Spelt vs Barley - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Barley has a lower glycemic index and is richer in fibers, potassium, selenium, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6. In comparison, spelt is lower in calories and carbs. It is richer in zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, vitamins B3, B5, and folate.
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 is slightly higher in calories compared to spelt. 354 calories for barley and 338 calories for spelt.
Spelt has a higher glycemic index compared to barley. The difference is of high significance.
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.
In their uncooked forms, these cereals are primarily carbs.
Barley contains 73g of carbs compared to spelt, which contains 70g. Barley is higher in carbs.
Barley is richer in fiber compared to spelt. Barley contains 17g of fibers compared to spelt, which contains 10g.
The fat content of both is similar and negligible.
Spelt is richer in proteins compared to barley. 14g of protein for spelt and 12g of protein for barley.
Barley is richer in potassium and selenium. In comparison, spelt is richer in zinc, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. They have equal amounts of copper and magnesium.
Below we can visualize the mineral distribution of barley and spelt.
Barley is richer in vitamins B1, B2, and B6. In comparison, spelt is richer in vitamins B3, B5, and folate.
Below we can visualize the vitamin distribution of barley and spelt.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease
Although not different, it is essential to mention that both these grains contain gluten. (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)
Digestion and gut health
Barley contains 17g of fibers, uncooked form. The fiber amount of barley is remarkable and has numerous benefits on overall digestion. (3)
It helps maintain gut microflora health, which has many benefits.
Regulates bowel movements
It helps reach satiety quicker
Decreases risks of diverticulosis
Fiber is an essential feature in diets related to cardiovascular health. Since barley is richer in fibers, it has numerous effects on cardiovascular health by decreasing cholesterol levels and lowering the risks of hypertension development. In addition, it decreases the risks of obesity and stroke. (3)
Barley contains beta-glucan, which is associated with decreased risks of LDL levels. In turn, decreasing the risks of atherosclerosis. (4)
Irritable bowel syndrome
Spelt contains FODMAP, which triggers symptoms of IBS. People who have IBS should avoid foods that contain FODMAP. Barley also contains, however, in lesser amounts. (5)
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||0µg||1µg|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.065g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|