is pumpernickel bread low carb
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Is Pumpernickel Bread Low Carb? [ Health Benefits and Nutritional Analysis]


Pumpernickel bread is a popular type of bread that originated in Germany. It is well-known for its dense texture and rich, nutty flavor and is often used in traditional German dishes. In recent years, pumpernickel bread has gained popularity among health-conscious consumers as a healthier alternative to conventional white bread. However, the ongoing debate about whether pumpernickel bread is low-carb has confused many about its nutritional value.

If you’re following a low-carb diet and considering adding pumpernickel bread to your meal plan, the question “Is pumpernickel bread low carb?” might have crossed your mind. Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward, as the nutritional content of pumpernickel bread can vary depending on the recipe and brand. Some pumpernickel bread may be low in carbs, while others may contain more carbohydrates than other types of bread. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional content of pumpernickel bread and explore whether it’s a good choice for those following a low-carb diet.

So, if you’re looking for a healthier bread option and are wondering whether pumpernickel bread fits the bill, keep reading. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand whether pumpernickel bread is low-carb and whether it’s a good option for your dietary needs.

Nutritional Content of Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel bread is made from rye flour, wheat flour, and other ingredients like molasses and caraway seeds. This unique combination of ingredients gives pumpernickel bread its distinctive flavor and texture. However, it also means that pumpernickel bread isn’t necessarily low-carb.

One of the unique characteristics of pumpernickel bread is its slightly sweet taste, which comes from the addition of molasses or caramel coloring. The dark color of the bread is also a result of the caramelization of sugars during the baking process. Pumpernickel bread is also denser than most other bread types, making it a popular choice for sandwiches and toast. Its rich, nutty flavor also pairs well with various toppings, from smoked salmon to avocado and eggs.

One slice of pumpernickel bread typically contains around 12-15 grams of carbohydrates, with about 2 grams of fiber. While this may be lower than some other types of bread, it’s still too high for those following a strict low-carb diet. However, pumpernickel bread does have some health benefits. It’s high in fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. It also contains various vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium.

Here’s a breakdown of the nutrition data provided by the USDA for one medium slice (32g) of pumpernickel bread(1).

Calories: 80

Carbohydrates: 15.2g

A medium slice of pumpernickel bread contains just over 15 grams of carbohydrates, mostly starch.

Fiber: 2.1g

Besides carbohydrates, pumpernickel bread provides about 2.1 grams of fiber per slice, essential for maintaining healthy digestion and feeling full.

Sugars: 0.2g

Pumpernickel bread contains less than one gram of sugar per slice, making it an excellent choice for reducing sugar intake.

Fat: 1g

A slice of pumpernickel bread contains just 1 gram of fat, making it a low-fat option.
Protein: 2.8g. Pumpernickel bread is also a good source of protein, with a single slice providing 2.8 grams.

Vitamins and Minerals

Pumpernickel bread is an excellent source of manganese, essential for maintaining strong bones, healthy reproduction, blood clotting, and a robust immune system. It also provides about 7.8 micrograms of selenium per slice, which the body uses for several functions, including maintaining proper thyroid gland function.

Overall, pumpernickel bread is a tasty and nutritious option that provides a range of essential vitamins and minerals and is low in fat and sugar.

Is Pumpernickel Bread Low Carb?

pumpernickel bread
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If you’re looking for bread that’s lower in carbs, you might be wondering if pumpernickel bread is a good option. To answer this question, we must first define low-carb bread. Typically, low-carb bread contains fewer than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

The nutritional data suggests pumpernickel bread can be considered a relatively low-carb bread. According to the USDA, one slice of pumpernickel bread contains around 15 grams of carbohydrates(1). While this might seem like a lot, it’s important to note that this serving size is more significant than most other breeds. Most other bread has serving sizes half the size of a slice of pumpernickel bread.

Another factor to consider is the glycemic load/index, which measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Pumpernickel bread has a low glycemic index of 50(1), meaning it doesn’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This can benefit those watching their blood sugar levels, such as those with diabetes.

Pumpernickel bread is not typically considered a low-carb bread compared to other types of bread, like almond flour bread or flaxseed bread. However, it can be lower in carbs compared to different bread varieties. It’s important to note that moderation is still crucial, as too much bread, even if lower in carbs, can still contribute to weight gain and other health issues.

Health benefits of pumpernickel bread

Pumpernickel bread is a delicious and satisfying option with potential health benefits. This dark, dense bread is made from whole rye flour and is known for its rich, nutty flavor. It has become increasingly popular as more people seek alternatives to traditional white bread. In this section, we will explore the various health benefits of pumpernickel bread.

One of pumpernickel bread’s most notable health benefits is its potential to boost immunity. Pumpernickel bread is high in nutrients like zinc, selenium, and iron, essential for a healthy immune system. Zinc, in particular, is known for its role in supporting immune function. A single slice of pumpernickel bread can provide up to 10% of the recommended daily intake of this mineral.

Pumpernickel bread is also an excellent option for those looking to lose weight. Unlike traditional white bread, pumpernickel bread is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, which means it can help you feel fuller for extended periods and keep your blood sugar levels stable. This can help prevent overeating and contribute to weight loss. Studies have shown that people who consume high-fiber diets tend to have lower body weights and less body fat than those who consume low-fiber diets(2).

Finally, pumpernickel bread may be beneficial for those with diabetes. The high fiber content of pumpernickel bread can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. Additionally, pumpernickel bread has a lower glycemic index than many other breads so it won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This can help those with diabetes better manage their blood sugar levels and reduce their risk of complications.

Low-Carb Homemade Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

This homemade pumpernickel bread recipe combines yellow cornmeal, molasses, butter, caraway seeds, and unsweetened cocoa powder to create a unique, flavorful loaf. Instead of traditional flour, this recipe uses King Arthur Organic Pumpernickel Flour and whole wheat flour to reduce the carbohydrate content.


  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) warm water
  • 1/2 cup (71g) yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup (85g) blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar substitute (such as erythritol or stevia)
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, Dutch-process or natural
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup (50g) vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup (43g) wheat bran
  • 1 cup (170g) cooked, mashed cauliflower


  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of warm water with the cornmeal and cook over low heat until thick, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from heat and add the blackstrap molasses, butter, salt, sugar substitute, caraway seeds, and cocoa powder. Stir to combine and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Put the remaining 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast. If using active dry, stir and let the mixture “proof” for 10 minutes. If using instant, no waiting time is necessary.
  3. Add the molasses mixture and mashed cauliflower.
  4. Weigh your almond flour, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, vital wheat gluten, and wheat bran, or measure them by gently spooning them into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Stir into the mixture until well combined.
  5. Knead the dough at medium speed for 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the dough to a greased loaf pan and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the bread for 40 to 50 minutes until the top is brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  8. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

This low-carb pumpernickel bread is an excellent alternative for those who want to enjoy the delicious taste of homemade bread without the excess carbs. It’s perfect for anyone on a low-carb or keto diet or those wishing to reduce their carb intake. Enjoy it as a sandwich, toast it with butter or cream cheese, or serve it as a side with your favorite meals.


Although pumpernickel bread is not a low-carb bread, it does offer several health benefits. Its high fiber content helps promote digestion and can aid in weight loss. Pumpernickel bread is also rich in vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent choice for those looking to boost their immunity. Its low glycemic index makes it a suitable bread for those with diabetes.

Overall, pumpernickel bread can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet plan, whether or not it is low-carb. Its unique flavor and texture make it a tasty alternative to traditional white bread, and its health benefits make it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their overall health and well-being.


FoodData Central. (2023). Retrieved May 13, 2023, from website:

Slavin, J. L. (2005). Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition21(3), 411–418.

Joseph Emb
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Hi there! I'm Joseph Emb, a nutritionist and certified personal trainer passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. With over ten years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've accumulated a great deal of knowledge that I love to share with my readers. I have a degree in exercise science and am proud to have been featured in reputable publications such as Men's Health and Women's Fitness. My goal with my blog is to inspire and empower others to take control of their health and live happier healthier lives.
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