Published in TotalHealth Magazine Online December 2019
This part of the series is especially close to my heart and health because after years of practicing what I teach and counseling patients in maintaining a healthy blood sugar through diet, and natural supplements when necessary, I became a trauma-induced diabetic. I was having some small moles removed (about the size of a lentil) from my forearm. Within a few hours of the surgery by a highly qualified plastic surgeon, which by medical definition was a minor surgery, I developed a life-threatening MRSA infection from exposure in the surgery room.
Besides having to save my arm with natural methods through I.V.’s and oral interception of non-drugs, I now had to deal with an elevated blood sugar that kept spiking—of course it did, my body was fighting a life-threatening infection! Type-2 Diabetes is nothing to take lightly; it changes your life forever! The above episode was the impetus that spring-boarded my decision to share my many years of research, cooking and teaching cooking classes worldwide into creating healthy recipes that DO NOT include food or ingredients that “ignite” inflammation, elevate blood sugar or blood pressure, raise cholesterol, sabotage thyroid health, feed health-destroying yeast, and rob us of our quality of life.
Coconut, and its derived products, is one fat diabetics can eat WITHOUT FEAR! Not only does it not contribute to diabetes, it specifically helps regulate blood sugar—lessening the effects of the disease. Island people have consumed large amounts of coconut oil for many generations without ever encountering diabetes…UNTIL…they abandoned it for other western foods and oils, then the results were disastrous.
Controlling your carbohydrate intake is the best way to optimize diabetes control. Eating too many carbs at once can make your blood sugar levels go on a roller coaster, making it more difficult for you to manage your diabetes. Foods made from grains and flours, such as bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, muffins, croissants, pies, pancakes and other baked goods, are a huge source of carbohydrates in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Using flours with a lower carbohydrate content can help you enjoy your favorite foods without compromising your blood sugar levels.
Changing A Grain into A Flour Changes the Way It Affects Blood
Often, when we take a grain and make it into flour, it changes the carb and fiber content…SO…what tends to happen for you as a diabetic is that most types of flours will make your blood sugar spike like wild fire. At least that’s what most people experience, which is why our meal plans and recipes at our Anti-Inflammation Cooking Institute contain virtually no grain flours.
An example of this is buckwheat. Eaten whole it has a glycemic index (GI) of around 49, which is a low GI. But take it and turn it into bread and it changes to a GI of 67, meaning it affects your blood sugar more rapidly and more intensely than eating the whole grain itself.
Another example using wheat. Whole wheat kernels are a very low GI of 30, but we don’t tend to eat whole wheat kernels, we eat whole wheat flour and it has an average GI of around 74…AND…wheat contains large amounts of gluten which not only induces inflammation but compromises gut health. AND…coconut flour DOES NOT change when converted from coconut meat into flour!
As described above, even whole grains can be problematic for people with diabetes (blood sugar imbalances), yet conventional nutrition for diabetes keep echoing, “eat more whole grains.” SO, in our Cooking Institute, we only use almond flour or almond meal, coconut flour, ground flaxseed meal, sesame flour, ground psyllium, quinoa flour and other nut flours in our low carb, low or no sugar breads and bakes.
Coconut Flour Comparison Chart
The high fiber content provides coconut flour with many of its health benefits including a healthy gastrointestinal tract and blood sugar regulation. By now you’re likely asking, “how is that possible?”
As an example, let’s compare a multigrain loaf of bread. Multigrain contains only 10 percent fiber and has a high glycemic index of approximately 85. Coconut flour has a relatively low glycemic index of 45 and is comprised of 60 percent dietary fiber. Compared to wheat flour, coconut flour contains five times more fiber! So which type of flour slows the absorption of sugar? Of course, it’s the flour containing more fiber.
In an interview, Dr. Bruce Fife, a physician and expert on coconut products, compared the fiber in coconut flour to a sponge because of its affinity for moisture.
As a result, dietary fiber creates bulk by pulling-in carcinogens along with harmful bacteria. Intestinal space becomes freed-up for the release and absorption of nutrients as well as for a healthy gut microbiome in which beneficial bacteria can flourish. One more reason to bake with coconut flour!
Reported to Decrease Risk for Colon Cancer
The high fiber content of coconut flour makes it an excellent weapon in the fight against colon cancer. Incidences of colon cancer continue to increase and become more prevalent as a result of our bad eating habits.
One study took a close look at the role of bacterial microflora in the gut and the occurrence of colon carcinogenesis, or cancer development. Amazingly, with the introduction of only 25 percent coconut flour, in the form of cake, there exhibited a dramatic reduction in tumor growth. Just one more reason to bake with coconut flour!
In subsequent articles, I’ll continue to detail the “Super Five” flours and their health-enhancing properties and some historical perspective of the grains.
In the next issue of TotalHealth Magazine Online, I’ll outline the benefits of Almond Flour…stay tuned.
Making these healthy lifestyle modifications is what enables us to “Age Without Feeling or Looking Old” because we’re avoiding inflammatory foods and ingredients that age us prematurely while robbing us of quality of life and then propel disorders and diseases that shorten our life-span.
Dr. Gloria Gilbère is Founder/CEO of the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation—after 22 years of owning/operating two health clinics in Idaho she relocated her Health Sciences/Research/Anti-Inflammation Cooking Institute division to Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.
Her worldwide consulting via phone and Skype continues as does the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Idaho. Visit her website or call (888.352.8175) to schedule a consultation or register for her post-graduate courses.