Late last December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would allow food manufacturers to claim that whole-grain barley and barley-containing products may reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). Almost 500,000 deaths are attributed to CHD each year, with high cholesterol levels being one of the main culprits. Scientific evidence has shown that adding barley to the diet can help lower serum cholesterol levels.
Consumers can expect to see these health claims on labels for a host of barley products, including whole barley and dried milled barley, which is available as flakes, grits, flour and meal. To qualify for the health claim, foods must provide at least 0.75 gram of soluble fiber per serving of food.