Experiment; Eating off my diet

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2012-06-29 02:47:58 -0500
Started 2012-04-08 17:56:59 -0500

After GraylinBee posted her results in what happens when she “experiments” with certain foods, I thought it was a neat and informative idea. Recently Bamberg added a twist to it, and wondered what happens if you are well controlled and eat beyond your normal diet. His results are here http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/15...
In that thread I stated I’d join him in finding out. Now I tested like crazy in the early years to see what food did to me, and how I could maintain a good A1c. Over the years I’ve strayed from time to time, and even gotten myself sick from it. This time I thought I’d watch closely what happens, and I was surprised.

Saturday I mainly fed on small amounts of protein the whole day – hard boiled egg for breakfast, nuts in between, a brat on a mini whole wheat tortilla for lunch, beef jerky in the afternoon – and I stayed in the mid to high 80’s all day (even though I was fruit and veggy shy).

Saturday evening we went out for catfish (one of my favorites) at a local seafood restaurant/oyster bar. I typically have it pan fried, with a salad, slaw and green beans (this ain’t a fancy place), but this time I ordered what is a “normal” meal on this menu. Deep fried catfish “fingers” – about 3/4 pound when done which means roughly 1/3 fish and 2/3 breading. French fries (about a whole large potato’s worth), about a dozen hush puppies, salad (small but loaded) for an appetizer, with a side of slaw (about 3/4 cup). Water for a beverage. This meal was way more carbs than I typically consume in even one day, and again I’ll say this is a normal meal for this place. We were seated at 6 and were finished by 6:45. I will say that I was physically uncomfortable after this meal for the rest of the night. I tested over the next 19 hours about 18 times and was somewhat surprised at the results. I spiked as predicted out of the normal range, and as is typical for me I hit a low, but not as low as usual.
Now I’m not drawing any conclusions, I’ll let you do that, but I think I bounced back pretty well. On page 2 of the photos section on my profile you can find this in graph form.

6:00 pm 84
6:30 pm 92
7:00 pm 101
7:30 pm 116
8:00 pm 142
8:30 pm 154
9:00 pm 135
9:30 pm 128
10:00 pm 110
10:30 pm 79
11:00 pm 80
11:30 pm 74
12:00 midnight 66
4:00 am 75
more sleep
8:00 am 86
2 cups coffee (I was still full from the night before)
10:00 am 73
11:45 am 83 (lunch of sliced chicken on a mini whole wheat tortilla)
Exercise (one hour walk on treadmill)
1:00 pm 98
Remainder of the day stayed in the mid 80’s

107 replies

CJ55 2012-06-23 01:14:09 -0500 Report

Wow.. This is very interesting. However, anything 80 or below takes a toll on me. At this point i am getting shakey, light headed, unstable. I noticed you were 66 at midnight then went to sleep. For me at that low I would be totally wacked. I was told by my doctor to never go to bed under 100 and if I am 100 to eat first. I could not function with those numbers. I am ok at 90 plus but under that I star feeling the low blood affects. Lately i have been in the high 30's to low 40's, and that is when I can barely be coherent. Ty so much for what you have written. Very enlighting.

Nick1962 2012-06-23 15:26:16 -0500 Report

Sometimes it isn't just the carbs, but what you eat to get them. For example, if most of your carbs are from breads, rice, pasta, you can get that "withdrawl" feeling you mention. However, if you've added a good amount of protein (like say fried chicken) it doesn't happen as much. In my case, my body slowly adjusted to the lack of carbs. With all your side issues, reducing as low as i have wouldn't be ideal, but doing it slowly would take off some weight, and with that some of those others issues might clear up also.
Oh, almost forgot, I went to bed at 66 because i knew i had plenty of food in me to last the night. i would not do that normally.

CJ55 2012-06-23 21:09:28 -0500 Report

ty. I am slowly giving up the carbs. It's tough. Especially giving up pasta after eating it so often. Its been a year for that. I do not eat bread, also instead of having pasta several times a week, i now only have it once a month if that.

Young1s 2012-06-29 02:47:58 -0500 Report

About 6 months to a year of before being diagnosed I got into eating bread. Was mad when I found out that this was on the no no list. finally got over it, because wasn't missing much anyways. Pasta is another story. I know it's bad for me but I still eat it. just not in the quantities that I used to. Ive learned to eat less…or eat it with something else. try mixing some spaghetti squash with wheat spaghetti (if u can stomach the glutin). gradually introduce more squash and less pasta. trust me …it works.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-04-20 21:19:10 -0500 Report

Good test you did. I learned last week I neded to test cheese tostadas for their 4 hour effect. Previously I stopped after 2 and a half hrs and it was smooth sailing. Then I found out the spike was slower due to the fat in the cheese effect.
Our Bg is wascally wabbits!!

Nick1962 2012-04-21 12:25:51 -0500 Report

Over the past couple years I also have found a few meals that will give me a 4 hour ride. Sausage McMuffin w/egg & cheese and hashbrowns. I suspect the protein/carb ratio does it. While it's not something on my diet, i found it's good for the days I need to be on the road for extended times (10 hours sometimes). Because I don't like to eat and drive, it keeps me from having to snack every few hours. The spike isn't terribly high, and the resulting low isn't bad either. Wascally wabbits indeed!

GabbyPA 2012-04-21 13:58:08 -0500 Report

For me, pizza does that. I was so thrilled the first time I tested after eating pizza. My levels were not bad at all...but they were very high later on. I didn't think it would be that bad, but it is a long lasting venture for me.

Nick1962 2012-04-21 14:05:16 -0500 Report

Yeah, that's where I started experimenting with combinations. Pizza alone would make me spike high and land low (40's). But a salad and one slice could give me a 3 hour ride with a nice soft landing.

jigsaw 2012-04-21 14:25:08 -0500 Report

The one slice and salad thing is pretty much what I do. It does spike me, but I can't resist every once in a while. Then I take a brisk walk around the block to knock th bgs back down!

Nick1962 2012-04-21 14:31:24 -0500 Report

Yeah, its one of my few cheats/rewards. I exercised an hour and washed 2 cars today, and will cut the lawn after (barring anticipated rain), so i can slightly justify it.

GabbyPA 2012-04-21 14:07:57 -0500 Report

That is a good trick. I like pizza and usually eat 2 slices. We order medium pizzas so the slices are not as huge, but I don't tend to eat salad with it. I will have to give that a try.

Caroltoo 2012-04-21 14:14:25 -0500 Report

I like thin crust thai chicken pizza and eat 1/2 personal pan with a huge salad. Am still working on finding a gluten-free thai chicken pizza, but have found the g-f crusts so I can make my own.

Nick1962 2012-04-21 14:22:05 -0500 Report

Brixx Pizza http://brixxpizza.com/ has gluten free for $2 extra. Wife has to work today (it's her weekend to cook) so I'm not making her cook, we'll go there instead. I'll have a mediterranian salad, she'll do something with fruit and we'll split a 10" greek pizza. This is my very last hope to stay connected to pizza

Caroltoo 2012-04-21 14:25:05 -0500 Report

Darn … another good restaurant that hasn't made it to Hawaii.

Boston Pizza got here about 10 years ago, and we have Pizza Hut and Godfather's, etc. but none of the speciality lines. Hum, I haven't checked California Pizza Kitchen, must look there.

Nick1962 2012-04-21 14:28:41 -0500 Report

Looks like I may have a business calling on Oahu! i make a kickbutt BLT pizza (so I'm told), and my Cali style pies (pineapple chicken) are good too!

GabbyPA 2012-04-21 14:16:29 -0500 Report

I like my home made pizzas too. That has more control. My hubby adores the meat lovers...more meat...more meat. At least I get him to eat them on a thin crust. Though when I did the comparisons of carbs between thin crust and a thick or pan pizza, the difference was not that much.

Nick1962 2012-04-21 14:34:06 -0500 Report

I found that too. If i remember my "crustology" from my pizza making days, both contained almost the same amount of flour, but the thick crust had more air.

GabbyPA 2012-04-21 14:35:29 -0500 Report

Yeah, that is pretty much it. Maybe I should go back to the pan pizza? It is more eye filling.

Nick1962 2012-04-22 14:10:57 -0500 Report

Well, I did a mini test last night.
We ate at 7:00 p.m. (Brixx Pizza) I had a large (dinner size) Mediterranean salad of chopped romaine hearts, feta dressing, roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, feta cheese and banana peppers. We split a 10” Rustica pizza which consisted of prosciutto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and whole roasted garlic (note there was no pizza sauce). I was completely full after the meal.
Before we left for dinner I was at 83 and my spike lasted 2.5 hours and hit a high of 107. Around 10:00 last night I ate a handful of pistachios to ward off any possible low, and I woke up to 83 again this morning.
The reason i noted the lack of tomato/pizza sauce is that for some reason, I react to it like concentrated orange juice.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-05-10 01:07:08 -0500 Report

Last night was my mini test at Tuesday Supper at The Cake Lady's. She served pizza from Little Ceasar's. I tried to not eat much of the sauce, ate all the cheese and meats (pepparoni, sausage and bacon) from two slices and about 2/3rds of the crust of 1 piece. She also served fresh fruit (apples, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries) with blueberry greek yogurt for a dipping sauce. We took a short walk along the canal after eating. I tested at 94 about 2 1/2 hrsa after eating. Maybe there is sometthing about the tomatoes being condensed and whacking us with more sugar than anticipated.
After the good BG I did indulge in a small slice of Red Velvet Cake with no icing.

Young1s 2012-05-10 17:26:37 -0500 Report

Cake without the icing just seems so wrong, but you do what you have to do to enjoy the little pleasures…I guess. I've banned myself from cakes but I do love to hear you guys talk about them.

Nick1962 2012-05-10 08:47:49 -0500 Report

Interesting, I would have thought the fruit would have pushed you higher, but that’s really a pretty good result. Maybe pizza’s not completely off the table. It is kind of fun being all “sciency” and seeing how we react down at these minute levels isn’t it?
Over the weekend I cooked for myself and returned to my more “Paleo” diet – a 6oz. sirloin, 2 cups raw vegetables (cauliflower, carrot, broccoli) with about 2 tbl. French onion dip, a cup of coleslaw, and a glass of a good red petit verdot wine. I was stuffed, but the whole meal was about 20 carbs and 40 proteins. Started at 84, but after 1.5 hours was at 78. If I did spike, it couldn’t have been much.

Red velvet cake? There are only 2 cakes I like. That and German Chocolate. You know that red color comes from crushed up beetle shells right? Can we count that as protein?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-05-13 19:32:26 -0500 Report

Finally did some research. Cochineal are scale insects, not beetles. The carmine dye is from the females. Mainly the abdomen and fertilized eggs. Since they are so small the entire insect is crushed, cooked, dried, etc. Sometimes calcium is added to the dye. The protein they add to the food is minimal.
At least now I know why Cochineal was chosen for the name of the computor program I use for charting designs for weaving and beading. The dye is used for both food and textiles.

Nick1962 2012-05-13 20:01:18 -0500 Report

Interesting! Thanks for the education! I knew it was the Cochineal bug, but that was it. Hey, how about putting some pictures of your weavings up in your photos area? Bees and the cake lady are nice and all, but would love to see some of your work!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-05-14 18:30:08 -0500 Report

Thanks for your interest. I posted a few photos I have on my laptop. I was goofing off last December with my new camera. I took some detail shots of some of my weavings. I was trying out its close up feature in anticipation of Bee season.

Nick1962 2012-05-15 18:01:47 -0500 Report

HOLY MY GOSH ARE THOSE GOOD! I like the christmas mug rugs. That twill mug rug would look great as a placemat set on my mission oak dinette, but I'd be afraid to use them. I wish I could be that good at anything!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-05-12 19:50:42 -0500 Report

I did avoid the pineapple and oranges in her fruit selections. The berries are supposed to help regulate BG (from discussions I've read here on DC) and I just love apples.
Maybe the wine helped. Jim Edwards swears by Vodka as a spike buster.
Been meaning to research what beatle shells are considered but haven't yet. My husband thinks they are similar to what our fingernails are composed of.

Nick1962 2012-05-13 17:59:46 -0500 Report

Never heard of berry fruits regulating BG, but then, I haven't been around berry fruits much (allergies). Wine for me can lower sugars absorbed (I tested this ALOT), I think it may be the anti-oxidants, and vodka is about the only hard liquor I can drink without an effect.
I think, like Carol said, the shells are primarily calcium. Would explain why all the lizzards and skinks around my house are so strong. They're always munching the beetles. Some 3 times their size!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-05-14 18:43:37 -0500 Report

Allergies keep me from eating too many strawberries and blueberries. If I avoid other problem foods I can eat some. Oranges and coconut give me more troublesome allergic reactions.
Haven't tried the alcohol effect yet to learn if it lowers or raises my BG. Maybe I'll have to break down and get some cinnamon schnapps or cinnamon vodka for the big test. But then something with a little chocolate flavor…
Too many options and way too many lliquor stores in the nighborhood.

Nick1962 2012-05-15 17:52:55 -0500 Report

Never heard of cinnamon vodka, but hey, cinnamon is supposed to be good for you right! Cinnamon schnapps? I see some german blood running through those veins. The wife brought some back from a trip to Munich with her sisters. Took one shot of it, and it's still on the shelf 4 years later.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-04-23 20:58:35 -0500 Report

Great results.
It could be some tomato/pizza sauces have added sugar. Or it could just be the concentrated tomato is too high in fructose for you.
Mom does serve an artichoke and chicken pizza once in awhile. It seems my BG was lower afterwards than I expected. You have inspired me to try a more controlled experiment to check out if the tomato suce may be causing some of the BG spike. Then maybe I can have a few more bites of the crust.

Nick1962 2012-04-24 11:42:39 -0500 Report

Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with the results also. I'm not sure what it is with tomato sauce - it's not terribly high in carbs or sugars in the amount/portion on a pizza, but somehow it either goes right to my blood or allows other carbs to get in quicker, so it could be a combo effect. I just try to stay away from it. If I get real curious, i might just eat a half cup and do a check.

jigsaw 2012-04-24 16:42:24 -0500 Report

No tomato sauce ! There goes the old prostate !!! Better take lycopene supplements…(—;

Nick1962 2012-04-24 19:13:58 -0500 Report

Yeah, I'm wrestling with that. Really don't want to do supplements out of principle, so I'm trying to get as many fresh tomatoes in as possible. But, I may just have to adjust my princples in time.

Nick1962 2012-04-25 08:17:23 -0500 Report

I've heard the same, but therein lies the problem, cooked tomato products seem to spike me. I'm getting too old and lazy to try to balance the lycopene vs spike issue. I may just have to start on a supplement. I go for another full lipid panel next month, so we'll see where I stand then.

jigsaw 2012-04-25 09:36:18 -0500 Report

There are many ways to skin a cat as you and I both know! So understand that I realize that my solutions may or may not apply to you.
There are many foods that have been recommended to me by a dietician as part of my food plan. When I explained that some of these foods spike me, she said do some exercise. When I said I can't always exercise when I eat those particular foods, she said, that is the time to not eat those foods. Her point in general is variety in quality foods is a way to assure or at least increase the odds of proper nutrition.

I have used Lycopene supplements for years. I also include cooked tomatoes, raw tamatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauce in my diet. I consume tomatoes and tomato products frequently. Could be a coincidence, but I have no prostate problems so far. Most guys my age or even close usually have some problems in this department! It's so common that my doctors are amazed.

It's guys like me that cause them to waste their examination gloves!!

Nick1962 2012-04-25 11:46:12 -0500 Report

Oh no doubt. I realize that a lot of my diet I make up as I go along, and I'm going to have to adjust some with age. I do need to get more tomatoes in my diet because *knock on wood* I don't have prostate issues so far. Hopefully I'll be as healthy as you at your age! I'm scheduled for some of those male age apropriate procedures this year and really not looking forward to them.
This info has been a real help so thanks for that!

GabbyPA 2012-04-29 07:16:37 -0500 Report

These are very interesting articles. I will have to invest in my food mill. I do love raw tomatoes, but if paste is the way to go, I need to learn to make my own. I have been looking into it for a while and this gives me great incentive. Thanks

jayabee52 2012-04-29 15:16:51 -0500 Report

Gabby, go to the recipes section. I believe I posted a way to de-juice tomatoes without a lot of cooking them down. And I was able to keep the juice to drink as well. In fact the results were so condensed that we found it necessary to add some juice back in when we made spaghetti sauce. When it comes time, take a look for that method in the recipes section.

EDIT: the link to the recipe is here ~ http://www.diabeticconnect.com/recipes/3686-t...

GabbyPA 2012-04-29 21:47:40 -0500 Report

Ok, thanks. I don't like tomato juice (go figure, I love them any other way) But a nice condensed paste is something I love to cook with. It adds so much depth to the flavor.

Caroltoo 2012-04-25 10:55:56 -0500 Report

Good articles, especially the first one. I just realized that I missed the part about fat adsorption — didn't scroll down the page where I should of. I knew cooked increased lycopene. I didn't know it was mashed/cooked as opposed to lightly cooked in chunky state like I do or that it involved fat which is always present in my tomatoes dishes to some degree. Nice tip.

Nick1962 2012-04-25 11:51:24 -0500 Report

Yes, that did open my eyes as well. I'm going to try to find other articles supporting that, because that sure would explain a lot about what I've experienced.
That's what's nice about DC here, it's like having your own little personal team of crack researchers. I never would have found that article otherwise, so again, thanks guys!

Nick1962 2012-04-25 08:23:06 -0500 Report

Well that certainly answers some of my absorbtion questions - riding in on fats makes sense. I do use a concentrated tomato paste in many of my sauces which seems to have little effect on me (the amount is usually minimal anyway).
Thanks for these, and see my response to James above as well.

Young1s 2012-04-24 14:22:13 -0500 Report

Is it just the tomato sauce for pizza or does it happen with spaghetti sauce too? I'm assuming fresh tomatoes are fine for you because you had some in your salad.

jayabee52 2012-04-24 21:39:18 -0500 Report

actually Young1 the links Jigsaw provided indicates (especially in the harvard article) that one gets more lycopene from cooked tomatoes together with some kind of fat.

Nick1962 2012-04-24 14:51:23 -0500 Report

That's what still has me puzzled. No problem with fresh tomatoes. I have done spaghetti sauce with a small amount of angel hair pasta and got a 60 point spike in the past. I assumed a good portion of that spike was due to the pasta. Recently we did swiss steak, about the same amount of tomato sauce, but more protein and i went up by 30 points. Weird thing is, if I only eat pasta with lets say pesto, I only go up 40 points. That's why I'm thinking its a combination thing, tomato sauce with any other carb kind of acts like a intraveinous delivery system.

Young1s 2012-04-24 23:00:02 -0500 Report

I think Carol may have found the culprit…sugar. I don't know about you but I don't make my own sauce, so I'm at the mercy of whatever amount of sugar the brand I use puts in theirs (11g), which is why I never add any to it. Might even be higher than that at some restaurants.

Here's an article I found from LiveStrong.com.

Note that it says, on average 1/2 cup of sauce usually contains 9-10g of net carbs, but doesn't go into how many sugar carbs. I find it funny that it says it's not uncommon for people to use 1-1 1/2 cups of sauce at one sitting. Who are these people? Even before diagnosis, I know I've never used that much sauce on one plate of pasta.

Nick1962 2012-04-25 08:45:13 -0500 Report

Sugar sure is the main culprit which Is why I've really been shying away from these products, and why I react like it's concentrated orange juice. I often make my own from fresh tomatoes, but add no sugar. Who are these people eating 1 1/2 cups sauce? Well formerly fat folks like me of course! I have sat down to a bowl of pasta and that much sauce frequently at the local Italian community center dinners, and with the additional nearly full pound of pasta as well. Its unbelievable to me now what I ate back then.
Thanks for all the help on this guys!

Caroltoo 2012-04-24 21:24:38 -0500 Report

Does your tomato sauce have sugar in it?
Could it be an issue of acid/base balance and how it plays out in digestions?

Nick1962 2012-04-25 08:28:49 -0500 Report

It's really any cooked tomato product, homemade or not. Even Zoe's delicious tomato bisque. I think Jigsaw landed on the issue that once cooked, the lycopene rides in on the fat, which i suppose could be pulling in carbs as well. So for me anyway, it's pizza or pasta without sauce the few times I eat it, or tomato soup with a salad rather than a wrap.

Caroltoo 2012-04-24 21:21:38 -0500 Report

Yes, it's a good point. I didn't scroll down on that first article and totally missed the piece about fat being the distribution mechanism.

Young1s 2012-04-24 18:41:25 -0500 Report

It's certainly something to think about. I always assumed my pasta spikes were just that…from the pasta. Hmmmm…

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-04-24 15:47:45 -0500 Report

Aint it fun being a chemistry set. We are all kids turned into mad scientists. Ingest iingredients, prick finger, watch BG have wierd and wacky reactions. Just need to photo shop dry ice smoke effect to be back in High School Chem Lab. Maybe my Lab partner could accidently ignite my BG meter to complete the scenario.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-04-21 20:32:50 -0500 Report

On Tuesday Nights at The Cake Lady's it's pizza at least once a month. My BG can be good if I stick to the topping and only eat a few bites of the crust.

sammyjohnston 2012-04-09 15:42:56 -0500 Report

My diet is similar to the south beach diet. I have found the just eating less portions but more often in general helped me maintain stable levels. My only issue was what to drink with my diet since I hate water. ALthough I still drink large amounts of water daily, I also found a great Powdered drink that comes in packets which is Diabetic Friendly. Its called VITAZEST and it has the Diabetes Research Institute's logo on each packet. I carry at least 5 of them with me at all times and I just add them to my bottle of water or tap water I get if I am eating out. THey are loaded with Vitamins and sugar free, so far its the best tasting powder packet out there that is safe to consume, I used to drink crystal light as well but they don't have the vitamins and they don't support diabetes cause like Vitazest does… I recommend for everyone to try it out…

JSJB 2012-04-22 11:49:29 -0500 Report

Just found another on hiding in the pantry it is call 4-C lite lemonaide 0 carbs 0sugar tasts great drinking one now.

JSJB 2012-04-21 16:54:23 -0500 Report

I'll have to look for that product. All I drink is water and something different would be nice. I don't know if these are Diabetic Friendly but they are Ocean Spray sugar free & 0 carbs. and Snapple and Crystal light. They come in packets to mix in water.

DeanaG 2012-04-09 20:37:14 -0500 Report

Thank you for the tip. I have a hard time drinking enough water. I ordered the sample pack today to give it a try. ;-)

Nick1962 2012-04-09 20:10:11 -0500 Report

Hey Sammy. I follow what i call a modified Paleo/Low GI program (I hate to use the term diet) as we discussed in a post Carol started a while back here http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/14...
I was never a "sweets" type person, so i don't miss things like soda and fruit juice, but when i get a craving I'll use Propel Zero (like Crystal Lite). It kind of gives me the false sense that I just had something sugary, and at least mentally boosts me for exercise. I'll look into the Vitazest, never heard of it, thanks for the tip!

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