Health Through Heritage with Whole Grains in India

Scientists at Columbia University and Stanford collaborated to reflect on the association between rapidly rising rates of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in India, and the adoption of refined carbohydrates – especially white rice and white flour – in that country. They advocated re-introduction of whole grains commonly consumed before 1950, including amaranth, barley, brown rice, millet, and sorghum, as a way to stem chronic disease in culturally-sensitive ways.
Nutrition Reviews, August 2011; 69(8):479-488

Barley Fiber Level Does Not Affect Glycemic Response

Fiber is one of the factors that is known to slow the uptake of glucose into the blood stream after eating. Researchers at Oxford Brookes University in the UK set out to explore whether whole grain barley with different fiber levels (10% fiber vs 16% fiber) or in different serving sizes (25g and 50g of available carbohydrate) would affect glycemic response. They found no difference in any of the variables, but all of the barley porridge options elicited a significantly low glycemic response.
British Journal of Nutrition, July 26, 2011:1-6 [Epub ahead of Print]

Strawberry Barley Scones

Barley flour has a distinctly sweet, creamy quality that tastes great with fruit. This recipe sandwiches a generous smear of jam between two disks of dough. When the scone bakes, the jam thickens, even caramelizing a little around the edges. The moist dough and the small, irregular bits of...

Barley Basil Risott with Asparagus and Corn

In midsummer, when fresh corn abounds yet asparagus is still available, this barley-based risotto-style side dish is especially delicious.

Barley Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

All the goodness of your favorite chocolate chip cookie with a twist: barley flour instead of wheat.

Barley Antipasto Salad

Whole grains, olives, herbs, vegetables, and cheese make this dish a great balanced meal. While the salami adds extra Mediterranean flavor, you can leave it out if you prefer a vegetarian salad.

Chicken with apples and barley

A slight sweet glaze from the marmalade balances nicely with the curried chicken on a bed of barley with colored pepper “confetti.”

Barley-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Barley goes Italian with these bell peppers stuffed with ground turkey (or beef), barley and your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Thai Barley Stir Fry

Barley replaces the usual rice in this stir-fry filled with spicy, fresh Thai flavors and plenty of chicken and vegetables.

Multigrain Energy Bars

This bar is packed with whole grains and sweetened only with honey and naturally-occurring fruit sugars. The smooth flavor balance of peanuts, almonds, mildly tart fruit, and toasted oats isn’t overly sweet, but is sweet enough for a child to enjoy.

Coconut Almond Granola Bars

This nutty, crunchy, multigrain granola bar is packed with nutrients and sweetened only with honey.  The coconut flavor is intensified by the use of coconut oil, which research now shows may have health advantages over other saturated fats.

Barley Controls Blood Sugar Better

Dutch researchers used a crossover study with 10 healthy men to compare the effects of cooked barley kernels and refined wheat bread on blood sugar control. The men ate one or the other of these grains at dinner, then were given a high glycemic index breakfast (50g of glucose) the next morning for breakfast. When they had eaten the barley dinner, the men had 30% better insulin sensitivity the next morning after breakfast.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2010; 91(1):90-7. Epub 2009 Nov 4.


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