March 29, 2012

Potatoes, Rice, and Bread = Carbohydrates


When reading blogs written by people required to follow the dogma of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), I can only say that the advice needs to be scrutinized very carefully. They tend to treat topics like carbohydrates as a “one size fits all” mantra.

This means you should trust your meter and what it is telling you about the foods you are consuming. Then adjust your portion size to fit what your meter is telling you. Yes, some people can eat all three foods in the title above, and others must eliminate all three from their menu. This means that each individual must find their level and follow it. Periodically you may need to retest to see if anything has changed as this can happen.

We must understand that the ADA promotes the USDA MyPlate solution for starches. Promoting them as the source of nutrients can be misleading as many of the vitamins and minerals can be found in other foods and often in higher quantities. There are people that cannot tolerate gluten found in grains, but these people are often ignored in their advice.

The question included potatoes, rice, and bread, but bread is often the main topic of discussion and brown rice is just given a mention. Potatoes are often completely ignored and a broad statement is made about starches. While potatoes are starches, some types of potatoes create lower blood glucose problems than others. Here again, testing is the only way I know that will give you answers of what types will work for your body chemistry. I am still able eat some potatoes, but not as often or as much as before diabetes.

What I have been surprised about is the rice. One variety (white rice) that everyone has told me to avoid, I can have a decent size serving and have only a small increase in blood glucose. Now brown rice does raise my blood glucose more than 60 mg/dl with just a small serving. This is why each person needs to find out what their body tolerates and not rely on others and what works for them.

Educators will not tell you that if you have a weight problem, elimination of wheat from your diet may help the most in weight reduction. They will only say to eliminate the highly processed bread and use whole wheat bread. Both contribute to the weight problem and it is the quantity of bread consumed. If you can tolerate wheat, consider greatly limiting the quantity.

Everyone needs to be confident of what they eat in relation to the level the food will raise your blood glucose. Meters today are slowly becoming more accurate and we need to trust them. I still find changes that I need to make as I age and my body becomes more sensitive to certain types of carbohydrates.

1 comment:

Shyrlene said...

I have some research about brown rice and its effect on type 2 diabetes.

Tracy Breen, MD, is the director of diabetes care for North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. She says that what you eat, and how much of it you eat, is only part of the equation. Genes also count when it comes to diabetes risk.

“It is never just one thing,” she says. “It’s what you eat, what you do, and your genes. We can’t change our genes, so it’s important to think about how food plays into our culture.”

Some experts, including Connie Diekman, RD, say that the jury is still out on whether white rice really increases diabetes risk. She is the director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.

“The observational nature of this study limits the ability to state cause and effect, [and] controlled studies are needed to determine if, in fact, white rice increases the risk of type 2 diabetes,” she says in an email.

The International Rice Genebank, maintained by IRRI, holds more than 113,000 types of rice, including modern and traditional varieties, and wild relatives of rice. It is the biggest collection of rice genetic diversity in the world. Countries from all over the world sent their rice to IRRI for safe keeping, and for sharing for the common public good.

But eating two or more servings of brown rice per week was associated with an 11% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to eating less than one serving per month.

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, now being updated, recommend that at least half of your carbohydrate intake come from whole grains. Dr. Sun and colleagues concluded, "From a public health point of view, replacing refined grains such as white rice by whole grains, including brown rice, should be recommended to facilitate the prevention of type 2 diabetes."