Did you know that not all oatmeal is the same. I am surprised to see that almost all the oatmeal I have found is the highly processed kind of "instant oatmeal". These have a higher GI than white bread (83 vs. 71) ! Additionally they may have salt, sugar and gluten added to them for a real deal processed food experience for your body; packaged to look like a "healthy option".
Less processed foods typically have a lower GI and the same holds true here. The best oatmeal are steel cut, "non-instant" oatmeal, followed by rolled oats. Here's an article explaining the different types of oatmeals.
However I've only found instant oatmeal in India. I even found a "sugar free" oatmeal. Wow. Hey isn't oatmeal sugar free naturally ?
Please do not eat this if you are diabetic. It is good for cholesterol but the GI is too high for diabetics. Wait till I can find you a source of less processed oats. If you know a source of Steel Cut or Rolled Oats please let me know. I need some for my Dad.
So I have started now working with Dad on his diabetes reversal plan. My wife's Mama is also diabetic and yesterday over lunch we started working on his diabetes too. They both suffer from one similar problem : the need to eat bread. I am struggling to find ways to substitute this basic need. If you have a suggestions that you know please email me.
Why is bread bad ? Here is the explanation. Both people mentioned above are having brown bread. But if you look at this Harvard chart on Glycemic Index you will notice that White Bread and Whole Wheat Bread both have a GI of 71. There is a specific Whole grain bread mentioned which has a GI of 51. Now which bread does the brown bread of India belong to; I suspect it is on the higher side. Firstly it has no grains in it. I am even scared it may be white bread with coloring in it. But how to substitute it ?
My Dad was going to the factory, about 1.5 hrs away and he was going to pack the "usual" (a couple of tomato sandwiches). We came up with an alternative. Roti + a green vegetable like spinach subzi and a carrot subzi. Also he should have my juiceman's juice. He doesn't like salads too much so the fresh juice will give him the raw food benefits.
Could it be said that India's diabetes has grown with the consumption of bread ? People don't see it as any different than a chapati (GI of 30) but there's a HUGE difference. I wonder if the introduction of bread & white flour has led to an increase in diabetes in our population ?
It's nice to be back. Been in the mountains for 5 days without cell or internet ! Had a chance to read up on some new knowledge that you should really know : Glycemic Index.
Glycemic Index is the rate at which food will breakdown to glucose and raise sugar levels. It's important for diabetics as per upcoming research. See (Mayo Clinic, Diabetes.org, and Harvard). Why ? : Because you don't want to send your blood sugar levels on roller coaster rides. This is not good for your body, liver or pancreas.
Did you know White Rice will dissolve faster than Table Sugar ?? or that Fructose (fruit based sugar) dissolves a lot slower than table sugar. See my Dad has been told to avoid fruits as he's diabetic but he can eat rice. However, this science says cut down the rice and yes, he can eat fruits and gives a good reason that makes sense to me.
Here's a list of Glycemic Index of many food items from Harvard.
By eating more foods with low Glycemic Index I hope that his sugar levels will maintain and help his body by keeping it away from a glycemic roller coaster :) Expect more on this science as it is quite important for diabetics.
Following my post from yesterday I brushed up on Glycemic Index and why it matters to diabetics / beating diabetes and managing weight. The whole concept is based, at a deep level, to manage the glucose in your body. Foods with High Glycemic Index dissolve quickly. Glucose = 100 GI, and table sugar = 69 GI.
Now compare these :
White Rice = 89 GI
Wheat bread (white or whole) = 71 GI
Black Beans = 30 GI
Chickpeas = 10 GI
(source : Harvard Medical School)
Wheat and Rice dissolve faster in your blood than sugar. This gives your body a sugar RUSH followed by a sugar CRASH. For a diabetic already struggling to manage sugar levels this is a nightmare for his body. For both diabetics and weight loss patients; the sugar crash will leave you wanting to eat more food. Eat same no. of calories with low GI foods and you will need to eat again after longer time periods. Amazing !
So, for lunch, don't just have a salad, have a chickpea salad; it will fill you up more and it will last in your tummy longer. Make a chickpea tikki or creative lentil dishes to find ways to eat more of these and less wheat and rice. Try and make it tasty. I don't want you to feel bad for eating new foods, it should be awesome and do something that will excite your taste buds. Boiled chickpeas are a good substitute for potato. Also add to salads or veg kabab's. So much you can do, but start eating them 2x/day (or more) to really increase your calories intake proportion from low GI foods :)
Junior Gupta is the founder & Chief Research Officer of Cure My Diabetes. He has spent over 8 years of research of food, nutrition and diseases.