Barley Fights Diabetes
It’s a matter of making some simple but important lifestyle choices including losing weight, increasing physical activity and including plenty of whole grain, high fiber foods such as barley in the daily diet.
Barley is an excellent food choice for those concerned about type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes because the grain contains essential vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, particularly beta-glucan soluble fiber.
Research shows that barley beta-glucan soluble fiber promotes healthy blood sugar by slowing glucose absorption. For example, findings from a clinical trial published in the December 2006 edition of Nutrition Research showed that mildly insulin-resistant men who ate muffins containing barley beta-glucan soluble fiber experienced significant reductions in glucose and insulin responses, compared to responses after eating muffins made with corn starch. In a clinical study reported in the August 2006 edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, data showed that subjects who ate cookies and crackers made with barley flour enriched with beta-glucan soluble fiber also experienced significant reductions in glucose and insulin responses compared to responses after eating the same products made with whole wheat flour. A long-term study published in the August 2007 edition of the Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice journal reported a 30-percent decrease in HbA1c (average blood glucose level) in type 2 diabetics who consumed a healthy diet including pearl barley that supplied 18 grams of soluble fiber a day. Regardless of the form of the grain, there is always a ready source of beta-glucan soluble fiber in barley. Unlike many grains which contain fiber only in the outer bran layer, barley contains fiber throughout the entire kernel. So whether it’s whole grain or processed barley products, dietary fiber, including beta-glucan soluble fiber, is available in amounts that have a positive impact on improving blood glucose levels.
It’s easy to include barley in a healthful and delicious diet. Enjoy!
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