Potatoes in the life of the Believer are a precious source of energy but how they are grown and prepared is of critical importance.
Good morning and welcome to our second day of discussing the place of carbs in the life of a Christian. That may sound like a very strange subject coming from a church, so I’ll start with a little anecdote.
Twenty years ago I weighed 10kg more than I do now. My blood pressure was too high and I was regularly having severe episodes of back pain. Studying the nature of starches became a consuming interest and is part of the reason that now in our mid seventies, neither the good wife nor I take any medication.
Yesterday my GP took my blood pressure; 120/83. It doesn't get better than that; and it starting dropping I think since I began to understand and formulate this principle of potatoes in the life of the Believer.
It’s all about taking good care of the temple where Almighty God dwells. The lower back still troubles, but only occasionally; a disciplined daily set of exercises means it is infrequent.
Firstly alas we start once again with a little science. Starches consist of long chains of sugar molecules. When digested, beginning with thorough chewing in the mouth and then in the small intestine they form glucose which is absorbed into the blood and fed to the liver for processing. Too much of a good thing and you end up with diabetes.
Or are starches a bad thing? Some would have you believe that and they should be avoided entirely; no bread, potatoes or butternut. The devil is in the detail.
After cooking starches, if you then cool them overnight, bonds form between these long chains of glucose molecules making them more difficult for the enzymes to digest; the sugars are released slowly causing less of a surge and some pass right through to the colon.
It’s called retrogradation. So if you are overweight or prediabetic then chill your carbs before enjoying them; it lowers the glycemic index. If you are planning on a potato salad for the Sunday lunch, boil the spuds the night before and refrigerate them overnight.
You can reheat them in the morning; those links remain intact.
And now for another anecdote, one that made me sit up and take note. Some years back a man who was seriously diabetic, on insulin, told me that he could eat new potatoes with little affect on his blood sugar. But those from cold storage meant he needed an extra squirt of the medication.
He was right. New potatoes have about a third less starch; you should be able to scrape the skin off with your thumbnail. Best of all grow them yourself. Commercially they are sprayed with a very toxic herbicide called Paraquat just before harvesting.
Remember, Blue Zone people who live such long and healthy lives grow much of their own food; they wouldn’t be exposed to highly glycemic potatoes from cold storage and Paraquat residues in their braised spuds.
I recommend you keep your craving for slap chips for the odd visit to the beach. They have a very high glycemic index, close to that of sugar; and deep frying in seed oils is inflammatory.
Better still enjoy braised new potatoes cooked in coconut oil; and a little butter.
Then adding fat and protein to your mashed potato further lowers the GI. Gravy, a helping of green beans or a portion of chicken further reduces that likelihood of a blood glucose surge.
Have only one starch at a meal if you are battling with your weight; never potato and pumpkin and prepare tomorrow’s starch today. Cool it overnight. Do not eat bread straight from the oven, piping hot; delectable but not good for us.
Potatoes incidentally have ten times as much magnesium as most other vegetables. It’s an extremely important mineral; on the commercial diet most of us get less than half the recommended daily allowance. Keep the cooking water and use it for gravies and soups.
There are other complexities which we don’t have time for. To summarise, if you are overweight have only small portions of potato, or none at all, and make sure they have been retrograded overnight. Seek out new spuds; more expensive but a lot cheaper than insulin. Better still, grow a little patch yourself if you have a garden.
Always after a starchy meal, take a short walk. Much of that potato is turned into glycogen for the muscles instead of glucose to be stored in the adipose.
In short potatoes are good food but there are certain important rules to be followed. Nothing is simple when it comes to godly eating, and the Devil certainly has a way of twisting it for the downfall of many.
God bless and have a good day as you ruminate on these matters; may that which is from Him stick. Tomorrow we look at mealies.
Potatoes in the life of the believer weighs the ups and downs of this vegetable that is so rich in nutrients.
Wherever possible try to find new potatoes; you may have to grow them yourself. When cooking them allow your spuds to retrograde overnight.
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