Are breadsticks healthy?

Breadsticks might not be your typical health food, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make them part of a balanced diet. So today we’re going to tackle the question—are breadsticks healthy? We’ll look at what makes up most versions and discuss both their benefits and drawbacks so you feel empowered to make an informed decision when it comes time for snacking.


What are Breadsticks?

Breadsticks, also known as grissini, are a type of Italian bread made with simple ingredients such as white flour, oil and salt. They are usually long, hard and relatively thin. They have a crunchy texture and are often served as appetizers or snacks with sauces for dipping.

Ingredients in breadsticks

In the table below you can see the ingredients commonly found in pre-packaged breadsticks. The breadstick brands we chose to display here are from the UK’s most popular supermarkets.

Tesco Original BreadsticksWheat Flour, Olive Oil (7%), Yeast, Barley Malt Extract, Salt.
ASDA Classic BreadsticksWheat Flour, Olive Oil (7%), Barley Malt Extract, Yeast, Salt
Sainsbury’s Grissini Bread SticksWheat Flour, Olive Oil (7%), Yeast, Barley Malt Extract, Salt
Aldi Savour Bakes Breadsticks𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐅𝐥𝐨𝐮𝐫, Olive Oil (7%), Sea Salt, Yeast, Malted 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐞𝐲 Flour
M&S Italian Torinesi BreadsticksWheatflour (contains Gluten), Olive Oil (5%), Yeast, Malted Wheatflour (contains Gluten), Salt
Crosta & Mollica Torines BreadsticksWheat Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (7%), Malted Barley Flour, Salt, Yeast
The Artisan Bread Company Classic BreadsticksWheat Flour, Sunflower Oil (10%), Sea Salt, Yeast, Malted Wheat Flour

The primary ingredients in classic breadsticks are white flour, oil and salt. Olive oil is often used, which is a healthier option than other types of oil.

Some brands use extra virgin olive oil as opposed to just “olive oil”. Extra virgin olive oil has more health benefits as it is less processed and retains most of its healthy qualities.

In some brands of breadsticks, you may find sunflower oil instead of olive oil. Sunflower oil is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, however, it is not as healthy as olive oil.

Some brands have developed flavoured breadsticks with added ingredients such as herbs, garlic, spices and cheese. These are usually higher in calories and saturated fat than plain breadsticks.

At first glance, classic breadsticks appear to be a fairly healthy snack option since they are made with only natural ingredients and contain no processed sugar, artificial flavourings, or unhealthy additives. But are they healthy? Let’s look at their nutritional values to find out.

Nutritional Value of Breadsticks

The nutritional values of breadsticks are very similar across the different supermarket brands.

Out of all the supermarket breadstick brands we looked at, Aldi’s breadsticks have the least calories (406 calories per 100g). The most calories come from Asda’s own brand breadsticks (418 calories).

They all have around 8g of fat per 100g with Sainsbury’s breadsticks being the lowest fat (7.2g per 100g) and Aldi’s breadsticks being the highest in fat (8.5g per 100g). The protein content is between 10 and 12g, while carbs are around 73g.

Aldi’s breadsticks have 70g carbs and M&S’s breadsticks have slightly less (69.5g).

Nutritional values per 100gTesco Original BreadsticksASDA Classic BreadsticksSainsbury’s Grissini Bread SticksAldi Savour Bakes BreadsticksM&S Italian Torinesi Breadsticks
Saturated fat1.4g1.2g1.1g1.4g1.0g

How many calories are in 4 breadsticks?

Most supermarket brands of breadsticks contain around 25 calories per breadstick. This means that 4 breadsticks are approximately 100 calories.

Sugar in breadsticks

Although there is no added (processed) sugar in breadsticks, they still contain small amounts of natural sugars which come from Barley Malt Extract, a natural sweetener used to improve flavour and texture.

The sugar content of breadsticks is generally low, around 3g per 100g. So one breadstick typically contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar.

Fibre in breadsticks

Breadsticks are quite low in fibre. Most brands contain around 3g of fibre per 100g, so one breadstick typically contains less than 0.5 grams of fibre. This means that they are not a good source of dietary fibre and are unlikely to help you meet your recommended daily intake of 30 g/day.

Protein content

The protein content of breadsticks is generally low. The protein content per 100g is between 10-12g, so one breadstick contains only around 0.7g of protein. Eating 4 breadsticks will give you 2.8 g of protein but this still won’t satisfy your daily needs for protein.

Breadsticks are not a good source of protein as you need to eat a lot of them in order to get your recommended daily intake of protein (56 g/day for men, 46 g/day for women).

Salt content

The salt content of breadsticks varies from brand to brand. However, most brands contain between 1g and 2 g of salt per 100g. Tesco’s breadsticks, for example, contain 1.75g of salt per 100g and Sainsbury’s breadsticks contain 1.17g per 100g. If you eat 4 breadsticks you will consume up to around 0.1g of salt which is not a significant amount.

Are there any benefits of eating breadsticks?

Breadsticks are a good source of carbs and are low in fat and sugar. This makes them a good option for those who are active and are looking for a snack to refuel and replenish energy.

Apart from that, there are not really any health benefits of eating breadsticks. They are low in protein and fibre and are not a good source of vitamins or minerals.

Breadsticks vs bread

Both breadsticks and white bread are high in carbs and low in fibre and neither contains many minerals or vitamins.

If you are looking for a healthier option than white bread, whole wheat bread is a better choice as it contains more fibre, protein, and vitamins and minerals.

Breadsticks vs cheese sticks

Cheese sticks are a popular snack food but are higher in fat and calories than breadsticks.

Cheese sticks are also higher in protein than breadsticks but are not a good source of fibre or vitamins and minerals.


Are breadsticks healthy for toddlers?

Breadsticks are very popular among toddlers but they are not the most nutritious choice of snack. They are high in carbs and are low in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It’s best to combine breadsticks with another snack that is higher in protein and fibre, such as cheese or hummus.

Are breadsticks healthy for diabetics?

Breadsticks are not the best choice for people with diabetes as they are high in carbs and are low in fibre and protein. Eating too many breadsticks can cause blood sugar levels to spike, so it is best to combine them with foods that are higher in protein and fibre.

Can breadsticks make you constipated?

Constipation is a result of many factors, and breadsticks are not likely to be the primary cause. However, as breadsticks are low in fibre, eating too many of them may contribute to constipation by not providing sufficient fibre in your diet. It is best to combine them with foods that are higher in fibre, such as fruits and vegetables.

Also, if you feel constipated, it is important to increase your intake of fluids and look at other foods you’ve been eating.

Are breadsticks fattening?

Breadsticks are not particularly fattening and are lower in fat than many other snacks. However, if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, it is best to choose another snack that is higher in protein and fibre. Protein and fibre play an important role in keeping you feeling full for longer and are essential for maintaining a healthy weight.

Are breadsticks good for you?

Breadsticks are not the healthiest choice of snack but can be a better option than some other snacks. They are a good source of carbs and are low in fat and sugar. However, they are not high in protein, fibre, vitamins or minerals so it is best to combine them with other healthier snacks for a more balanced and nutritious meal.