How to spot the best whole-grain wraps, pitas, buns, bagels, etc.

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Stepping outside the sliced-bread box?

When it comes to wraps, pitas, buns, and bagels, whole grain beats refined. (Granted, nothing made of flour can measure up to, say, less-processed whole wheat berries or steel-cut oats.)

Yet some “multigrain” or “whole grain” impostors are still slipping in white (refined) flour, some “grain free” tortillas haven’t shed all of their refined carbs, and most “vegetable” wraps are mostly flour. Here’s our guide to what to look for.

Click here for our full chart of Best Bites and Honorable Mentions.

1. Spot the real whole grains.

See “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain” on the label? Look no further.

No 100%? Check the ingredient list for “whole wheat” or other “whole” grains. “Enriched” or just “wheat” or “unbleached” flour are all refined. “Sprouted” grains, on the other hand, are typically whole.

Our Best Bites and Honorable Mentions are made with grains that are all—or nearly all—whole. We disqualified items with white flour unless it was far down the ingredient list (near yeast, gluten, or sugar), a sign that little was added.

We didn’t disqualify items with added bran or fibers like oat fiber, cellulose fiber, or soy fiber. Those ingredients help replace some of the flour (and cut the calories) in “low carb,” “light,” or “high fiber” tortillas and wraps.

2. Check the serving size.

The Nutrition Facts may apply to just half an English muffin, naan, or bun. Our chart shows numbers for a whole item.

And watch out for supersized servings. A typical bagel has 250 to 270 calories. Think of its three ounces as a stack of three slices of bread. Too bad whole-grain mini bagels are so hard to come by. Solution: Eat just half a biggie, or switch to a whole wheat English muffin like Whole Foods’ 365.

3. Skim the salt.

Breads and flour tortillas don’t taste salty, but they can still deliver plenty of sodium. That’s why our Best Bites have no more than 240 milligrams per item. Honorable Mentions can have up to 300 mg. That lines up with our limits for two slices of bread.

4. Shrink the sugar.

Most of the items in our chart have no more than a couple of grams of added sugar (if that), so we didn’t need to set limits for Best Bites and Honorable Mentions. We disqualified products that cut sugar with the questionable artificial sweetener sucralose, which we rate as “avoid.” (See

And beware of misleading “no high fructose corn syrup” claims from brands like Arnold, Brownberry, Oroweat, Nature’s Own, and Dave’s Killer Bread. Those words don’t mean “no added sugar.” In fact, they often mean “with added sugar.”

5. Try some of our favorites.

A handful of good-tasting picks to get you started:

la tortilla factory organic tortillas
It's a snap to find corn tortillas that are low in salt. Not so for wheat.
La Tortilla Factory.
nature's own whole wheat hamburger buns
Not too much salt, not too big (130 calories), and all whole grains.
Nature's Own.
365 whole wheat pita pockets
A whole wheat pita is easy to stuff with veggies.
Whole Foods Market.


Maria & Ricardo's whole wheat plus pitas
Many high-fiber, low-carb, or light tortillas have just 45 to 90 calories.
Maria and Ricardo's.
ozery sandwich buns
Less salt than two slices of most whole wheat breads.
Ozery Family Bakery.


Think thin?

Arnold whole wheat sandwich thins
A good bet, just not as "thin" as they once were.

Heads up: For years, flatter buns (aka “sandwich thins”) had just 100 calories a pop. Today, some have grown up.

“Perfectly-sized and now 140 calories per roll!” say Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins, which hit 300 milligrams of sodium. Brownberry and Oroweat whole wheat thins have the same numbers.

They still eke out an Honorable Mention, though. And if you’re watching every calorie, they beat two slices of many breads.

The only Best Bite: the smaller Ozery Whole Wheat OneBun, which still has just 100 calories.

Whole-grain games

dave's epic everything bagels
Look for "100%" whole grain (not the number of grams).
Dave's Killer Bread.

Beware these whole-grainy claims:

  • Grams of whole grain. “Our organic Epic Everything bagels have all the garlicky and oniony deliciousness you want, and pack a whopping 26g of whole grains per serving,” says the Dave’s Killer Bread label. But that still leaves plenty of room for refined flour. The same-size Thomas’ Whole Wheat Bagels have 55 grams of whole grain. Why? Because they’re 100% whole grain.

Tip: Dave’s English muffins aren’t all whole grain, either. (Many of his sliced breads do better, though.)

  • “Multigrain” or “ancient grain.” White flour could be the first ingredient. Case in point: Thomas’ Light MultiGrain English Muffins and Stonefire Ancient Grain Mini Naan.
  • “Made with whole grain.” “Made with” usually means you’re getting white flour mixed with whole grain.

Don’t count your veggies...

mission garden spinach herb wraps
A garden of food dyes plus spinach powder.
Mission Foods.

Mission Garden Spinach Herb Wraps are “lean, green tortillas” that are made with fresh ingredients,” says the company’s website.

Really? The first ingredient: white flour. Spinach powder (it’s part of the “seasoning”) comes after water and shortening. Maybe it’s the yellow and blue food dyes that make them so green!

Fiber One Garden Vegetable Wraps, Angelic Bakehouse Garden Wraps, and other veggie-promising wraps drop the dyes, but they still have far more grain than dried, powdered, or juiced vegetables.

Outer Aisle PlantPower Original Sandwich Thins (50 calories), on the other hand, add enough fresh cauliflower—plus a little egg, parmesan, and nutritional yeast—to replace the flour altogether. The saturated fat (1½ grams) and sodium (130 milligrams) aren’t bad, but unless your sandwich is open-faced or folded like a taco, you’ll need to double those numbers for two thins. That drops them down to an Honorable Mention. Too bad the price ($7 for a six-pack) is so steep.

Bottom line: Don’t count on wraps to put a dent in the 10-plus servings of veggies and fruits you should shoot for every day. Powders and juices don’t fill you up like (low-cal) whole vegetables do. Our advice: Stuff some leafy greens inside...or add a salad on the side.

A better white bread?

egglife egg white wraps
Egg whites without too much salt.
EggLife Foods.

Original Egg White Wraps are “simply made with over 95% cage free egg whites,” says Egglife.

Should you swap white flour for egg whites?

The upside: five grams of protein, just 25 calories, and an impressive 120 milligrams of sodium. Taste? Pleasantly plain, not eggy.

The downside: a six-pack cost us $6. But if you need to avoid gluten or want to cut carbs, Egglife beats “gluten free” or “grain free” tortillas made with starchy refined tapioca.

Hello, jicama!

Trader Joe's jicama wraps
The entire ingredient list: jicama.
Lindsay Moyer/CSPI.

“Jicama is mild & neutral, which is exactly what makes Trader Joe’s Jicama Wraps an ideal tortilla alternative!” says the package. The (fiber-rich!) root vegetable “resembles a crunchy cross between a water chestnut & an apple.”

If crunch is what you want, use the thinly shaved sheets raw. If you prefer softer and a more tortilla-like taste, heat them up in a lightly oiled skillet.

Calories? A paltry 15 per two-wrap serving.