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Monday, March 25, 2013

Black Beans and Barley Reduce Blood Glucose

Do you want to take steps to reduce your blood glucose levels naturally? Black beans and barley can play a significant role in helping you do that. Barley contains both insoluble and soluble fiber which have both proven effective in lowering blood glucose levels. Barley has even been proven better than oats in some studies. It apparently has to do with the higher content of soluble fiber in the barley. Whole barley reduces free fatty acids in the blood better than other grains up to 10 hours after consumption. In a 12 week study soluble fiber from whole barley reduced fasting serum insulin values.

Barley also has cardiovascular benefits as well:

Barley increases secretion of bile acids into the intestines, thereby  lowering total serum cholesterol. LDL and blood pressure.
Soluble and insoluble fiber in barley promotes bowel health
Barley being high in fiber and protein helps in weight control

BEANS including black beans, pinto beans and others produce a reduced risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes.
Compounds in beans are shown to slow alpha-amylase enzymes that help break starch into sugar resulting in slower sugar release
Beans also have a slow Glycemic index which in turn causes a slower blood sugar increase after a meal (This has been proven true even when beans are eaten with other higher glycemic index foods at the same meal)

A diet high in beans, especially black beans reduces cardiovascular disease, cancer risk and may help with obesity. Here is a link to a barley/black bean salad. You may want to find tasty ways to include barley and black beans in your diet at least three times a week.




  • 1 cup barley, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn, (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Combine cooked barley, beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.


Per serving: 331 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 65 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 11 g fiber; 161 mg sodium; 215 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2
Exchanges: 4 1/2 starch, 1 fat

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