My CGM experiment started last night when I placed the Free Style Libre CGM at about 7pm. It takes an hour to ‘warm up’ before showing any readings.
As I previously wrote, I’ll be eating foods that I call ‘celebration’ foods during the first week. Generally these are foods I reserve for treats and times of celebration. They are foods that have a clearly powerful impact on hyperinsulinemia (think jet fuel on a bonfire). Being mostly simple sugar and nearly nothing else they drive the blood sugar up extremely fast which drives the insulin up. As insulin goes up all the things you don’t want to happen do.
So for the prequel to my one week celebration food experiment I decided to document the effect of one of my all time favorite packaged treats, Little Debbie’s Star Crunch. Perhaps, it’s more of an emotional attachment for me as I used to have this food as my 2am reward when I was on call at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. When you’re 20 hours into a 36 hour shift and it’s a struggle to fight off fatigue to answer your pager one more time, sometimes you need little rewards to encourage you through. Ironically for me, but great for the kids, LeBonheur decided they needed to offer healthier food in their cafeteria for the kids and removed all the Little Debbie snacks about halfway through my last rotation there.
Back to my prequel experiment…I had spent the weekend camping with my family and some friends and, perhaps, had started my ‘celebration’ food experiment a few days early without my CGM. However, after returning home Sunday afternoon, I spent a considerable time working outside in the yard including chainsawing some trees that were toppled in Friday’s isolated freak windstorm. I had worked hard. It was time for my reward.
I decided to eat the Star Crunch about 30 minutes prior to going to bed. Studies show that most American’s eat about 15 hours a day consuming something within the hour prior to getting into bed. I thought it would be interesting to see just how bad this habit would be for me.
Here’s the nutritional information for a Star Crunch.
The carb calculation for a Star Crunch is 42gms of net carbs. Forty-three grams of total carbs minus 1 gram of fiber. So what was the effect on my blood sugar?
This is disturbing.
As you can see, the Star Crunch eaten before bed caused my body to be hyperglycemic all night. My morning glucose was 103 mg/dL. Incidentally, I didn’t feel well either when I got up. I felt like I hadn’t rested well.
So what’s the take away? Did I learn that a Star Crunch is not healthy? Was I surprised that it made my blood glucose go up? Not at all, I already knew those things. What I learned was to associate the feeling of being unwell with the knowledge of why I felt unwell. Honestly, it made it hard to eat breakfast. I’ve come to enjoy fasting as a corrective measure so much that I naturally wanted to skip breakfast to correct this issue. Yet, I soldiered on and ate anyway. I’ll document that in a post later today. Stay tuned.