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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 of vitamin E folate phosphorus thiamine zinc and magnesium essential fatty acids and fatty alcohols. Bran is the hard outer layer of grain. It is rich in dietary fibre and essential fatty acids and contains starch protein vitamins and minerals.
You also need to avoid breads made with shortening unless the fat content is less than 3% by weight as well as all fried breads such as Indian puri. This still leaves you with plenty of breads you can eat and still beat your diabetes. Breads diabetics can eat Whole-grain breads usually have low GI values (less than 56). Regular whole-grain bread has a GI value of about 51 while the rating for pumpernickel is about 50. Barley bread (if you can find it) is very dense and has a GI value of about 34 while wheat tortillas have a rating of about 30. Thus as a diabetic you can eat most wholemeal breads rye breads and crisp breads made from rye. You can also eat unleavened flatbreads such as whole-wheat Indian breads like roti and chapatti though you need to check the salt and fat content.
It is the high fibre in the bran of the whole grains which slows the release of glucose. Whole grains are great for our health in many other ways thanks to their high levels of vitamins and minerals. Most whole grains are particularly rich in B vitamins. Whole grains also have plenty of protein. One of these proteins is gluten. Gluten makes dough elastic which helps it to rise and keep its shape. It constitutes about 80% of the protein in wheat seed which is one reason why wheat is popular for bread-making. It is also found in barley and rye. Making bread Bread is made by mixing up dough a paste of flour and water (or other liquid). The dough is usually leavened (see below) allowed to rise and then cooked. Breads may also contain extra ingredients such as salt or butter to improve taste.