than pita and other breads.

What is healthier, pita or naan? ›

Simply put, naan is more nutrient-dense than pita or white bread. While it may contain more carbs and sugars, it earns its reputation as a healthy alternative with its relatively generous amounts of protein and fiber.

Which is healthier pita or bread? ›

While similar in calorie content, one slice of wheat bread (29g) is higher in sugar and lower in dietary fiber than one small pita bread. It is also slightly higher in sodium and fat content. Since most people eat two slices of bread in one sitting and only one pita bread, pita bread may be a healthier option.

Is naan bread good for your stomach? ›

Naan bread made with whole wheat flour will be higher in fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote feelings of fullness. On the other hand, naan bread made with refined flour will be lower in fiber and may be more difficult to digest. It's also important to consider the ingredients used in the naan bread.

Is rice or naan healthier? ›

naan is calorically dense due to the refined flour. 100 grams of naan contains 310 calories, compared to 100 grams of steamed brown rice, which contains 125 calories. naan contains no fiber compared to the rice, which leads to an imbalance of gut bacteria, constipation, and a potentially increased risk of bowel cancer.

Is naan healthy or unhealthy? ›

Naan bread can be part of a healthy diet, especially if you choose whole grain varieties. Naan bread contains vitamins and minerals like niacin, fiber, and iron, as well as fiber. It also is a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy.

What is the healthiest bread to eat? ›

Top 10 healthiest loaves
  1. Ezekiel. This is a bread made from a mix of sprouted wholegrains, typically wheat, barley, spelt and millet, as well as legumes, lentils and soya beans. ...
  2. Pumpernickel. ...
  3. Rye bread. ...
  4. 100% wholemeal wheat bread. ...
  5. Buckwheat bread. ...
  6. Spelt bread. ...
  7. Sourdough. ...
  8. Soda bread.
Aug 29, 2020

What is the best bread to eat on a Mediterranean diet? ›

Is sourdough bread allowed on the Mediterranean diet? Any bread that is made from whole wheat, whole grains, sprouts, and sourdough is recommended while on a Mediterranean diet. You will want to avoid bread made from refined grains, such as white bread if you are following this diet.

Is it okay to eat pita bread everyday? ›

Low-carb diets aside, the USDA recommends 5-8 servings of grains each day, and depending on the size of a pita, it would be 1-2 servings. Even if you decide to cut down on carbs, you can enjoy one whole-wheat pita each day and be well under the recommended servings.

What bread to eat to stop bloating? ›

Both fructose and glucose are types of sugars. Fructans are also high in other non-grain foods like onions, garlic and artichokes. If this feels familiar, you may not have to break up with wheat and wheat products entirely to avoid bloating: try sourdough instead, whether whole-wheat or white.

What is healthier than naan? ›

Roti is a good source of dietary fiber, proteins, iron, potassium, and minerals. Naan is relatively lower in nutritional value and can contain higher amounts of fat and cholesterol. Roti is typically dairy-free.

Which is the healthiest Indian bread? ›

From health perspective, flat breads made of whole wheat flour (roti/paratha/chapati/phulka) are better than the ones made with all-purpose flour (naan & kulcha).

What's the difference between naan and pita bread? ›

Naan bread is soft, fluffy, and chewy, whereas pita bread is denser with a slightly crispy texture on the outside. Naan bread also has a buttery flavor due to the ghee and buttermilk in the dough, which adds an extra dimension of flavor compared to pita bread's more neutral taste.

What's the healthiest Indian food? ›

Best 5 Lowest Calorie Indian Food You'll Love
  1. Tandoori Chicken. A classic Indian dish, tandoori chicken is both low in calories and bursting with flavour. ...
  2. Vegetable Biriyani. Vegetable biriyani is a delicious and healthy Indian dish with flavour and low calories. ...
  3. Chana masala. ...
  4. Raita. ...
  5. Aloo gobi.

What is the healthiest takeout? ›

Some healthy takeout options include vegetable dishes and baked or steamed foods instead of fried ones. 1 Every restaurant and cuisine is different, but you generally want to make sure your takeout includes some produce and has minimal dressings and sauces.

Is fish and chips healthier than a burger? ›

In comparison to other fast-food options like burgers, pizzas, and fried chicken, fish and chips emerge as a healthier alternative. While traditional fast foods are laden with unhealthy fats, sodium, and excessive calories, fish and chips offer a more balanced nutritional profile.

What has more calories, naan or pita? ›

Naan usually includes the same ingredients as pita bread but with a few extras like yogurt and ghee, which increase the naan calories and fat content. The carbs in naan are slightly higher than those in a pita, though these numbers will vary from recipe to recipe and change with the flatbread size.

Can I eat naan during weight loss? ›

Naan breads --made of refined flour--are to be avoided as they can promote weight gain. While filling up your plate, try to focus more on the veggies, preferably green vegetables instead of starchy veggies. Vegetables that are cooked in a cooker, instead of being deep-fried, are always a better option for weight loss.

What is the difference between naan and pitta? ›

Texture: Naan is a larger and softer bread, typically oval in shape. Pita is a bit smaller and firmer. It is rounded and usually has a pocket cut into it. Flavor: Pita bread uses simple ingredients and tastes quite plain.

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