Grilled, toasted or baked, the buttery crunch of garlic bread makes it a welcome addition at any meal. Traditionally made with a baguette, this tasty appetizer originated from the tomato-topped bruschetta breads of Tuscany. Many garlic breads are high in fat, but a few minor modifications can make this tasty bread a healthy and delicious treat.
One piece of garlic bread contains 150 calories and 4 grams of protein. Garlic bread is a high-fat appetizer, containing 7 grams per slice. For a 2,000-calorie diet, you should aim to consume less than 65 grams of fat each day. Sprinkling 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese on your bread adds 84 calories, 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat. The cheese also adds 141 milligrams of calcium, an important mineral for bone health and muscle contraction.
Most garlic breads are made with white bread. White breads are made with refined grains that contain less fiber than whole grains. Fiber promotes good digestive health, and you should aim to consume 25 grams of fiber per day. One slice of traditional garlic bread contains 1 gram of fiber. Making garlic bread with whole-wheat bread increases the fiber content to 4 grams per serving.
Garlic is a flavorful, low-calorie vegetable. Adding one clove of chopped garlic to your garlic bread provides 5 calories and 2 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. The sulfur compounds in garlic may also help control cholesterol and protect your cells from damage. For the healthiest bread, use fresh garlic or garlic powder. Many ready-made seasonings and garlic salt are loaded with sodium. A high-sodium diet contributes to high blood pressure, so aim to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
Butter provides most of the fat in garlic bread. One-half tablespoon of butter contains 6 grams of fat. Most of this fat is saturated fat, the unhealthy type that clogs your arteries, raises cholesterol and contributes to heart disease. For a healthier garlic bread, brush it with olive oil instead. Olive oil contains mostly unsaturated fats that do not damage your blood vessels. Substituting olive oil for butter in recipes promotes good heart health.
- USDA Nutrient Database: Garlic Bread, Frozen
- USDA Nutrient Database: Mozzarella Cheese
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Boost Your Health With Fiber
- USDA Nutrient Database: Bread, Whole-wheat, Commercially Prepared, Toasted
- Fruits and Veggies More Matters: Garlic, Nutrition, Selection, and Storage
- American Cancer Society: Garlic
- American Heart Association: Phytochemicals and Cardiovascular Disease
- USDA Nutrient Database: Butter, salted
- USDA Nutrient Database: Oil, olive, salad or cooking
- CDC: World Salt Awareness Week Focuses on Link between Sodium and Stroke
Jennifer Dlugos is a Boston-based writer with more than 10 years of experience in the health-care and wellness industries. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter who teaches screenwriting and film production classes throughout New England. Dlugos holds a master's degree in dietetics.