SAD Effect on Blood Glucose (Part 4)

I’ve taken a couple days off to share other blogs, such as Interrupting the CGM Data for Breaking News and Pose of the Week – Gomukhasana, but now I am back to continue the story on my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) results while eating the standard American diet (SAD).

I encourage you to check out my previous blogs related to the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (1 and 2), Continuous Glucose Meter (1 and 2), and SAD Effect on Blood Glucose (1, 2, and 3).

Day 17

I started off day 17 with a glucose meter reading of 95mg/dL. On Day 17, I repeated my Day 15 breakfast and this time, the 69g net carbs took my blood glucose from 102mg/dL to 114mg/dL, increasing by only 12mg/dL (Figure 1).

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Figure 1

For comparison, my Day 15 increase was 33mg/dL and my Day 4 increase (where I only had the spicy chicken breakfast filet 8g net carbs, no biscuit or hash browns) was 17mg/dL.  This is compelling evidence for the notion of a smaller glucose effect over time as my body gets used to eating more carbohydrates and leads me to finally say:

Takeaway #17:  Over time, my glucose spike is reduced by eating larger amounts of carbohydrates.

I decided to do a pre-test for my upcoming oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to see what my chances were for passing this test. I went to the gas station and bought a bottle of mango tea and a box of gummy bears, which contained 3.5 servings. It was a tough job, but I was able to down all 121.5g of carbohydrates (96g sugar) in those items. My blood glucose increased dramatically from 107mg/dL to 189mg/dL. While it went up 82mg/dL, this was not nearly as terrible as OGTT #2, where my maximum increase from the glucose meter was 151mg/dL. Those OGTT results registered as at least 241mg/dL on my GCM (the CGM data kicked near the maximum). In two hours, my CGM results were lower than 140mg/dL (they approximated 105mg/dL at the two-hour mark). This made me optimistic that I would be able to pass OGTT #3, as I exceeded the required amount of sugar and still was able to lower my blood glucose in a timely fashion (Figure 2).

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Figure 2

It took me a little while to recover from that “snack” and I spent a lot of time wondering how people could eat sugar candy and drink sugar drinks on a daily basis! I thought back to an older version of myself, and while I never enjoyed sugary beverages, I could put away some Sour Patch Kids at one point.

I had my wing leftovers for a late lunch, which consisted of 12 boneless hot wings and 1/3 of an order of onion rings. My blood glucose increased from 108mg/dL to 153mg/dL, increasing 45mg/dL (Figure 3).  I felt like I was climbing a mountain on this one; not sure why!

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Figure 3

For dinner, I had a Texas tea, which was basically a Long Island Iced Tea with tequila rather than gin, a brisket taco, and some chips and queso. My blood sugar decreased, in a similar fashion to what happened on the previous day. It went from 138mg/dL to 118mg/dL (Figure 4).  I guess this was the other side of my mountain climbing expedition.

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Overnight, my blood glucose behaved pretty well, despite the large volume of sugar consumed. There was some volatility and spiking while I slept, but everything settled out nicely by the time I woke up in the morning (Figures 5, 6, and 7).

Day 18

Day 18 with a glucose meter reading of 89mg/dL, after a great night of equilibration.

I started the day with a couple of tacos (one chorizo bean/cheese and one spicy pork), including their two flour tortillas. My blood glucose was incredibly stable, only increasing 5mg/dL from 106mg/dL to 111mg/dL (Figure 8).

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Figure 8

I had a fast food lunch, repeating the wing theme from Day 17. I had Sonic boneless wings (6 Asian) and half of a small fries. I had intended to have ice cream, but they were out… How does that happen? I digress… My lunch had a significant change on my blood sugar, likely due to the sweet wings, increasing from 110mg/dL to 154mg/dL, or a change of 44mg/dL (Figure 9).

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Figure 9

I tried again for my ice cream during my mid-afternoon snack. I had a McDonald’s hot fudge sundae and it had a minimal effect on my blood glucose. I increased 13mg/dL from 123mg/dL to 136mg/dL (Figure 10).

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Figure 10

For dinner, I drank a portion of a beer flight (maybe 10oz total), had one brisket slider, some potato chips, and a cookie. I struggled to eat a lot on Day 18, likely because I started with a larger breakfast and honestly, I believe my overeating the SAD had taken a toll on my body. My blood glucose had a relatively small response increasing from 112mg/dL to 139mg/dL (Figure 11). The total increase was 27mg/dL, significantly less than I would have expected for just the cookie (remember, on Day 1, the small cookie raised my blood glucose 34mg/dL).

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Figure 11

The overnight effect was also moderated, likely due to the fact that I didn’t overindulge as much. My blood glucose varied some, but the hills were smaller (Figures 12, 13, and 14). I woke up the morning of Day 19 with a fasting blood glucose of 92mg/dL from my glucose meter.  By this point in the study, I felt like I could eat basically anything and know that my glucose would stabilize overnight and I would be fine going forward.  I also had very few crazy swings, even when I ate a ton of carbohydrates.

I made the most of my last two days, but that data will be shared next time!

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