Sprouted Whole Grains (SWG)

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Grains are the seeds of many food plants. Because they are concentrated in nutrients for the plant to grow, they are excellent sources of nutrition for humans, too.

Sprouting of grains is the first step in their development, and occurs under conditions ideal to growth (i.e., proper temperature and moisture). Natural enzymes activated during sprouting make the grain components easily digested and reduce the amount of “anti-nutrients” – compounds such as phytic acid, which bind vitamins and minerals – rendering the nutrients more bioavailable. This increased digestibility and bioavailability has been found to support not only good nutrition, but also healthy weight management, by improving how the body processes energy. Allowing the grains to sprout has even been credited with turning potentially pro-inflammatory grains into superfoods.

Modern grain harvesting and processing often do not allow sprouting – and we are confirming more and more that this is our loss. It is especially disadvantageous when combined with refinement of grains to produce white flour and products, which eliminate many important components, only a few of which are added back during “enrichment”.

Learn the truth behind “whole wheat” bread in our presentation.

Fortunately, new efforts to ensure grains are sprouted before production, and to use the whole edible portion of the grain, have given us a chance to benefit.

The edible parts of the whole grain – germ, endosperm, and bran – must be intact in all of the grain in a grain product for it to be considered 100% whole grain.

Though there is currently no regulated definition of ‘sprouted grain,’ companies applying sprouting methods use proven environmental controls to ensure the important enzymatic processes that maximize bioavailability. In the production of sprouted whole grain (SWG) products, the standard of a 100% whole grain is generally met.

Health benefits of SWG

A nutrition comparison between  grain products has shown that SWG contain about 75% the calories of regular whole grains, with slightly higher protein and about 40% of the fat, and a much lower glycemic index.

Sprouting grains also increases availability of many of the grains’ key nutrients, such as B-vitamins (including folic acid), vitamin C, fiber, and even essential amino acids often low in grains, such as lysine. SWG may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities. They were shown in a recent clinical study to improve the glycemic and insulin response – widely recognized as the keys to prevention and management of most weight gain and related chronic diseases – where even 100% whole regular grains had no effect, and refined grains worsened the response.

Other health benefits attributed to sprouted grains have also included protection against high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, depression and fatigue in nursing mothers, and allergies.

All that, plus taste and texture

Whole grain breads have been ignored by many people in favor of softer, more processed options, even with the knowledge that they are healthier. Interestingly, the use of SWG results in a finer texture and milder taste, yielding a compromise that many people find to their liking.

Choosing the right bread

When it comes to selecting a healthy bread, it’s important to seek a product made from 100% whole grains – not just “whole grain,” “whole wheat,” “added bran,” or “enriched,” and certainly not “white,” unless you have a medical condition that temporarily forbids fiber. You may have heard of Ezekiel bread, that certainly fits the bill and can be found in most health food stores. The Mayo Clinic, a world leader in nutrition studies, recommends choosing a bread that has a whole grain listed among the first items in the ingredient list and also has at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. They note that SWG breads have the additional advantage of often being free of preservatives; some of these therefore require refrigeration.

Wheat is not the only grain used for sprouted breads. Grains and legumes such as millet, barley, oat, spelt, rice, rye, buckwheat, sorghum (milo), and lentils may also be used. Bread that is made from an array of grains and legumes can provide a complete set of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

Though most of the SWG focus is on bread – bread being a major staple, and certainly a stumbling block for dieters – a wide and growing range of products are available, including cereals, wraps/tortillas, crackers, and roll. SWG flour is also available, enabling anyone to upgrade their home-baked goods.

If you want to make your own sprouted grain bread using SWG flour, here’s a great recipe that can even be make in the bread maker.



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  1. Hi all. I’ve just joined a few hours ago and I am testing the grounds of this ‘highway to gaining back a size I can cope with’, through the help of Trim Down club. I hope I will enjoy the trip as I try to use some of the info in the 60 day program.

  2. Hi, Jayne. 100% whole regular or sprouted grain bread is what we recommend. That “100%” is important because without it there is a chance some refined flours may be in the bread. Do take a little time to read the labels at least once so that you find a reliable brand, including one without hydrogenated fats or other sources of trans-fats (suich as E-171 and E-172).
    Spreadable butter is fine, as it is usually just air and/or water that has been whipped into it – but again, check the label for any unwanted surprises! If you have questions about a specific product or ingredient, please do repost, and I will get back to you.

  3. Hi everyone, I am so confused about what bread I should be eating, I need help please. I need to do a shop what do I buy and also I know not to eat marg instead butter but can you eat spreadable butter or should it be the solid block x

  4. Hi, nicechick. Any 100% whole grain bread is excellent in pre-diabetes, and that includes sprouted grain. And yes, we do encourage “cushioning” of carbohydrates with protein and good fats to support blood sugar control.

  5. to clear up some confusion below, sprouted grains do not contain more vitamins, etc. rather the vitamins are naturally bound to other compounds (complexed) in the grain and the growing process releases them to be more available. the complexing compounds available in grains are often highly inflammatory lectins. [NOTE: if you had any doubt about how bad lectins can get, ricin, a chemical warfare agent, is a lectin]. Sprouting would not only release the nutrients for bio-availability, but deactivates the lectins.

  6. Hi, Sally. Please do take advantage of the “free” spread option you get whenever there aren’t other sauces or spreads. You don’t have to go without those items, just use them in moderation – if this means cutting down, we suggest to do that gradually. We don’t want to make you cry!

  7. I am a huge procrastenater when it comes to eating right. I have yet to begin this program. I just printed out my first week’s menu and it is depressing. I can’t imagine eating without butter or mayonaise! I really don’t know if I can do this. I hate being at the current weight I am, but I want to cry when I look at this menu. Sally S.

  8. Hi, Johneba, and welcome. The following is a shopping guide that you may find helpful: https://www.trimdownclub.com/shopping-links-for-healthy-foods.
    In general, just ease into the program, make small changes until you are comfortable with them – they will add up and you can upgrade gradually. Tips on cooking are available from our recipes and from information we have in articles here and in the Program Guide and Quick Start Guide, which you can find in My Downloads (upper right hand corner of this page). If you are interested in related videos or need tech support, Customer Service can set you up – you can reach them through the “Contact Us” link below.

  9. We have found the Ezekiel 4.9 bread to be pretty flavorless and bland (even the cinnamon raisin). The absolute best tasting organic, SWG, and gluten-free breads we’ve had are Alpine Valley breads (www.alpinevalleybread.com). They are absolutely yummy…..just figured I’d share.

  10. Just been looking at the article about SWG bread, and the recipe for making it. Spelt was mentioned as a possible alternative, I make bread using Spelt flour, reccommended to me as an alternative to supermarket bread. My question. Is it as good as SWG, anybody?

  11. Sharon, I’ve been juicing for the past 4 years and I just want to know how I can incorporate this into the program. I usually juice spinach cucumbers occasionally broccoli half cup of blueberries and pineapples and tablespoon of flaxseeds. I like to drink it for my breakfast after my morning work out. Thanks for your help!

  12. Hi, Wondering if any one can tell me the * amount * of other sugars to put in this SWG Bread recipe, I have tried it with the Coconut Syrup recipe twice in my bread maker and find that it is very dense ! I have all the natural sugars available Sucanat, Xylitol, Erythritol and Monk Fruit. What amount of these sugars would I add to make it in the Bread Machine, also the total of Bread Machine yeast…. Has any one else had success using the Bread Machine Recipe… Any advise or suggestions would be Greatly Appreciated. Cheers ! Susan – New Member

  13. Hi, EBTLADY. Rice cakes are excellent if they are made from whole rice – any type with whole grains is great. Honey is fine in tea, but note that it is high in sugar and can add up. If you can find raw 100% honey, that’s the best type to ensure it is not just flavored and colored sugar.

  14. We mill our own wheat and bake bread with it but do not have the capability to sprout the grain first, can this still work on the plan? I purchase organic wheat berries in both red winter wheat and soft summer wheat, only the outer hard chaff if removed so the grain is whole.

  15. We bake our own bread, our bread making flour packaging make no mention of “SWG”. To buy bread making flour through Amazon is impractical in the uk – also Amazon avoid paying their fare share of tax. Surprised to recommend this type of outlet.

  16. Hi, GrahamGeorge. Brown wholemeal bread can be good – just read the ingredients to be sure that there are only wholemeal flours in it, and no refined flours OR hydrogenated fats. Health-oriented shops stock SWG breads (I’m not sure where you live, but if you are in the UK, US, or Canada, you have Whole Foods Market among others), and you can find them online, including through Amazon.

  17. having read your information on swg bread,i will certainly be looking more closely as to what I buy,i always thought brown wholemeal bread was fine and good for you.now im not so sure.Unfortunately my local lidl shop does not stock these breads. im not sure which shops do stock swg bread .Have you any ideas as to were to buy this bread?

  18. Hi, Jewel. You can definitely buy SWG bread in stores. It is most easily found in health-oriented ones such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, but some regular supermarkets carry it (including warehouse types such as CostCo and WalMart), and it is available online, including through Amazon.

  19. Hi, fat2fit. In the UK, it is just called “sprouted,” often “sprouted wheat” (but also sometimes seeds are sprouted and baked into a wholemeal (wholegrain) bread, which is excellent, too. Here are examples: http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/713205_Everfresh_Organic_Sprouted_Wheat_Bread_400g.html and http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/327747_Biona_Organic_Rye_Bread__Vitality_with_Sprouted_Seeds_500g.html.

  20. Hi, Donna. It is getting easier and easier to find sprouted bread in regular supermarkets, but when in doubt, you can always check out a health-oriented shop or go online (e.g., the Fundamental Food Store, or Fundies http://www.fundies.com.au/). 100% whole grain bread in supermarkets is fine, too. With both types of bread, read the ingredients list to make sure there aren’t any hydrogenated fats in there. Lifestyle Bakery makes excellent products (http://www.lifestylebakery.com.au).

  21. Hi, kszymanski. The most widely distributed is Ezekiel by Food for Life, but there are other good brands. The key is to read the label and make sure the other flours are whole grain, and that there are no hydrogenated fats.

  22. I have scoured the internet to find a local supplier of sprouted whole grain wheat flour. There was one supplier through bread link but they were out of stock! So I have ordered it from US! Can anyone suggest a local supplier (UK) where I do not have to buy in bulk in order to not pay outrageous delivery charges? Thanks.

  23. I live in the uk and I have just joined. a bit disapointed since my local supermarket doesnt sell hardly any of the ingredients I need to have a healthy menu. Definately no 100% Whole grain bread and no SWG anything? Any ideas? please withouut breaking the bank account?

  24. I couldn’t find SWG bread or flour can you suggest a source in the end I went with rye bread as none of the wholegrain in stores I checked seemed to fit the bill. I also had difficulty finding brown rice flour – how good is rice flour as an alternative?

  25. Another Canuk here – I found Silver Hills Little Big Bread (sprouted organic whole grains) at my regular grocery store and it is really good. They make other breads too, just haven’t checked them all out yet.

  26. although this is great info, it is not really helping me figure out how to purchase swg bread at the store? what brands make swg? I get the whole 100 percent whole grain thing but how to I find the swg. Give us some suggested specific brands and names please!

  27. I live in the south of England and need to shop in my local Wait rose but cannot find SWG bread there what should i use they seem to have few or none products that you mention and suspect you are focussed on the US market! What can I do?

  28. I love the Ezekiel Bread in the frozen section, toasted with butter or cream cheese very hearty and keeps you full longer. I’ve been a member for two weeks the pounds are coming off. Thanks for all your help I really needed it.

  29. SWG, or sprouted whole grain, is known as sprouted wheat or similar in other countries . It can be used to make any baked good. It is available in health-oriented stores, and increasingly in large super chains that also sell foods. They are also widely available online, including through Amazon. The best multi-grain breads are generally available in health-oriented stores and online sites.
    For UK users, try http://www.goodnessdirect.com and Whole Foods Market.

  30. I am finding it difficult to find SWG bread. would malted bread be of this type. can you name some
    of these for me. here in Liverpool England there is no mention of SWG on any bread.

  31. Being Type 2 diabetic I’ve kicked the wheat habit altogether I make a bread substitute with flax meal. It tastes fine and there are no grains in it at all. (Flax is a seed.) Recipe follows:
    Flax Meal Bread
    100g flax meal
    2 eggs beaten
    1/3 tsp salt
    25g melted butter
    1 tsp bi carb soda (raising agent)
    splash of water to mix to a soft consistence if required.
    This makes 8 small scone-size rolls when divided between 8 muffin cases and baked at 180C for 15 minutes. 111 cals per roll if myfitnesspal.com is to be believed. I have also made it without the butter, and there’s not a huge difference in the finished product. Add mixed herbs if desired. I’ve also made this with 50g flax meal + 50g ground almonds as well. Just as nice.

  32. For those of you looking for this bread look foe a whole foods market, they have a HUGE selection in a freezer department. It comes frozen BC it has no preservatives and will mold quickly if it isn’t properly stored. Best of luck fellow dieters!!

  33. Regarding SWG product availability: SWG products such as Ezekiel are available in health-oriented stores, including large chains such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joes, as well as online (including through Amazon), and are increasingly available in regular supermarkets, even CostCo and WalMart in the US and some Tesco and Sainsbury stores in the UK. The most popular brands are Food for Life (Ezekiel) in the US and Sunnyvale in the UK.
    Sam’s Club in the US offers the Handy Pantry Sprouted Wheat Bread Making Kit, and the following is our recipe for use with or without a breadmaking machine https://www.trimdownclub.com/recipe/homemade-sprouted-whole-grain-swg-bread/. Flours can be purchased from the same stores as above or through Amazon.
    If you cannot find SWG products or don’t like them, you can substitute with 100% whole grain – there are many, many brands (too many to list here), but you can check the label for undesirable additives to weed out the ones not worth buying.

    The French term is simply “pain du grains entiers germés”. In France, Ireland, and other countries, it is best to seek it in health-oriented shops where you live, if you can’t find it online. In New Zealand, another suggested brand is Supernatural Foods Organic Wheat Essene Bread., and in Australia, PureLife or LifeStyle bakery.

    Regarding celiac disease and wheat allergies: Most SWG products have some wheat and therefore gluten. However, some products are based on whole rice. Be sure to read the label carefully.

    SWG puff pastry can be made by adding SWG flour to the following recipe https://www.trimdownclub.com/recipe/puff-pastry-dough/. We will be posting a recipe for SWG tortillas/wraps in the near future.

  34. Look in the frozen section of any food store for SWG bread. One says EZEKIEL 4:9, is made by food for life. It’s also sugar free but not gluten free. Hope that helps. There’s one with sesame seeds too.

  35. Hello! I just joined as well. Very excited about the ‘Club Concept of eating Healthy’ instead of “Eating what I want and still lose weight”. I want to FEEL Good and make it a way of life. (Pretty sure you all feel that way as well. Thanks for listening. )
    I too have put Ezekiel Bread in freezer and used just what i needed right then. Works good. Besides health food stores I have also found it in freezer of local grocery store.

  36. Hi DonnaF. Ezekiel bread is wonderful but it doesn’t have preservatives (a good thing!) and will therefore spoil if left unrefrigerated. Even better than refrigeration, I think, is to keep it in the freezer and just take out the slice that you need. It doesn’t take long for it to soften and the remainder in the freezer won’t go bad.

  37. Hi everyone, I grew up on white bread, but I was trying to be good & buy whole wheat bread for me. My husband will not eat anything whole wheat. So for the first time I purchased some EZEKIEL bread for me. Didn’t know if I would like it, but it is great! I am definitely going to keep it on hand for myself.

  38. RE: SWG
    When the whole grain sprouts and is incorporated into SWG flour, is the husk (wheat) included with the sprouted grains?
    I am allergic to the wheat husk and thus far have only been able to eat white, oatmeal, or rye breads.
    Can anyone out there give me some answers?
    Thanks, ccflier

  39. For New Zealanders, Essene bread is available and is sprouted grain bread, can be bought at Piko in Christchurch, it’s very moist and crumbly though and not suitable for slicing, more like break off chunks

  40. Hi I just joined and I am hoping to lose some unwanted fat around my middle and stomach area. Really looked at this program and hoping that with the support of this program I can make the necessary changes to my lifestyle that I have been wanting to do for a long long time.

  41. I just joined, but am looking forward to finally losing those extra pounds around the middle that have been impossible to get rid of all these years. This program makes more sense than anything else I have tried in all the years past.

  42. Hi everyone. I joined on Wednesday. I live in the Cayman Islands and having difficulty finding the SWG bread also. It has been interesting to read all the comments. I am excited about this program and praying that it helps.

  43. Hi Everyone,
    I joined today and hoping I will loose these extra lbs I don’t need. Looks very interesting from what I have read so far. I was wondering about the bread as well even though I don’t eat much so thanks to Debbie, I will try the gluten free wholegrain as well.
    Cheers Gloria

  44. EZEKIEL bread is a great sprouted bread! You will find it in the health dept. of your grocery store. There are a few varieties to choose from as well. Heat the slices enough to warm before making a sandwich to really bring out the flavors.

  45. I am trying to buy the correct kind of bread. I bought a Private Selection Kroger brand. Sugar Free 100% whole wheat. It has 26g whole grains, 4g fiber og trans fat and No high fructose corn syrup. would this work? I am also confused on the amount to eat when it is not indicated in the menu. Please help. I’m trying to get started on the program. I hate to spend money on programs that are hard to follow.

  46. Just joined today. I’m hoping this plan is going to help reduce my Cholesterol and Triglycerides because they are too high. My doctor said to go on a diet and excercise. This is the best plan that I found, so I sure hope it works for the money. Good luck everyone

  47. The soup recipes sound wonderful, but there are no servings indicated. According to the pics, I would be making a big pot, so is a serving 1 cup, 2 cups….? It would be nice to have the calories, carbs, proteins for the soups as well.

  48. Doe’s Trim Down have there own Dictionary as some of this stuff Ive never heard of. and a list of suppiers to fine this stuff, the only way im going to lose weight is by running aroud


  50. i just found 100% whole grain SWG bread in the freezer section of the bakery (where the tempting pretty cakes are!) in Price Chopper. was looking at all the fresh baked healthier choices than what i in the bread isle and came upon these. was very excited. great texture and quite yummy!

  51. Where do you find SWG bread or cereal?Does it appear under another name in the “regular” grocery store
    Where do you find it in the grocery store-I have had no luck finding a healthy bread other than whole grain$4.00/loaf) or a gluten free bread @ $6.00 a loaf and it is kept in the freezer section of the store to preserve it!!!!

  52. I live in an impossibly tiny Idaho city and found that Walmart carries Ezekial Bread and Pastas….and Dave’s Killer Bread….both of which use sprouted whole grain. If Walmart carries sprouted whole grain products, I don’t think it’s all that difficult to find. Besides, both companies have websites that can be used to order direct from the internet.
    Also, I’m planning to move to the UK (Northern England/Yorkshire) and have found a few different sprouted whole grain flours for homemade bread, but also a brand called Sunnyvale which makes organic swg bread products. I haven’t looked in Sainsbury’s or Asda specifically, but that might be a start for the UK folks here 🙂 Good luck everyone!

  53. A number of people are asking where they can get SWG bread. I finally found it at Whole Foods, which carries every sort of dietary supplement, organic product and fad food on earth. It’s not with their prepackaged breads, however. You have to ask at the bakery counter. At least in Denver, it’s fresh-baked every day, and they have two kinds…one with raisins. It’s very dense and nutty stuff; the polar opposite of Wonder Bread, but it’s good. It makes great toast, with a little butter and jam, but it’s chewy.

  54. I found this most interesting,very pleased to know I can pick a loaf of bread from my supermarket.I am about to start a low carb diet but know I can still have a slice of bread without tipping the scales to much,

  55. Susan, it is difficult to get hold of. I have had a search in Waitrose and they do not appear to stock it. However, other whole grain breads. I look online at Tescos and they don’t have it either. I would think that if you went to an independent organic supplier they may be able to get it….but like everything else in our country, it will not be cheap. As an alternative you could use which Waitrose have a selection of.

  56. To my fellow kiwis: The best wholegrain bread available in NZ has always been Vogels in my humble opinion. I don’t know if we have SWG bread produced here, but for this program I have returned to Vogels as the best choice available for wholegrain bread. I was eating lighter brown wholegrain breads, but I believe that Vogels is the most nutritious and least fattening. I have eaten it on and off since the mid 1960’s when it was not as widely distributed as it is now. If you find SWG let me know! To my Aussie Cousins – can’t recall if Vogels is made in Oz when I lived over there, but might be a good choice if it is. Vogel was a Swiss who developed the recipie.

  57. For UK members, I recently bought Everfresh Sprouted Wheat Bread made from 100% Sprouted Whole Organic Wheat. It cost me £1.85 from the local health store. I think it may take a little while before I get used to the flavour, maybe next time, I will go for the Stem ginger flavour! Hope that helps.

  58. Hi I have been baking my own bread since the bread strike in 1976. Where will I find SWG flour in UK? I now have wheat intolerence ( Fructans based) but I would give this a try as I am fine with most of the components you mention apart from spelt sadly which I had used for years.

  59. Google may be able to help with locations in your particular area. I have located many things this way. In the Berkeley, Ca area there are many stores that will carry these kinds of breads including Berkeley Bowl and Trader Joe’s stores.

  60. To Anne Aleman: Try Ezekiel 4:9 bread. (Yes, the same ingredients given in the Bible!) In California this bread was out on the supermarket shelf with all the other breads, but here in Florida its in a refrigerated case in the organic/health food section of the supermarket way off to one side of the store. Ask your store manager. It is superior to any other whole grain bread I’ve eaten.

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