An interesting fact: Whole wheat bread (glycemic index 72) increases blood sugar as much as or more than table sugar, or sucrose (glycemic index 59). (Glucose increases blood sugar to 100, hence a glycemic index of 100. The extent to which a particular food increases blood sugar relative to glucose determines that food’s glycemic index.)
The early phase of growing visceral fat and diabetes is accompanied by a 50 percent increase in pancreatic beta cells responsible for producing insulin, a physiologic adaptation to meet the enormous demands of a body that is resistant to insulin. But beta cell adaptation has limits.
High blood sugars, such as those occurring after a nice cranberry muffin consumed on the car ride to work, provoke the phenomenon of “glucotoxicity,” actual damage to pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells that results from high blood sugars.15
Diabetes as a by-product of carbohydrate intolerance is actively being advocated by vocal physicians and researchers such as Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University; Dr. Mary Vernon, former medical director of the University of Kansas Weight Control Program and past president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians; and prolific researcher Dr. Jeff Volek of the University of Connecticut.