Blood Sugar Science Experiment #2
The purpose of the first experiment was to determine how calories affected blood sugar independent of grams of refined carbohydrates, as well as to compare Dan and my relative ability to clear sugar out of the blood.
The purpose of this experiment, the second experiment is to determine the impact of the order of eating foods. Dan and I are going to consume the same meal, a salad and a 6″ inch sub from Subway. One day we are going to eat the salad first and the next we are going to eat the sub first. We will record our blood sugar, me every hour, Dan every 15 minutes. There is a wrinkle in this experiment as well. As with the last one, we will be combining 2 hypothesis in one in this experiment. After eating the sub today, I did a crossfit session. So we will combine this experiment with one to determine what impact exercising right after eating has on blood sugar.
So, to get down to the sciencing…
Hypothesis #1 – Eating a salad before a meal will reduce the peak blood sugar from a meal.
Hypothesis #2 – Exercising after eating will reduce the blood sugar from a meal.
2 chopped veggie salads from subway. No meat, no cheese. Both salads have lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers and Italian dressing. Dan’s salad has spinach and olives. Mark’s has cucumber and onions. The nutrition for the salad is listed below.
The sandwich is a footlong Italian BMT with lettuce, tomato, green pepper and onions topped with Ranch dressing. I asked the sandwich artist to remove some of the bread.(see nutritional information below).
The sandwich was cut in two with each of Dan and Mark eating one half. The remaining equipment was the Crossfit gym.
Total calories was 705 (555 for a half a footlong, + 170 for the salad – about 20 calories from 5 grams of carbs of removed bread). This is a big meal, but not a huge meal. Again, I recommend eating 4 x 400-500 calorie meals a day.
To compare to our past meals, our 3 slice Fresh Slice pizza meal was over 1300 hundred calories. As well, the 2 Sausage Egg McMuffins also had more calories coming in at 840 calories. That said, the 1 SEMcM had about 2/3 of the calories of this meal.
Comparing with the donuts, this is approximately the same number of calories in 3 and 1/2 donuts and double the calories in our 1 and 3/4 donut meal.
Part 1: Take blood sugar before the meal. Check the time, eat the salad, check the time, eat the sandwich and take blood sugar on regular intervals. The key here is to eat the salad at a regular speed and eat the sandwich right on its heals as naturally as possible. A future experiment may include waiting for an interval between eating a salad and then eating a meal, but right now we are just testing the order of eating. After eating the sandwich Mark will do a 30 minute workout (WOD).
Part 2: Take blood sugar before the meal. Check the time, eat the sandwich, check the time, eat the salad and take blood sugar on regular intervals. After eating the salad Mark will do a 30 minute workout (WOD).
Part 3: Take blood sugar before the meal. Check the time, eat the salad, check the time, eat the sandwich and take blood sugar on regular intervals. The key here is to eat the salad at a regular speed and eat the sandwich right on its heals as naturally as possible. A future experiment may include waiting for an interval between eating a salad and then eating a meal, but right now we are just testing the order of eating. After eating the sandwich Dan will do a 30 minute workout (WOD).
Part 4: Take blood sugar before the meal. Check the time, eat the sandwich, check the time, eat the salad and take blood sugar on regular intervals. After eating the salad Dan will do a 30 minute workout (WOD).
At 11:35 am on January 20th, 2016 Dan and I took our blood sugar. Dan’s read 4.6 mmol/l, Mark’s read 5.1 mol/l.
At 11:39 both Mark and Dan began eating their salads. They were done at at 11:48 and immediately ate the sandwiches. These were completed at 11:52.
Dan measured his blood sugar at 12:08 and it was 4.7.
Again at 12:23, it was 6.0.
At 12:38 it was 6.5.
At 12:53 it was 6.7.
Mark tested his blood at 1:00 and it was 5.4.
Dan tested again at 1:23 and it was 7.4.
Dan did his final test at 1:53 and his blood sugar was down to 5.3.
Mark did his final test at 2:05 and his blood sugar was 5.1
The results are odd as usual, or more correctly, I will point out that Dan’s results are odd as usual. Instead of his characteristic double curve, we get one odd shaped curve that maxed out at about an hour and a half after his meal. Had we just done the measurements on the hours like we did on mine we would have gotten a curve that we would have estimated a top measurement of about the same, 7.4 but we would have thought it would have happened a half hour earlier. My curve could have been delayed as well, and might look more like Dan’s just much lower (much, much, much lower). The salad could delay the peak of the curve, and I bet it probably does, so the estimate of it peaking an hour after the meal might now be wrong and it may peak 1.5 hours after eating. I will add a 1.5 hour test to all future protocols to further research this. The idea that we have one single curve that maxes out at 45 minutes after eating is probably highly dependent on what we eat. I am guessing that the curve pushes back further like Dan’s when you eat something like a salad first, splits into two peaks when you consume too many refined carbohydrates with limited fat and fibre to slow them down and follow a more traditional curve when your meal is balanced with limited fibre and vegetables.
In any case, there are some significant things to note here. Dan did not feel full after eating this meal. He said he wasn’t quite hungry but he surely wasn’t full. I will follow up with him to find out when and what he ate after lunch so we get a better idea of satiety. For me, I was full. Quite full. I didn’t eat all day after this and I had many opportunities. I ate at about 7:30 in the evening and I had no problem ordering a chicken caesar salad while the people around me ordered chicken wings and chicken strips.
The other thing to note is that my blood sugar is incredible in this test. Really, I want to frame it. I have never had a blood sugar curve look so good. It is identical to the curve with the 1 SEMcM, but just .5 mmol/l lower across the board. Dan’s is terrible. |It is comparable to the 2 SEMcMs for him or the 1.75 donuts. My results may be due to the exercising, Dan’s might be the lack of exercising. We will know more as the experiment moves along.