We get it—cutting bread out of your diet is just not an option (hey, some of us love it as much as Oprah does!) and with Food For Life’s Ezekiel bread, you really don’t have to. It’s got the best of both worlds: it’s tasty and nutritious, which means you can get your sandwich fix without the guilt. One slice of Ezekiel bread is only 80 calories and loaded with nutrients and a bunch of other good stuff that’ll keep you slim and satiated. Plus, its ingredient list is totally pronounceable because it contains 100 percent wholesome good-for-you ingredients.
“When you’re reading any ingredient list, you should be looking for the word ‘whole grain’, which means that the grain is still intact and hasn’t been processed and essentially re-fortified,” says Jessica Crandall, a Denver-based RD, Certified Diabetes Educator, and National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Since the loaf’s first ingredient is organic sprouted wheat, it definitely fits the bill!
Find out more about the bread that’s consistently an Eat This! on our best and worst lists, and for breads that don’t make the cut, check out 20 Best and Worst Store-Bought Breads.
It’s Made With Four Types of Cereal Grains…
Just take a peek at a loaf’s ingredient list and you’ll see that Ezekiel not only has wheat, but millet, barley, and spelt, too. Mild-tasting millet is teeming with disease-fighting antioxidants, spelt promotes bone and tissue growth, and barley “acts as a bulking agent, which can help push waste through the digestive tract, regulating bowel movements,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN.
…And Two Types of Legumes
In addition to its list of hearty whole grains, Ezekiel bread also packs in soybeans and lentils. Soybeans contain magnesium and fiber, while lentils have been linked to everything from fighting cancer to promoting gut health to aiding weight loss. If you’re a fan of these mighty legumes, check out our 20 Wholesome Lentil Recipes.
It’s Made of Sprouted Whole Grains
All of the grains and legumes found in Ezekiel bread are sprouted—which means that they’re way better for you. Sprouting is the natural process that involves these seeds germinating and the plant sprouting out of its shell when coming in contact with water. So, when foods like Ezekiel bread are labeled “sprouted,” this simply means that this natural process was mimicked, leading to a ton more nutrients and healthful benefits. Sprouted grains and legumes are much lower in gluten, and because the sprouting process breaks down enzyme inhibitors, the bread is, therefore, easier to digest and much more nutrient dense (more on that later).
It’s Named After A Bible Verse
If you were wondering why the bread’s name seems formatted like a Bible verse, it’s because it actually is one! According to the New International Version, Ezekiel 4:9 states, “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.”
It Doesn’t Have Any Added Sugars
Unlike most commercial breads, which contain added sugars disguised by titles like high fructose corn syrup, date syrup, and even honey, the Ezekiel Flax Sprouted Whole Grain bread doesn’t contain even one gram of the saccharine carb. This is totally good news because consuming too many added sugars can help you pack on belly fat. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re still becoming obese—every single one, across the board,” says psychology professor and appetite and sugar addiction specialist Bart Hoebel.
It’s Chock-Full-Of Fiber
With four grams of belly-filling fiber in only one slice of the Ezekiel Flax Sprouted Whole Grain, this bread is better than most. “Ezekiel bread is a non-processed, high-fiber, healthy whole grain bread that tastes great when paired with all-natural peanut or almond butter,” says Moskovitz.
It Can Help Lower Cholesterol
“Barley contains belly-filling, mostly-soluble fiber that has been linked to lowered cholesterol, decreased blood sugars, and increased satiety,” says Moskovitz. Also, research published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal discovered that munching on three-quarters of a cup of cooked legumes (like soybeans and lentils found in Ezekiel bread) daily could reduce LDL levels (the bad cholesterol) by approximately five percent.
It’s Packed with Protein
“Since Ezekiel bread is made from sprouted grains, it’s higher in protein, which will help to promote satiety and balance blood sugar,” explains Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. In fact, sprouting legumes increases their protein levels by a whopping 50 percent! Ezekiel Bread contains five grams of protein per slice and 18 amino acids, including all of the nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein and Eat This, Not That! approved.
Most stores keep preservative-free Ezekiel loaves in freezers in order to prevent molding and retain that bakery-made taste—and you should, too. According to Food For Life, a fresh loaf will last only five days, a refrigerated loaf will last about two weeks, and a frozen loaf could last up to a year! Freezing the whole loaf and toasting a slice whenever you want will ensure your bread’s taste is always up to par. So, if you can’t find the sprouted loaf in the bread aisle of the grocery store, hit the freezer section! And while you’re there, check out these other Best Weight Loss Foods to Buy Frozen.
It’s especially important to choose organic when consuming soy (like soybeans found in Ezekiel) since most of America’s soy products are genetically modified. Soybeans are one of the best sources of magnesium (they provide 54 mg of magnesium per ½ cup or about 14 percent of your DV), but processing and genetically modifying the beans strips them of their high magnesium levels and is thought to contribute to man boobs. That’s why sticking to organic soybeans (like those found in certified organically grown Ezekiel bread) is your best bet.
It Doesn’t Contain Any Additives
Nope, no artificial sweeteners, dyes, preservatives, or shortenings. Rest assured that Food For Life harnesses the natural powers of the mighty grains and legumes in their purest, most natural form—which we’re totally on board with!
It’s Teeming With Nutrients
Besides Ezekiel bread being a great source of zinc, vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, and more, sprouting grains erodes their anti-nutrients, starches, and gluten. Translation: This bread is more easily digested while allowing you to absorb more nutrients. According to the American Journal of Plant Nutrition, sprouting the grains and legumes ups their vitamin synthesis by six to ten times—especially vitamins B2 (AKA riboflavin), B5, and B6, as well as activating vitamin C production. Still don’t believe bread can help you reach your weight loss goals? Sprouting grains decreases their fats and carbs by up to 25 percent. Plus, millet’s high fiber and magnesium levels can help “regulate blood sugar levels, which is helpful for diabetics and those trying to lose weight,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Vegans Love it
Vegans, rejoice! This loaf doesn’t contain a trace of eggs, butter, or milk. While many vegans find it challenging to meet their daily quotas for iron, calcium, and protein, crafting a sandwich or French toast with Ezekiel is the perfect way to get these plant-sourced nutrients.
Diabetics Love It, Too!
Finally—diabetics can enjoy a slice or two of bread without the dreaded sugar spike! Ezekiel bread is low-glycemic and has been awarded the Diabetic Friendly Seal by The Glycemic Research Institute. Now that’s legit. Food For Life assures that Ezekiel can lower blood sugar levels, reduce spikes, reduce weight and risk of heart disease, and can help control type I and II diabetes, hypoglycemia, and hypertension.
There’s More Than Just Ezekiel Bread
Food For Life doesn’t just stop at Ezekiel bread; it makes other sprouted products such as English muffins, buns, tortillas, pocket breads (like pita bread), waffles, cereal, and pasta. Swapping out refined and processed grains and replacing them with wholesome sprouted products has never been easier. For more good-for-you items you should stock up on, check out these 35 Foods Busy—But Healthy!—People Keep Stocked.