3.8.16

The Two Day, Ultra High Carb Experiment

Vegan Type 1 Diabetes Management -- Breakfast with papaya

Nah, that’s not a typo in the title. This is an article about the opposite of a low carb, high fat way of life. Instead, it’s an embracing of the carbs, a going out of your way to eat more of them discussion. The spark for this recent exploration into the ultra carb life was inspired by a recent (but upcoming podcast release) conversation with Amy McKinnon.

She, like myself, stumbled into the plant-based way of doing things, but has a different outlook on fat. Inherently, a vegan diet will consume more carbs than any other nutrient. So, it’s not like I was not eating carbs prior. I ate plenty. But, before our conversation, I’d been consuming about a third of my calories from fat (roughly 90 grams/day) in the way of almond butter, trail mix, walnuts in cereal, and olive oil to saute veggies. Amy aims at less than 30 grams per day, claiming that this has had remarkable benefits 2-3 hours post meal in the way of more consistent blood sugars.

The Trial Reach Banner

Sounds like something I can try out… so I did… for the last two days… after going to the store (here’s the fridge ready for action).

The Fridge: Oranges, Apples, and Mangoes Are Ready

The Fridge: Oranges, Apples, and Mangoes Are Ready

Highlights through the first 48 hours

  • Highest blood sugar: 168 (this is a rather remarkable feat given the topsy-turviness of the prior months)
  • The post-breakfast unexplainable high blood sugars disappeared
    • Amy mentioned that if a meal is high in fat it tends to make her blood sugar rise slowly in the following hours. This makes sense, given my propensity to add walnuts and flax seed galore to my cereal in the mornings, and subsequently have high blood sugars.
  • As the two days wore on, my insulin sensitivity seemed to improve (from 15 t0 20 carbs per unit).
  • Things were just stable. Here’s a 12 hour look from the pump on Day 2:

FullSizeRender (2)

  • It was enjoyable and I had solid energy throughout. No afternoon lulls. (I liked the smoothies for meals and 3/4 bananas for breakfast. Didn’t expect that.)

The First Day In Food (Because We All Love The Details)

Day 1 (This is an itemized list of the food with the carbs. Didn’t include the protein count.)

  • 4 bananas (100 carbs)
  • 4 oranges, mini (50 carbs)
  • 1 sweet potato (40 carbs)
  • Quinoa and garbanzo beans (60 carbs)
  • 1 orange, big (20 carbs)
  • 2 slices of bread with jam (45 carbs)
  • More quinoa, with tempeh and garbanzo beans (60 carbs)
  • Clif Bar (45 carbs)

Total Carbs: 420 carbs

The Non-Scientific Conclusion

My numbers were better than they have been in a long time. This was exploratory, only two days, and without any goals. Now it’s time to link together consecutive days and continue to gauge how I feel. One considerable challenge is staying content and full throughout the day. Contentedness is there right after a meal but I seem fairly ravenous about 2 hours later. So far, it’s worth checking out further.

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

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