4/23/13

Trade Up Tuesday: Polenta


Okay, first off, what is polenta? Polenta is an Italian-style cornmeal. Is is a fine yellow cornmeal cooked down to a mush with water or stock. It is sometimes set, sliced, and served baked or fried.

So obviously polenta comes from corn. Let's use that as our starting point. Fresh corn gets a NuVal score of 93. If a product gets a score close to 93 we know that very little processing has occurred. Today, our Bellino Instant Polenta gets a NuVal score of 89, while it's competitor only gets a 27. Let's take a closer look at why there is such a difference in the two products.

Bellino Instant Polenta (NuVal Score 89)
Serving Size: 1/4 cup (40 grams) - note that this has to be added to water to create the same end product as San Gennaro
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 0mg
Total Carbohydrates: 32g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitmain C: 0%
Calcium: 0%
Iron: 0%

Ingredients: Precooked corn meal

San Gennaro Food Polenta Traditional (NuVal score 27)
Serving Size: 2 - 1/2" slices (100 grams)
Calories: 70
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 310mg
Total Carbohydrates: 15g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars:1g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A: 6%
Vitmain C: 12%
Calcium: 0%
Iron: 2%

Ingredients: Water, Yellow Corn Meal, Salt, Tartaric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Beta Carotene (Vitamin A).

Polenta can be a great substitute for the starch in your meal. Here are some of Eating Well's best polenta recipes: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_polenta_recipes

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