Sunday, 15 July 2012

The World's Sexiest Carb - Italian Polenta

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If you follow A Light Perspective, then you know that this is a gluten and wheat free product. 

As one of the world's most sexiest carbohydrate, polenta is a corn or maize based food.  It is a staple in Italy quoted to have been around since the 1700s.  It’s a delicious alternative to pasta but can also tempt your taste buds in a sweet dish.

In Italy or Southern France, you may have tried polenta served with a fresh tomato sauce. 

For a sweet option, try my irresistible 'Italian Banana Loaf With Polenta, Walnut & Coffee'.   

Polenta is so versatile that this is one staple that you definitely want a generous stock of in your pantry.

Health Benefits Of Polenta

Polenta contains a good range of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin A and zinc to name a few.  It is also a great source of fibre which contributes to the lower glycaemic index (GI) of this food. 

The carbohydrates in polenta are the ‘slow releasing’ variety.  For you this equates to stable blood sugars; instead of the highs and lows that you could expect after a jam sandwich composed of white bread.

The glycaemic indexes of foods are important.  Choose carbohydrates with a low GI as lower GI diets have been shown in research to improve the blood sugar profile in persons with diabetes. 

Low GI diets may also reduce serum lipids in individuals with high blood cholesterol.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2002 also quoted that low GI foods may play a positive role in reducing the risk of colon and breast cancer.  It is thought that corn can support the growth of friendly bacteria in our colon, facilitating the transformation to short chain fatty acids and hence the reduced risk of colon cancer.

Why You Should Love Polenta

You will also love that cooked polenta can be moulded into shapes such as balls or squares and served with vegetables for a colourful banquet.  Zucchini, olives, garlic, peppers and tomatoes will complement this naturally wheat and gluten free meal beautifully.    

Remember, studies show repeatedly that diets that are higher in monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre and low glycaemic index foods have advantages in insulin resistance and your body’s blood sugar and cholesterol profile.

If this is not a reason to love polenta, then at least enjoy your Sunday roast with the world's sexiest carb!  You'll love the creamy and smooth texture.  I know that you’ll love the change!

How do you eat polenta?