Wednesday, April 16, 2014
This one was somewhat unexpected. I wanted to try one of the Quest protein bars which have a half-decent ingredient list and relatively low net-carbs. The sweeteners are all supposed to be very low-glycemic. The variety I tried was one of the two without sucralose (Splenda), Lemon Cream Pie
I wanted to like this one, hoping that I may have found an easy occasional protein source for use after a hard workout when I don't have time to make food.
The taste was ok, pretty chewy, not great, I don't expect gourmet food from a protein bar.
But I tested my blood sugar several times. After 30 minutes it was 122, after 45 minutes it was 147, after 90 minutes it was 129 and after 2 hours finally back at 110.
I think I will have to skip the Quest bars, maybe they are processed too much. I can do better for the about 2.50 they cost. They are gluten-free and would work as an emergency ration.
The day until the Quest bar was uneventful as far as blood sugars:
8:40 am 87
11:30 am 93
12:30 pm 97
1:30 pm 93
3:30 pm 105 after having yogurt with rhubarb and nuts with "Just like Sugar" sweetener
I may give the experimenting a rest for a while. I've tested so many foods that I have a very wide variety of things I know I can eat and in what quantity. I may test blood sugars just once or twice a day for a while.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I'm not kidding, the local diabetes meeting was filled with confusing and contradictory information. The dietician that gave the talk probably had no choice but to present the new guidelines of the American Diabetes Association. I suspect her knowledge base was heavily influenced (or shall we say limited) by sources that the American Diabetes Association uses.
Overall there were some hopeful signs. Some things were not outright condemned any more, among them a low-carb diet. Instead it was said that there is no set macronutrient ratio that is recommended. It was also said that omega-3 fatty acids are useless for diabetes unless they come from natural foods like fish.
It was mentioned that a high-fiber diet has been shown to NOT be helpful in diabetic patients.
Some stuff was horribly misleading: Trans fats, cholesterol and saturated fats were all mentioned as one category with no mention of the fact that the first is man-made, the others are natural foods. Polyunsaturated fatty acids were recommended, regardless of source (whether from corn, soy, canola or flax) and no mention was made of the fact that these oils are often full of processing chemicals (in particular soy and canola) and are not heat stable and therefore often rancid at time of consumption.
There was also no difference mentioned between saturated fats from animals that were raised in factory farms on GMO corn and soy and animals that were pasture-fed. The nutrient profile is very different, with the latter containing much more omega 3 fatty acids and CLA's (conjugated linoleic acids).
Further, the argument was made that starches are to be preferred over processed sugar because they supposedly raise blood sugar more slowly, not my experience at all. In fact, given that sugar is broken down into glucose and fructose and fructose is processed by the liver and does not spike insulin quickly (although does plenty of harm in the liver) it stands to reason that starches like flour/bread raise blood sugar more quickly than sugar.
When talking about alcohol the only effect that was mentioned was the fact that the consumption of alcohol can lead to dangerously low blood sugars in diabetics. The effect that both alcohol and fructose have in causing fatty liver was not mentioned, even though good liver function is a very important factor in blood sugar regulation.
I had the chance to share at the meeting that I had experimented for the last 3 weeks with finding out my body's blood sugar response to many different foods. The Diabetes educator answered by saying that I am the exception, that most diabetics are not willing to test their response to foods. I was wondering if they were just never told that this is an effective option.
In any case, I was pretty wide awake during the meeting because I could only get regular coffee instead of my usual decaf. I suspect that this was the reason for my somewhat high blood sugar levels two hours afterwards. Caffeine works as a stimulant by causing a release of sugar into the blood stream. Now I know to stay with decaf.
Here are today's stats:
8:40 am 92
12 noon 99
4:30 pm 111
6:00 pm 93
9:30 pm 120
average blood sugar: 103
high blood sugar: 120
low blood sugar: 92
Monday, April 14, 2014
Everything was back to normal yesterday. I did not eat any higher carb foods. I did low-level exercise throughout most of the day, cleaning up at the barn, steam-cleaning and cleaning up our bedroom and walking with the dogs and the horse.
8:00 am 97
11:20 am 107
1:30 pm 90
5:00 pm 97
9:30 pm 95
average blood sugar: 97
high blood sugar: 107
low blood sugar: 95
Sunday, April 13, 2014
I wish I knew exactly why, but can only guess why some of my blood sugars were so high today. Was it the fact that I did not move much this morning? Was it the fact that I had a large breakfast, incl. both an omelet with veggies and also a small portion of yogurt, berries and walnuts? Was it the sugar-free chocolate I had last night? Was it totally unrelated, maybe some accidental wheat ingestion? Some inaccuracy of the glucometer is most likely part of it, too.
I'll never know and it is not really that important. If this happens several more times (and it will) then eventually the evidence will mount one way or the other.
One thing that was very interesting and helpful to observe is the fact that when my blood sugar was around 140 I had cravings for fruit and chocolate, not really intense and irresistible, but noticeable, especially given the fact that I had just had fruit about an hour before.
blood sugars, incl. several re-tests:
10:04 am 105 retest 111 2nd retest 119
10:55 am 90
breakfast of omelett with veggies, small sering of yogurt with fruit and nuts
12:15 pm 142 retest 148 2nd retest 136
a few pushups and a short walk
12:45 pm 91
snack: 3 tbsp. almond butter
4:00 pm 87
8:20 pm 89
dinner beef sausage and green beans
9:30 pm 106
10:30 pm 101
With these unususal numbers an average is not very meaningful but here it is: 102
high blood sugar 148
low blood sugar 87
Saturday, April 12, 2014
After both my physician and a local diabetes educator expressed doubts that I am insulin-resistant, based on the fact that my weight and body fat % is in the normal range but my last A1c level was at 5.8 in spite of being on a low-carbohydrate diet it seemed quite possible that my pancreas is not producing too much insulin (as is characteristic of insulin-resistance) but rather too little insulin. This usually happens when the beta-cells of the pancreas are reduced in number/dying because of auto-immune problems. When this happens in adults the condition is referred to as LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults).
There are a number of blood tests that will help decide what is going on. The ones I had was the C-peptide test which tells if the pancreas produces any insulin. I also had the GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) antibody test.
For anyone who is interested in how these tests are used to distinguish type 2 diabetes/insulin resistance from LADA read here:
une_diabetes_of_adults or one the bloodsugar101 website.
My C-peptide result was 1.4 which is in the normal range. The GAD test was negative. This means that it is very unlikely that I have LADA.
The reason this is important for me to share is that many people who are slim with normal body fat% think that they could not possibly be insulin-resistant and most doctors and even diabetes educators will agree. This can lead to a delay in the diagnosis of insulin-resistance when it is still relatively easy to take steps to lower blood sugar through life-style changes before there are side-effects from pre-diabetes or diabetes, including significant weight gain.
I'm hoping that by sharing my experience that others will have their blood sugar levels tested, especially if there is anyone with diabetes in their family, even if they are at ideal weight and/or athletic.
I lost 4 lbs. of body fat (not weight) in only one month when my starting weight was the same it is now, 132 lbs. . This tells me that monitoring my blood sugar levels closely these last few weeks and eliminating foods that pushed them too high, kept my insulin levels low enough that my body could burn it's own fat for energy rather than storing calories I ate as fat. A little more exercise helped as well.
To sum it all up: It sure looks like watching carbs and blood sugars closely for a while works great to lose body fat, regardless whether overall weight goes down or not.
Also, it is quite possible to be insulin-resistant and normal weight.
Today's blood sugar levels were:
12:30 pm 85
lunch of yogurt, nuts and 3 oz. of berries
2:30 pm 97
early dinner of salad with lettuce, chicken, bacon, cheese, onion, celery, nuts
5:30 pm 102
7:50 pm 92
2nd dinner of double quarter pounder w/cheese minus the bun
10:30 pm 107
average blood sugar: 96
high blood sugar: 107
low blood sugar: 85
I've gone through almost 3 boxes of 50 test strips by now (about 20 were wasted or used to confirm results). I think I may go to checking my levels a little less from now on, maybe just fasting and then after meals, unless I try out new foods.
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