Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Michael's 7-day Carb Test results #7daycarbtest

Image credit: https://healclinics.com/hypoglycemia-low-carb/
Today I'm posting Michael's results of the 7-Day Carb Test. Two data points is too early to determine a pattern, but Michael is seeing the same hypoglycemia that Melissa saw when she did the test. I'll wait for a few more reports - but my working hypothesis right now is that you guys are starting out too healthy and the 50g carbs is too much. The 7-Day Carb test was written more for folks accustomed to the Standard American Diet. But it's not the hypoglycemia that's shown in the image above. It's more that you are fat adapted and good at burning fat in the morning, so when you see those carbs all at once, your pancreas overreacts, driving your blood sugar too low.

From Michael:


  • About 15 minutes after waking, drink 1 cup black coffee, then the test meal
  • 2 hours after completing the test meal, perform the glucose test

On the first two days, I performed a baseline fasting test immediately after waking.
On the last three days, I added a test at 30 minutes.
Wolf's optimal range for the 2-hour mark is 90-115 mg/dL.
I chose candidate carbs that are already in my diet. Quick summary:

  • Pumpernickel: PASS
  • White potato: FAIL
  • Pasta: PASS
  • Quinoa: FAIL
  • Yams: PASS?
  • Oatmeal: FAIL?
  • Granola: PASS

Here are the results by day:

Day 1
Baseline fasting test: 113 mg/dL
Food: 2 slices pumpernickel - the genuine dense stuff, thinly sliced
2 hour test: 97 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: none noted
Conclusion: Within optimal range, but strangely lower than fasting test.

Day 2
Baseline fasting test: 90 mg/dL
Food: 250g Yukon Gold potato (a lot of potatoes!)
2 hour test: 27 / 31 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: felt a bit shaky [note from Mike: I got a good rant from Michael on this day about the sorry state of our IT department at work. While I generally agree that our IT is solidly in the 1990s, I never get that quality of rant from Michael about it, so I would say that potatoes are bad for Michael]
Conclusion: Very low, technically hypoglycemia. This was a surprising result - after the first reading, I didn't know whether to trust the meter, so I took the second reading and got a similar result.

Day 3
Food: 260g Pasta (the good stuff, from Italy)
2 hour test: 113 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: a little tingling in the extremities
Conclusion: Within optimal range - good news, since I like pasta.

Day 4
Food: 150g Quinoa
2 hour test: 37 / 47 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: none noted
Conclusion: Again, a very low result. Again, took a second reading to confirm the result.

At this point, I began to question whether a single test at the 2 hour mark was sufficient information. Recall the graphs that Mike sent out with the original blog post. The graphs had a much higher sampling rate, and in both cases the subject experienced a significant spike quickly, but their blood glucose completely leveled out after two hours. Suspecting I might be missing some useful information, I started testing at 30 and 120 minutes. Besides, who would want to pass up extra opportunities to stab oneself in the finger?

Day 5
Food: 290g Yams
30 min test: 67 mg/dL
2 hour test: 115 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: none noted
Conclusion: Now, I'm really not sure what to make of this. The 30 minute number is again way too low, but the two hour number is good.

Day 6
Food: 400g Oatmeal
30 min test: 116 mg/dL
2 hour test: 57 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: none noted
Conclusion: As with most of these other tests, this is a LOT of carbs to eat in one sitting. Again, very different results at 30 and 120 minutes.

Day 7
Food: 150g Granola
30 min test: 108 mg/dL
2 hour test: 96 mg/dL
Symptoms/sensations: a bit jittery
Conclusion: Both numbers within range, but I could tell me body was having an adverse reaction to the added sugar in the granola. Compared to the oatmeal, this is a bit of a mystery.


  • The results did not necessarily align with my expectations (for example, I expected potatoes to work better for me), so there is no substitute for actual testing.
  • I think the 2 hour single test is insufficient. I would argue that 15 minutes for 2 hours would be necessary to really draw conclusions. But who could withstand the blood loss?
  • Like Melissa said, add this testing to 100 other reasons not to become diabetic...


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