Dave’s Killer Bread is a popular bread brand available both online and in-store that markets itself as a healthier alternative to traditional bread. Dave’s describes its products as “the best bread in the universe” and “packed with whole grain nutrition” and organic ingredients.
But is Dave’s Killer Bread really healthier than regular grocery store bread or are these just marketing claims? Does it contain ingredients shown to improve health? Does it contain any harmful additive ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe the taste and health effects?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Dave’s Killer Bread and give our take on whether or not it’s actually healthy.
We’ll compare the ingredients in Dave's to a popular commercial bread, give our pick for the healthiest Dave's product, and feature a video with a dietitian discussing the healthiness of Dave's Killer Bread.
The ingredients in Dave’s 21 Whole Grains And Seeds bread are shown above.
Instead of just wheat flour, Dave’s Killer Bread provides a wide variety of different grains such as organic triticale and organic millet.
We consider this to be a healthier option given that dietary diversity is proven in clinical research to optimize gut health. Put simply, the wider the variety of whole foods you eat, the more healthy your gut will be, and many Americans don’t eat nearly enough different types of plant-based foods.
Dave’s bread is rich in fiber. Each slice provides 5 grams (g) of fiber, so a sandwich will provide 10 g.
Fiber intake is associated with improved digestive health, reduced obesity rates and reduced blood pressure, and only 5% of Americans consume an optimal amount of fiber (which is a minimum of around 25 g for women and 30 g for men) according to a medical review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
Dave’s bread also has a few exotic ingredients that are not commonly found in grocery store bread, like sesame seeds which are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease according to a 2020 meta-study.
The only issue we have with Dave’s 21 Whole Grains And Seeds bread, and the reason we don’t currently recommend it overall, is the inclusion of 5 g of added sugar per slice, which is a relatively high amount.
There’s no need for two slices of bread to have over 25% of the added sugar in a Coke in our opinion, and as we documented in our review of Nutella ingredients, consuming added sugar in excess is associated with a wide range of negative health effects like increased risk of obesity and heart disease.
All Dave’s Killer Bread products contain added cane sugar except for their Powerseed bread, which is naturally sweetened with fruit juices like organic apple juice and organic peach juice instead.
We recommend Dave's Powerseed Bread, and it’s the healthiest bread we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health to date.
Dave's vs. Regular Bread
The ingredient list above is from Martin’s Potato Bread.
Even the Dave’s products that contain added sugar are significantly healthier than the average American bread in our opinion, because they’re composed entirely of whole food ingredients.
Not only does Martin's bread contain much fewer whole food ingredients, it also contains questionable additives like the preservative calcium propionate which was shown in a clinical trial to cause “irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance” in children.
Martin’s bread is also “enriched,” which means it contains added vitamins like ferrous sulfate and thiamin.
As we referenced in our Beyond Meat reviews article, we haven't come across any clinical evidence that supplemental vitamins are beneficial in otherwise healthy individuals, and in some cases they may cause health issues.
The CBC reported in early 2022 that a wellness brand had to recall several products from the market because all of the added vitamins were causing toxicity in some consumers.
The calories per slice is slightly higher in Dave's Killer Bread (~110 vs. ~85) than most bread brands, but Dave's is also richer in fiber, so people will be less likely to overconsume it.
We Tried Dave's Bread Ourselves
As the author of this article, I wanted to try Dave's Killer Bread myself to share my thoughts on its taste and the overall product experience.
I had two slices of the Powerseed bread toasted with some eggs, veggies and salsa for breakfast.
I like the taste of this bread. You can really taste the whole grains and seeds, and it has a more hearty taste than the typical grocery store bread.
The size of the loaves is standard, and they fit into my toaster without any issues.
The texture of this bread is where it really stands out to me. It's the perfect mix of soft and crunchy when toasted, and the crust isn't too tough.
Overall, I'd rate Dave's Killer Bread 8/10.
It doesn't compare to fresh-baked sourdough bread from a bakery, but this is the best grocery store bread that I've had recently, and I'll probably buy it again.
Are Dave’s Other Products Healthy?
Here’s our take on the healthiness of other popular Dave’s Killer Bread products:
Thin-Sliced: Contains the same ingredients as the regular bread. We would only recommend the Powerseed version.
Breakfast: We don’t recommend any of Dave’s breakfast options due to the added cane sugar, although we consider all of them healthier than the average commercial alternative.
Burger Buns: Both contain added sugar. We recommend the “21 Whole Grains” version over the “Artisan” version because it’s significantly higher in fiber and contains more whole food ingredients.
Bars: We don’t recommend any of these due to the added sugar, and we consider Dave’s bars to be less healthy than Dave’s bread because the added sugar content (~8 g vs. ~5 g) is higher.
Dietitian Reviews Dave’s Killer Bread
One of the most popular videos on the healthiness of Dave’s Killer Bread is from a dietitian and YouTube creator named Jamie Rothermich: