Noodles Made with Barley May Change Pasta’s Reputation

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When people think of foods that add to excess inches around the waist, pasta is often one of the foremost offenders that come to mind. This is because noodles are often made with flour that has been processed to contain little more than simple carbohydrates.

In search of a healthier type of pasta, officials from the Italian Ministry of Instruction, University and Scientific Research and the Spanish Ministry of Education funded a study to determine whether spaghetti made from whole barley flour could be a tasty vehicle for heart-healthy nutrients and fiber.

When comparing their proprietary pasta to a traditional semolina variety, researchers discovered that the barley-based spaghetti had higher antioxidant and fiber content. Interestingly, these healthful benefits appeared to diminish when gluten was added to the barley flour.

Barley contains about 6 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 190 calories per serving.  Continue reading

Science May Save the Potato’s Reputation

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When thinking about diet foods, potatoes don’t often come to mind for most individuals, as they’ve earned a bad reputation as a nutrient-deficient carbohydrate. The problem is, most Americans eat their spuds in the form of French fries, chips and loaded baked potatoes.

Research that was led by scientists at the University of Scranton suggests that eating steamed or microwaved potatoes without added fat can make for a healthy, filling dish for people who are trying to lose weight.

“When prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful phytochemicals and vitamins. We hope our research helps to remake the potato’s popular nutritional image,” said lead researcher Joe Vinson, Ph.D.

In a trial, overweight or obese volunteers ate about 12 to 16 small unpeeled purple potatoes daily for a month. Continue reading