e know that barley is a whole grain and is probably good for us, but it may actually go beyond the generic umbrella of whole grains and have something special. A study from Lund University
in Sweden found that eating barley can actually help reduce blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity and improve appetite control. Read the full article
For three days, 20 healthy, middle age participants ate special barley kernel bread at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The control group at white wheat bread. The barley eaters had an improved metabolism for 11-14 hours after eating. Check out the recipe used in this study.
Here’s a nice summary video that shows how barley works at the gut level:
So, when barley breaks down in the intestines, it ferments and feeds the good bacteria that lowers blood glucose and helps secrete hormones that suppress appetite.
Barley is a little more readily available than some whole grains in your local grocery store. I’ve mostly commonly heard it used in soups but really it’s very similar to rice.
Encourage your patients to substitute barely for rice in their recipes. You could even have some samples of barley for your patients to try. Check out a recipe I plan to try soon using barley.
About the Author
Amy Campbell is a dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She currently works in public health in Lexington, Kentucky and has been working in diabetes for over seven years.