Are Wraps Healthier Than Bread?
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series (as Shereen Jegtvig).
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman
A wrap is a popular lunch item in the United States. Similar to a sandwich or burrito, a wrap uses a pliable flatbread or tortilla to roll ingredients into a portable, handheld meal. The term wrap can be used to describe the outer shell and the finished product.
The outer wrap is typically a flour tortilla, which comes in a few varieties. Some have extra ingredients that add a little flavor and color, such as spinach or tomato powder, and they are also available in whole-wheat or gluten-free options. Wraps basically serve the same purpose as sliced bread: they hold ingredients and fillings in one place, so you can eat them without making a complete mess.
Yet wraps seem to have a healthier reputation than sandwiches. Wraps are often loaded with colorful fresh veggies, lean turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, and a slice of cheese.
Wraps vs. Bread
There isn’t much nutritional difference between bread and wraps. Both contain similar ingredients except the bread is leavened with yeast and a wrap is flat. The Nutrition Facts labels show similar nutritional profiles for one wrap and two slices of commercially baked bread. Wraps, however, typically have almost double the sodium and half the protein than bread.
In the sandwich versus wrap nutritional debate, does swapping out two slices of bread for one tortilla make a substantial difference?