Is it Ok to Eat Quinoa, Buckwheat and Other “Non-Grains”?

Is it Ok to Eat Quinoa, Buckwheat and Other “Non-Grains”?

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Is it Ok to Eat Quinoa, Buckwheat and Other “Non-Grains”?

Is it Ok to Eat Quinoa, Buckwheat and Other “Non-Grains”?Often people who do not want to give up grain-based foods but willing to change their eating habit ask what type of grain is better for them to consume. This is similar to the question asked by an alcohol addict whether alcohol from beer is better than that from wine or distilled spirits. As you can imagine the chemical nature of alcohol is the same whether you consume it in any of the three forms mentioned. However, the percentage can vary from 5% in beer, 10-15% in wine, and 40-55% in spirits.

The glucose molecule is similar regardless of the grain it comes from. However, per 100-gram portion (about 7 tablespoons), the carbohydrate content can vary from 80% in white rice to 71% in wheat. Other popular foods that people consume because they are not considered true grains can also be high in carbohydrate content per 100 grams, such as buckwheat (71%) and quinoa (64%).

So, the real question is how much are you going to eat? As you can see, 100 grams of rice, wheat, or even quinoa provides a significant amount of carbohydrate that will be absorbed as glucose into the body. If you recall that 5 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar (glucose), consider these examples:

  • 100 grams of rice at 80% carbohydrate = 80 grams of carbohydrate = 20 teaspoons of sugar
  • 100 grams of quinoa at 64% carbohydrate = 64 grams of carbohydrate = 16 teaspoons of sugar

Doing this math can become very confusing if you try to account for the actual percentage of carbohydrate in a serving of grains or pseudo-grains like quinoa and buckwheat. It is far simpler and healthier to err on the safe side and just remember this basic ratio which I have rounded off for simplicity:

5 grams of any grain = 1 teaspoon of sugar = 5 grams of stored glucose

Given that liver only holds 120 grams of glucose stored as glycogen (24 teaspoons) at a time, any meal that includes more than about 120 grams of carbohydrate intake will produce excess glucose your body cannot utilize immediately and will need to be stored as fat. [This even assumes that the liver has fully exhausted all its glycogen reserves, which is usually not the case.)

If this glycogen is not utilized at some time, the excess glucose will eventually fill your fat cells and cause the switch to burning fatty acids, leaving you with high blood sugar and diabetes.

So as you can see, even eating quinoa and buckwheat is only slightly better than eating wheat, rice, or corn, but it is still enough to move you towards diabetes. This is why I suggest you avoid grains as much as possible, and focus your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables along with fish, meat, and dairy as you wish to lower your blood sugar and reverse your diabetes.

Dr John on DiabetesDiabetes: The Real Cause & The Right Cure. 
8 Steps to Reverse Your Diabetes in 8 Weeks!!

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