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How to Eat Starchy Foods While on a Diet (or Anytime)

Perfect Diet, low glycemic index, lowering glycemic loadThere’s no need to fear carbs, but eat them as part of a meal, not as snack foods. And reduce their “hyperglycemic toxicity” (high blood glucose levels, common in diabetics) by following these guidelines from Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet, Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet, Ph.D.

The glycemic index is defined so that pure glucose has a GI of 100. A GI of 55 or less is considered to be low; fruits and vegetables typically have a GI in this range. The risk of hyperglycemic toxicity after eating 200 calories of a low-GI food is minimal. So if we can eat with a GI below 55, our diet should be safe. Fortunately, this can be done with any starch. The trick is to prepare the starch properly and to eat it as part of a meal, in combination with other foods.

Here are some ways to reduce the GI of starchy foods:

  • Cook them gently. When starches are cooked in boiling water (as with home-cooked rice or boiled potatoes), their GI is fairly low, around 50 to 60; but when they are roasted at high temperatures, their GI often approaches 100.
  • Avoid industrially prepared foods. To speed foods through factories, industrial foods are often processed at very high temperatures, raising their glycemic index. Commercial puffed rice or instant rice has a GI almost double that of home-cooked rice.
  • Eat starches with fat. Fat greatly slows down the speed at which starches are digested, substantially reducing the peak blood glucose following a meal. Dairy products—milk, butter, and sour cream—are especially helpful. Put some butter on your potato!
  • Eat starches with vegetables. Including fiber in a meal significantly reduces the GI of accompanying starch. Vegetables are a natural way to add fiber to a meal.
  • Eat starches with acids, especially vinegar. Vinegar, pickle juice, and many other acids reduce the GI of starches. The effect of all these measures is to lower the GI of starchy foods by more than 50 percent.

Get more information about the Perfect Health Diet.

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