(Because whole grains suddenly aren’t good enough)
Well much like that long lost ex of yours, traditional whole grains are about to resent you. Just when you thought you were doing everything right, sprouted grains come on the scene and you are left wondering where it all went so horribly wrong. I’m chalking sprouted grains up to a (legit) fad food, one equivalent to Salute Your Shorts. Sure you remember it, but then you realize it only ran for two seasons.
So what’s the deal with this new grain fetish? Look all grains start out as seeds with the potential to sprout into new plants with proper watering and sun light. Below is a comparison of wheat berries (aka kernels without the hull) and sprouted wheat berries.
Sprouting enables certain changes to occur in the seed and thus the final baked good. Benefits include…
- Milder glycemic (blood sugar) response
- Improved bioavailability of minerals (think calcium and iron)
- Higher folate levels
- Increased antioxidants
- Insoluble fiber decreases (stuff that makes you poop)
- Soluble fiber increases (stuff that forms your poop so it’s not just water and food debris)
- Gluten decreases
The key with sprouting grain is the sprouting process must be stopped before the seed has time to start rotting or breaking down. Ew. Side bar – sprouted grains, specifically wheat, barely, rye, and their derivatives, are not indicated for those with Celiac disease despite their lower levels of gluten.
If you like sprouted grain products, by all means, go nuts. If you don’t, my tried and true stand by rule is to read your whole grain product’s ingredient list. The first ingredient should contain the word ‘whole’. If it doesn’t, your label is lying to you.
*Reference: Whole Grain Council