Yesterday I conducted a clinical trial using myself as the primary (and only) subject. Taking some hints from Dr. Bernstein’s The Diabetes Solution and general ‘betes gut feelings developed over 16 years of living with this disease, I forced myself to eat less than 30 grams of carbohydrates yesterday. And I am stoked on the results:
Total Daily Units of Insulin: 27.20 (only 3.6 of those were bolus units!)
Bloodsugars were as follows:
7:27am – 97
10:06am – 156
11:33am – 136
1:25pm – 103
2:28pm – 164
4:55pm – 127
6:38pm – 96
8:48pm – 80
9:56pm – 88
Holy. Cow. Those are some DAMN good numbers. That my friends, might even be called a perfect day in the Land-o – Type 1s (which is right next to the Land-O-Lakes, less water, more insulin though). I was astonished at how tight my control was, and how little bolus insulin I needed throughout the day. I was concerned that I would wake up the next morning with a high BG due to the fat in some of my meals latently breaking down, but I was greeted with a lovely “91” this morning. Smooth sailing!
One would think I would be sold on eating like this for the rest of my life, but there are some issues to adhering to a diet so low in carbohydrates. For the day I tried it, the diet was easy to follow because I had complete control over my meals (e.g. no lunch meetings with food brought in, no dinner plans at some great Italian restaurant, etc). All folks with diabetes have been in those situations where it’s either starve or take part in some BG sabotage. And of course, that whole “enjoying life” thing might call for more than 30 grams of carb on a particular given day (football season = beer and chicken wings. What? It does. Simple math.)
Second, if I had experienced a low bloodsugar, I could have easily hit my max without trying, seeing as how I was already pushing it at about 27 total grams of carb for the day – one juice box and I would have blown it.
So what did I eat? More protein than a bodybuilder: breakfast was easy – I had my usual egg whites micro-waved with a slice of cheese and turkey sausage. Mid-morning I noshed on egg-white salad from Trader Joe’s (I’m obsessed with the Ranchero flavor). Lunch was a salad with mostly greens and grilled chicken, sprinkled with feta cheese and beets. Late afternoon I grabbed a few almonds, and finally wrapped up with a homemade “salad” of avocado, shredded cheese, grilled chicken, and a couple chopped cherry tomatoes (oil and vinegar on top).
All in all, I really enjoyed the foods, and once I concentrated on what I could eat, I was more easily able to ignore my after-lunch cravings for something sweet. Still, 30 grams is low. Sandwiches? Out. Most soups? Out.
I don’t think this diet is practical for me to follow every day for the rest of my life, but I felt so good with my BGs under control that it’s inspired me to at least incorporate some of the Bernstein principles into my daily life. I always thought I was eating low carb, but there’s my version of low carb (about 90 a day) and Dr. Bernstein’s version, and what different those 60 grams made!