The Grain Game

If you are diabetic, pre-diabetic, insulin-resistant or just plain concerned about consuming too much sugar, take note. You need to know the rules of the Grain Game if you’re playing to win.

#1. Grain (herein) refers to glutenous wheat, barley and rye as well as “gluey” oats, corn, and rice,, sans gluten – lumped together here because although gluten gets a bad rap, it’s not specifically relevant to your blood sugar.

#2. Grain is not poison; it’s problematic. Like alcohol, it’s a much-loved comfort food that comes with a caveat. This is a guide to eating grain responsibly.

The disastrous USDA Food Pyramid and the new and not-so-improved Food Plate suggestions for grain consumption are 10-12 servings per day or about 60% of your calories. Here’s what that looks like: bagels, toast, muffins or pancakes for breakfast (insulin flashflood) followed by a mid-morning snack of similar, then 2 pieces of some sort of bread at lunch to create a sandwich or burger or at least a bread roll with soup or salad with another at dinner perhaps with pasta, filling in the gaps with snacks of pretzels, crackers and chips. The result is a nation of Carbivores drowning in epidemic obesity and diabetes.

#3. Phytic acid in grains has been indicted for blocking the absorption of nutrients, specifically minerals. Soaking and sprouting seems to fix that. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. It can be as easy as soaking the rice, oats, barley, etc. in water for an hour then rinsing before cooking. A great way to introduce even more minerals is to cook the grain with a small piece of kombu sea vegetable.

#4. Refined grains (white stuff) and whole grains (nubby brown stuff) both initiate an insulin response, as they both digest into glucose (melt into sugar.)
Here’s the rub: the soaked, rinsed and now alkalinized grains are still high-glycemic foods. But if you must have grain/bread/rice/pasta…Throw back some raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg makes a great one) before your meal to slow the sugar load. Here’s a mocktail for the faint of heart: 1-2 tbsp cider vinegar with the same amount of lemon juice and some fresh grated ginger in 8 ounces of sparkling mineral water or seltzer, on ice, with a twist if you wish.

The bottom line is that sugar lurks in whole grains, pizza and pasta. You’ve been warned. Put your strategies in place and proceed with caution.

Andrea DiMauro is the founder of the website Food Truth. For more great information on how to actually eat healthy check out her site AND be sure to download the Food Truth mobile app!

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