So, I finally bit the bullet and read the book. And it was more than a little intense. Whew! What a diet to follow!
I did learn some really interesting things that I did not know about diabetes, though.
1. The story of the swimmer and the lettuce:
A swimmer ate a head of lettuce every day before swimming. The head of lettuce equaled 10 grams of carbohydrate, but her blood sugar would rise from 90 to 300 every day while swimming. She didn’t understand it.
Basically, the book has this to say about it: when your stomach and intestines stretch out to accommodate food (no matter what the food, or how many carbs it has), it triggers your pancreas to release insulin in preparation for the digestion ahead. In response, your pancreas also produces glucagon, which is less potent than insulin, to prevent the chance of a low blood sugar.
In a normal person this is fine, but in a diabetic producing no insulin, your body then gets a dose of glucagon. This is why eating a lot of anything, even free foods, is never really a great idea.
And it explains the great and frustrating mystery of why, if I eat 5 stalks of celery, my blood sugar goes up. Good to know!
2. Protein and Carbohydrates:
The liver can convert as much as 36% of the protein we consume into carbohydrates, though very slowly.
3. Powdered Sweeteners
Powdered sweeteners like Splenda, Sweet N Low, etc. DO HAVE CARBS. Granted, not a lot of them, but I had assumed that they didn’t have any. The part that gives them carbs is the powder itself, usually maltodextrine or the like, which is used to add necessary bulk.
1 packet has about 1 gram of carbohydrate. The granulated Splenda is a little worse, with 1/2 cup containing about 15 grams. However, I’ve never used 1/2 cup of Splenda. Yuck. But it’s good to know!
So that was an interesting read, and I’m going to try it for a bit, to see what the results are. It is strict enough to seem somewhat impractical, so it will be a serious challenge. My goal now is to follow the diet for 1 week. I’ll post an update on my progress at the end of the week. If that’s all I end up doing, I’m hoping from this diet to learn a bit more about how certain foods effect my blood sugar, and how to achieve stability.