Showing posts with label Wheat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wheat. Show all posts

Oct 16, 2015

Most Important Crops

The order varies by study, but these are generally agreed to as the top ten crops harvested, not by revenue. Cannabis is the top revenue producing crop and sugar cane is the most popular.

They are, in order, Corn, Wheat, Rice, Potatoes, Cassava, Soybeans, Sweet potatoes, Sorghum, Yams, and Plantains.

May 16, 2014

Gluten Fad and Facts

As with most fads, gluten has way too many headlines and gluten free diets are popular, without much knowledge of what it is or why we should or should not eat gluten. In fact, the majority of Americans do not know which foods contain gluten.

Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.

Gluten, especially wheat gluten, is often the basis for imitation meats resembling beef, chicken, duck, fish, and pork. When cooked in broth, gluten absorbs some of the surrounding liquid and becomes firm to the bite. Gluten is often present in beer, soy sauce, some chocolates, and deli meats. It can be used as a stabilizing agent in more unexpected food products, such as ice cream and ketchup.

Experts estimate that about .75% to 1% of Americans have celiac disease. The condition, caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten, can damage the lining of the small intestine. For people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential, but for others, "unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber," according to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Many whole grains that contain gluten are rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, as well as fiber. Studies show that whole grain foods, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that half of all carbohydrates in the diet come from whole grain products.

Gluten sensitivity is classified as intolerance, not an allergy.

Gluten does not make you fat and cutting gluten will not help you lose weight. Gluten-free does not mean fat-free or calorie-free. “Gluten does not make you fat,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. “Calories make you fat regardless of where those calories are coming from, whether they are coming from brown rice, which is gluten-free or a wheat bagel.” If you eat more calories in a day than you use, the extra calories will be stored as fat.

Some gluten-free foods contain extra sugar and/or calories to make them more palatable and make up for the loss of the gluten.

You can eat a clean diet that includes gluten or a clean diet that does not.

French fries are gluten-free and vegetarian.

There is nothing unhealthy about gluten. Gluten alone doesn't have many health benefits, but foods that contain gluten, like whole grains, tend to be higher in fiber and contain vitamin B, zinc, and iron. As a result, cutting gluten could actually result in nutritional deficiencies.

Gluten does not cause cancer. There is no connection between gluten and risk of most cancers. The exception is an increased risk of intestinal cancer for only those who have celiac disease, or true gluten intolerance. The Mayo Clinic lists cancer as a complication of celiac disease (not gluten). People with celiac disease who do not maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.

Numerous observational studies show that the more whole grains a person eats, including the gluten-containing grains (wheat, rye, barley), the lower risk of most cancers. This is true for some of the most common types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers, as well as for less common cancers, such as cancer of the pancreas. Whole grains contain fiber, which can stabilize blood sugar and hormone level.

Oct 11, 2013

Potato Facts

China grows the most potatoes of any nation on earth, followed by Russia, India, and US in fourth place. China consumes almost half of all potatoes produced and the Europeans, per capita consume the most potatoes annually. Potatoes rank as the world's fourth most important food crop, after corn, wheat, and rice.

A fresh potato contains about 80 percent water and 20 percent dry matter. About 60 to 80 percent of the dry matter is starch. On a dry weight basis, the protein content of potato is similar to that of cereals and is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers. In addition, the potato is low in fat. Potatoes are rich in several micronutrients, especially vitamin C, if eaten with its skin. A single medium sized potato provides nearly half the daily adult requirement. The potato is a moderate source of iron, and its high vitamin C content promotes iron absorption. It is a good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and contains folate, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Potatoes also contain dietary antioxidants and dietary fiber.

Boiling potatoes in their skins prevents loss of nutrients. Baking causes slightly higher losses of vitamin C than boiling due to the higher oven temperatures, but losses of other vitamins and minerals during baking are lower.

More than 5 000 native varieties are still grown in the Andes. While the Incas called it papa (as do modern-day Latin Americans), Spaniards called the potato patata, apparently confusing it with another New World crop, the sweet potato, known as batata. In 1797, the English herbalist Gerard referred to the sweet potato as "common potato", and for many years S. tuberosum was known as the "Virginia potato" or "Irish potato" before finally displacing batata as the potato.