Sunny D #4

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“We do not remember seeing a single cancer case who had a correct blood sugar level, yet in most non-cancer cases this is easily obtained by means of a (refined) sugar-free diet alone.”

-Melvin Page and Leon Abrams

The correct blood sugar level was obtained by doing a fasting glucose test similar to what I’ve been doing each morning. The ideal level was hovering closely around the 85 mg/dl level.

How did Page come to this conclusion and make such startling discoveries about cancer and other degenerative diseases? It’s quite simple. He was a dentist in charge of treating tooth decay. When taking blood glucose readings, a correlation between tooth decay and high fasting glucose levels emerges pretty quickly. Once you start sniffing that trail, one thing leads to another and then, Wham! People file lawsuits against you for operating outside of your scope of practice. Don’t worry though. Page won that court case in a big way. The judge advised the prosecutors to study what Page was doing and take some real good notes – excellent advice that I’ve personally taken to heart.

Getting the fasting glucose level to the ideal range is one of the most important measurable things that a person can do to achieve health. A fasting glucose level outside of that range signifies insulin resistance, and insulin resistance, for all practical purposes, should be considered type 2 diabetes. The only difference between type 2 diabetes and someone with insulin resistance is that type 2 diabetics have insulin resistance much more severely. The root problem is the same. There’s no difference at all.

Health scholars that have arrived at the low-carb diet as the ultimate human fare have done so because of the endless array of connections between insulin, blood glucose, and degenerative disease. Since carbohydrates raise insulin and blood sugar levels most substantially following a meal, it is assumed that they are the primary culprit. The carbohydrates drive blood sugar. Blood sugar drives insulin. Insulin drives fat storage. Fat storage drives more insulin and higher blood sugars, and the thing just keeps moving forward on a pronounced downward trend.

But it’s only assumed that carbohydrates cause insulin resistance. There is no data showing such a correlation though. In fact, of the industrialized nations, Japan is considered the most resistant to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and so forth – and they derive the largest percentage of energy from carbohydrates of ‘em all. That takes quite a toll on the low-carb view of things. It makes those on the opposite side of the carb fence want to explode in a furious whirlwind of aggravation. Rightfully so. There’s much more to the story.

To add some intrigue to that story, Aurora (my girlfriend, yes her parents were hippies), is logging glucose levels all over the roller coaster despite a very even carbohydrate consumption. I’d say she’s averaging 5-10 grams of carbohydrates per meal so far on this experiment – maybe 20-25 grams total per day. Her blood glucose reading this morning was back up to a whopping 94 mg/dl.

I busted out another perfect 83, the exact same as yesterday. We’ll see what happens as we continue, but so far it seems pretty clear. The most revealing is perhaps Aurora’s first fasting glucose reading on morning #1 – after several years of low-carb dieting ranging from virtually zero-carb at times to 50-60 grams per day on the high side. She scored the big 107, only 18 little points away from stepping under the type 2 diabetes umbrella.

I think there’s a song that was written about the typical response to this strange phenomenon. Oh yeah, here it is.

Lunch du jour:

2 heads Romaine lettuce – munched straight, one leaf at a time

5-6 cooked small apples with cinnamon

Large homemade traditional chappati with fresh-ground whole wheat flour

18 Comments

  1. Hey Sunshine, did you say you ate a lot of Haagen Daaz ice cream and it treated you okay? I'm doing skin trials with Ben & Jerry's Vanilla and I could use your feedback.

    Reply
  2. Hey Matt-
    My Mom's name is Aurora also (she is 70 though, her parents were not hippies, but I've always loved that name and never heard anyone else having it).
    Just wonderin, I would love to see this experiment have a wash out period, and then you guys switch diets, and keep testing. I am a T2, following low carb, and really interested in how this all turns out! (Last A1c was 5.1, but I have a thirsty brain for knowledge and am open to all avenues!)
    Diana

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  3. Hi Matt,

    Similar to your girlfriend, I was zero carb for 2 years (effectively under 5 g carb per day) and low-carb for 4 years prior to that, and I also had a high fasting blood glucose. I was also still a bit overweight and very very able to store fat if I overate.

    Of course, my metabolism had completely crashed and I'm only now starting to feel normal again after all those years on LC. I'm still overweight, but hoping to cure that by NOT dieting and removing refined carbs, alcohol and coffee. The alcohol thing is a toughy!

    I wasn't eating any sugar during my LC period, but I was having occasional artificial sweeteners, including stints with only stevia, and I also was eating a lot more protein than my body needed. I was hungry and had to eat SOMETHING and carbs weren't an option, so I was eating up to 2 lbs of meat a day, with lots of fat.

    I'm sure through gluconeogenesis, I was still creating enough blood glucose to put me in too high of a range. I actually have noticed that the more protein I eat, even today being back on carbs, the higher my fasting BG is. Excess protein has a special effect on blood glucose, in my experience.

    My question is this: was/is Aurora eating any refined carbs as her carbohydrate allowance or having any artificial sweeteners? If not, I wonder if she's experiencing what I did with the protein content of her diet raising her BG?

    Annabelle

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  4. Yo "Sunshine",

    I emailed you before and we exchanged a few messages briefly. This is quite awesome. I'm looking forward to the results of your recent experience.

    I really wish you could do this experiment with an ENORMOUS sample size. Like 50 people all from different genders and age groups.

    If you get some results worth noting you should considering getting funding and blowing this project up in huge way. Or I guess you could just get a bunch of health freaks to join the project. But you would need people who aren't health freaks as well.

    Need some funding? ;p

    Keep up the good work,

    Mike C

    Reply
  5. Thanks for taking on this new experiment Matt, I look forward to further updates. There are few health researchers (dare I say gurus?) out there who are as open-minded as you.

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  6. Hi Sunshine,
    which one of McCarrison's books would you recommend to a lost low-carb soul like me?

    Also, after reading Shintani I've tried just adding brown rice and potatoes to my LC diet and the result has been tremendous weight gain (6kg), which is not really what I want, so I stopped it and lost the weight again.
    Is there any way to relax the adrenals? If stimulating them screws you up, maybe relaxing them helps. Smoking weed comes to mind …
    Best of luck with your experiment.

    Reply
  7. Annabelle;
    It makes a lot of sense why you would be hungry all the time. When meat is eaten, it requires insulin (for the amino acids). Because cortisol and adrenaline are also released from the protein consumption, in response the insulin, (and lack of any carbs), this would really pull up and down your blood sugar. Low blood sugar causes hunger, and rightfully so. Sweet things can also stimulate the release of glucagon effectively just by tasting them. It doesn't have to have calories – so this probably complicated things to an extent.
    Low and zero carb diet don't seem to match up with what original "no carb" cultures like the Inuit ate.

    As for this post,
    I still think the other factors of insulin and blood glucose aren't being discussed to the greatest extent that they could be. Obviously the tests you are comparing (a low-carb diet glucose reading, versus a high-carb) are ironically funny – but importantly, show instead of tell: that natural carbs don't cause diabetes. But the cause is something that is not so clearly explained to people – of which I would call out vegetable oils large consumption and combination with white sugar (not just refined carbs alone), devoid of anything that is nutritional and in fact, why the oxidizing fats cause more problems for hormones and metabolism and are more of culprits for diabetics in this country ..along with those elevated stress hormones. That's what I'd like to be brought up more – how they all play causatives when combined together.

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  8. Hi Sunshine:

    You've got me thinking about the ole food combining theory. Either low fat vegan or low carb carnivore is practicing a form of food combining. (Literally, food separation, actually…)

    Anyway, I wonder if the food combiners have it entirely right. If we look at separate foods in nature we have roughly:

    nuts = starch + fat + some protein
    grains = starch + some protein
    beans = starch + some protein
    meat = protein + fat
    fruit = sugar + some starch
    vegetables = starch + a bit of sugar in some cases

    Notice that none of these categories feature sugar + fat. What is the exception? Milk. A natural food for babies. Babies are supposed to have big appetites and be fat.

    Now what modern foods contain fat and sugar together? Desserts! Cakes, cookies, chocolate candy. We also combine sugar and fat and protein together when we drink juices and soft drinks with our Big Macs.

    Consider this in the light of Stephan's recent post positing why palmitic acid causes temporary insulin resistance.

    Reply
  9. Hey Sunshine,

    I was doing the high everything diet for several months and just kept getting fatter and fatter. I went on a carb cycling diet and have lost 4.5" from my waist and about 15 pounds since the beginning of June. I don't know what my beginning blood sugar was but at my last visit a few weeks ago, it was 106. My chol plummetted from 259 to 209 and I feel a lot better now. The point of this is that I was reading Lyle McDonald's "Ultimate Diet 2.0" and he said…

    "When you diet, it's actually better to be insulin resistant (note that two of the most
    effective diet drugs, GH and clenbuterol/ephedrine cause insulin resistance). By limiting the muscle's use of glucose for fuel, insulin resistance not only spares glucose for use by the brain, but also increases the muscles use of fatty acids for fuel."

    Perhaps as someone is losing weight, they are inadvertently increasing their insulin resistance? I had thyroid problems and as Ray Peat pointed out, high cholesterol is diagnostic of hypothyroidism so I was pretty happy that my cholesterol came down like it did. I'm still trying to get a handle on all of this. Who'da thunk that something as basic as eating would become so complicated.

    Will

    (Hi chlOe!)

    Reply
  10. Hey Carl M.,

    I lost a bunch of fat doing carb cycling and one of the "rules" is to not eat your fats and carbs at the same time (it's not necessary to completely separate them just to limit one or the other). What you just mentioned is one the things that I used to lose all that fat.

    Very perceptive grasshopper!

    Will

    Reply
  11. Dear Sunshine,

    It's not surprising that a vegan (i.e. starvation) diet lowers fasting BG and cures diabetes. There's nothing magical about plant foods. A calorie-restricted all-meat diet, or a water fast would do the job just as well, if not better.

    Reply
  12. Then again, Masai people aren't fat. In fact any one who uses milk or cheese as a staple doesn't exactly have the baby chubs (and maybe babies aren't 'fat' by overweight terms, like they're just supposed to be that way no matter what they're fed – unless starved of course.)
    Babies aren't obese and don't have cortisol guts, mind you. They also all come out looking like little chub balls when they haven't even been introduced to any milk. Plus, human milk is composed of more sugar than fat (which, the most is saturated) – unlike cow milk. Still, the common fat used in America is mostly refined and unsaturated.
    And if you think about it, (cow) milk is the only food that contains good amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. This is something that is consumed as a meal – maybe with blood – where, other cultures combine foods (fats, sugars, proteins, starches) to make dishes. But anyway, don't forget about the health of the indigenous dairy drinkers.

    Reply
  13. Hey there Will..haha
    If I may interject into what you've quoted.. I think he means to say "insulin resistance can be good…for my diet plan" which is of course, food combining.
    Try eating everything together, like you did, and it appears to start a fire.
    You can have low cholesterol, and still have a thyroid or whatever metabolic problem.

    Besides, It's not like the only thing you can do is eat high anything and everything to fix your inability to eat food groups together, know what I mean? I know it was put that simply (the whole FAD thing), but, being that you mentioned Peat – it can get more scientific and therefore tweaked and adjusted quite a bit, while remaining to incorporate the carbs, proteins and fats together. At least, so far, that's my experience.

    Reply
  14. Awesome feedback everyone. I was on the road today so I don't have time to field your questions tonight, but I'll jump right on them tomorrow morning.

    Reply
  15. Jane -
    My advice is to eat ice cream as an experiment if you like, but don't do it for health reasons. It is extremely improbable that ice cream is a food that can be eaten in abundance without doing harm.

    Diana –
    You obviously don't know my girlfriend. Getting her to eat carbs other than popcorn is like getting a four-year old to eat mushrooms, blue cheese, and kale salad. No chance for a switcheroo on the diets. I will keep doing extensive experiments on myself with that glucose meter though. I hope to do an A1C test eventually too. Notice they sell testing kits over the counter now too which is great. Going to the doc is pretty much out of the question for me.

    Annabelle –
    Glad you're coming around and out of the low carb dungeon. Aurora's diet does not regularly contain refined sugar or grain. She was drinking "Propel" when I first met her, but I think I gave her enough condescending looks that she gave that up in short order. She was a coffee drinker, and after giving that up she lost 6 pounds in a month eating more food than normal. She is totally fruit-phobic, and that is her nemesis food from a physical standpoint (yeast). She eats plenty of vegetables and has been eating popcorn quite regularly. Those are her primary carbs. In all fairness, she did eat some refined sugar the day before we started, which may have a lot to do with the high starting number. She got a little bit of that "about to start a restricted diet" thing going and splurged a little (pretzels from the health food store).

    Kevin –
    Note that Shintani's diet is very specific and calls for total fat and animal protein reduction. To get the therapeutic benefit from eating that way without the weight gain, you might follow his advice to the letter and then gradually reintroduce fats and meat in that order. As for weed calming the adrenals, the low blood sugar that it causes – inducing hunger, isn't exactly restful for the adrenals.

    Mike C -
    Yeah bud, I could use some funding. I can barely afford to pay for the glucose testing strips! Things are starting to come together on the site though. The last month has really seen a surge in traffic.

    Carl –
    Maybe, but I doubt it. A person with excellent metabolic health could probably eat the sugar-fat combo. without negative recourse. Just look at crazy man Aajonous, or like Chloe said – milk drinkers.

    Will –
    Thanks for the insights. Sounds like some good things are happening. Hopefully HED provided the very important first steps, raising the metabolic rate and lowering insulin resistance, which are the main reasons for pursuing it. The weight loss never comes until later. Dieting always worsens insulin resistance when done via starvation, but if weight is lost without calorie restriction and metabolism isn't lowered during the process, then there is no rebound. Let's hope that's what you're doing. Keep us up-to-speed on your results over the long-term if ya don't mind.

    And the final word on food-combining:

    Having all the components our bodies need in a meal – fat, carbohydrates, and protein, is the natural balance that tradition has led to. Only in places where certain ingredients were missing (like in the Eskimo diet) did humans not strive to combine fats, proteins, and carbohydrates together simulataneously. All traditional cultures mix it all together, and had no problems until modern foods displaced natural foods. That doesn't mean that certain diet programs that exclude or 'combine' things differently can't help undo damage. Perhaps many can. But no one should believe that the combination of all food groups together is the root of any problem, because it simply isn't and can't be.

    Reply
  16. Hi Sunshine,

    Stumbled on your blog yesterday, interesting stuff. I'm a huge fan of self-exerimentation and am looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

    I'm curious about the comment you made about your g/f being a fruitphobe because of the yeast. Can you elaborate, please?

    Thanks so much!
    ~Maria

    Reply
  17. No, I can't elaborate. Let's just say one piece of fruit is enough to do her in.

    Reply

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