In an effort to help people maintain healthy weights and still enjoy good food, scientists have created a genetically modified form of wheat that has fewer calories compared with other varieties.
Researchers at the National Institute for Agricultural Botany in Cambridge explain that the new wheat is digested slower so that it makes people feel fuller and not eat as much. The scientists engineered the crop to produce a form of starch called resistance starch, which takes longer for the human stomach to break down. Compared with normal starch, resistance starch has a lower glycemic index, meaning it releases its sugars more slowly, which is better for people's glucose levels. Even after it is milled, processed, and cooked, the wheat retains this digestion resistance.
The scientists hope that the new wheat could become an ingredient in flour products such as bread and pasta, which traditionally pack a lot of carbohydrates.
Currently, the wheat is genetically modified, but the researchers are looking for different production methods, since genetically modified products are banned for human consumption in the UK.
According to The Telegraph, researchers predict that, in the next 20 years, 70 percent of women and 86 percent of men in the UK will be overweight, a health risk that could cost £45 billion by 2050. Healthy foods like the new wheat could help curb this risk by reducing the likelihood of diet-related diseases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes.
via: The Telegraph