There is no single food that causes more downfalls to diabetes control than mashed potatoes. Potatoes. a high glycemic form of carbohydrate are said to increase insulin resistance and the risk of Type 2 diabetes. A favorite side dish of the American Thanksgiving feast, spuds of all fashions make blood sugar levels soar, but there are three things you can do to minimize, or even eliminate, the damage.
1. Just say no to instant: When nutritional researchers measured the glycemic index of instant mashed potatoes, they found that the instant mashers made blood sugar levels go up faster even than eating glucose tablets. That seems a little unlikely, until you consider what’s really in instant potatoes.
There are all kinds of additives, flavorings, and stabilizers designed to keep the flakes from smushing together in the box. When these chemical additives get into your system, you have an immediate reaction.
Without getting into the chemistry, this can be a “fast” allergic reaction or a slower immune sensitivity reaction, but both cause your adrenal glands to release cortisol, which in turn makes blood sugar levels go up. Simply peeling potatoes, boiling them, and mashing them up, makes their impact on glucose control much easier to manage. Instant has a glycemic index of about 110. Boiled red Russets have a glycemic index of about 78.
2. Don’t eat them piping hot: Another factor that gets overlooked in choosing foods to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible is heat. Hot foods… although not scalding hot foods… are digested more quickly than warm or room-temperature foods. If you just let your food cool down before you eat it, your body will digest it more slowly, and your pancreas will have more time to release the insulin needed to transport digested sugars where they need to go. You can still make your blood sugars soar out of control by eating too much cold carbohydrate food, but all other things being equal, warm food or cold food is better for diabetics than piping hot food.
3. Try cauliflower: If you trim away the green leaves before boiling, boiled cauliflower has the same color as boiled spuds. If you put an unshelled walnut in the water with the cauliflower while it’s boiling, the walnut soaks up the “cabbage” flavor and the result tastes like potatoes. If you thoroughly drain the cauliflower in a colander before mashing, getting every last drop of cooking liquid out, then you have the same consistency as mashed spuds. But you’ll have 80 per cent less carbohydrate.