Can I eat quinoa? 29. July 2011 William Davis (15) . . . or beans, or brown rice, or sweet potatoes? Or how about amaranth, sorghum, oats, and buckwheat? Surely corn on the cob is okay!These are, of course, non-wheat carbohydrates. They lack several crucial undesirable ingredients found in our old friend, wheat, including no:Gliadin--The protein that degrades to exorphins, the compound from wheat digestion that exerts mind effects and stimulates appetite to the tune of 400 additional calories (on average) per day. Gluten--The family of proteins that trigger immune diseases and neurologic impairment.Amylopectin A--The highly-digestible "complex" carbohydrate that is no better--worse, in fact--than table sugar. So why not eat these non-wheat grains all you want? If they don't cause appetite stimulation, behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD, addictive consumption of foods, dementia (i.e., gluten encephalopathy), etc., why not just eat them willy nilly?Because they still increase blood sugar. Conventional wisdom is that these foods trend towards having a lower glycemic index than, say, table sugar, meaning it raises blood glucose less. That's true . . . but very misleading. Oats, for instance, with a glycemic index of 55 compared to table sugar's 59, still sends blood sugar through the roof. Likewise, quinoa with a glycemic index of 53, will send blood sugar to, say, 150 mg/dl compared to 158 mg/dl for table sugar--yeah, sure, it's better, but it still stinks. And that's in non-diabetics. It's worse in diabetics. Of course, John Q. Internist will tell you that, provided your blood sugars after eating don't exceed 200 mg/dl, you'll be okay. What he's really saying is "There's no need for diabetes medication, so you're okay. You will still be exposed to the many adverse health consequences of high blood sugar similar to, though less quickly than, a full diabetic, but that's not my problem."In reality, most people can get away with consuming some of these non-wheat grains . . . provided portion size is limited. Beyond limiting portion size, there are two ways to better manage your carbohydrate sensitivity to ensure that metabolic distortions, such as high blood sugar, glycation, and small LDL particles, are not triggered. More on that in the future.