8 Surprising Benefits Of Spelt
The health benefits of spelt include its ability to help in regulating the body’s metabolism, aid in the creation of sex hormones, increase circulation, build strong bones, improve the immune system, boost the digestive function, lowering blood sugar, and reducing cholesterol levels in the body. What is Spelt? Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history and is believed to have first been used approximately 8,000 years ago. Spelt is a variety of grain or cereal that is closely related to wheat. In fact, spelt likely developed from a hybridization of emmer wheat and wild goat-grass. It is closely related to normal “bread” wheat, but the popularity of bread wheat soon made spelt obsolete, which is why it is considered a “relic” crop. However, it is making a comeback as a health food, particularly in Spain, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. It is actually packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and essential organic compounds that other cereals and forms of wheat don’t contain, which might explain the renewed interest in spelt. The scientific name of this ancient food staple is Triticum spelta, but it is more commonly known as hulled wheat or dinkel wheat. Spelt Flour Spelt flour can be purchased at some supermarkets and most health food stores in England, the Netherlands, Germany, and in various parts of North America. The flour can be used to bake highly textured and nutrient-rich bread, as well as pasta and baked goods. In certain countries like Bavaria and Belgium, spelt is actually used to brew beer and has a unique, distinct flavor that many people enjoy. Obviously, as a minority product, spelt does have a slightly higher price tag, but it is worth it, not only for the health benefits but also for the versatility in cooking Continue reading >>
The Spelt Diet
Spelt is an ancient grain related to wheat that’s more nutritious than its more commonly found cousin. it's also more digestible than wheat and can be a substitute for wheat products if you have a wheat allergy. Spelt's whole-grain fiber and other properties can assist in weight loss and in improving overall health. Video of the Day Spelt is native to Iran and southeastern Europe and is one of the oldest cultivated grains, even mentioned in the Bible. It gained popularity during the Middle Ages when a nun famous for her medicinal expertise, Hildegard von Bingen, used spelt as a treatment for various illnesses. Spelt has more protein, complex carbohydrates and B vitamins than wheat and has high amounts of fiber and mucopolysaccharides, important for blood clotting and stimulating the immune system. Spelt has a nutty flavor and is primarily grown to be ground into a bread flour used in breads, cereals, pasta and mixes. You can also purchase spelt berries or kernels and spelt flakes that are used like oats to make a hot breakfast cereal. There are many different varieties of spelt, with the nutritional composition of each dependent upon the type of soil and environment in which it’s grown. Spelt is an excellent source of manganese, needed by your body to keep your bones, nerves, cells, thyroid and blood sugar levels healthy. It’s also a good source of niacin or B2, copper, phosphorus, protein and fiber. Many studies have linked whole grains like spelt to the prevention of diabetes and insulin resistance that can both lead to obesity and premature death. Whole grains are able to improve insulin sensitivity by lowering the glycemic index of your diet while increasing the absorption of nutrients. One cup of cooked spelt contains 246 calories and only 1.65 g of fat, whil Continue reading >>
Does Spelt Pasta Have A Low Glycemic Index?
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Does Spelt pasta have a low glycemic index? I saw in a newspaper recently that Spelt pasta has a low glycemic index. Is this true & is anyone using it? A quick Google search says it rated at 54 (below 55 is low gi). Ok thanks....my google search got nothing!! I shall get some Search results depends on wording. Rewording mine got me results including Buckwheat Pasta at 46 gi...even lower. Holland & Barrat sell it amongst others. hmm 74g of carb per 100g ....low gi or not that sounds rather too high for me.. 74g of carb per 100g.....is that what it is? 74g of carb per 100g.....is that what it is? some go as low as 63g per 100g but even so... some go as low as 63g per 100g but even so... Mind that is dry weight @bulkbiker , cooked pasta has around 30g of carbs per 100g weight. My view is that it is less about how many grams of carbs is in it, and more about whether my body can eat it and keep my bloods in target. May need to tweak portion size, but worth you trying. (and having tried it myself, a few years ago, my body does not distinguish between white or brown, spelt or modern grain, rice noodles, wheat pasta, veg pasta... even soba spikes me. They all spike me, even in tiny portions. very annoying. hopefully you will have a better experience) Continue reading >>
The Best Whole Grains For Type 2 Diabetes
Grains are made from edible seeds or kernels, in their whole form, these contain three components—the endosperm, the germ, and the bran. Refined grains, found in cakes, cookies, or white bread, are processed to remove these three components. Whole grains contain all components of the kernel making them a rich source of fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals. Whole grains are believed to help prevent diabetes and weight gain. When researchers investigate links between diet and diabetes, one of the most consistent findings is that people who eat more whole grains are less likely to develop this disease. Whole Wheat Wheat is by far the most popular grain in the United States, and is the third most commonly eaten grain worldwide. Breads, pastas, bulgur, couscous, spelt (a relative of wheat) and many breakfast cereals are all derived from wheat. When eaten in their whole grain form, these foods provide insoluble fiber and phytochemicals that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Read the ingredients and make sure it says whole wheat to ensure it is 100% whole grain or look for the whole grain symbol. Corn If you have been snubbing corn as a starchy food that has no place in your diabetes eating plan—you may reconsider after reading this. Corn has one of the highest levels of polyphenols- antioxidants in fruits and vegetables that are considered protective against type 2 diabetes. One serving of air popped corn (3 cups) has twice the amount of polyphenols as a typical serving of fruit plus it will give you 2/3 of your daily recommended whole grain intake. Choose air-popped corn and avoid microwaved popcorn with added fake butter and chemical flavorings. Try garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, a little bit of olive oil, fresh herbs and salt, or a sprinkle of cinnamo Continue reading >>
What's The Best Bread For People With Diabetes?
By Brandon May Bread is perhaps one of the most widely used types of food on the planet. It can also be a food that poses a health risk for people with diabetes. Despite the risk, bread can be one of the hardest foods to give up. Fortunately, there are breads on the market that don't raise blood sugar to extreme levels. Whole-grain breads with high-fiber ingredients, like oats and bran, may be the best option for people with diabetes. Making bread at home with specific, diabetes-friendly ingredients may also help reduce the impact bread has on blood sugar levels. The role of nutrition in controlling diabetes Diabetes has two main types: type 1 and type 2. People with type 1 diabetes have difficulty producing insulin, which is a hormone that "captures" blood sugar (or glucose) and transfers it into cells. Glucose is the preferred energy source for cells. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This type of diabetes is also the easier form to prevent and manage with lifestyle changes and medication. According to the World Health Organization, over 422 million people have type 2 diabetes worldwide. In the earlier phase of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce insulin, but cells have become insensitive to its effects. This is sometimes due to poor diet, genetics, and lifestyle habits. Because of this, cells can't access blood sugar following a meal. Nutrition plays a crucial role in diabetes control. It's only through putting proper dietary planning into practice that good blood sugar management can be accomplished. A good diet must also be combined with lifestyle changes and medication. A carbohydrate is one of the three major nutrients essential to human health. However, carbohydrates also raise blood sugar and can reduce effective diabetes control. This Continue reading >>
Best Bread For People With Diabetes
The smell of a freshly baked bread, or the sight of bread, is enough to send your senses reeling. Though people with diabetes should eat bread in moderation, sometimes it can be easy to get carried away. After all, bread is one of the most popular foods all over the globe. Just because you have diabetes, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the great bread that life has to offer. In order to be able to eat bread if you have diabetes, there are a few things that you will need to know. Sonya’s Story Sonya sat across from me. She looked defeated. She hung her head low. “I don’t know how I’ll ever give up bread,” she said. “It’s my favorite food. Now that I have Type 2 Diabetes, I know I can’t eat bread, rice, or pasta.” “You can have bread, rice, and pasta in small amounts. I can teach you which kind of breads are best for you, so that you can get some of your favorite food,” I said. “That would be great,” said Sonya. “Wow, I feel a lot better! When can I come to class and learn about this?” “You can come tomorrow,” I said. “I’ll find you some bread recipes that you can make at home with diabetes-friendly ingredients, so that the bread you do eat is healthier. It will also be lower in carbohydrates than some other breads, and the carbohydrates will be good carbohydrates.” Sonya came to class where she learnt valuable information about making diabetes-friendly breads. Now she makes them for herself, and a few other friends with diabetes that she happened to have met in her diabetes classes. Breads with high fibers Breads that are whole grain, and high in fiber, such as oats or bran, are the best type of bread for people with diabetes to eat. While you can have a serving or two of bread, you still need to stay within the Continue reading >>
What Kind Of Bread Is Best For Diabetics?
Diabetes and bread… So many questions come up about good ‘ol bread. And not surprisingly because it's a staple food that we've all grown up on. Toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, a side of bread for dinner, it's a pretty common practice right? But if you're diabetic, should bread get the cut? Is it okay to eat? Are there certain types of breads that are better than others? These are all great questions so let's dig in and go over this together now. If you have any questions, just leave them at the bottom of the post and we'll chat about it. JUMP TO MENU: What Kind of Bread Is Best? | Wheat & Rye Breads | Sourdough Bread | Does Cutting Bread Help? | Making Low Carb Breads At Home | Is Bread Better Than Cereal? | Low Carb Bread Options You Can Buy | Free Bread Baking Class What Kind Of Bread Is Best For A Diabetic? We've recently covered the types of flours that are best for diabetes, so before we dig in and talk about breads, let's briefly look at the flour cheat sheet. See how everything above coconut flour goes up from 30 g net carbs and above, which is really getting up there. In reality, the best breads for you to eat are ones made from flaxseed, almond, chickpea or coconut flour, which are a bit more difficult to come by. Of course, the simplest way to overcome this is to make your own. But, I understand that not everyone wants to make their own, and thankfully, there are quite a number of companies that supply great low carb bread options you can buy. Whole Wheat & Rye Bread and Diabetes It's often recommended that you eat whole grains instead of the white stuff and it's true, whole grains are a better choice because they are complex carbs, rather than simple carbs. But, when you take the whole grain and grind it into a flour, it changes the way your bo Continue reading >>
Eva’s Story: Spelt Pasta A Godsend For Borderline Diabetics
When Eva learned she was a borderline diabetic, two things came to mind. First, she was determined to control her her condition through diet, rather than allow it to progress to the point where doctors would insist she take insulin. And second, she thought she might have to give up one of her favorite foods: pasta. “I tried so many types of pasta. Whole wheat, rice, gluten-free. But as soon as I ate them, my blood sugar would spike. I was discouraged, thinking I’d never be able to eat pasta again.” Fortunately, Eva discovered VitaSpelt pasta and it “changed her life,” she said. For two years now, she’s been making all her pasta dishes with spelt pasta, and so far, no more spikes. Eva has tried other brands of spelt, but wonders if some of those brands mix other types of flour with the spelt. In her letter to us, she wrote: “I’d also like to share that I feel safe with your product. Don’t ever change the ingredients because I have tried other brands and they must combine it with some other flour base because it elevated my sugar level higher than your product.” Eva lives in Cambridge, Ontario, where she’s become a VitaSpelt ambassador! She’s told a number of health food stores, her family doctor and her naturopath about spelt. And of course, she tells friends, especially those who have diabetes or are concerned about the disease. “I have already gotten 10 people changed over to your product and half of them are diabetic and are happy with the results.” Thanks to Eva, for sharing her story and for getting the word out about the health benefits – and great taste – of spelt pasta! For more on spelt and diabetes, read this earlier blog post. Disclaimer: The material on this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intende Continue reading >>
Best Flour To Use If You’re Diabetic?
When it comes to flours, making the right choice is very important to blood sugar control. So we've gathered some great info here for you to use in your kitchen and menu preparations. Are Grains & Flour Really Good For Fiber? We've often been told that eating whole grains is a great source of fiber. And while ‘whole grains' do provide some fiber they are not the only thing that provide us with our daily fiber needs, vegetables do too. For example: 1 slice of wholewheat bread has 1.9 g of fiber, while a carrot has 2.3 g. All grains and vegetables do range in fiber content, but vegetables are a great source of daily fiber and are also higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than grains. So we don't have to eat grains in order to get adequate fiber. Changing A Grain Into A Flour Changes The Way It Affects Blood Sugar Often when we take a grain and make it into flour, it changes the carb and fiber content. So what tends to happen for you as a diabetic is that most types of flours will make your blood sugar spike like wild fire. At least that's what most people experience, which is why our meal plans contain virtually no grain flours at all. An example of this is buckwheat. Eaten whole it has a glycemic index (GI) of around 49, which is a low GI. But take it and turn it into bread and it changes to a GI of 67, meaning it affects your blood sugar more rapidly and more intensely than eating the whole grain itself. Here is another example using wheat. Whole wheat kernals are a very low GI of 30, but we don't tend to eat whole wheat kernals, we eat whole wheat flour and it has an average GI of around 74. Whole Grain Flours Are A Better Option It's true that whole grains are better as far as nutrition goes. As the Minnesota Department of Health explains, the whole grain Continue reading >>
Flour Power: 5 Options That Are Good For Baking And Diabetes
From whole wheat, to spelt, to almond flour, coconut flour, and even flour made from chickpeas, it's hard to know where to start and easy to become confused about which variety is best for your individual needs. With diabetes, you want to select flour that is slow digested, high in fiber, lower in carbohydrate all without a high level of calories to help maintain blood sugar levels as well as promote a healthy body weight. With all that considered, it may seem easy to just throw your hands up in the air, give up, and resign yourself to never baking again. But don’t worry; I am here to help you sort it out and remove the stress from your next grocery store outing. #1. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour If most of your recipes call for all-purpose flour, refined flour that may elevate blood sugar levels more rapidly than whole grains, you may reach for 100% whole wheat flour as an alternative. Although this switch will certainly boost the fiber and whole grain content of your recipe, the taste and texture may not always remain exactly the same. Whole wheat flour (100%) can have a denser, more course texture than all-purpose flour. As a substitute in breads, it can often work out well, but in baked goods such as cookies and muffins, the final product may not taste as close to the original as you had hoped. Enter whole-wheat pastry flour. This flour, which gives graham crackers their sweet taste, is milled from low-protein soft wheat allowing it to provide a flavorful taste to pastries without the density or coarseness of a standard whole-wheat flour. It is best to use for cookies, piecrusts, and baked goods. A 1/3 cup serving size provides 100 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrate, and 4 grams of fiber. #2. Spelt Flour Another alternative to 100% whole-wheat flour is spelt flour. Spe Continue reading >>
New “old” Grains: Teff And Spelt
Did anyone try freekeh, the grain that I wrote about last week? I have yet to try it, but it’s on my list! In the meantime, there are plenty of other grains to enjoy. This week, let’s look at two more: teff and spelt. Teff According to the Whole Grains Council, the word “teff” is related to the word “lost” in Amharic, the main language of north central Ethiopia. Why “lost”? Probably because this grain is very tiny — about the size of a poppy seed. Being small has given teff an advantage: It’s well-suited to the nomadic life, since it only takes a handful of this grain to sow a field. Teff is also a hearty grain, being able to withstand drought, abundant rain, and disease. Because of its versatility, teff is grown in the dry soils of Idaho as well as the wet Netherlands. How does it taste? There are different varieties of teff. It has a rather mild, sweet flavor, especially the lighter varieties. Darker-colored teff has an earthier flavor, like hazelnuts. What are the health benefits? Teff is a rich source of both calcium and vitamin C. It’s also a good source of protein. Red teff is higher in iron than other varieties. People with diabetes may feel more comfortable eating teff than other types of grains due to its resistant starch content. Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that is slow to be digested and, as a result, can help with blood glucose control and weight management. How many calories and carbs does teff contain? A half-cup of cooked teff contains roughly 125 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrate, plus 5 grams of protein. Does teff contain gluten? No, teff does not contain gluten, making it ideal for those on a gluten-free diet. Where do you buy teff? As with most grains, your local health-food store will carry teff, and your groc Continue reading >>
Baking With Spelt Flour
A Diet Alternative that Helps Keep Blood Sugar Levels More Stable For many people, giving up baked goods is too horrible to even consider. For those of us with type 2 diabetes, though, breads and other baked goodies can cause a blood sugar spike. That's where baking with spelt may be able to help as a natural way to control blood sugar. What is Spelt? Spelt is an ancient grain that is distantly related to the wheat that's commonly sold in the grocery stores. Spelt contains much less gluten than regular wheat, but it is not gluten-free so it may not be a suitable choice for people with a sensitivity to gluten. Spelt has more protein and fiber than regular wheat flour. It contains a wider range of nutrients, plus it's also highly-water soluble, making it easier to digest. How is Spelt Beneficial to People with Type 2 Diabetes? Spelt has a low glycemic index. That means that it allows for a gentler and more modulated increase in blood sugar rather than a quick and dramatic spike. It has a higher fiber content that also helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels (the 'bad' cholesterol). Does It Taste Like Flour? Some people say spelt has a 'nutty' flavor and tastes a little 'sweeter'. Others don't really notice any difference in taste from regular flour. Breads and baked goods made with spelt tend to feel softer than those made with wheat flour. Where Do I Buy It? Organic spelt, both light (or 'white') spelt flour and whole spelt flour, can be found in the health food stores or in the natural foods section of some grocery stores. Sometimes it can also be found in bulk bins. And of course you can buy spelt flour online. Spelt Baking Tips It is generally easier to bake with light spelt flour, but whole spelt flour will work too. In most recipes, you can substitute spelt for wheat Continue reading >>
Chasing The Perfect Bread For A Diabetic Diet
Since the day I learned that carbohydrates were the culprit for raising blood sugar, I have been trying to find a way to keep eating them. The reason? I love carbohydrates. There are diets that have little or no bread, fruits, or vegetables, and some people with diabetes use them. It would be simple to eliminate most carbs from your life and live on protein and fats. But I will not do it. Keeping carbohydrates in my eating plan is a challenge, but it is worth it to me. The thought of living without them makes the future seem gray and empty. Carbs add color to my life. Since I made this decision, I have been looking for the best carbs. There is plenty of advice for people with diabetes, as well as people who just want to lose weight, about which carbohydrates to eat. So why have I found this so difficult? One problem is that the glycemic index, which ranks foods according to their impact on blood sugar, is not absolute. What fuels the changes in advice? For one thing, research has uncovered the vital importance of fiber, its impact on carbohydrate digestion, and the amazing way it helps control blood sugar. The big news today is that vegetable fiber encourages the growth of good bacteria. Where do we find all of this wonderful fiber? It comes from carbohydrates. Hurrah! Another problem with deciding what to eat is conflicting information. The American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association often agree on what is best, targeting calories as an important area of focus. Needless to say, they both advise that we limit high-calorie carbohydrates like desserts. But they encourage including wheat in your diet. Whole wheat is best, they say. But trying to find a good whole wheat bread turns out to be tricky, since bread labels can be confusing. A dismaying number of Continue reading >>
Bread For Diabetics
Bread is highly nutritious and is eaten with most meals in many cultures. But some types of bread are not suitable for diabetics. Here’s the low-down on what breads diabetics should and should not eat. To beat your diabetes you need to eat food that is low in sugar, low in fat, low in salt, high in fibre and has low GI values, ie it releases glucose into your bloodstream relatively slowly. Some kinds of bread fit this bill; others do not. Bread is made from flour, ie grain that has been ground into powder. Common wheat is usually used because its flour has high levels of gluten, which gives the dough sponginess and elasticity. But bread is also made from other species of wheat (eg, durum and spelt) and other grains such as rye, barley, corn (maize) and oats. The non-wheat grains usually have wheat flour mixed into the flour. The quality of bread depends largely on the protein content of the flour. The best breads use flour with 12 to 14% protein rather than all-purpose wheat flour which only contains 9 to 12% protein. Whole grains or refined grains? When cereal grains such as wheat are harvested they are surrounded by a tough protective coating called a husk. Before you can eat the grains, the husk has to be removed. This is done by threshing (beating the grains) and winnowing (blowing away the chaff, ie the broken off bits of husk). The grain without its husk is called a groat. It consists of three main parts: the endosperm, germ and bran. The endosperm is the main tissue inside the grain and provides nutrition in the form of starch, protein and oils. The germ is the embryo, the reproductive part that germinates and grows into a plant. It is surrounded by the endosperm. The germ contains several essential nutrients. Wheat germ, for example, is a concentrated source o Continue reading >>
Dietary Recommendations For Diabetics
Whole rye breads are known for their health virtues, such as increment of satiety, assistance to the digestive system function, long term energy, vitamins, many minerals and reduction of the risk of colon and breast cancer. Furthermore, whole rye breads, especially bread from 100% whole rye flour, are extremely recommended for pre diabetic and diabetic patients, why? Written by: Hadas Yariv (M Sc, MBA), food technician and nutrition expert. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, which causes a rise in the blood sugar levels and damages all of the body’s systems. Obesity and diabetes are the main epidemics of the current millennium. In Israel there are 500,000 diabetics and another 200,000 who don’t know they are diabetic and referred to as “pre diabetic patients”. The chance to get diabetes rises in older age up to 40%. Over 95% of diabetics suffer from type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes the insulin discharged from the pancreas isn’t effective enough to insert the sugar into the body cells, or isn’t discharged in a sufficient way. The shortage of sugar evolves gradually, and might not appear for years at all, until it becomes a real life threatening situation. Dietary Recommendations for Diabetics International health organizations recommended for a diabetic/ pre diabetic patient to base their diet on whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, low fat dairy products, chicken and fish (not fried); it is recommended to consume monounsaturated fat from olive oil, nuts, almonds and avocado. On the other hand they should reduce consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, salt and processed meat. We highly recommend on keeping a low calorie diet. Recommendations for Carbs and Whole Grains Consumption: Carbs are the main essential nutrient that affects the levels of blood Continue reading >>