High Carb Low Fat – Day 6

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 135.

Well, hm…

This morning I had a message waiting for me from a friend who read yesterdays blog post, in which I commented that I was having hot flashes since increasing my thrice-daily dose of niacinamide from 100mg to 250mg.  She informed me that niacinamide shouldn’t cause a “flushing” response and that what I was experiencing was likely a stress response.  Niacinamide inhibits the release of free fatty acids from the cells, allowing the body to gradually detoxify itself of stored polyunsaturated fats. Ray Peat says this is a good thing.  Well, if there are fewer fatty acids released into the bloodstream, you need enough fuel in the form of food (specifically, sugar) or the body turns on stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) to break down proteins/muscle for fuel.  In other words, if you’re going to take large doses of niacinamide, you better be eating a lot of sugar – and you probably need to be able to store it well to be used throughout the day.  I guess my 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein wasn’t enough.

This explains my still-high fasting blood sugar, despite eating low fat for 5 days now.  Stress hormones are turning on and staying high overnight because my body is out of fuel.

Well, I got this information this morning, and set about to eat lots and lots of sugar today to see if I could turn off the hot-flash stress response.  But today, despite eating 100 grams of sugar more than usual, I continued to have the hot flashes.  So maybe my body isn’t storing glucose effectively yet.  Maybe my current physiological state can’t handle that much niacinamide without invoking a stress response.  So tomorrow it’s back to 100mg 3x a day.  I felt fine on that dose.  I predict my fasting blood sugar will be under 120 again within 2 days.

Here were my macros today:


And my nutrient breakdown:


The nutrients look a whole lot like they did yesterday.  Actually, that’s how they look just about every day.  Almost enough folate and potassium, short on manganese, and everything else looking good.  I checked into sources of manganese – looks like spinach is a good source.  Other than that, there’s nuts, fish, and a bunch of other things that are high in PUFAs.  I’ll make spinach tomorrow.

13 thoughts on “High Carb Low Fat – Day 6

  1. Karin

    Hi there. Sorry to leave you hanging. My 9 year old had a stomach bug and my 2 year old is….well, 2. 🙂


    So, in the post above, Masterjohn discusses the prevalence of fatty liver, (experienced by about 1 in 3 Americans) especially among people who are diabetic/insulin resistant, and how it’s one of the very best predictors of cardiovascular disease. He claims that obesity/metabolic syndrome is a better indicator of fatty liver than liver enzymes, which tend to be normal in people with fatty livers. He also talks about how the liver will export fat into the blood if provided with the nutrients it needs to metabolize it, such as choline.

    In the podcast below, he talks about how one’s blood lipids might go up while one is losing weight on a more nutrient-dense diet that contains abundant choline/folate, again because the liver is able to metabolize it’s fat and export it into the blood stream. He stresses that blood lipid testing is only an accurate indicator of what is going on in the body after weight has been stabilized.


    Anyway, he’s got lots of articles that deal with this topic, but a consistent theme is that people who are dealing with insulin resistance can generally be assumed to have fatty liver, and that fatty liver is avoided and resolved in the context of a nutrient dense (especially choline-rich) diet.

    So essentially, I think that if your blood sugar is improving and you are consistently losing weight, you are on the right track, and that your blood lipids are not going to tell you much about how the experiment is going in real time.

    A few months after my 2 year old was born, I was at my heaviest weight ever, despite the fact that I was restricting calories more than ever. I recall having a hardened/engorged stomach. Even after I had lost about 20 pounds, I remember being frustrated that that hardness didn’t go away. And then almost suddenly, over the course of the next couple of pounds, I noticed that there was an extreme softening of my stomach. My stomach still had fat, but it seemed like it was the subcutaneous/”feminine” version, rather than the visceral fat that we tend to associate with men’s apple shapes. My restricted diet had evolved to be more nutrient dense and heavy in eggs/greens, and I now suspect that my liver had suddenly let go of it’s fat. Unfortunately, I have no labs to prove that, but I wonder if you are experiencing any softening around your abdominal area?

    P.S. You have inspired me to try a low fat, no-starch/high sucrose day today.

  2. Karin

    I have come to believe that the degenerative illness that we see in the west is less about excess, as it is typically portrayed, and more about malnutrition/nutrient scarcity.

  3. Yup…and mental illness too. Not all of it, but a lot of the anxiety and depression that everyone is medicating themselves for could be resolved with an appropriate diet.

  4. Well this is interesting, and I’ll definitely read more about it, but I’m not sure it applies to me. I’m not losing weight (just yo-yoing a few pounds) , and I’ve had a choline-rich diet for a couple of years. Still, I really appreciate this, especially since your hands are full otherwise!

  5. Karin

    Yeah, I did think that your diet has been choline rich, but thought that perhaps the addition of liver was new, and that that might be providing some additional co-factors?

    Also, I thought that the lack of fat in the blood might be stimulating the liver to release more?

    More questions than answers, I know. I’m really interested in learning the fundamental biochemistry underlying all of it.

  6. Karin

    Also, I don’t know how long you’ve been using coconut oil, but I recall seeing somewhere that it is an effective aid to reducing liver fat.

    (Again, please don’t think that I am making assumptions about your physiology. I’m just wanting to present possibilities, especially because I’m sure that many of your readers might be dealing with these issues. I wish I could go back and edit comments, even for grammar/punctuation).

  7. I don’t think you’re making assumptions – It’s all just interesting and it’s nice to have people around willing to help me toss ideas around! I had that blood draw done after a week of eating whatever I wanted, including starches and lots of fat (over 100g/day). I’m not sure what causes the high trigs, but conventional wisdom says it’s related to high carbohydrate intake. Well, you know how I feel about conventional wisdom…but it is true that they’ve gone up since I started eating sugars. I’m going to continue on with this plan for now (no starches, low fat, taking niacinamide and aspirin and keeping sugar high) and I’ll retest in a month or so. If things aren’t heading in the right direction I’ll have some serious thinking to do. 🙂

  8. I’ve been eating coconut oil for a couple of years now. And don’t worry about grammar and stuff….doesn’t matter in the big picture. But I laugh because I’m just like you that way.

  9. newtopaleo

    Bummer about the niacinamide. You think its pushing estrogen out of the cells? Would be nice to get Peats interpretation on that. Maybe you can ramp it up slowly. I still think you are too high carbs based on your labs. Maybe a bit more thyroid can get things cranking. Meanwhile keep trying to lower the serotonin. For you I think thats the roadblock.

  10. I don’t know if it was a stress response or pushing estrogen around. In any case, I stopped feeling great yesterday and I feel also not-so-great today, mood-wise. Could be the time of month, or could be something the niacinamide was doing. Hard to say. I’ll try to increase gradually. You might be right about too much sugar…labs will let me know in 3 weeks or so. I’ve added a little more thyroid a week ago (was taking just 1/4 tab cynoplus, now I’m taking that 2x a day). I agree, serotonin is my nemesis. I have many issues. 😦

  11. Karin

    So I was pretty confident that today’s lowfat, no-starch, high fructose experiment would go well. Holy moly, by mid-afternoon, I felt so out of control, I was scared that I was going to inhale everything in my fridge. I am in awe of your fortitude. I don’t think I could ever do this unless everything else in my life was going absolutely perfectly.

    What deep self-loathing compelled me to make my kids a gluten-free chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, I will never know.

  12. OMG – you rock for trying it! I know, it’s hard, right? I laughed out loud about the cake. When you don’t eat starches it’s hard to stay satiated – I graze all day long – I probably eat every 1-2 hours. I really miss being able to forget about food, the way I could during my low-carb days. I’m driven by fear of leaving my daughter (an only child) without a mother. And seriously, I feel terrible if I eat starches. You’ve seen my depression posts. It’s awful. So it’s worth it to me to power though this. Also, how cool would it be to find out that sugar doesn’t cause diabetes! Anyway, glad you tried it. 🙂

  13. Hey, you know on the RP forum there’s an interesting thread about niacinamide being used to reduce serotonin. Maybe an unexpected benefit for me.

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