One day I stumbled across a YouTube video on weight loss. The speaker was giving a formal presentation on low carb, high fat diets for weight loss (Yes, weight loss). The more I listened to him, the more I agreed with everything he was saying because he was describing the way I eat. A way that makes me feel much better than trying to eat the foods that the majority of Americans eat.
For example, I hate pasta, rice, cereal, muffins, cakes, cookies, fruit juices and soda, etc. I simply feel crummy after eating these types of foods. Sometimes right away and sometimes an hour or so afterwards. I will get the shakes from low blood sugar. This forces me to stop whatever I am doing and eat a bunch of food.
I kept watching his lecture and he did the simplest, most amazing thing that I had never thought of doing. He measured his blood sugar multiple times after two different meals to see what his body did in terms of blood sugar. In other words, he treated himself as if he was a diabetic even though he wasn’t. Do you realize how brilliant that is?
There’s a goal in eating, which is to keep your blood sugar stable and low. The foods I like to eat do just that, but the foods I do poorly with, cause massive spikes in blood sugar followed by a crash in blood sugar along with a voracious appetite.
The next day I find myself at Walmart looking for a diabetic meter, test strips and a lancing device. That’s when I realized it’s expensive to be a diabetic.
An hour later I’m doing my first test.
I hadn’t eaten anything in two hours and I was hungry. I ate a common meal. One I have every morning…Three scrambled eggs with cheese and a lot of butter.
Prior to eating I tested my blood sugar several times to make sure I understood the process and could do it repeatedly with accurate results. That was easy. I took my blood sugar before the meal and right after, then every fifteen minutes for three hours. My blood sugar hardly moved for the entire three hours. I had a relaxing three hours sitting on my porch in perfect weather with a timer telling me when to take the next sample. I used the clock on the device for the actual recording time so I was never off more than a minute.
After the three hours I had to try a meal I knew would create more problems for me. I chose a simple bowl of Rice Crispies with regular store bought whole milk. I didn’t add any sugar or sweeteners.
Afterwards, I was extremely disappointed as to how people could eat that and feel satisfied. In fact, I wanted another bowl just to get remotely full, but I kept it at the one bowl which you can see in the picture (on the next page). I took my blood sugar before the meal and right afterwards. Knowing that the values would be changing rapidly I started my testing every four to five minutes so I could make the most accurate graph of my blood sugar over three hours.
You can see the results in the graph. I was quite surprised to see what had happened from such a simple meal. A meal that so many eat, especially children before they go off to school. In fact, many children’s cereals would be much higher in sugar than a bowl of Rice Crispies.
As you can see, my blood sugar skyrocketed and then came down quickly. By the end of the three hours I was shaky and hungry. I had to stop and eat. And man did I ever eat. I couldn’t get food in me fast enough to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling. I was surprised that my blood sugar didn’t tank below my normal as I had suspected it would. Clearly the one bowl of cereal without added sugar wasn’t enough to spike my insulin levels enough so that I got a true low blood sugar reading. But it sure felt like low blood sugar.
In talking to patients about this, most don’t feel like this after having a high sugar meal and this is not a good thing. One of the life critical jobs of the body is to maintain the levels of minerals, oxygen, blood sugar, blood pH and more to precise levels. When the levels get out of the normal ranges the body tries to correct it. When blood sugar gets high it tells the pancreas to release insulin into the blood stream. This hormone tells every cell in your body to take some sugar out of the blood stream and either burn it or store it as fat. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or your cells don’t listen to the insulin’s message then your blood sugar levels remain high. You feel fine because your blood sugar never crashes.
Was my pancreas working efficiently? Yes, because it brought my blood sugar down quickly by releasing insulin.
Take Home Message: Get a diabetic test kit and test your meals. Do exactly as I did and find out how your meals affect your blood sugar. If you get spikes, then you know that meal is causing problems for you. Find meals that you currently like or come up with new ones that don’t spike your blood sugar.Share