Barley vs. Spelt — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Barley has a lower glycemic index and is richer in selenium and vitamin B6. In comparison, spelt is lower in carbs. It is richer in zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and vitamins B1 and B3.
Table of contents
In this article, we will discuss the differences between barley and spelt. These differences are in nutritional content and health impacts.
By the end of this article, we will understand the differences between barley and spelt, which one is nutritiously denser, and their health impacts.
Nutritional content comparison
In this section, the comparison of these grains will be in their uncooked form.
Barley and spelt have similar amounts of calories.
Spelt has a higher glycemic index compared to barley. The difference is very significanct.
The glycemic index of barley is 28, whereas the glycemic index of spelt is 63.
Since the difference in glycemic index is significant in both these articles concerning spelt nutrition and barley nutrition, you can check their nutritional contents and glycemic indices in-depth.
The carb profile of both is similar however, barley contains slightly higher amounts of carbs. It contains 28g of carbs, and in comparison, spelt contains 26g of carbs.
They have nearly similar amounts of fibers.
The fat content of both is similar and negligible.
Spelt is richer in proteins compared to barley. 5.5g of protein for spelt and 2.3g of protein for barley.
Barley is richer in selenium. In comparison, spelt is richer in zinc, iron, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
Below we can visualize the mineral distribution of barley and spelt.
Barley is richer in vitamin B6. In comparison, spelt is richer in vitamins B1 and B3.
Below we can visualize the vitamin distribution of barley and spelt.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease
Both grains contain gluten.
Gluten consumption for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance will trigger the disease; thus, avoiding gluten-containing foods is important. (1)
Compared to spelt, barley is a better choice for diabetic or prediabetic individuals.
Since barley has a lower glycemic index, it is advised to include it in the diet of prediabetic and diabetic individuals. (2)
Irritable bowel syndrome
Spelt and barley are high in FODMAP, poorly absorbed sugars, which will likely trigger the symptoms of IBS. (3)
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|