Kamut wheat, high in protein & omega-3, low in calories?

A health article on a major web portal touts the benefits of "the other ancient grain." kamut (aka Khorsan wheat), stating it is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and low in calories.


First off, one serving of a cooked grain is 140 grams, which for kamut is a little over 3/4 cup (more than the 1/2 cup used as a "serving" in the article, so actual nutrients will be even higher than they state). However, even that larger (true) 3/4 cup serving still doesn't have enough protein (8 grams) to qualify as "high in" protein, which is defined by labeling regulations as 20% of the DV (10 g). It is a "good source," though (contains at least 10% of DV).

As for calories, one serving contains 185 kcal (aka calories). To meet the criteria for "low in calories," a food can have no more than 40 kcal per serving, so kamut doesn't even come close. In fact, there is no grain (whole or otherwise) or bean or meat that is low in calories. Not that this is a bad thing; it simply means the foods are not full of water (which is how vegetables can be low in calories), but don't call a grain low in calories, OK?

Then there is the omega-3 issue. As readers of this column may know by now, there is no such thing as a food "high in omega-3," because there is no definition of its Daily Value. In addition, kamut wouldn't meet any criteria if they existed, because it is too low in fat of any kind to be a good source (much less "high in") omega-3, which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. There is only 1/3 gram of total polyunsaturated fats in a serving of kamut.

The claims in the article about kamut being a good source of iron and zinc are true, but this is true of many whole grains. The health claims in the article ("reduces cholesterol, blood sugar and cytokines") would be completely illegal in labeling/marketing a food, because they profess ability to treat health conditions, and that is something that would need to be a) proven with human studies, and b) regulated as a drug (i.e., dosages defined, etc.). It's a red flag of very unprofessional/unscientific writing when such statements are made.


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