Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Ezekiel Bread Bad For You?

Also Known As: Sprouted grain bread



Short answer

Ezekiel bread is not bad for you; it's a highly nutritious option compared to many other breads. With its unique combination of sprouted grains and legumes, it offers a complete protein, a good amount of fiber, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. Its lower glycemic index may also aid in blood sugar management. However, due to its gluten content, it's not suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. When enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, Ezekiel bread can contribute to overall health.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Nutritional Profile of Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread stands out in the world of breads due to its unique composition of ingredients. It is made from sprouted whole grains and legumes, which include wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. This sprouting process is believed to increase the availability of nutrients and reduce the presence of antinutrients, potentially offering greater nutritional benefits compared to traditional breads. Here's a closer look at what this nutritious bread offers per slice (approximately 34g).

  • Calories: The caloric content of Ezekiel bread is in the range of 80 to 100 calories per slice, depending on the specific variant.
  • Protein: With about 4 to 5 grams of protein per slice, Ezekiel bread is a good protein source, especially when compared to many white breads that contain only 2 grams per slice. The combination of grains and legumes provides a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids your body needs.
  • Carbohydrates: Typically around 15 grams of carbohydrates are present in a slice, with dietary fiber being a substantial part of this. The fiber content is about 3 grams per slice, which is significant in comparison to many white breads that could contain less than 1 gram.
  • Fat: There's a small amount of fat in Ezekiel bread, usually not exceeding 1 gram per slice.
  • Sugar: Most Ezekiel bread varieties contain no added sugars. Any sugar present is the natural sugar found within the grains and legumes.
  • Micronutrients: Ezekiel bread is a source of various vitamins and minerals. Some of these include B vitamins (such as folic acid and niacin), iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. The sprouting process may enhance the mineral content by decreasing phytic acid levels, which can inhibit the absorption of these nutrients.

When considering the overall dietary benefits, it is essential to note that Ezekiel bread is richer in nutrients and offers a more complete profile than many other breads. However, it's important to consider individual dietary needs and how this type of bread fits into your daily nutritional goals.

It is also worth mentioning that Ezekiel bread is often recommended for people who are watching their glycemic index as it tends to have a lower glycemic index than many other breads, meaning it may have a less significant impact on blood sugar levels.

In summary, the nutritional profile of Ezekiel bread is quite impressive, offering a healthful blend of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber, along with an array of vitamins and minerals. Its composition makes it a potentially beneficial addition to a balanced diet, particularly for those seeking nutrient-rich food options.

Digestibility and Glycemic Impact of Sprouted Grains

Ezekiel bread, known for its nutritive sprouted grains, boasts benefits that go beyond basic nutrition. Sprouted grains, in particular, showcase distinct advantages regarding digestibility and glycemic impact when compared to their non-sprouted counterparts.

Improvement in Digestibility

Sprouting grains is a process that involves soaking them until they begin to germinate. This method has been shown to break down antinutrients like phytic acid, which can bind minerals and reduce their absorption. A decrease in such antinutrients enhances the body's ability to absorb essential minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium.

  • Enzymatic activity increases during sprouting, leading to the breakdown of proteins into amino acids, thus aiding in the process of digestibility.
  • It transforms complex carbs into simpler sugars, which can be easier for the body to break down.

One study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences highlights that sprouting increases proteolytic activity, which can improve the digestibility of proteins and thus make sprouted grain products favorable for those with intolerances to certain grains.

Lower Glycemic Impact

Carbohydrates are typically categorized by their effect on blood sugar levels, measured by the glycemic index (GI). Foods with a high GI cause a more rapid increase in blood glucose levels compared to foods with a low GI. Ezekiel bread, made with sprouted grains, tends to have a lower GI than many other types of bread.

  • Studies suggest that the sprouting process may mitigate the glycemic response, stabilizing blood sugar levels.
  • For instance, a study appearing in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism concluded that sprouted grain breads might have a lesser impact on blood glucose and insulin levels, making them a preferred choice for individuals managing diabetes or those looking to control their glycemic load.

This lower glycemic impact can contribute to maintaining energy balance throughout the day and may assist in reducing cravings that are linked to spikes in blood sugar levels.

In summary, the sprouting process inherent to the production of Ezekiel bread not only assists in making nutrients more available but also enhances digestion while moderating the glycemic response. This might be particularly beneficial for individuals with dietary sensitivities or for those monitoring their blood sugar due to health conditions such as diabetes.

Phytic Acid in Ezekiel Bread: A Double-Edged Sword?

When discussing the nutritional profile of Ezekiel bread, it's important to shed light on phytic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in the grains and legumes used to make this bread. Phytic acid, also known as inositol hexakisphosphate, plays an interesting dual role in nutrition, acting as both an antioxidant and a so-called anti-nutrient.

On the one hand, phytic acid has been shown to offer potential health benefits due to its antioxidant properties. It may help protect against oxidative stress and lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food indicates that phytic acid exhibits anticancer activities and might assist in the prevention of cancer cell proliferation.

However, herein lies its complexity. Phytic acid’s ability to bind minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc can inhibit their absorption in the digestive system. For those with a mineral-rich diet, this might not pose a significant concern. But for individuals with diets lacking in these essential nutrients, the high phytic acid content could potentially lead to deficiencies. This is particularly pressing for individuals on plant-based diets, where the primary sources of minerals are grains and legumes—the very foods high in phytic acid.

It's important to recognize that the preparation methods used in the making of Ezekiel bread may mitigate some of the negative effects of phytic acid. The process of sprouting grains, as is done for Ezekiel bread, can decrease the phytic acid content. Sprouting promotes the activation of phytase, an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, thereby improving the bioavailability of minerals. This was supported by research published in the Food Chemistry journal, which found that sprouting grains could reduce phytic acid by up to 75%.

For those concerned about phytic acid intake, it's recommended to pair foods high in this substance with foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C can enhance the absorption of minerals like iron, counteracting the inhibitory effect of phytic acid. Additionally, consuming a varied diet ensures that you receive a balanced spectrum of nutrients to compensate for any potential absorption issues.

In summary, while phytic acid in Ezekiel bread may have the potential to reduce mineral absorption, the sprouting process can alleviate many of these concerns. Moreover, its antioxidant properties could offer health benefits that many may find desirable in a food product.

Gluten and Allergen Considerations with Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread, a type of sprouted grain bread, is often celebrated for its rich nutrient profile and whole grain contents. However, one of the major concerns when incorporating Ezekiel bread into a diet is its gluten content. Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye, and for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it can cause a range of health problems. Ezekiel bread is made from wheat, barley, and spelt, all of which contain gluten, making it unsuitable for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Beyond gluten, Ezekiel bread contains several other potential allergens. Here is a list of allergens found in Ezekiel bread:

  • Wheat: As mentioned, a primary ingredient in Ezekiel bread which can trigger allergic reactions or cause issues for individuals with wheat allergies.
  • Soybeans: Soy is a common allergen and can be found in some variations of Ezekiel bread, presenting a risk for those with soy allergies.
  • Sesame Seeds: Some versions of Ezekiel bread may contain sesame, which is another common allergen.

For those with allergies to the above ingredients, Ezekiel bread can provoke reactions ranging from mild irritations to severe anaphylactic responses. It's essential for individuals with known food allergies to read the ingredient labels carefully and to consult with a healthcare provider before making dietary changes.

Here are some important points for those considering the inclusion of Ezekiel bread in their diet:

  • Consultation: Always consult with a healthcare provider or dietitian before introducing Ezekiel bread into a gluten-free or allergen-sensitive diet.
  • Ingredient Check: Thoroughly review the ingredients list on Ezekiel bread packages, as formulations can vary, and some may include additional allergens not listed here.
  • Alternatives: For those who cannot tolerate gluten or the other potential allergens in Ezekiel bread, numerous gluten-free and allergen-friendly bread alternatives are available on the market.

Comprehensive testing for allergies can guide individuals in making informed decisions regarding their dietary choices. It's important to bear in mind that while sprouted grains like those in Ezekiel bread may be more digestible for some, the presence of gluten and other allergens can override these benefits for those with sensitivities or allergies.

Finally, it's noteworthy to mention that the sprouting process in grains used to make Ezekiel bread may reduce the content of gluten to some extent, as suggested by research. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicates that sprouting wheat may reduce gluten content. However, the reduction is not sufficient to classify sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread as safe for those with gluten-related disorders.

Ezekiel Bread in the Context of a Balanced Diet

When considering whether Ezekiel bread is a positive or negative addition to your diet, it's essential to evaluate how it fits within the framework of a balanced diet. A balanced diet is characteristically rich in nutrients, diverse in food groups, and adequate in meeting an individual's energy needs without excess. Let's dive into how Ezekiel bread aligns with these dietary principles.

Ezekiel bread is a type of sprouted grain bread that is made from a variety of whole grains and legumes. These ingredients inherently offer a range of nutrients that are crucial for maintaining good health. The sprouting process may enhance the bioavailability of certain nutrients, making them easier to absorb. Here’s how Ezekiel bread contributes to the various components of a balanced diet:

  • Whole Grains: As dietary guidelines recommend making half your grains whole, Ezekiel bread can contribute to this goal. Whole grains are associated with numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Ezekiel bread is made from whole, sprouted grains, thereby increasing your whole grain intake.
  • Protein: Protein is vital for building and repairing tissues, and Ezekiel bread provides more protein than many other breads due to the combination of grains and legumes, such as wheat, barley, beans, and lentils. This well-rounded protein profile includes all nine essential amino acids, which is rare for plant-based foods.
  • Fiber: Fiber is important for digestive health and satiety. Ezekiel bread is typically higher in fiber than many other types of bread, which can help you feel full longer and support a healthy digestive system.
  • Micronutrients: Sprouted grains enhance the content and digestibility of certain vitamins and minerals. Ezekiel bread is a source of micronutrients like magnesium, folate, and certain B vitamins, contributing to the overall nutritional quality of a balanced diet.
  • Low Glycemic Index: Foods with a low glycemic index are digested more slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Ezekiel bread has a lower glycemic index compared to many other breads, which can be beneficial for blood sugar management.

However, it is critical to consider portion sizes and individual dietary needs. While Ezekiel bread can be a healthful part of a balanced diet, it is also relatively dense and caloric, which means it should be consumed in moderation, especially for individuals monitoring their calorie intake for weight management. Moreover, because it is made from wheat and barley, Ezekiel bread is not appropriate for individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

The incorporation of Ezekiel bread into a balanced diet also depends on the overall dietary pattern. It is important to pair it with a variety of other nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Doing so ensures that you're not solely relying on Ezekiel bread for your nutritional needs.

Individuals following more specific diets, like plant-based or vegan diets, may find Ezekiel bread especially beneficial due to its complete protein profile, a feature not always easily found in plant-based food sources.

In conclusion, within the context of a balanced diet, Ezekiel bread can serve as an excellent source of nutrients and fiber. However, it should be consumed with consideration to dietary restrictions and in moderation as part of a varied diet to ensure nutritional adequacy and balance.

The Role of Fiber and Plant-Based Proteins in Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread, known for its whole grain composition, is a source of dietary fiber and plant-based proteins that play crucial roles in a balanced diet and overall health. Understanding the nutritional roles of these components not only dispels myths but also highlights the benefits of including Ezekiel bread in your dietary routine.

Dietary Fiber: Aiding Digestive Health

Fiber is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy digestion and regularity. The whole grains and legumes in Ezekiel bread contribute to its high fiber content. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a single slice of Ezekiel bread contains approximately 3 grams of fiber, which is about 12% of the recommended daily intake for adults, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

The insoluble fiber found in the bread aids in the movement of food through the digestive system, minimizing the occurrence of constipation. On the other hand, its soluble fiber can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and has been linked to lower cholesterol, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Plant-Based Proteins: Supporting Muscle and Tissue Health

Ezekiel bread is also known for its unique blend of plant-based proteins derived from a variety of wheat and legumes, such as lentils and soybeans. These proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues and maintaining muscle health. A slice of Ezekiel bread typically provides about 4 to 5 grams of protein, making it a more protein-rich option compared to many traditional white or whole wheat breads.

The proteins in Ezekiel bread are considered 'complete proteins,' which means they contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for human dietary needs. This is noteworthy because most plant-based proteins are incomplete, lacking one or more essential amino acids. The combination of grains and legumes in Ezekiel bread ensures a complete amino acid profile, beneficial for anyone, especially those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Concerns about plant-based proteins often revolve around their digestibility and absorption. However, the sprouting process that the grains and legumes undergo before being made into Ezekiel bread may increase the bioavailability of these proteins, making them easier for the body to use. Research in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences suggests that sprouting grains can enhance the absorption of nutrients and reduce anti-nutrient factors.

Additional Health Benefits Linked to Fiber and Proteins

Beyond the basics, the fiber and proteins in Ezekiel bread may offer other health advantages:

  • Weight management: High-fiber foods can promote a feeling of fullness, potentially aiding in weight control by reducing overall calorie intake.
  • Heart health: The combination of fiber, particularly beta-glucans, and plant-based proteins has been associated with heart health benefits.
  • Glycemic response: The low glycemic index of Ezekiel bread means it has a lesser impact on blood sugar levels post-consumption, making it a suitable option for individuals managing blood glucose.

While there is ample evidence to support the inclusion of fiber and plant-based proteins in one's diet, consulting with a healthcare provider or nutritionist is always recommended, especially for those with specific health conditions or dietary restrictions.

Frequently asked questions

While the sprouting process may reduce gluten content to an extent, it does not eliminate it. Ezekiel bread is not safe for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities as it still contains significant amounts of gluten.

Ezekiel bread is an excellent addition to vegan or plant-based diets as it offers complete protein from plant-based sources, ensuring that individuals receive all essential amino acids that might be harder to come by in a diet devoid of animal products.

Ezekiel bread can be incorporated into a weight loss diet due to its high fiber and protein content, which may help in feeling full and satisfied. However, its calorie density means portion control is crucial. It is best consumed as part of a balanced diet alongside regular exercise.

Some varieties of Ezekiel bread contain soybeans, which can pose risks for individuals with soy allergies. It's vital to check ingredient labels for soy content and consider alternative bread options if necessary.

Ask a question about Ezekiel Bread and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible long-term side effects

  • potential nutrient deficiencies due to phytic acid (if not paired with a varied diet)
  • potential for allergenic reactions (wheat, soy, sesame)

Ingredients to be aware of

  • gluten
  • phytic acid
  • potential allergens (wheat, soy, sesame)


  • complete protein profile
  • higher in fiber
  • lower glycemic index
  • nutrient availability
  • digestive health
  • potential antioxidant benefits
  • weight management
  • heart health
  • improved blood sugar management

Healthier alternatives

  • gluten-free or allergen-friendly bread options

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Dave's Killer Powerseed Bread

  • USDA Organic
  • Whole grain nutrition
  • Omega-3 rich seeds
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 01-12-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 01-12-2024

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