Blood Glucose Readings - I need feedback
I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic in mid September and I started working out then. I came across PB in about mid October and began my primal journey. I am eating completely primal except a few squares of Green & Black's dark chocolate each evening. I have veggies and eggs sauteed in butter for breakfast. Usually 2-3 eggs. I have chicken and veggies or fish soup or something of that nature for lunch and dinner. Always lots of veggies. I've cut out the nuts and rarely eat fruit, small amount of berries if I do. I'm not hungry and basically feel really good.
I have a shoulder injury so I'm not doing the strength training but am walking and sprinting. The problem is my blood glucose readings. I'm still getting fasting levels around 124. I don't check it every day, maybe once a week now.
I'm reading Gary Taubes "Good Calories, Bad Calories" (great book by the way) and "Primal Body - Primal Mind" by Nora Gedgaudas. Nora says we should only eat about 45 to 55 grams of protein each day which amounts to about 1 egg!!! Could that really be true??? Am I eating too much protein? As I said, I'm getting 2-3 eggs in the morning, a small chicken thigh for lunch, maybe a small piece of jerky for a snack and about 4 oz of whatever for dinner. That just doesn't seem like too much protein. I know I would be so hungry with less.
Also, she says that caffeine causes a blood sugar spike and I always have a cup of green tea in the morning. Could that really be the culprit??
How long does it take anyway to get the blood glucose into more reasonable levels???
I would love some feedback, thanks
Those protein levels are way off! I was listening to one of Robb's podcasts the other day, and he was reiterating his recommendation of 1 gram protein per pound of body weight. Of course, each individual may need to tweak this a bit, but as a rough guide, he says it's where we should be protein wise. So, no, I would say 45-55 grams of protein per day is way too low (maybe per meal).
I think you looked at a source with a typo, or possibly misread the data. Per the USDA Nutrient Database (http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/), one large whole fried egg contains 6.26g protein. My egg carton claims 4.5g protein per egg (and the cartons are often reused to the point they're dreadfully hard to read). A quarter pound of raw hamburger (90% lean) contains 22.6g protein.
Oh, my bad. I looked again on the egg carton and says that one eggs weighs 50 grams and has 6 grams of protein. (they are big eggs)
I'm still concerned about the blood sugar readings. Any thoughts on that?
Where did you get the idea that a single egg has 45 grams of protein? From everything I find, an egg has 4-6 grams of protein per egg. Mark recommends .7 gram per pound of lean body weight per day if you're inactive and 1 gram per pound of lean body weight per day if you're active, so I don't think Nora's correct about this.
What kind of veggies are you eating? If it's starchy, toss it out. Potatoes and other carby/starchy veggies are not part of the Blueprint.
If you're already pre-diabetic, your fasting blood sugar may never go down to completely normal levels again. It took me almost a year to have regular fasting blood sugars of 110 (they used to be 240), and I'll take that as the gift it is. You may never see a fasting sugar under 100 again, if your pancreas is damaged enough. But here's some steps to try:
First, you aren't eating nearly enough fat, if your described intake is a normal day's intake. You should be eating 70% of your daily calories from fat. Protein is not fuel; carbs and fat are, but carbs cause insulin problems (as you probably already know), so you must eat fat for fuel and control hunger. Also, protein does not satiate the way that fat does because it isn't fuel. You need to be eating fat. Start eating dark-meat, skin-on, bone-in chicken; steak with lots of fat on it; high-fat ground beef. Fish and white-meat chicken are too lean to really be helpful.
Second, cut out the chocolate completely for a while. If you're a diabetic or insulin resistant, you need to keep your carbs at around 20g per day until your pancreas has a chance to rest and heal. I stayed at 20g per day for six to eight months, when I started Primal, and I rarely go over 50g per day even now. And that's gross carbs, not the Atkins "net" carbs, by the way.
The jury seems to be out about whether caffeine spikes blood sugar, because it seems to depend on the person. I don't have an issue with this and I have several cups of coffee per day, but you may need to stop drinking caffeine for a while and see what happens to your blood sugars.
Read the Primal Blueprint book and the For Newbies sticky thread, too. Good luck.
Hey Griff - thanks for the long reply. I realized after I posted that I messed up on the egg protein thing.
I will try to eat more fat. Wow, can't believe I actually said that. It's really hard to wrap my brain around that concept. I do love crispy chicken skin. Yum!!
I've been keeping my carbs around 60 so I'll drop them even more.
Fasting glucose levels are only ONE measure in the big picture. Have you had a recent HbA1c done? Are you overweight? Resting heart rate? Blood pressure? Are you athletic?
A cup of green tea is not going to cause blood sugar levels to spike. There is more going on.
Google "dawn phenomenon" and read about it.
Take 2 grams of cinnamon a day. This has been proven to lower blood glucose.
If you are indeed diabetic, you need a stricter and more informed approach to Primal Living.
After I posted, Griff's long reply appeared. His post is right Melissa.
You probably already have a blood glucose monitor, use it to check your body's response to various foods. Keep a food diary and write down exactly what you eat. Track your 2 hour post-prandial carefully. This is key to lowering HbA1c and preventing diabetic damage to the body.
Lastly try to find a Paleo\Primal-friendly doctor.
Some other things to try to get the morning sugars down:
I've read that biotin can help lower a.m. glucose, in large doses, like about 5 milligrams a day.
Vitamin D3 taken at the right level (usually 5,000 to 10,000 units per day) reduces appetite by improving calcium metabolism. Having enough calcium slows down "agouti" which is something in your stomach which increases appetite.
I've read that including vinegar, a pickle, or other fermented food with carbohydrate slows down stomach emptying, so it reduces the insulin spike from eating carbs.
I think that a couple of carb meals a week (a potato, not grains) does you good. You can read what Rob Faigin has to say about low-carbbing with intermittent carb load meals twice a week. Google "Rob Faigin" He's very interesting. He says that two carb load meals resets receptors and keeps thyroid good.
I also find that while I like dark chocolate (the darker the better), having it sort of screws up my appetite and energy supply. So it's an occasional treat (once or twice a month) not a daily food. Also, while having just one little bite of it might have fewer bad effects, if it's in the house, I eat it all at one sitting.
Just wondering if you've ever tried supplementing with apple cider vinegar. I've read a lot about it helping with high blood sugars. There's even some "research" references on-line and lots of anecdotal reports but who knows? You could try a teaspoon to a tablespoon in a glass of water each day and see if it helps.
Last edited by TornadoGirl; 01-01-2011 at 01:00 PM.