…and this experiment is failing.
Today I measured my blood sugar…every hour, from 8AM till 7PM, and documented what I ate, so I could learn the effect that my new higher-carb diet is having on my endothelium. Well, I learned. And it isn’t good.
8:00AM – Fasting blood sugar today was 138 mg/dL.
It’s been on the rise, and these days it’s high whether or not I eat starches. I got up twice in the middle of the night last night and had a snack, trying to avoid the Dawn Phenomenon (stress hormones causing a large release of glucose into the blood). Didn’t work…but it was better than yesterday! Yesterday’s fasting blood sugar was 147. These are the highest fasting blood sugar readings I’ve ever recorded…and I’ve been recording them with some regularity for the last 20 months or so.
8:45 AM – Breakfast: 5 grapes, milk with honey mixed in, 8oz of orange juice. About 10 minutes later I realized there wasn’t much protein or fat there and I had 2 eggs scrambled in coconut oil. Here’s the breakdown of my breakfast:
- Calories: 536
- Protein: 22g (18% of calories)
- Carbohydrate: 76g (54% of calories)
- Fat: 17g (29% of calories)
9:45 AM – 1 hour after eating
- Blood sugar: 295
Holy Schnikeys! I’ve never seen a number like that on my meter. That’s like…really fucking high! I washed my hands – cuz maybe there was a drizzle of honey stuck on my finger or something – and then tested again…still fucking high.
- I felt fine, a little low energy.
- Temp and pulse were good – 98.7 and 87, respectively.
10:45 AM – 2 hours after eating
- Blood sugar: 186
Ok, now this is where I started to get worried. It’s one thing to clobber my body with a bunch of simple sugars and have my 1-hour post-prandial reading be high (…or really fucking high…) but the 2-hour reading shouldn’t be over 140, even by pretty conservative standards.
Uh…hm. I guess maybe I’m diabetic?
Well, there are ways to determine this for sure. What a doctor will typically do, given my fasting blood sugar reading and my post-prandial sugar levels, is order a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). This involves the patient ingesting 60 grams of easily-digestible carbohydrates and then measuring blood sugar every hour for the next 3 hours. I had this done when I was pregnant at 28 weeks (and I failed…hello gestational diabetes). Well, I don’t need no stinking doctor…I can measure out 60 grams of carbs and see what my body does for the next 3 hours. And I’m going to do this tomorrow. So stay tuned.
Ok, back to my freak out.
OMG OMG OMG…diabetic? Like for reals diabetic? Without the “pre-” in front of it?
Anyway, on with my day.
At this point I was questioning everything. Maybe Ray Peat is brilliant but doesn’t really know shit about impaired blood sugar management?
11:45 AM – 3 hours after breakfast
- Blood sugar: 112 (whew…at least I’m prolly not gonna die TODAY.)
- Temp: 98.8
- Pulse: 86
- Blood pressure: 141/89
- Felt ok, no hunger, low energy
12:00 Noon – Ate lunch. Decided to do another test. My body didn’t like simple sugars much so how about complex carbs? Ate a really big meal of the following: 7oz boiled potatoes, 3 T. butter, 3 T. sour cream, an egg, and some cheese. The meal was 52% fat, 39% carbohydrate, and 9% protein. And a lot of calories.
1:00 PM – 1 hour after eating
- Blood sugar: 94
Wha? What the hell is that? I’m diabetic dammit! Where’s my 3-figure blood sugar reading? Are potatoes some kind of miracle food that lowers blood sugar?
- Temp and pulse remained steady at 98.6 and 88.
- Felt ok, no hunger, a little lethargic.
2:00 PM – 2 hours after eating
- Blood sugar: 133.
My notes next to this reading in my notebook say, “Weird.”
I guess it’s not that weird though…the huge amount of fat I put on the potato slowed the absorption of the sugar into my system. Didn’t hit at one hour, it hit at 2 hours. But even that hit is pretty mild.
3:00 PM – 3 hours after eating
- Blood sugar: 125
- Temp/pulse: 98.6/88
- Hunger – 0
4:00 PM – 4 hours after eating
- Blood sugar: 113
- Temp/pulse: 98.8/84
- Hunger – 0
5:00 PM – 5 hours after eating
- Blood sugar: 102
- Temp/pulse: 98.8/85
- Hunger – 1
So summary up to this point: Eating simple sugars gives me the blood sugar of a diabetic. Eating potatoes with lots of fat keeps me satiated for 5 hours and doesn’t have much impact on blood sugar. Not what I would have expected! And then….
5:45 PM – Ate dinner. More potatoes (4 oz), 1 T coconut oil, 1 T sour cream, and an egg. The meal was 61% fat, 11% protein, and 27% carbohydrate.
6:45 PM – 1 hour after eating
- Blood sugar: 161
Huh…well, maybe I needed to really douse those potatoes in fat the way I did at lunch to suppress the rise in blood sugar? Whatever. So confusing. No fun when your experiments aren’t replicated.
Didn’t get to check my blood sugar at the 2 hour mark because I was putting my little girl to bed, but I checked about a half hour later. it was 125.
Overall summary: Simple sugars make me diabetic. Potatoes aren’t magical after all. Fat is magical but only in extremely large quantities. Interestingly, the potatoes and massive quantities of fat were so satisfying I ate about 500 calories less today than yesterday, with no hunger.
Going Forward: It’s time to get serious about managing my blood sugar. I’m going to do the homemade GTT tomorrow, just to get a baseline, and then after that I’m going to be limiting carbohydrates to about 15g per meal. I’ll also be exercising most days – probably a combination of light cardio (e.g., walking) and lifting weights. I’ll continue eating Peat-friendly foods, and I’ll continue tracking my temps and pulses. If they suffer or if I start feeling depressed most days I’ll think about adding T3.
On a side note: One thing is for sure….No matter what, I’m going to keep eating liver. My skin looks amazing! Love that Vitamin A. Old acne scars have even disappeared.
Will report the results of my Glucose Tolerance Test.
Today I’m thankful to have the time, the means, and the intellect to be able to experiment like this and interpret the results. I’m a very fortunate person indeed.
Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. Happy Thanksgiving.