Ah yes, as well as ladybirds,  (which by the way, are never where you want them – I would be happy for a Harlequin in my spare room as my chilli and pepper plants appear to be a bit of a doss house for greenfly right now…..), I have been having a game of ‘let’s check lardy features isn’t diabetic, or something equally horrible’

So I bought a blood glucose monitor, checked it when I’d not eaten for a while, and blood sugar was predictably pretty low (4.6). Tested it again post Nando’s (which had included plenty of carbs – chips and peas), and it was what appeared to be a reasonable and expected 6.4.

I decided it may be useful to do a Glucose Tolerance Test, lifted from this page


Method as follows;


One bit that’s quite important is this – I’ll come back to it later…

If you are currently eating a low carb diet–especially a diet that provies less than 75 g of carbohydrate a day, your post-meal test result will be slightly higher than it would be if you were eating over 150 grams of carbs a day. That is why, if you were going in for an official post-meal test or a glucose tolerance test ordered by your doctor, you would be told that you have to eat 150 grams of carbohydrate during 3 days before your test to get a valid result. However, since this is an informal test you probably don’t want to stop your diet for that long. So when you get your result, you can make an informal adjustment to your post-meal test results that will account for the fact that low carbing temporarily raises your post-meal values when you eat an unaccustomed large dose of carbohydrate.

To make this correction, just subtract 10 mg/dl from any post-meal result that is over 140 mg/dl at 2 hours if you are currently low carbing. This is a very rough estimate, but close enough for this kind of home testing.

(One thing to note – that site is American, to convert UK numbers mmol/l to US mg/dl, multiply by 18…therefore 4.6mmol/l is 83mg/dl….)

So, I chose to eat two plain fruit teacakes for breakfast, and a cup of tea. Each apparently has 30g carbs….and this is what happened….

Fasted blood glucose taken at 07.40 – 5.7 – a bit high but not completely awful
Then ate 60g fast carbs in the form of 2 teacakes and a cup of tea.
Glucose tested again at 08.40 – 15 – shit a brick, panic a bit and nearly do a poo….
Figured I might have something on my hand, washed hands, tried again 08.44 – 8.9 – still too high but at least my kidneys aren’t about to pack up….
At work now, slope off to the bog to avoid too many questions 09.45 – 8.9 – WTF? Damn……this is not good
Just now, another bog trip 10.45 – 6.3 – down to something approaching normal but still way to high…it should really be below 5.5


Carbs, what are they?….

So, after the panic, I realised that being low carb would mean a higher fasting bg. Fine, but even with 10mg/dl off each value (remember the bit in italics, above?) the numbers are awful. Pretty close to diabetic, in fact. Definitely in damage territory, Then someone pointed out that low carb causes insulin resistance. Another poke around finds posts on Physiological Insulin Resistance here;


There are actually a few in the series but some of the highlights…

What is happening? Well, the first thing is that LC eating rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a completely and utterly normal physiological response to carbohydrate restriction. Carbohydrate restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. Fatty tissue breaks down and releases non esterified fatty acids. These are mostly taken up by muscle cells as fuel and automatically induce insulin resistance in those muscles.

This is patently logical as muscle runs well on lipids and so glucose can be left for tissues such as brain, which really need it. Neuronal tissue varies in its use of insulin to uptake glucose but doesn’t accumulate lipid in the way muscle does, so physiological insulin resistance is not an issue for brain cells.

However, while muscles are in “refusal mode” for glucose the least input, from food or gluconeogenesis, will rapidly spike blood glucose out of all proportion. This is fine if you stick to LC in your eating. It also means that if you take an oral glucose tolerance test you will fail and be labelled diabetic. In fact, even a single high fat meal can do this, extending insulin resistance in to the next day.

Check out the bit in bold. Yep, that was me. The way to get a ‘normal’ reading, according to the two sites I posted up, is to carb load with at least 150g carbs a day for 3 days before doing the test….

Speaking of experiments, I’m, finding these quite exciting, and I really can’t wait for the next ones……


Anyway, I have some more ranting to do…

  1. Nick says:

    I never thought about it like that, in theory then at least if you were diabetic you should loose body fat? hmm. i expect diabetes messes up your muscle too though.

    Tell you a great book i read which was packed with stuff on insulin:

    i’d lend you mine but bought the Kindle ebook version

    • beklet says:

      That is one of the symptoms of diabetes mellitus – mate of mine had it and lost 4 stone but felt awful – without insulin you can’t store fat, but you can’t control blood sugar eiither, and your body will cannibalise itself, so it’s bad for muscle!

      Mark Sisson is excellent – I do read his blog, and a couple of others, regularly




      I should stop being a twat and actually link them permanently on here but I’m a technospaz, so it will have to wait a bit…

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