Carbohydrates, Inflammation, and Death

I recently read a scientific paper that found an association between glycemic index of a person’s diet and their risk of death from disease of inflammation and oxidation. The study followed about 2,700 people for can average of 14 years and found that the women who ate ate the highest glycemic diet (see 27 High Glycemic Foods list for more) were at a 2.9x greater risk of dying an ‘inflammatory death’ (that just sounds horrible too, doesn’t it?).

Eating less potatoes decreased your risk while eating more refined sugars increased your risk – not too surprising.

Keeping this research in mind I urge you today to make a conscious effort to eat a low glycemic diet. One of my favorite low GI foods are chickpeas. Here are two ways to get chickpeas in your diet today.

1. Hummus – Hummus (ground up chickpeas with oil and tahini) has a GI of 4. It doesn’t get much lower than that! Have some hummus today as a snack with cucumber and red bell pepper strips for dipping.

2. Roasted Chickpeas – This is something Emily and I have been enjoying lately (and it is very simple to make). Rinse a can of low sodium chickpeas and pat them dry with a paper towel. Next, spread the chickpeas out on a baking sheet and coat with a little canola oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes (until they start to get crunchy). Enjoy!

What is your favorite way to eat chickpeas? Post a comment and let me know?

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  1. John March 10, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Tossed with a little greek dressing & non-fat feta cheese.

  2. Carrie March 10, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Great advice about a low GI diet. The roasted chickpeas are a great snack. One piece of advice, try to stay away from the canola oil. It’s high in omega 6 fatty acids which lead to inflammation. It oxidizes very quickly at high temps. A little coconut oil would be a good option for baking or sauteing as it does not oxidize as fast.

    • Mike Roussell, PhD March 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      Carrie – I’m on my way to being addicted to roasted chickpeas.

      There is actually some newer data showing that canola oil doesn’t oxidize when used in cooking situations.

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