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The carbohydrates revival

In every self-respecting epic narrative comes a time when the hero is defeated, insulted and abandoned. That's when he's not really dead. From that point, the hero can only go back and defeat the enemies thanks to the strength and wisdom to which he has had access thanks to the suffering of the fall. It applies to everyone, from Gilgamesh to Batman, and in this case to carbohydrates. Let's think about it. They have been accused for years of all guilt - as have their companions, the fats -, they have been cut off from diets and banned from the fitness community.

Cereals are bad, but whole grains are not, but gluten-free grains are also good for non-celiac (false). At the same time, the rediscovery of traditional varieties of wheat has brought a wave of natural and artisanal bread to the world's gastronomy, "which is a sin to refuse". Then, in August 2018, a new element was added: a diet too low in carbohydrates could be associated with a higher risk of mortality.

Carbohydrates in the diet

In August 2018, the prestigious magazine, The Lancet published a major study, carried out on a sample of 15,428 people in the United States for over 25 years, on the effects of diets high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates.
The results show that both low and high carbohydrate consumption are associated with higher mortality risks, while minimum risk and longevity are related to a 50-55% share. In particular, diets with a preference for proteins and animal fats are indicated as risky.

In general and beyond mortality - which is however an argument of a certain weight - carbohydrates are not technically essential elements, unlike proteins and fats, but a certain amount is necessary to meet the medium-term energy demand and to maintain the absorption of fats and proteins at an optimal level. That 50-55% that we find everywhere is the amount we need.

New cereals

The study of the Lancet arrives at the rehabilitation process started. Part of the merit is to be attributed to the fashions of cereals and pseudo-exotic grains - a new one about every year and a half.
Cereal is not a botanical term, but of historical derivation. Cereals are defined as all herbaceous plants whose fruits are ground into food flours with a high starch content. It is not limited therefore to graminaceae - the wheat to be clear - but also to quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and chia, called pseudo-cereals in the Anglo-Saxon tradition.
Among the first fashions of the revival of good carbohydrates we can only mention the Khorasan wheat, better known by the trade name of Kamut, which was reported to contain no gluten (false), but which actually has a higher protein content and is suitable for baking. Then came quinoa - 2013 was the year of quinoa -, the "mother of all seeds", the basis of the Andean diet and - recently - a key ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets thanks to its high protein content and the remarkable versatility in the kitchen, which makes it suitable for the preparation of burgers and vegetable meatballs.

Amaranth continues to be more of a niche, also because of the complexity of the preparation and the gelatinous consistency that characterises it and that improves when combined with rice or barley. It is however firmly established in western supermarkets.

The art of flours

The real heroes are those who have brought bread back to our tables, the new bakers. They have rediscovered the art of flour, resurrected the profession of the miller, re-established the variety after decades of domination of white bread (the one already sliced in the supermarket, which dries up in one night and has an airy and inconsistent crumb).
In advanced production systems, bread is no longer the basic food and, without research, it risked ending up in irrelevance, with immense cultural damage. The rediscovery of the traditional varieties of wheat - ancient grains, in popular terminology -, which have lower yields in the field but specific organoleptic and nutritional very different and rich, and the return to the use of flours 2 and 1 and whole flours, have revitalised the sector and driven consumers to appreciate new flavours and textures. Or old. In post-modern times, things get a little confused.

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