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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Barley vs. Wheat: What’s the Difference?

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Wheat and barley have been cultivated by humans for thousands of years and were one of the first crops to be domesticated.

Today they are two of the most important crops in the world, used in food and beverage production and as animal feed.

They may look very similar on the surface, but they differ in terms of their processing and use, diet, and health effects.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the key differences between the two grains.

Wheat and barley were first domesticated in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago and have been an important part of the diet for humans and cattle since then (1, 2, 3).

Both belong to the grass family (Poaceae), which also includes other crops such as rice, sugar cane and corn.

The grains are the fruits or caryopsis of the grass plant. These fruits are located on a “thorn” or “head” that is arranged in vertical rows, similar to a corn cob (2).

The grain consists of three layers.

The inner germ layer is the nutrient-rich core. Outside of this is the endosperm, which mainly contains carbohydrates and proteins that supply the germinal layer with energy. The outer layer is called bran, which is rich in fiber, B vitamins and trace elements.

Both grains have been cultivated in many different varieties and subspecies since their original domestication (4).

The most commonly grown type of wheat is bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). Other varieties are durum, einkorn, emmer and spelled (2, 4).

There are three common types of barley – two-row, six-row, and hullless. These three species are known under the botanical name Hordeum vulgare L (5).

Summary

Barley and wheat were some of the earliest domesticated crops. They both belong to the grass family, and the grain is actually the fruit of the grass, which is made up of an inner germ, an endosperm, and an outer bran layer.

wheat

Before wheat can be used, it must be ground. Milling refers to the process of breaking the grain to separate the bran and germ from the endosperm and to break the endosperm into a fine flour.

Whole wheat flour contains all parts of the grain, the germ, the endosperm and the bran, while normal ground flour contains only the endosperm.

The ground flour is used to make bread, biscuits, biscuits, pasta, noodles, semolina, bulgur, couscous, and breakfast cereals (6).

Wheat can be fermented into biofuels, beer, and other alcoholic beverages. It is also used in smaller quantities for fodder (6).

barley

Barley does not need to be ground before use, but it is usually peeled to remove the outermost layer.

Peeled barley is a whole grain because bran, endosperm and germs remain intact. Barley is often pearled for food purposes. Both the shell and the bran are removed so that only the germ and endosperm layers (5) remain.

Although barley has historically been an important source of food in many parts of the world, it has been largely replaced by other grains such as wheat and rice over the past 200 years (5).

Today barley is mainly used as animal feed or malted for use in alcoholic beverages such as beer. However, a small amount of barley is also used as a source of food for humans (5, 7).

Both peeled and pearly gray barley can be cooked similar to rice and is often used in soups and stews. They’re also found in breakfast cereals, porridge, and baby foods (5).

Barley can also be made into flour by grinding the pearl grain. The flour is often used with other wheat-based products like bread, pasta, and baked goods to improve their nutritional profile (5, 8).

Summary

Wheat is ground into flour so it can be used in baked goods such as bread. Barley is mainly used as fodder and in alcohol production, but it can also be cooked or ground into flour in a similar way to rice.

The nutritional composition of barley and wheat differs depending on the processing effort of each grain.

Wheat flour usually only contains the endosperm component, while whole wheat flour contains all parts of the grain.

Barley, which is used in cooking, generally comes in peeled form, with all parts of the grain intact. It can also come as pearl barley with the bran removed.

Macronutrients

For example, 100 grams of wholemeal flour, refined wheat flour, peeled barley and pearl barley compare in terms of their macronutrient content (9, 10, 11, 12):

It is clear that wheat and barley are quite similar in terms of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, even after undergoing processing such as milling or peeling.

However, wheat loses significant amounts of fiber when it is ground, as most of the fiber is in the bran layer of the grain. With wholemeal flour, the bran is added back to the end product, which increases the fiber content.

Barley, on the other hand, is very high in fiber, providing 60-70% of the American Heart Association’s recommended 25 grams (13).

Because the fiber is distributed throughout the grain, not just the bran, even if the bran layer is removed from pearl barley, there will still be a significant amount of fiber left over.

Minerals

For example, 100 grams of wholemeal flour, refined wheat flour, peeled barley and pearl barley compare in terms of their mineral content (9, 10, 11, 12):

Wheat and barley are rich in minerals. However, both lose significant amounts in processing, especially when grinding refined wheat flour. Iron is usually added back into ground wheat flour to match that of the whole grain product.

Wheat is particularly rich in manganese, and whole wheat flour and peeled barley have similar amounts of zinc, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

That said, both peeled and pearly barley are better sources of all minerals than refined wheat flour.

Vitamins

This is how 100 grams of whole wheat flour, refined wheat flour, peeled barley and pearl barley compare their vitamin content (9, 10, 11, 12):

Peeled barley is richer in thiamine and riboflavin than wheat. Conversely, wheat is slightly richer in niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, folic acid and vitamin E.

However, grinding wheat into refined flour results in significant losses of all vitamins, and pearl barley results in significant loss of thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Thiamine and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins, are usually added back to refined flour after milling.

Summary

Wheat and barley are very nutritious. But wheat milled into refined flour loses a significant amount of fiber, minerals, and certain vitamins. Pearl barley also loses its nutritional value. B vitamins are added back to refined flours before processing.

Barley and wheat share some common health effects, as well as some important differences, including effects on conditions like celiac disease, wheat allergy, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and metabolic syndrome

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity without celiac disease

People with an autoimmune disease known as celiac disease cannot tolerate proteins called gluten because they damage the lining of the gut, which can lead to gas, iron deficiency, constipation, diarrhea, weight loss, and even failure to thrive (14).

In addition, some people without celiac disease may experience symptoms such as gas, gas, and pain when they eat foods containing gluten (15, 16, 17).

Barley and wheat both contain gluten proteins. Wheat contains glutenins and gliadins, while barley contains hordeins (18).

Therefore, people who cannot tolerate gluten should avoid both wheat and barley.

Wheat allergy

Wheat allergy is an immune response to various proteins in wheat, some of which are shared by barley (18, 19).

Allergic reactions include mild symptoms such as redness, itching, and diarrhea, and more severe symptoms such as asthma and anaphylaxis (19).

Although they share some similar proteins, many people with a wheat allergy are not allergic to barley. In fact, barley allergy is relatively rare and not well studied (20, 21, 22).

However, if you have a wheat allergy, it is best to speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about possible reactions to barley (18).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Both barley and wheat contain sugars known as fructans and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) (23).

Fructans are chains of linked fructose sugars that are commonly found in fruits and vegetables. GOS are chains of galactose sugars.

None of these sugars are broken down during digestion, so they make their way to the colon, where they are fermented by naturally occurring bacteria and produce gas (23, 24).

For most people, this does not have any negative effects. Nevertheless, bloating, stomach upset, diarrhea, or constipation can occur in people with irritable bowel syndrome (23, 25).

Therefore, if you experience IBS symptoms, it may be beneficial to limit the amount of wheat and barley you eat (26).

Barley, cholesterol and blood sugar

A big advantage of barley over wheat is that it contains high amounts of the fiber beta-glucan.

In fact, barley contains around 5-11% beta-glucan compared to wheat which contains around 1%. Pearled Parley offers even more, as beta-glucan is particularly concentrated in the endosperm layer of the grain (5, 8).

Beta-glucan has been found to help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar control (5, 27).

For example, a review of 34 studies found that consuming at least 4 grams of beta-glucan per day in addition to 30–80 grams of carbohydrates significantly lowered blood sugar levels (28).

In addition, a review of 58 studies found that 3.5 grams of beta-glucan per day significantly lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol compared to controls (29).

Hence, barley may have some additional health benefits compared to wheat.

Summary

Barley and wheat are unsuitable for people with gluten intolerance. They can also cause problems in people with IBS. However, many people with wheat allergies can tolerate barley. Barley can help improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Barley and wheat are both important domesticated plants that belong to the grass family.

Wheat is ground into flour before being used in baked goods and other foods, while barley is mostly consumed in whole grain or pearl form.

Both contain gluten, which makes them unsuitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

While both grains are nutritious, barley is richer in fiber and cholesterol-lowering beta-glucan, and loses fewer nutrients when processed than wheat. However, important nutrients are added back to the wheat flour that is ground before it is used to make pasta, cereal and bread.

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Best Eating Habits to Reverse Prediabetes, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That

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If you’re considered prediabetic (more than 30% of Americans meet the criteria, and many of you may not even know it), overhauling your diet and lifestyle habits can make a noticeable difference in improving your health. In fact, according to the CDC, it’s possible to reverse prediabetes with the right lifestyle interventions.

“Prediabetes can be a scary diagnosis, but the good news is that it’s reversible. Lifestyle changes such as healthy eating habits, better sleep, and physical activity can help. Take it slow and start with small, actionable steps,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. “If you need help setting goals or sticking to your diet, consult a licensed dietitian.”

to Burgess, Eleana Kaidanian, RD, CDN, CPT-WFS, registered nutritionist and owner of Long Island Nutritionist, a private virtual practice based in New York, comments: “Reversing prediabetes, or even reversing a full-blown diabetes diagnosis, is not a myth; in fact, I regularly help my patients achieve this, so I know it can be done, you can too! My clients can tell you and so will I, it takes work, it takes change, but if you set yourself up for success, I have seen A1Cs drop in the 8s (diagnosis of diabetes) to the mid 5s (healthy/normal range) achieved in 90 days with diet and exercise“, she says. “If you are consistent in your efforts, not only will your efforts become more habitual and easier over time, but you will also help produce the results you want.”

Aside from meeting with a health professional like a trusted doctor and/or nutritionist to find the best personalized approach for you, here are six simple guidelines that can help you reverse prediabetes. And to learn more about eating healthily, don’t miss out on drinking habits to avoid if you’re prediabetic, says nutritionist.

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Burgess recommends starting meals with a simple side salad or your choice of colorful roasted vegetables. That doesn’t sound bad now, does it? “Eating vegetables as the first part of a meal is a simple eating habit that can help control blood sugar levels. Research shows that those who ate vegetables before the main carbohydrate portion of their meal had lower post-meal blood sugar levels compared to those who ate carbohydrates first,” says Burgess.

Eat this, not that

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We’re not talking about Skittles, friends. “Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is an achievable and fun eating habit that can help reverse prediabetes. This is because the different colors in foods represent different antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients that are associated with a lower prevalence of prediabetes,” says Bürger. “Although it’s probably not realistic to eat every color in one meal, try to incorporate different colored foods throughout the week with the goal of eating as many as possible,” she continues, recommending people try yogurt with different ones Garnish berries and stir colorful peppers into pasta dishes or this rainbow quinoa salad.

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More guacamole? Sign up with us. “Eating more healthy fats, like monounsaturated fats, can improve your body’s use of insulin, which may help reverse prediabetes,” says Burgess. “One study found that eating more monounsaturated fats, particularly olive oil, improved insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes. Other good sources of monounsaturated fats are avocados, nuts, and seeds. Try roasting veggies in olive oil and toasting avocado instead of butter on toast, or making nut-crusted salmon.”

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Intermittent fasting might be trendy, but listen to learn more about meal timing to reverse prediabetes: “Fad diets like intermittent fasting aren’t going to help you reverse your prediabetes. In fact, you should do the opposite. Try to eat frequently, ideally every two to three hours, as a schedule to prevent your blood sugar from dropping between snacks and meals, and to avoid very large meals due to gaps in the diet, which can cause blood sugar spikes.” , Kaidanian shares.

“Your body wants to keep your blood sugar constant. Encouraging rises and falls in blood sugar levels by skipping snacks/meals, going without food for long periods, and then overeating is not diabetes-friendly. Eating more of a small, balanced diet, eating every few hours will keep you full and within your carbohydrate limits due to portion size. You’ll feel happier and your blood sugar will be in a healthier and happier place with these changes in your eating plan,” she said, who also points to this research.

CONNECTED: Safe ways to lower your blood sugar, dietitians say

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Listen, listen: “Not all carbohydrates are created equal or affect your blood sugar the same way,” Kaidanian proclaims. “When choosing snacks and meals, aim for high-fiber carbohydrates in the form of fruits/vegetables (especially those with intact skin), beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Fiber is rough and chewy—think wheat bread vs. white bread—and adding fiber to your diet puts more work in your body to convert it into energy. This work and time factor causes sugar to break down slowly over a period of time released into the bloodstream, preventing a potential spike from a fiber-free carbohydrate like juice,” she explains. As Kaidanian breaks it down, choosing a fiber-rich food like an apple with the skin on is more complex than choosing a simple carbohydrate, in this example apple juice .

“But you don’t have to stop here. “By choosing not to eat a carbohydrate on its own, even if it’s high in fiber, and adding a protein or fat, you can make snacking or meal choices even more complex,” she adds. Try a small apple with it, for example bowl and a spoonful of natural unsweetened nut butters, Kaidanian recommends.”That way, your body responds with better glycemic control of the foods you’ve just put into your body to break down for energy,” she concludes, citing this research She had us at apple and almond butter.

CONNECTED: 15 Best Snack Combos That Double Weight Loss

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“There are three macronutrients that make up all of the energy we get from our diet, specifically protein, fat and carbohydrates,” explains Kaidanian, noting that of the three, carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar. “It’s not that you shouldn’t eat carbs, it’s that you need to be aware of the amount of carbs you’re eating at any given moment. Unfortunately, our western diet is very high in carbohydrates. You probably don’t need to go on a low-carb diet, it’s just that most people eat a loaded carb diet. By comparison, it may seem like you’re going to have to make a big adjustment, but in reality you should just keep track and stay within reach of your carb needs,” she says, citing that research and these CDC carb counting guidelines.

“Carb counting is a method I use with my clients to understand how many grams carbohydrate sources have in a given session.”

For snacks, Kaidanian recommends 15 grams of total carbs (equivalent to 1 carb count) and a range of 15 to 30 grams for meals.

“Remember that you can and should add proteins and fats for bulking and filling food combinations. An example of a snack in this range might be a hard-boiled egg or two (0-1 grams of carbs) plus a cup of fresh bell peppers (9 grams of carbs).” To learn more about carbs, read How to Calculate Net Carbs calculated weight loss.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

9 Restorative Recipes for Any Time of Day

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Eating for your mental health doesn’t have to be complicated. These low prep recipes are for those days when preparing a meal feels like too much.

Depression can turn anything and everything into a chore—even eating.

When it’s zapping your energy and desire to cook, it can be tempting to swing through a drive-through, make a meal out of sweets, or just skip food altogether.

Instead, you can try these flavorful meals and snacks that may even have the added benefit of improving your mood.

Grocery shopping can feel overwhelming for some people — and even more so when depression is interfering with your motivation. But having some healthy things on hand can help you feel better.

Creating a simple list of essential groceries can make shopping a little easier, whether online or in-store.

oils

According to 2015 animal studies, extra virgin olive oil may help maintain brain function and prevent cognitive decline. Not only is virgin coconut oil rich in antioxidants, but a 2014 animal study found that it may also reduce stress.

sugar and sweeteners

Research suggests there is a link between added or artificial sugar and depression.

You might want to have these substitutes on hand if a recipe calls for sugar:

fruit and vegetables

A balanced diet can include fresh, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables. And if you don’t have the energy or motivation, buying pre-cut ones can make life a little easier.

Some good options are:

  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots
  • fresh or frozen spinach or kale
  • sweet potatoes
  • fresh, frozen, dried or freeze-dried:
    • bananas
    • grapes
    • apples
    • clementines
  • kiwi
  • cauliflower
  • fresh, frozen or freeze-dried:

carbohydrates

You can look for whole wheat breads and pastas or convenient microwavable cereals, including:

  • oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Andean millet

snacks

If you need a midday pick-me-up, consider one of these snacks:

  • dry roasted nuts
  • low-fat cream cheese
  • air popped popcorn
  • Wholemeal crackers
  • whole grain muesli

flavor enhancer

Healthy doesn’t have to mean bland. You can improve the flavor of your food with many things, such as:

  • dried spices, like Tajin
  • grated parmesan cheese to garnish pasta, vegetables and popcorn
  • hot sauce or sriracha (in moderation!)
  • vinegars to spice up salads and sauces, such as:
    • balsamic vinegar
    • red wine vinegar
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • brothto add extra flavor to pasta, rice or vegetables
  • Lemonsto press onto almost any meat or vegetable for added flavor and brightness

Once you have your basic necessities in stock, you can look through the recipes below and add other ingredients for recipes you want to make.

Fatigue and lack of energy are common symptoms of depression. Eating energy-boosting foods allows you to gain energy while avoiding negative side effects that could come with too much caffeine.

Research from 2020 suggests that eating foods rich in B vitamins, iron, and magnesium may help with fatigue.

A plain egg (or egg alternative) with a dark leafy green like this Spinach Feta Scrambled Egg can give you a healthy dose of these fatigue-fighting nutrients.

You can find the recipe here.

Some foods – like chocolate! — may support a more balanced mood. Chocolate contains tons of antioxidants like flavonoids, which interact with the brain and potentially boost mood and cognition.

Adding dark chocolate to dishes like peanut butter oatmeal can act as a tasty pick-me-up. The protein, healthy fats, and whole grains provide a trifecta for energy and comfort.

You can find the recipe here.

Not a chocolate lover? Other foods, like sweet potatoes, also contain B vitamins (to help produce serotonin) and magnesium (which may help lower anxiety).

With an Instant Pot, you can make a delicious, fluffy sweet potato in minutes. You can find the recipe here.

No instant pot? No problem. You can toss one in the oven for a baked sweet potato instead. You can find the recipe here.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be especially helpful for people who want to clear brain fog or sharpen their focus. Foods that are high in these fatty acids include:

  • Salmon and other fatty fish
  • avocados
  • walnuts

You can try this walnut-crusted salmon to get plenty of brain-boosting omega-3s.

You can find the recipe here.

Not a fan of fish or nuts? Chia seeds and flaxseeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids. You can add them to oatmeal, yogurt, cookies, and salads.

If depression is interfering with your sleep, eating foods rich in certain ingredients that promote better sleep can help your recovery.

A small 2018 study found that adults who consumed tart cherry juice for 2 weeks slept 84 minutes longer and more efficiently than when they drank a placebo juice.

If you blend a smoothie with berries, which are rich in dairy and antioxidants, you may be on your way to better sleep — although more research needs to be done to fully understand the why and how.

Adding tart cherry juice to a smoothie is an easy way to take advantage of this sleep booster.

You can find the recipe here.

Want something heartier than a smoothie?

Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which research found in 2014 may help produce melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in the sleep cycle.

A simple ground turkey taco is super quick to make in a single skillet. You may simply want to use spicy or high-fat supplements to get the most benefits.

You can find the recipe here.

A 2020 research report suggests that increasing your intake to at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can:

  • have a calming effect on your mood
  • promote a higher level of optimism
  • Reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms

Recipes that combine fruits and vegetables like a salad may prove to be the easiest. Adding some cheese or protein can help round it out even more.

This Strawberry Caprese Salad is an example.

You can find the recipe here.

While some people with depression find eating something challenging, depression causes others to overeat and often crave sweets and snacks.

You can satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy some creativity by creating your own trail mix mix. One option is a simple dark chocolate and cherry trail mix that’s loaded with nuts.

You can find the recipe here.

When living with depression, it can be tempting to skip meals or settle for foods that don’t nourish you. But good nutrition can help you take care of yourself and your condition—both in the short and long term.

If you’re looking for more ways to boost your energy, you can learn more here.

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What is starch? Types, benefits, risks, and more

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Starch is a complex carbohydrate. When people hear the word “starch,” they might think of high-carb foods like potatoes, rice, and pasta. However, most plants store energy as starch, including fruits and vegetables.

Starchy foods are the main source of carbohydrates for most people. They play a crucial role in a nutritious, balanced diet as they provide the body with glucose, which is the main source of energy for every cell. They also provide a range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.

Starchy foods are also valuable ingredients in the kitchen, as they can thicken soups and sauces without adding fat.

Read on to learn more about starches, including the types, health benefits, and risks of overeating starchy foods.

Starch, or amylum, is a complex carbohydrate found in many foods, including grains, vegetables, and fruits. The main sources of starch are:

Extracting pure starch from food produces a white, tasteless and odorless powder that does not dissolve in cold water or alcohol.

Starch is a natural polymer or polysaccharide, meaning it is a long chain comprising one type of molecule. Starch is made up of glucose molecules. It can come in two forms: amylose and amylopectin.

Amylose is a linear or rectilinear polymer that scientists refer to as amorphous or solid. Amylopectin forms a branched chain and is crystalline.

Different plants contain different ratios of these polysaccharide units. However, amylose generally accounts for a maximum of 30% of starch, with the remainder being amylopectin.

Plants create these starch polymers to store the glucose they create during photosynthesis. For this reason, starchy foods are good sources of energy.

When someone eats starchy foods, the body breaks down the natural polymers into glucose units, which provide energy throughout the body.

Aside from being part of a nutritious diet, various industries – including pharmaceutical, paper and food – use starch in their manufacturing processes.

Depending on their nutritional properties, starches belong to one of three groups:

  • Rapidly Digesting Starch (RDS): This form of starch is found in cooked foods like potatoes and bread. The body quickly converts it to glucose.
  • Slow Digesting Starch (SDS): This starch has a complex structure, which means the body breaks it down slowly. It is found in cereal grains.
  • Resistant Strength (RS): The body cannot easily digest this form of starch, and it can pass through the digestive system untouched, much like fiber. It can support a healthy intestinal flora. Experts further divide RS into four categories, including:
    • RS1 found in grains, seeds and beans.
    • RS2 made from raw potatoes and unripe bananas.
    • RS3 from foods that are cooked and then cooled, such as rice and corn flakes.
    • RS4, that’s in the bread.

Each type of food can contain different types of these starches.

People can buy different types of starch for cooking, including:

  • Potato: Raw, mashed potatoes are the source of potato starch. The liquid starch dries to a white, flour-like powder. It is gluten-free and is used in various recipes as an alternative to wheat flour.
  • Tapioca: This versatile flour comes from the crushed pulp of the cassava root. People can mix it into baked goods or use it as a thickener for soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Corn: This starch comes from the corn kernel. It can thicken recipes and is a base for corn syrup. Doctors also use it to supply glucose to people with glycogen storage disease.

There is also modified starch, a derivative of starch that manufacturers have treated to change its properties. The baking industry makes extensive use of this form of starch because it can tolerate a range of conditions, including extreme heat or cold.

Doctors recommend eating plenty of starchy foods as part of a balanced diet to provide energy and fiber and to increase feelings of satiety.

energy

Starch is the most important source of energy for humans. The body digests starches by converting them into glucose, which enters the bloodstream and circulates throughout the body. Glucose fuels virtually every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. If there is excess glucose, the liver stores it as glycogen.

Glucose is essential for brain function. The adult brain is responsible for 20-25% of the body’s glucose usage.

Learn more about high-energy foods here.

fiber

Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate found only in plant foods. Starchy foods like corn, beets, potatoes, beans, fruit, and whole grains are plentiful sources of fiber. Although the body does not digest fiber, these carbohydrates are an essential part of a nutritious diet.

Nutritionists divide fiber into soluble and insoluble forms. Fruits and vegetables are sources of soluble fiber, which can absorb water. Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in the gut, slowing digestion and softening stools.

Insoluble fiber does not absorb water. Instead, it passes through the digestive system and adds bulk to keep bowel movements regular and prevent constipation. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most people in the United States do not eat enough fiber. Government guidelines suggest that adult females need up to 28 grams (g) of fiber per day, while adult males need up to 34g.

Learn more about high-fiber foods here.

abundance

Eating starchy foods can help increase satiety, which is the feeling of being full after eating.

Research shows that eating foods rich in resistant starches helps people feel full. These foods can also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fat storage. In addition, eating high-fiber foods rich in resistant starches can help people maintain a moderate weight.

In a small 2018 study, researchers offered participants breakfast and lunch with either 48 g of resistant starch or a placebo. At dinner, participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The researchers found that eating the resistant starch for breakfast and lunch significantly reduced the participants’ energy intake during that later meal.

Learn about foods that can improve satiety.

For most people, starch poses no risk or side effects. Dietary guidelines recommend a balanced diet of starchy foods.

However, people with certain health conditions, including diabetes and congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID), need to moderate their starch intake.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 1 diabetes count how many grams of carbohydrates they eat and then balance that with their insulin dose. People with type 2 diabetes should avoid consuming large amounts of carbohydrates in one sitting and instead spread them out evenly throughout the day.

Individuals with CSID must follow a special diet. People with this genetic condition cannot digest certain sugars, so they experience digestive problems when they eat certain fruits, juices, and grains. These problems can lead to malnutrition.

Starch is a carbohydrate and is a natural part of most plants, including fruits, vegetables and grains. Starchy foods are an essential part of a balanced diet as they provide energy, fiber and a feeling of satiety.

The body breaks down starch molecules into glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. The brain in particular requires a significant amount of glucose every day.

Starchy foods are safe for most people and do not present any risks or side effects. However, it is important that people with diabetes or CSID carefully consider their starch intake.

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