This is the 2nd blog post analysing my results from another week of monitoring my blood sugar levels whilst consuming different gluten free carbs and sugars.
To apply my learnings from week 1, in practical terms, working towards a sustainable diet that optimises mood, sleep and energy.
The week consisted of the following:
Eating fat and protein for breakfast, then carbs twice a day, with 20g of protein and/or fat for lunch and dinner.
The carbs: White rice, oats and normal potato
Whilst monitoring my blood sugar levels, I also monitored mood, sleep, energy levels and digestion.
I am delighted to say my energy is still great, actually better than last week, thanks to cutting out the carbs that didn’t agree with me. My sleep and concentration has remained the same. I have noticed my digestion is better again, it slowed down last week with what felt like an overload of carbs. I’ve worked out a lot and my muscle recovery has been quick, which I feel is due to quickly replacing glycogen with white rice, within 15-20 minutes of training.
New this week:
Sugars: I’m know for saying ‘sugar, is sugar, is sugar, is sugar’ natural or not, our bodies respond the same to sugar as it causes a spike in insulin. What better way to test this, than with the blood glucose monitor?
However it is important to note that an insulin spike isn’t the only problem/consideration with sugar, a few other points to note:
- It causes inflammation
- Fructose is a form of sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey and is 100% metabolised in the liver. One of the end products of fructose in the liver is triglyceride, a form of fat. Triglycerides can build up in liver cells and damage liver function. The liver is responsible for a number of vital functions, including controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood, breaking down food and turning it into energy, so all of these can be affected by excessive fructose.
- Unlike glucose, fructose doesn’t trigger the production of leptin, which tells us to stop eating. Fructose can actually raise our levels of ghrelin, which is the hormone that makes us think we’re hungry, therefore causing us to eat more.
I tested dates (fructose), fresh fruit (fructose) and chocolate (sucrose). All caused significant spikes, similar levels to the peaks I saw from sweet potato. That’s not to say they are all equal from an overall nutritional perspective, conventional chocolate has by far the most empty calories out of the list, containing preservatives, bad fats and additives, whereas sweet potato has natural vitamins that my body would be benefiting from.
Reference sugars, one thing to note is sugar in liquid form causes the biggest spike as it is more quickly absorbed into the blood stream than solids. I tested one of my green vegetable based juices and actually did see a big spike, but nothing compared to a green Innocent smoothie I tried. When I added collagen or a fat to my juice, it slowed down the spike, so that is something to consider.
I revisited coffee this week. I had learnt that i should only be having it with food, but still saw inconsistent spikes depending on the time of day. I have been reading about medicinal mushrooms and bought some mushroom coffee which I chose to try Vs cold brew coffee (which is meant to have a higher caffeine content due to the extraction process).
Cold brew coffee sent me soaring to new heights (not in a good way). Within 10 minutes I had shot up far higher than anything else i’d previously eaten/drunk!
Mushroom coffee has 0 impact on my blood sugar—> my new coffee of choice!
I only tried vodka and red wine as they are my poisons of choice. Both caused the same response- a massive dip in blood sugar. I do find I eat more when I drink and I wonder if this is why.
I lost some of the weight i’d put on, and my measurements on the 3 sites that indicate a sensitivity to sugar and fast release carbs, reduced slightly in fat. To see more dramatic results, I need to stick with my learnings and cut out the experimentation.
I feel the experiment was a success, overall, I learnt practical tips I can apply to my normal diet, to improve my insulin sensitivity, which is critical to overall wellbeing. If insulin receptors are blunted and the cells grow resistant to insulin.Symptoms of insulin resistance can be fatigue, hunger, high blood pressure and brain fog. Insulin resistance can result in diabetes.