Sweet Potatoes Can Help Fight Diabetes
The main carbohydrate (read: sugar) source of the typical American dinner is either pasta, rice or potatoes. Anybody who is trying to keep their blood sugar down and improve their diabetes knows that these carbohydrates quickly convert into sugar during the digestion process, releasing a surge of insulin. This axis-of-evil blood-sugar-spikers are not a smart dining option for those looking to lose weight or lower their blood sugar levels.
Dinners are most often consumed at around 7:00 p.m. Few Americans go for very long walks after dinner or engage in other forms of exercise; the most common activity is watching T.V. Though eating occasional high-carb meals like rice, pasta and potatoes won’t necessarily guarantee inducing someone into a diabetic coma, these foods should be consumed rarely and certainly earlier in the day (lunch) so there is plenty of time to burn off the sugars.
Low-carb noodle and rice replacements like Miracle Noodle and Miracle Rice are perfect for those managing diabetes. Comprised entirely of fiber, Miracle Noodle products slightly expand in the stomach, helping you stay full, preventing the dangerous dietary pitfalls of cravings, largely brought on by consuming foods that burn up too quickly (carbohydrates).
But what about potatoes? A major staple of the American diet, can potatoes be a part of a healthy, low glycemic diet? Can they be added with Miracle Noodle products? And what’s the better potato: white or sweet?
White potatoes and the glycemic index
Baked potatoes with bacon, chives and sour cream....what carb-crazy dieter doesn’t like the sound of that mouth-watering side dish? Though adding butter or sour cream and bacon bits to a baked potato might not sound like a healthy option to some, it’s actually better than eating a potato plain.
The fat from the butter or sour cream will somewhat slow down the blood sugar spike that comes from the potato, especially a plain skinless white potato, which clocks in at a whopping 98 on the glycemic index (GI) scale. Eating the potato with the skin lowers the GI ranking to approximately 70, but even that number is way above the level considered high on the GI scale (55 and above is conisered high).
Russet potatoes and red potatoes might seem like a healthier option but really, they are not. They rank 111 and 89, respectively. Yes, 111...it’s not a misprint; it’s possible for something to rank higher than 100 on the scale. Glucose, a simple sugar also ranks higher than 100, so it’s easy to see how quickly some potatoes break down into simple sugars and raise blood sugar levels.
Sweet potatoes...lower on the GI scale but hold the fries
Boiled sweet potatoes are definitely a healthier option than white potatoes. They rank 44 on the GI scale, far lower than every variety of white potato. North Carolina State researchers confirmed in a study that sweet potatoes are low on the GI scale and can help improve diabetes.
And sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including, in a baked-in-skin, unsalted, one-cup serving:
- 7 grams of fiber
- 65% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C
- A huge amount of Vitamin A: nearly 800% of the daily intake suggestion
- anywhere from 12% to 30% of B vitamins
- Nearly a third recommended intake of potassium
Though sweet potatoes clearly have the nutritional edge over white potatoes, don’t assume that ordering sweet potato fries versus regular french fries means you’re getting the same benefits as eating a steamed or baked sweet potato.
For those watching their weight and trying to improve their diabetes and avoiding heart disease, eating anything fried is highly discouraged. Sweet potatoes cooked in vegetable oil have a much higher ranking on the GI scale (70 or higher). Plus, vegetable oils turn rancid when cooked, which could be a big reason why chronic inflammation and heart disease is so prevalent in our modern society.
If you’re going to make homemade sweet potato fries from time to time, opt instead for coconut oil or even unrefined lard. Despite the connotation of lard, when it’s unprocessed and exposed to heat it does not spoil or chemically denature like vegetable oils do.
Sweet Potatoes and Miracle Noodle: Partners in a Dietary Crime, or a Match so Divine?
Nutritionists urge dieters to not eat more than one primary source of carbohydrate during one sitting. For example, never eat spaghetti and mashed potatoes. The double high-carb load of the noodles and potatoes would certainly make your blood sugar spike and then cause an energy crash. After the crash is experienced, people who are not nutritionally literate often reach for another high-carb option like a dessert.
So wouldn’t eating Miracle Noodle and a sweet potato go against the rule of eating only one major carb at a time? No, because Miracle Noodles are comprised entirely of fiber of a plant, they contain virtually no carbohydrates, ranking them zero (0) on the GI scale. So you can eat your favorite Miracle Noodle product at the same time as sweet potatoes.
In fact, here’s a couple recipes that combines both. The first one comes to Miracle Noodle courtesy of Dana McDowell.
Waldorf Miracle Rice Salad
1 Sweet Potato Cubed
1 Red Apple Cubed
1 Stalk Celery Diced
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Package Miracle Rice
Steam sweet potato 5-6 minutes then rinse under cold water.
Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, and cinnamon together.
Combine sweet potato, apple, celery, and cranberries, and Miracle Rice. Toss with the yogurt dressing.
Serve on a bed of your favorite greens, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Miracle Noodle with Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Garlicky Kale
Time: 20 minutes
1 small bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 8 to 10 stalks)( you can use spinach if you prefer)
1 large sweet potato, cubed (about 3 cups, skin on)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bags of Miracle Noodle Angel Hair, Fettuccine, or Ziti shirataki pasta
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup toasted pine nuts(optional)
Juice of ½ lemon
Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Put a pot of well-salted water on to boil.
- Prepare all veggies for cooking.
- Add Miracle Noodle to boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain and return noodles to a hot skillet and move around the pan for 1-2 minutes. This will remove some of the moisture from the noodles. Set noodles aside in a bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add oil, a few pinches of sea salt and sweet potatoes. Cook, uncovered, without stirring, 5 minutes. Toss potatoes once, cover skillet with lid, and cook 5 minutes more .
- Add garlic, kale, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Crush a few tomatoes on the bottom of the skillet so that their juices are released (this will help steam the kale). Cook just until the kale has wilted and turns bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. (Do not overcook!) Remove from heat. Squeeze lemon juice over the vegetables. (Bonus: Lemon juice's vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron from the kale.)
- Toss Miracle Noodles with olive oil. Add sautéed vegetables and pine nuts and toss. Season with sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Sarah Britton, a holistic nutritionist, vegetarian chef, and the creator of the award-winning blog My New Roots. Sarah is currently a chef at three organic restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she has earned praise for her creative and adventurous recipes. A certified nutritional practitioner, she is also the founder of New Roots Holistic Nutrition, where she educates others to be an active participant in their own health and healing.
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