Buckwheat – Glucose Control vs. Gut-lining Damage

Gather ’round, buccanstockphoto19457465kwheat lovers and gluten-sensitive friends. This breakfast is for you! Today we departed from our usual barley breakfast to revisit buckwheat. Buckwheat, like all grain, is really a fruit seed. Buckwheat’s winning component: It doesn’t contain the gluten proteins that in some people causes allergic reactions and sometimes outright damage to the lining of the colon.

We hope is it also works for good glucose control.

Buckwheat is highly touted on many web sites as a low-GI grain. Actually its GI ranking is 54: better than white or brown rice, but not anything to write home about.

One popular site’s proclamation, “The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control,” might be true over the long-term. But to have an effect on today’s breakfast those nutrients would need to be absorbed almost instantly because most highly absorbable carbohydrate foods have a decided glucose-raising effect in only 20 minutes.

The buckwheat groats we started with were a beautiful pale beige-green, with a pleasant, slightly floral scent. Adding a few shakes of powdered cardamom accentuated its pleasing aroma.

I decided to enjoy the buckwheat with 15 grams of pumpkin seeds. What we hope is that the buckwheat helps maintain good glucose control, which is essential for any longevity diet. Yet buckwheat has a great glucose control competitor: Hulled barley. With an amazingly low Glucose Index ranking of only 7, hulled barley plus 120 grams of cranberries, 15 grams of pumpkin seeds raises my glucose only 10 points.

I didn’t add the cranberries to the buckwheat because the objective was a recipe that would work, whether or not people enjoy it with fruit.

When I began to cook the buckwheat I felt a bit of trepidation for the glucose effect to come. Unlike hulled barley – which breaks down slowly and takes about 20 minutes of simmering to cook to an al dente, low-GI consistency – the buckwheat took only five minutes of simmering to be declared done. Cooking it for 30 or so would turn it into mush. As a rule, the easier carbs are to cook and the more you cook them, the higher the GI effect: Easier absorption of water by the carb = easier absorption of its glucose by the bod = higher GI.

The next step in my experiment was to enjoy the buckwheat cereal with my trusty glucometer nearby. To not miss any glucose spikes, I decided to measure the blood glucose effects of the buckwheat every 20 minutes, as recommended in The CR Way to Great Glucose Control.

Read the entire blog: Buckwheat – Glucose Control vs. Gut-lining Damage, which includes the results of the buckwheat experiment by becoming a free Healthy Start member of LivingTheCRWay.com.


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