If you want to lose some weight then you definitely have to watch the amount and kind of foods you consume. Being conscious about the kind of foods you eat determines whether you will achieve some success at the end of your weight loss journey. If you are reading this, then it might be that you love eating barley, and you want them to be part of your weight-loss diet; but that cannot happen if they are fattening.
So, is barley fattening?
Barley is not fattening. Just quite the opposite, as it can even help you achieve your weight loss goals. Ultimately, no food is fattening as along as it is consumed in right amounts. Getting fat or adding some weight basically boils down to the amount of calories you consume. If you consume more calories than your body can burn, you will add some weight, while if you consume fewer calories than your body needs, you lose some weight. That’s the ultimate weight loss rule.
This is the reason why many weight loss experts suggest eating foods that have fewer amounts of calories. But it also depends on how often you eat these kind of foods and how they affect your satiety. For someone who wants to lose weight, it is better you consume a 500-calorie satiating food twice a day, than to consume 250-calorie snack 5 times a day, still without satisfaction. The former gives you 1000 calories and the latter gives you 1250 calories.
Now, this is where satiety comes into play. Foods that have a high satiating effect go a long way in determining the amount of calories you consume daily. By eating only these kind of foods, you will be able to reduce the amounts of calories you add to your body daily. But what are these foods with high-satiating effect?
These are foods with a high fiber content. Foods just like barley. A 100 gram serving of hulled barley contains 17 g of fiber, making up about 68% of the daily recommended intake for fiber. A pearled barley on the other hand, provides up to 16 g of fiber per 100 gram serving.
Any research supporting the effect of fiber in aiding weight loss?
Of course there are numerous researches that have proven fiber’s effect in aiding weight loss. A particular one that caught my attention was a research published in the Journal of Nutrition, which showed how fiber intake significantly reduced the risk of gaining weight and fat in women (2). The research found weight to reduce by 0.25 kg for each 1 gram increase in total fiber consumed. Body fats also reduced by 0.25 percentage point for the same increase in fiber.
Barley is not fattening, even though it contains relatively high calorie content. The fiber it contains can help reduce the total amount of foods you consume, thereby reducing your caloric intake. Also, it is rich in many vitamins and minerals, and has a lot of other health benefits you wouldn’t want to miss. You can read some of them here.
Moreover, barley is poor in fats, a nutrient that has long been associated with increased weight gain. This is probably because 1 g of fat provides up to 9 calories, as compared to a gram of carbohydrate that provides just 4 calories. So, if you consume high fat foods, it is almost certain that you will reach your daily calorie goals very fast, and the remaining unburnt fat will be stored in your body to cause weight gain.
Worth mentioning is the form in which you consume your barley grains. This is because completely processed barley grains are low in fiber, because the hull and bran have been removed. For this reason, you should only consume partly-processed grains that are still rich in fiber. Remember that fiber is very important in your weight loss journey. You might also want to consider eating other foods that are rich in fiber, such as chickpeas.