Can I be wheat-free, avoid
junk and fast foods, but
make myself overweight
and diabetic by eating too
many beans and gluten-free grains?
Eliminating wheat is the first step, since it eliminates a flagrant source
of high blood sugar, as well as the powerful appetite-stimulating effects
of the gliadin protein. That alone confers substantial benefit. But those
who have 50-plus pounds of weight to lose or diabetes to unravel, usually
have to go farther in diet to undo the entire metabolic mess. It makes
no sense to say, “Eliminate wheat, but eat all the non-wheat candy and
junk food you want.” That’s hardly better. So it requires an awareness of
Individual susceptibility to carbohydrates differs, however, and the
formula for each individual will vary. An established diabetic who wishes
to become a non-diabetic will need to slash carbohydrates to the 20 to 30
gram per day range. A non-diabetic with desirable blood glucose levels
may do fine with 50 grams per day carbohydrates.
By the way, it’s the “official” advice to eat more “healthy whole grains” that
leads to an unrestrained increase in carbohydrates in the diet, often in
the 200 to 300 gram per day range, and a nationwide mess of epidemic
diabetes and obesity.
I don’t buy that Americans have landed in this situation because we’re
gluttonous and lazy. I say that much of the diabetes and overweight
crisis we find ourselves in today is due to the flawed nutritional advice
of the “official” agencies. Soft drinks and fructose have a role to play, too.
» You bet you can, and I’ve seen it happen many times. People are
falsely lulled by the gluten-free nature of these foods and think that
gluten-free means harmless. Just as multigrain organic bread can make
you diabetic, so can these non-wheat grains. So we’re back to that notion
of gauging individual carbohydrate sensitivity.
The easiest way to gauge your own carbohydrate sensitivity is to get
your HbA1c (a measure of glycation and a reflection of the previous 60
days blood glucose) tested. If it’s greater than 5.0%, you’re glycating too
quickly and on your way to the phenomena associated with accelerated
glycation. If you measure 5.0% or less, enjoy moderate (½ cup or less)
servings of these lower glycemic index carbohydrates.