The experimental diet is over! F.U. FUDA!
For those interested, here are the fasting readings taken on an extremely high-carb/low-fat vegan diet vs. a low-carb/high-fat carnivorous diet. The first numbers were taken after pigging out on what were about to become forbidden foods. For example, I consumed an entire pint of heavy cream right before bed the night before the diet began. Aurora ate refined sugar, something she absolutely never does, which included chocolate-covered pretzels from the health-food-store. You can see, even despite Aurora’s erratic and unpredictable readings, that both diets appear to lower fasting glucose levels.
Although the postprandial glucose tests performed were very limited, and nothing truly can be concluded from them (we only did 1 test at the 1-hour mark on our respective diets), the postprandial tests were extremely interesting. There’s no doubt that I will do extensive postprandial glucose testing in the future.
Before I reveal any postprandial test results, let’s talk about the presumed science of glycemic response and insulin release so that we’re all on the same page.
The glycemic index is a baseline guide, one that I’ve been tirelessly critical of, that estimates the amount of blood sugar rise one will encounter after consuming 50 grams of a particular form of carbohydrate. For example, eating 50 grams of carbs from pumpkin is said to cause a larger blood glucose spike than eating 50 grams of carbohydrate from a Snickers bar. Sounds fishy don’t it?
What the glycemic index does NOT take into account is the fact that 1 Snickers bar is easy to eat in about two minutes, and supplies those 50 grams of carbs. To get 50 grams of pumpkin carb, you’d have to eat several pounds of pumpkin, which is only hypothetical as no one could even do such a thing (except for Gal Sone or Joey Chestnut perhaps) ? much less pull it off in 2 minutes like a measly candy bar.
This caused scientists to come up with a concept called the ?glycemic load? of certain foods. This helps account for the fact that although 50 grams of pumpkin carb might send your blood sugar through the roof, a half pound of pumpkin only contains a few grams of carbs, and has an insignificant impact on blood sugar ? unlike a Snickers bar by volume. So, appropriately, a candy bar registers higher on a calculation for glycemic load than pumpkin.
The ?glycemic impact science? for lack of a better term also notes that the addition of fat and protein, because they digest more slowly than carbohydrates, help slow down the absorption rate of carbohydrates. All insulin and blood sugar control enthusiasts seem to be keen on this. Barry Sears, for example, has built a whole dieting paradigm around combining all the key elements: fat, protein, and carbohydrates together as part of a meal with an overall low-glycemic load. Eating the carbs by themselves, as I have done for two weeks, causes big spikes in blood glucose and therefore insulin according to Sears and countless others.
I too abided by this belief, and felt for years that eating fat and protein with your carbohydrate foods help to slow down the absorption rate and provide a slower, steadier release of blood sugar and insulin into the bloodstream. This stemmed from having fantastic results abiding by that rule per the guidance of Endocrinologist and author, Diana Schwarzbein.
Considering the above information, I leave it up to you guys to vote on which of the following two meals produced a larger glucose reading 1-hour after finishing the meal (which usually provides the highest reading after a meal).
Meal #1 was the final low-fat vegan dinner. It consisted of, by my best guess, about 200 grams of carbohydrates, if not slightly more. I had 4-5 whole wheat chappatis (like tortillas), ground fresh in my kitchen with no added fat. Each chappati had 25-30 grams of carbohydrate I’d guess with 6-7 grams of protein, and only traces of fat. I slathered two of these with 1T of raw honey each. The rest I ate plain. I also had a giant Colorado honeycrisp apple, two clementines, and 3 heads of steamed baby bok choy. I did have one tiny bite (and I mean tiny) of d?affinois cheese, Sinner!
Meal #2 was my first meal after two weeks of uber low-fat/high-carb vegan. Keep in mind this could have affected my fat metabolism somehow ? maybe by deactivating some lipolytic enzymes or something. I don’t know, but take that into consideration. I ate like a competitive eater, inhaling some corporate food at Famous Dave’s. I was ravenous. Aurora said, ?I’ve never seen you eat this fast. The meal consisted of about 125 grams of carbohydrates by my best guess, tons of protein ? maybe 60 grams, and probably about 60 grams of fat too. I ate ? slab of St. Louis ribs with about 2T of extra barbecue sauce (containing about 30% HFCS I’m sure), 2 corn muffins (with sugar too ? they tasted like cupcakes), 1 slice of white Texas toast, 1 ear of corn on the cob, a side of baked beans (small, and not too sweet), and a side of green beans. The immeasurable variables were the addition of refined sugar and grain, but the total carbohydrate load and glycemic load were undeniably less in meal #2.
One meal registered a blood sugar reading of 116 mg/dl at the 1-hour mark. The other registered a 176 mg/dl at the 1-hour mark ? bordering on type 2 diabetic levels. Which meal provided the lower short-term postprandial reading? You make the call in the poll at the upper-right hand corner! Vote quickly so I can report the answer on Wednesday.
Oh yeah, I’ve got another poll for you guys as well. Who do you think lost the most weight over the 2-week period by percentage of bodyweight lost?
Your second meal will undeniably cause a larger spike in your readings simply because you overloaded your body with a high mix of all three carbs, fat and protein. your calorie consumption from one sitting on this meal cant be at all compared to the much lower calorie meal you finished your lowfat experiment on.
also, the bodyWEIGHT is simply easy to answer because your not defining anything besides the number on the scale. i wager a bet you lost MUCH more muscle than aurora on this experiment, as well as more weight. aurora however kept her muscle weight and lost bodyFAT
Yeah, but combining the three should slow down the rate of absorption, as would stuffing myself. I'd guess in terms of calories for everyone's clarification would be about 1,000 to 1,100 on Meal #1 and around 1,400 on Meal #2
And yes, bodyweight is the question. I did not ask about changes in body composition.
either way the density of the meal you had out and crap included in what you ate will result in a higher blood sugar spike… theres a lot of foreign ingredients in what you had at Famous Daves.
you most likely lost body composition and body weight while aurora maintained her composition and prolly lost more water from a high drop in carbs
I think in the course of these experiments:
1. You need to do a baseline. What is your fasting glucose when doing your regular mode of eating?
2. Give food separation [called "combining"] a try. What happens if you do near zero carb one meal and low-fat vegan the next? What is your fasting glucose after multiple days of this?
No doubt about it Carl. I'm going to try it all. Gonna wear this glucose meter out.
What I'd really like to do is find a way to eat the same meal, but progressively lower my glucose levels eating that same meal. I know that going vegan or zero carb will lower fasting glucose. My question is what can I do to improve my glucose response, insulin sensitivity, and so on with mixed meals?
I have an idea, and it rhymes with 'unrestricted overfeeding.'
How on earth does overfeeding improve glucose response and insulin sensitivity? How do you think that works?
Overfeeding is known to reduce insulin and leptin resistance. This is why those who've been overfeeding for an extended period of time have appetite reduction and weight loss after returning to a normal diet. This also parallels an increase in metabolism.
It's my suspicion that the increased rate of lipolysis from metabolic increase will allow fatty acids to be metabolized and glucose to be properly stored intracellularly upon ingestion. As it stands now, many people cannot handle the combination of the two simultaneously. Fatty acids block insulin function and lead to greater postprandial glucose levels and subsequent fasting levels (due to accumulation of intracellular and blood fats – instead of them being properly oxidized for fuel, which the metabolic rate controls).
This gives the perception that combining carbs and fats together is inherently bad, which it of course can't be – our ancestors always jumped through great hoops to eat animal protein, animal fat, and carbohydrates all together at each sitting, and they never developed modern health problems from those practices until refined carbs arrived.
Broda Barnes for example was able to prevent glucose-metabolism related disorders (hypoglycemia, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity) simply by raising the body temperature – as overfeeding can do for many. Overfeeding need not be permanent, but it could be one very important tool in the toolbox for repairing oneself.
I think that your and Aurora's weight loss is not a good comparison of the efficacy of the two different diets for weight loss.
You have mentioned that Aurora usually eats low carb just like she did for this experiment, right?
And I'm just assuming that you've never done the Fuhrman thing before.
I can't get into the scientifics, but I do think that this is an important variable.
Also, Aurora shouldn't have much glycogen weight to lose.
I didn't say it was relevant or was a good indicator. Weight loss also isn't an indicator of what is a good diet or not.
Just asking a question to test you guys, and it sounds like you've got a good thought process in coming up with an educated guess on what might be the correct answer.
I'm crossing my fingers that the overfeeding works!
There are a lot of things in your second meal which would shoot up your blood sugar significantly: the wheat, the corn, the beans, and the sugar. I'm a diabetic and that's the meal I would have avoided.
Also note that I've measured the blood sugar in several of my friends after eating high glycemic meals like this, and they will typically not go above 125 or so. I know you eat healthy, so it's probably not a concern, but something to be aware of.
The other thing I'm curious about, though, is why are you still losing weight? I've been reading you off and on for about a year now, and at this point your weight should be fairly stable. What are you eating which causes you to gain weight?
Wheat, corn, and beans were my primary staples, along with potatoes, during FUDA. They weren't unique to my Famous Dave's Americana feast.
In the last 2 years my lowest weight was 167 and highest weight was 181. I don't believe I can go above 181 without refined sugar, and I'd barely be able to pull that off. I can't go below 167 without severe dietary restriction/starvation.
I don't recall: How tall are you and Aurora?
I'm 5'9". She's about 5'5" and hovers in the 125-130 range I believe. I was right in the middle of my weight range in the pig pictures (taken 11 months ago) – call it 173-174
sup Matt. Is the insulin resistance from zero carb pathological or just while zero carbing?
Matt could easily drop weight on this diet from a lack of dietary protein (I'm guessing a lack of fat could also be considered). When the body lacks such protein, it will pull from it's own stores and, as any "health nut" should know, muscle weighs more than fat. An increase in stress hormones (can be raised by amino acids tryptophan and cysteine found in muscle) would also encourage weight loss, though, the tendency to gain fat around the midsection. Two weeks probably isn't enough to notice any of that part of it, though.
Any negatives so far from the aftermath of this diet, Matt? I'm also very curious as to if your blood sugar levels have changed since (other than the two huge meals).
You know the muscle weighs more than fat has always struck me as funny…..how much does a pound of muscle weigh? a pound. How much does a pound of fat weigh? a pound.
I don't really consider insulin resistance to be a good thing under any circumstances. I was just pointing out in my latest podcast that really low-carbers often run into the very problem they were trying to avoid by going low-carb. This may potentially be the reason so many on low-carb, despite miraculous initial results, have problems down the line. You can run from carbs, but you can't hide.
it takes more fat to make a pound than it does muscle.
Soo..I guess muscle is "more dense" than fat..technically speaking. You get the point, though.
yeah, I know what you mean chlOe, It's just funny to me….
I'm Dan Holt by the way
Hi Matt, I want to play around with your macronutrient intake. You're highest is 181 pounds. This is of course an estimation and assumes your have a good amount of activity throughout the day. Your meal plan looks like it fits this ratio. If you wanted to get down to 10% bodyfat at that weight you would want to take in:
117g of protein a day.
378g of carbs
181g of fat
The protein will take 4 hours to digest and is about the amount you would want for the time frame of digestion. The fast is also a good amount if you were to have three meals a day. I'm interested in hearing the results as I do not know what you suspect from glycemic reading. Just how many grams of refined sugar did you have with the meal. If your intake was mostly starches and fiber your glycemic index should be at a normal reading. However, 200g of carbs will give a much higher glycemic index.
Hey Matt, with as much as you've panned the low-carbers lately, I'm a little curious as to why your girlfriend continues to stay the course? (Not that she's required to do what you say, of course.)
Ohhh, Dans back. Dan, I dont think you'll find many people here that are plotting every meal to that degree. Thats half the point of this site is getting out from under the foot of all this extreme dieting (plotting macronutrient quantities to the T is extreme dieting, IMO). The point is to be able to get your metabolism to a point where it doesnt really matter what you eat as long as you dont go extreme in any macronutrient at the exclusion of another, long term. Maybe some slight macronutrient adjusting would be needed until that point is reached, but its more of a simple "dont eat as much fat during this period" type of thing.
Also, I would recommend not using figures such as "The protein will take 4 hours to digest", these figures are arbitrary and vary immensely by individual. In posts on the HED yahoo groups and such you use arbitrary figures like this often. Try to refrain here, if you please, as it will not add to a discussion.
If he ate pork ribs and he has a decent digestion I'd imagine it would take him 4 hours to digest it.
If he had ate three meals the same size as meal #2 it would be the same as the calories I put down. Maybe a tad bit more carb and a tad bit less protein, 20g less protein a meal.
Dan Holt again
Are you eating instinctively Matt? Is that the amount you felt like eating? Funny coincidence if it is.
Protein is a rather vague word to use, I think. Which is another reason why I wouldn't say that generally any protein takes four hours to digest. Are you speaking in terms of meat (Chicken, or fish, or cow, or pork?)? Milk? Gelatin? Eggs? The protein in a potato or carbohydrate source? The amount eaten? What it's eaten with?
And I'd be very careful to say any person with a healthy metabolism digests any of the above in exactly four hours or around that time only. Again, you're not being incredibly specific, nor do I think you are providing much examples or science to back up your claim. I think it would also depend on how someone is classified as having a healthy metabolism.
Hey, reveal, reveal! You said Wednesday!
I'm saying pork protein would take 4 hours to digest. Here's an article on it. No scientific literature sorry. I'm lazy, Matt's the professional, he's far more competent at doing this stuff. I just like to have fun with it, not make a career out of it.
Oh yeah, Matt, if you were to eat two meals a day with that exact ratio as meal #2 on a day where most of your activities are computer work and very light work that would also work.
Does your significant other believe that everything you say is right, and strive to follow your wise advice to a T? I didn't think so. Aurora is a tough sell and a good critic. She believes that carbs give her problems, and that cutting them out changed her life.
My eating patterns aren't always that regimented. I can only stipulate as to what the right answer to your question would be.
I know. Guilty. I came so close to finishing up a post on Wednesday before having to meet someone. It'll be out by lunchtime today at the very latest though (10/30)
what about this?
Hey Matt, no, naturally I don't expect anyone else to listen to my knowledge and/or advice on whatever topic is at hand, no matter what their relationship to me may be. I suppose I was just curious as to whether or not, as a long-term low-carber, she'd shown any of the ill effects of such a diet that you have made such a point of highlighting? Or has she kept a varied enough diet so as to stave off such metabolic damage?
fructose is not accounted for in glycemic index or load http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM