These days, many people have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other modern diseases due to overnutrition as our living standards improve.
Diabetes is a chronic disease of metabolic abnormalities. Due to insufficient insulin secretion or the inability to use insulin effectively, the blood sugar level rises too high.
A high blood sugar concentration is like poison in the body, which can destroy the retina and kidneys’ microvessels, eventually leading to complications such as blindness and kidney failure.
Xiao Jiejian, a chief weight management physician at Taiwan Sanshu Jinling Clinic, said that refined starch, such as white bread and refined starch, is a significant cause of blood sugar spikes.
Xiao shared a case of a diabetic patient who significantly reduced blood sugar and visceral fat by changing eating habits.
Qiu Yun (pseudonym), a 71-year-old woman with diabetes for over 10 years, took oral drugs three times daily and 40 units of insulin daily, but she still couldn’t control her blood sugar.
After improving her diet and exercise habits, it took only six weeks for Qiu’s body fat to drop from 39.5 to 34 percent, and her visceral fat decreased from 11.6 kilograms to 8.6 kilograms.
In addition, she no longer needs to administer 40 units of insulin daily to control her heightened blood sugar level.
Now all she needs is 16 units of insulin, and her blood sugar levels remain within 100 mg/dL.
What caused Qiu’s blood sugar to rise? The food Liu ate daily seemed to be very light. She ate white bread and congee as her main breakfast in the morning. She also was not much of a meat eater.
Xiao said that Qiu’s seemingly light and healthy diet is full of content that stimulates blood sugar levels and causes them to rise: refined starch.
Excessive intake of refined starch and a severe lack of protein will reduce muscle mass and metabolic rate and impact our blood sugar levels.
Many people’s go-to daily foods are white rice and white flour products. So which contains more calories, white rice or white flour?
Liu Yili, a nutritionist at Taiwan Tai’an Hospital, told the United Daily News, “If you compare 80 grams of round-grained rice and dry noodles, the calories of both will be equivalent to about one bowl of rice and two bowls of cooked noodles.”
By comparison, rice and white noodles both contain about 280 calories.
However, white starch noodles contain more protein than white rice. While the protein in white starch noodles is 9.2 grams, the protein in white rice is 5.6 grams.
The dietary fiber contained in white starch noodles is also higher than that of white rice, which is 1.5 grams and 0.6 grams, respectively.
As for the carbohydrates, white noodles are lower than white rice, 59.7 grams and 62.2 grams, respectively.
So which food is more refined, white rice or white noodles?
Wang Weiguo, a Taiwanese nutritionist at Hands Up Training, pointed out to United Daily News that white noodles are more processed than white rice.
Wang also said that white rice is more refined than brown rice, which contains more B vitamins, protein, and dietary fiber.
Flour is processed from wheat. Whole wheat flour is higher in micronutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Liu also pointed out that, compared with 80 grams of raw brown rice and whole wheat flour, both calories are about 290, but their carbohydrate content is 60.1 grams and 57.1 grams, respectively.
While brown rice contains 6.6 grams of protein, whole wheat flour contains 10.4 grams. Where brown rice contains 3.2 grams of dietary fiber, whole wheat flour contains 6.4 grams.
Xiao said the glycemic index would rise if the bran were removed from brown rice and processed into white rice.
What’s more, (cooked rice) congee accelerates the absorption speed and causes an immediate increase in blood sugar levels.
A rapid increase in blood sugar will cause insulin impedance; the more insulin, the more resistance.
The blood sugar will stabilize by swapping white bread for sweet potato, white rice for brown rice, congee for oatmeal grains, and dough or flour for noodles.
Xiao also advised, “If you want to increase protein intake, choose high-quality starch. And if you have to eat refined starch, you should take walks more often. After a big meal, go out and walk as much as possible. You don’t have to exercise intensely to see results.”
Xiao affirmed that his patient Qiu decreased her blood sugar significantly by changing her eating habits. She lost about four kilograms following the above diets and maintaining exercise routines.