As far as whole grains go, few can offer the same nutrition and fiber levels as Barley. This ancient grain’s amazing benefits are often underestimated and unnoticed. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It is when the body does not use insulin properly, sometimes called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it but, over time it can’t generate enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels.
Recently the rate of diabetics in Egypt increased significantly, exceeding the international rates, as per the 4th Arab Diabetes forum. Egypt ranks the eighth among the 360 million patients globally with over 16 million patients suffering from this life altering disease.
The good news however, is that health nutrition professionals confirm that Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled and can even be prevented. It is all about making some simple, but important lifestyle choices; such as weight loss, regular physical activity and including plenty of whole grain food products in the daily diet such as barley.
Soluble fibers within the Barley grain are found in abundance, and are extremely effective in preventing and treating ‘Type 2 Diabetes’. Barley contains a beta-gluten fiber which reduces the rate of glucose absorption in your body, therefore, decreases the levels of insulin secreted by the pancreas to deal with your glucose intake. Studies have shown that people who consume baked food that contain barley have lower glucose and insulin levels to those who do not.
So what is distinctive about Barley? Most whole grains only contain fibers on the outer layer of the grain; Barley however is rich in soluble fibers throughout the whole grain which allows the preservation of the fibers even if the barley grain has been processed — and that is called “Hulled Barely” Hulled Barley is richer in fiber due as the grain remains intact while “pearled barley” contains high levels of fibers and nutrients.
Living healthy can definitely does not mean lack of enjoyment of indulgence. A wide variety of dishes containing Barley, for example barley and lentil soup, curried barley casseroles or even exotic wild mushroom and barley risotto are both delicious and very healthy.
Dr. Sherif Azmy
At Nasser Institute