Resistant starches are healthier than high glycemic processed foods because resistant starches don’t suppress your immune system the way high-glycemic foods do. Lentils, mung beans, chick peas, and other legumes are examples of resistant starches.
Pasta by itself quickly turns to sugar in the blood just like cake and ice cream. So does white flour and white rice quickly turn to sugar. Starch becomes sugar. But resistant starches work slowly and don’t hit the bloodstream with such force, driving up high insulin rates, as insulin ages you faster from inside your arteries.
The opposite of resistant starches are the type of starches that quickly turn to sugar as soon as they hit your bloodstream, cause excessive insulin to pour out, and age you quicker by causing high glucose spikes of insulin in the blood, causing you to crave more sugar to bring down the anxious feelings.
After eating sugar the sugar in the blood rises once more, causing more insulin to pour out. Eventually there is a risk of insulin resistance developing and metabolic syndrome. Resistant starches help the immune system.
Why increase the risk of cancer with foods that shove down your immune system? High-glycemic foods are white bread, croissants, bagels, pasta, cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, and any other foods made with white flour that have been linked to different cancers in studies. Resistant starches in black beans don’t suppress your immune system.
Sugar for a short time satisfies hunger. Fructose keeps you hungry all day. Resistant starches makes you feel full sooner. But fast carbs turn quickly to sugar in the blood and keep you hungry.
High glycemic foods quickly turn to sugar in your blood stream, causing excess insulin to pour into your blood to get rid of the excess sugar. The excess insulin pushes the calcium and fat into your arteries, especially if you have only a few cholesterol receptors on your liver (which is genetic). See the article, Why resistant starch should be part of your diet.
Whole wheat and white bread both raise your blood sugar levels
A big slice of white bread will spike your blood sugar. Whole wheat bread also will raise your blood sugar. See, “Whole Wheat Bread Causes Blood Sugar Rise.” Whole wheat and white bread have essentially the same impact on blood sugar.
You might as well be eating a big spoonful of sugar. Another way of saying this is that most bread has a high Glycemic Index. You need to find high-fiber whole sprouted grains, even flourless breads, and no-yeast breads.
The opposite happens when you eat resistant starches which include the following foods
Black beans have 26.9% resistant starches and 42.6% of fiber. They’re rated highest in nutrient density. The White House served a quinoa, black bean and corn salad dish during a Kids’ ‘State Dinner’ luncheon at the East Room of the White House August 20, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Fifty-four kids representing all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia, ages 8-12 and winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to create a healthy, affordable and tasty lunchtime recipe with nutritional guidelines set by the Agriculture Department, were invited to participate in the event.
Foods with the highest resistant starch and fiber content:
Topping the list of foods with high resistant starch levels along with high fiber content are black beans, northern beans, navy beans, red kidney beans, lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, brown rice, rolled outs, millet, corn, black rice. Also check out red quinoa, black quinoa and tri-color quinoa mixing yellow, black, and red varieties that comes packaged. See, Eden Organic Quinoa. In Sacramento, most health food stores and natural food aisles carry packages of tri-color quinoa. Some Sacramento supermarkets and natural foods stores carry quinoa in different colors in their bulk bins.
The highest in resistant starches are the beans and black-eyed peas, but corn actually is 25.5% resistant starches. If you buy corn, try the organic variety if you can find it in Sacramento. Try some of the natural food stores that carry organic produce.
Foods with the lowest amount of resistant starches include the rolled oats at 7.2% and the white potato at 7.0%. Ironically, although sweet potatoes have fiber, they don’t have much resistant starch, yet they score a high number 9 compared to white potato that scores a low number 2 as far as nutrient density scores, (Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient density scores) according to the book, Super Immunity, by Joel Fuhrman. M.D. Check out the table, “Resistant Starch and Fiber in Common Plant Foods,” in the book on page 114 to get a list of the foods highest in resistant starch. The percentages are expressed as grams per 100 grams of dry matter.
Carbs that can suppress your immune system
The processed carbs that are bad for health because they suppress the immune system and increase the risk of cancer, according to page 114-115 of the book, Super Immunity, by Joel Fuhrman. M.D, are the high-glycemic foods such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, white flour, white rice, whole-grain pastry flour, packaged cold cereals, commercial fruit juices, and fruit-juice sweetened beverages. These are the same foods some dentists claim rots the teeth from the inside out by changing the balance and ratio of calcium to phosphorous in the bloodstream. Your immune system goes down when you wolf down sweets, especially around events and holiday meals.
But carbohydrate quality also has to be balanced with proteins and fats, and it’s your choice. Fat deficiency is associated with failure to thrive. And too much of the wrong type of fats tailored to your body’s requirements can quickly clog up arteries, organs, or stents. If you eat too few fats, your can have hair loss, more wrinkles, dry skin, muscle cramps, poor sleep, and too-high triglycerides. Seeds and nuts are a good source of fats instead of bacon drippings. What you really want from foods are micronutrients, phytochemicals, and balance.
Eating more resistant starches needs to be publicized to shoppers
Sacramento parents and teachers can hold a seminar or class or even produce a short documentary for kids to teach them about how resistant starches can make them healthier and have more energy. Resistant starches resist digestion in the small intestine so you feel fuller.
The class might focus on how to keep kids from overeating addictive, sweet, salty, or fatty foods that cause cravings or entice them to come back to buy more because the food includes flavor extenders and fillers that excite taste buds and the brain to crave the meal or snack.
The sooner children, particularly overweight kids learn to eat lower on the Glycemic Index, the quicker they’ll understand how nutrition changes can motivate lifestyle changes to keep them from eating starchy fillers. They’ll also learn the difference between resistant starches and starches that quickly turn to sugar. Resistant starches are found in foods such as legumes, for example lentils and black rice or brown rice. Starches that quickly turn to sugar are found in white rice.
Nutrient-dense super foods need to appeal to children even if the vegetables and fruits are hidden in smoothies or soups or stuffed inside other edibles
One topic you may not have heard yet is how to eat the most nutrient-dense foods that are also considered healthy or “super foods.” If you’re adding vegetables and fruits to your diet, which vegetables and fruits are the most nutrient-dense and still remain low enough on the Glycemic Index, to keep you from constant blood sugar spikes throughout the day that too rapidly age your arteries and eyes?
What are the best vegetables that don’t turn to sugar quickly in your bloodstream, are considered “super-vegetables” by some nutritionists and are supposedly the healthiest? They are the green vegetables. In order of their nutrient density, the vegetables judged most healthy to eat by some nutritionists are the following vegetables and fruits–listed in the order of how nutrient dense they are in their ability to make you feel less hungry after you eat them: (Most are green, but some are red, orange, white, or purple.)
Such vegetables include kale, collards , spinach, bok choy, raw beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, cooked green vegetables, string beans, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, red peppers, romaine lettuce, broccoli, artichoke, cabbage, green peppers, carrots, strawberries, cauliflower, cherries, blueberries, iceberg lettuce, and oranges.
Any of these vegetables can be eaten in soups, steamed, or raw, if ground in a blender or food processor to a state of being chewable. Instead of dumping oil and vinegar on a salad, try to make a nutrient-dense salad dressing by putting a handful of nuts (not peanuts) such as walnuts, cashews, or almonds in a blender with a handful of seeds such as flax seeds (about 2 tablespoons), chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds, or all of these mixed together in small amounts–about two tablespoons full of each of the nuts or seeds.
You can mix them in a grinder or food processor with a little orange juice, a whole orange, or the juice of a blood orange. Blend well to emulsify the nuts, seeds, and fruit into a thick salad dressing that you can pour over your salad greens and other salad vegetables or fruits. Use the nuts and fruit salad dressing instead of always using vinegar and oil as your salad dressing.
Baking healthier ingredient substitutions with your kid’s help
Holiday time is coming–from Halloween to the winter celebrations. And this is the best time to bake with your kids and at the same time get them familiar with making pies from vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts and substituting great-tasting healthier organic ingredients instead of the traditional, more familiar ingredients that are more likely to lead to obesity issues in some people. If you have a pet, have your child prepare healthier dog biscuits or other types of pet food and research the nutrition requirements for the particular pet.
For example, instead of baking pie crusts from white flour, butter/lard, or using sugar and cream in pumpkin or sweet potato/yam pies, you could instead use cultured coconut milk (kefir) and almond meal with a little flax seed meal instead of the grain-based flour. You don’t need to add lard or butter to pie crust when you can add shredded coconut mixed with coconut flour and almond meal with 1/4 cup of flax seed meal.
Alternatives to flour, sugar, eggs, and fats
A tablespoon of flax seed meal substitutes for one egg in baking. And a half cup of mashed cooked prunes substitutes for a half cup of oil or fat. The more children learn to bake using healthier substitutions, the longer they’ll be able to see alternatives and possibilities that pies, cookies, brownies, or cakes can be made using ingredients other than flour, sugar, and butter. Instead you can use almonds, seeds, coconut, olive or sesame seed oil, yams, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin in new combinations.
Even pumpkin cheese cake pie can be made from nonfat Ricotta cheese, bananas and pumpkin or instead of pumpkin yams or sweet potatoes. And if your children can’t tolerate dairy, use a half cup of cultured coconut milk (kefir) instead of Ricotta cheese.
Here’s how to bake one of the best tasting no-sugar added ricotta cheese pumpkin coconut custard pies with coconut-almond crust. You begin by putting two cups of ground almonds (almond meal) and 1/4 cup of ground golden flax seeds (flax seed meal) into a 64-ounce blender along with one cup of nonfat ricotta cheese and three eggs. Add 4 oz. of organic unsweetened shredded coconut to the mixture, about 1/2 a cup of the coconut. Add 1/4 teaspoon of powdered cloves, 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.
Those who can’t have dairy may substitute 1/2 cup of cultured coconut milk (kefir) for the cup of nonfat Ricotta cheese. Three small bananas make an average sweetness. You can vary the sweetness by putting fewer bananas into the blender. The ingredients for this pie do not use grain-based flour or white table sugar.
The pie is sweetened with bananas. If you want less sweet taste, use less bananas. About 3 small bananas give average sweetness. You could also substitute a pinch of stevia for the bananas, if you can’t have that fruit on your special diet. But the bananas give a richer taste and natural sweetness to this pie. The flavors combine bananas, coconut, and almonds.
If you want to use cooked, mashed sweet potatoes or yams instead of a can of pureed pumpkin, you can substitute yams or sweet potatoes for the pumpkin. Just add two or three tablespoons of coconut flour to the mashed sweet potatoes or yams if you’re not using the canned pumpkin.
Assemble the ingredients:
Bag of shredded coconut such as Let’s Do Organic Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut. Can of pumpkin puree such as Libby’s pure pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix). See, Libbys/Products/PurePumpkin. Or 29 ounces of mashed yams or sweet potatoes if you are not using canned pureed pumpkin.
Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and ginger: ground to a powder.
3 small bananas (or your favorite sweetener).
Container of almond milk. You’ll use about 1/2 cup of almond milk if you’re using coconut kefir (cultured coconut milk) or one cup of almond milk if you’re using Ricotta cheese.
Bottle of sesame seed oil for greasing pie plate.
1 cup of non-fat Ricotta cheese. Or for non dairy user’s: substitute 1/2 cup of cultured coconut milk (kefir) instead.
About 4 tablespoons of organic coconut flour (for thickening crust). Swanson’s 100% organic coconut flour is an excellent choice.
Adding the liquid almond milk to your blender
Now add a cup of unsweetened almond milk, the contents of a 29 ounce can of Libby’s pure pumpkin with no added sweeteners (not the sugary pumpkin pie mix). Then to sweeten add three small bananas to the blender and emulsify everything into a liquid. Make sure you remembered to put in the three whole eggs into your blender with the pumpkin and the bananas. Remember if you want to use another vegetable instead of pumpkin you can use a similar amount, say 29 ounces, of mashed yams or sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin.
Now you prepare the crust from a bag of Let’s Do Organic Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut, 8-Ounces organic shredded coconut without sulfites or preservatives you can find in most natural food stores or in the natural food aisles of many supermarkets. you can also buy it online, for example at Amazon.com or at various online stores. There’s a Google site here for that brand.
Preparing the Pie Crust from Ground Almonds (Almond Meal), Shredded Coconut, and Ground Flax Seeds
Oil a 9-inch pie plate with a 1/4 cup of oil–olive, sesame or melted coconut oil. A good type of pie plate to use might be a Pyrex glass pie plate (suitable for baking in an oven). Sesame seed oil works best. You only need a few tablespoons of oil to cover the pie plate and its inner sides.
Now add the first layer of about four ounces of organic shredded coconut mixed with 4 tablespoons of organic coconut flour. The coconut flour thickens the crust. On top of that first layer enough ground almonds mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of ground flax seeds (flax seed meal) to cover the first layer of shredded coconut. Pat around the sides into a pie-crust shape. Add more ground almonds (almond meal) until the pie plate and sides are covered. Pat into place.
Now pour the liquid pumpkin-coconut-almond-flax seed meal mixture over the crust. Dust the top with a pinch of cinnamon, pinch of cloves, and pinch of ginger. Place in an oven and bake for about an hour or less at 350 degrees F.
Check the pie every 15 minutes and remove from oven when the crust looks solid, is slightly light brown, and holds together (not liquid) when you stick a fork in it. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled the next day. You’ll have the taste of pumpkin-coconut-banana-cheesecake. And the crust should be very tasty since it’s made of ground almonds and shredded coconut.
Check the Glycemic Index Before You Shop for Favorite Foods
Just check out how high whole wheat bread is in ‘sugar’ or on the Glycemic Index. See “The International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002;76(1):5-56. See the sites, Full Text – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Dietary glycemic index and load and risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults.
It’s truly shocking. According to the Life Extension article, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is worse than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar. The original 1981 study at the University of Toronto found that the Glycemic Index of white bread was 69 and whole-grain bread was 72. Wheat cereal was 67, but table sugar (sucrose) was only 52. That means the Glycemic Index of whole grain bread is higher than that of table sugar, which is also known as sucrose.
In fact the Glycemic Index of a Mars Bar nougat, chocolate, is just 68. The Glycemic index of a Snickers bar is just 41. All those values are less than whole grain bread, especially whole wheat bread. But what you do get with the whole grain bread besides the sugar spike is some fiber that you don’t get with the candy bar or the sugary soda beverage.
On another Glycemic Index chart, a Mars Bar, medium is listed at 64. It’s listed under the category, “Snack Food and Sweets.” But on that web site which also is about the South Beach diet, whole grain bread is listed as low on the Glycemic Index at 50, and white bread is listed high on the Glycemic Index at 71, with whole rye flour bread listed as medium at 64.
Rice cakes are listed as high on the Glycemic Index at 77, and Whole Meal Bread (not whole grain bread) is listed as medium at 69 on the Glycemic Index. But you have to remember that that Index is on the South Beach Diet Plan website. And you’d have to check out other Glycemic Index listings to see whether any match. The Glycemic Index listings seem to be different at various websites, but why, are various brands being tested or listed?
Or are various candy brands different, but the Glycemic Index, itself, remains steady. It’s just that one manufacturer may make different types of candy bars under the same brand name. For example, Glycemic Index of a Mars Bar nougat, chocolate, is listed as just 68 in the Life Extension Magazine article, Oct. 2011.
Resistant starches and how they work
What you may want to know about foods is that when you eat carbohydrates, make sure they are carbohydrates with resistant starch not plain starch. Resistant starch keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels from spiking.
Also, your hunger hormone called ghrelin won’t spike either. And your appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin rises when you eat resistant starch in complex carbohydrates, if you’re going to eat carbohytdrates with each meal.
Resistant starches resist digestion in the small intestine so you feel fuller
Lentils, black beans, and legumes, for example would be examples of carbs with resistant starch. Say no to amylopectin and yes to the amylose molecule in your choice of carbs.
You don’t want to eat starch that contains the amylopectin molecule because this type of starch turns into sugar in your blood, and you quickly get a sugar rush or the high insulin tremors. This type of starch is found in most processed breakfast cereals, white and wheat bread, white rice, pastries, instant oatmeal, and most crackers, and chips.
Resistant starches keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from spiking
Also California food recalls this month. After you eat the wrong type of starch you feel hungry in an hour or two. Then you snack again.
On the other hand, resistant starch is called resistant because it resists digestion in the small intestine and stays longer making you feel fuller, as if it were fiber. Resistant starch protects your colon because it’s made up of the amylose molecule.
This molecule is found in resistant starch in foods such as brown rice and beans or quinoa and steel-cut oats rather than instant oat meal. You can check out which starches are lowest on the Glycemic Index. Those are most likely to be the most resistant and slowest to turn to sugar in your bloodstream.
Lentils and other legumes have the most resistant starch which helps you burn fat
What happens is that your body ferments the resistant starch and produces butyrate, which is known to have possible anti-cancer properties. For further information on butyrate, check out my other tapeunit.com article, “Can the fatty organic acid, butyrate and high fiber diet shrink colon polyps and lower cancer risk? “
You can read a lot more about this topic what type of starches, carbs, and proteins to eat in the excellent book, which I highly recommend, one of the New York Times best-sellers, Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine by John La Puma, M.D. and Rebecca Powell Marx. Check out the sections on why you should eat which foods. Nutrition also is about the physiology of what happens in your body when you eat certain foods.
Consumers would like to know whether the fatty acid, Butyrate along with a high vegetable fiber diet and a specific amount of vitamin D3 possibly may be able to turn your colon polyps into a state where they could shrink and disappear by the process of redifferentiation? Could butyrate lower your risk of getting colon cancer?
Showing kids and their parents to use the Glycemic Index when selecting or rating and evaluating breads or muffins
If you don’t grind grain into flour, it takes the body much longer to digest it. So you don’t get quick sugar surges in your blood that cause excess insulin to pour out to normalize the blood sugar spikes. As a whole grain, not ground into flour, most grains don’t cause as high a spike in blood glucose. In other words, “whole” grains should ideally be truly “whole” when eaten.
Many decades ago fitness guru Jack La Lanne said, “If it tastes good, spit it out.” See the video, If it tastes good, spit it out! – YouTube. But many people still associated ‘healthy’ foods for foods that don’t taste good, even though foods can be made to taste good and also be healthy if you’re not addicted to having food so sweet or salty that it would not taste good to someone who rarely ate those foods.
If it tastes good, spit it out? Kids learn what tastes good by habits formed as babies
It’s relevant what tastes good based on what was fed to you in early childhood. To some cultures, cheese tastes like rotting milk. To other cultures, fermented beans can smell like ammonia, and fruit loved by some cultures can stink to other cultures enough to have hotel signs not to bring the type of melon, Durian, for example into the hotel rooms. See, Durians Smell Awful — But the Taste Is Heavenly | Science & Nature, and the video, Durian Fruit: Worst Smell for Food? Horrible odor. – YouTube.
Baked goods can be made from nut or bean flours, if you need to grind nuts or beans into meal. You also can add a little flax seed meal, without the rise in blood sugar (and corresponding rise in insulin). But don’t ever eat more than seven tablespoons of flax meal in your baked goods or other foods because at that level, your thyroid is affected by the flax meal. So just use up to two tablespoons to be on the safe side when it comes to adding flax meal to your foods. Grinding nuts into a meal can be used also as well as garbanzo bean flour.
Different people’s blood sugars rise at different levels in response to sugars. Some are affected more than others. It’s genetic. And some people can’t tolerate grains at all and need to grind legumes, beans, seeds, nuts, taro, casaba root, or potatoes to form into a bread.
It’s the whitest foods that pave the road toward type 2 diabetes in both children and adults
Examples include white rice, white bread, white, bleached flours, and white flour pasta. You can add to that list, white sugar, white cakes, and white potatoes (mashed or fried–but raw, peeled white potatoes are okay). Try purple potatoes or sweet potatoes and yams instead in small amounts because they are sweet. Whole grains have more color and are healthier. White rice is not a whole grain. The vitamins have been scraped off the brown rice. Rice grows brown. See the site, “Diabetes Prevention: The Test.”
You’ve heard the adages, the whiter the grain, the fiercer the pain
There are also sayings such as “The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead. The whiter the rice, the worse the advice.” Why do white foods encourage type 2 diabetes to develop in many, but not all, people? It’s because white grains turn to sugar quicker once they get into the stomach and bloodstream, and excess insulin pours out to lower the high spikes in sugar surges. The exception is white fruit such as apples and pears which are healthy. See, Four foods that help you to stop smoking: Apples, spices, legumes, and beans.
You want to eat low on the Glycemic Index. According to, the “Glycemic Index,” which is a measure of how quickly a certain food raises your blood sugar, if your blood sugar is low and continuing to drop during exercise, you would prefer to eat a carb that will raise your blood sugar quickly.
If you want to keep your blood sugar from dropping during a few hours of mild activity, you may prefer to eat a carb that has a lower Glycemic Index and longer action time. If your blood sugar tends to spike after breakfast, you may want to select a cereal that has a lower Glycemic Index.
The numbers on the Glycemic Index site give that food’s Glycemic Index based on glucose, which is one of the fastest carbohydrates available. Glucose is given an arbitrary value of 100 and other carbs are given a number relative to glucose. Faster carbs (higher numbers) are great for raising low blood sugars and for covering brief periods of intense exercise. Slower carbs (lower numbers) are helpful for preventing overnight drops in the blood sugar and for long periods of exercise.
The Glycemic Index numbers are compiled from a wide range of research labs, and often from more than one study. These numbers will be close but may not be identical to other Glycemic Index lists. The impact a food will have on the blood sugar depends on many other factors such as ripeness, cooking time, fiber and fat content, time of day, blood insulin levels, and recent activity. Use the Glycemic Index as just one of the many tools you have available to improve your control.
Many people still believe that eating too much sugar causes diabetes. This misconception arises because diabetes is diagnosed by measuring blood sugar (glucose). But dietary sugar is only part of the picture. According to two recent Harvard studies, a diet rich in certain high-carbohydrate foods—those low in fiber and with a high Glycemic Index (see below)—increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, at least in those predisposed to it.
Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes from Which Types of Food? Studies
According to the Glycemic Index site, prunes are listed as only number 15 on the Glycemic Index, whereas dates are listed at 103. Among commercial boxed cold cereals just to name a few of the many listed on the Glycemic Index, Rice Chex is listed as 89, Cornflakes as 83, and Raisin Bran as 73.
Total is listed as 73, Grapenuts are listed as 67, and Life as 66, compared to Old Fashioned Oatmeal at 48. Compare those cold cereals with a cup of cooked whole wheat groats. Among whole grains, barley is listed as only 25 on the Glycemic Index, whereas millet is 71. The lower on the Glycemic Index, the better the food, the less sugar hitting your bloodstream and taking a lot longer to enter the bloodstream.
The Glycemic Index site lists all types of foods. For example, plain yogurt is only 14 on the Glycemic Index.
There have been numerous studies, such as the Harvard Study, of how higher fiber is helpful in foods for reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study tracked 65,000 female nurses (age 40 to 65); the other followed 43,000 male health professionals. Within six years, a total of 1,438 participants in that study developed diabetes. There’s even a book touting eating 30-35 grams of fiber daily to lose weight. It’s called The Fiber35 Diet Program.
See the Harvard nutrition site, “Carbohydrates: Good Carbs Guide the Way – What Should You Eat.” Also see the site, “Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet.“ In the study tracking male and female health professionals, men and women whose diet had a high Glycemic Index and low fiber content more than doubled their chance of developing diabetes.
Foods that seemed to pose the greatest risk were white bread, white rice, potatoes, and sugary soft drinks. In contrast, whole-grain breads and cereals (rich in fiber and with a lower Glycemic Index) appeared to reduce the risk of diabetes. Fruits and vegetables didn’t seem to have an effect, good or bad.
The problem may be that too many foods that appear to have higher numbers on the Glycemic Index, meaning a diet high in carbohydrate-rich foods stress the pancreas. In responses, the pancreas produces more of the hormone insulin. The result is the insulin stimulates the body’s cells to take in and store glucose.
As the years pass, your body may become resistant to insulin. In such insulin-resistant people, the cells become less and less sensitive to insulin. This is characteristic of Type 2 diabetes.
You also need genetic propensity because not all people eating a diet high on the Glycemic Index, with lots of foods that are low-fiber and high-starch will develop diabetes. You can be very thin and still get type 2 diabetes from foods, even if you don’t gain weight.
There also is that genetic predisposition to diabetes. Even if you have the genes, work, lifestyle, or relationship stress along with too many processed foods will exacerbated your propensity to develop type 2 diabetes on a diet low in fiber and high on the Glycemic Index.
If you have the genes to develop diabetes, you could develop it later in life or maybe not at all. You’d also have to see whether you have a chromium deficiency in your vitamins or foods as well as an imbalance between your copper, zinc, and selenium and other minerals.
Obesity and a low-fiber high “white foods” or high Glycemic Index list diet may be the leading risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Family history of the disease, advancing age, and lack of exercise are other important factors.
When you check out your minerals, make sure you have enough magnesium. The study found magnesium is helpful. In the study, scientists showed that the mineral, magnesium has a protective effect against diabetes. A few studies have suggested that this mineral improves insulin sensitivity. But since whole grains are rich in magnesium, it’s hard to say whether the proposed benefit is due to something else in the grain (notably its fiber) or the mineral.
What’s a Diabetes-Prevention Diet?
As you tailor your foods to your genetic expression through your body shape and family history genogram (medical history) you might find a high-fiber, low-fat, high-fiber, semi-vegetarian diet that is known to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. But wait a minute. Some people with metabolic syndrome are told to eat a higher fat diet to prevent insulin from pouring out each time they eat. The fats are supposed to be ‘good’ fats such as extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil, for example, rather than cream and butter or whole fat dairy products full of saturated long-chain fatty acids.
Even coconut milk has medium chain fatty acids as a saturated fat. Some people with metabolic syndrome are told to eat mixed nuts, even nut butters such as almond butter or even, in some cases, peanut butter made with fresh roasted peanuts with no other fats or sugars added. Others are told to eat a small amount of cinnamon sprinkled on their nut butters to help blood sugar levels.
The Harvard studies emphasize eating whole-grain products. Stay away from highly refined, low-fiber grain products such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice in order to help control blood sugar. Such a diet also helps you manage your weight better. You get the whole grain’s vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need. It’s one way to keep chronic diseases away as long as you can.
Also see the Harvard nutrition site, “Healthy Eating, a Guide to the New Nutrition.” Scientists have learned much more about why some foods help prevent disease and why others promote it. The site describes the food-health connection and takes on controversial topics like food additives, cooking methods, the role of carbohydrates and more. Also check out the site, Healthy Eating: A Guide to the New Nutrition – Harvard Health.