Non diabetic use of blood glucose monitor

amb961
amb961 Posts: 51 Member
Hello everyone,

I have been reading Wired to Eat by Rob Wolff where he suggests use of a blood glucose monitor after ingesting 50g of carbs to see what your body's reaction is to them, and therefore being able to create your own version of a low carb diet (for example, he says he is not sensitive to lentils).

Can someone clarify this for me, as I don't quite understand how this effects weight loss.... Is it that if you have a blood spike you are more likely to go off the rails and eat carb based junk?

I just want to make sure that I would be getting one for the right reasons before I invest! Thank you all. Xxxx

Replies

  • StacyChrz
    StacyChrz Posts: 865 Member
    I haven't read the book but my thought is that maybe he's looking at different foods to see which ones cause a higher glucose reaction to see what he can eat to expand his options. Just a guess, fwiw
  • cstehansen
    cstehansen Posts: 1,992 Member
    Although I have not read that, I have a few rationales I can think of pretty quickly to explain this thought.

    First, when BG spikes, so does insulin. Insulin's job is to get that glucose out of your blood. It can go into cells for energy, into muscles and liver as glycogen if your glycogen stores are low, or it can be stored as fat. As part of this, because it is essentially working to remove energy from the blood, it will also prevent fat from being pulled from storage to be burned.

    By keeping insulin lower, your body can more easily burn fat which is what anyone who is trying to lose weight wants to do.

    Although there is a glycemic index which supposedly shows the effects of foods on BG, there are some foods which seem to affect different people differently. Lentils would be one example, dairy is another common one.

    Second, insulin, when the level is higher in the blood than needed for the amount of BG, stimulates hunger. Unfortunately, our bodies can't know exactly how much carbohydrate we are going to eat. It sees some coming into the blood and it starts pumping in insulin and will often overshoot how much is needed.

    This will affect weight loss because while your insulin is high, it is both preventing you from pulling fat from storage while at the same time telling your brain you are starving.

    Therefore avoiding foods that have a more significant impact on your insulin levels will help with weight loss (and numerous other health related issues), but the problem is there is no at home way to test insulin, so we have to use BG as a surrogate marker.

    Hope that helps.
  • RalfLott
    RalfLott Posts: 5,056 Member
    edited May 2017
    Some explanations:

    https://robbwolf.com/wiredtoeat/7daycarbtest/

    First video clip:


  • blueeyetea
    blueeyetea Posts: 44 Member
    It's about how well your body processes carbs and how much insulin your body is producing. In a nutshell, insulin, while known for processing glucose, is also a fat storage hormone. Until all the glucose in the blood is dealt with and processed, insulin stores fat into cells until it is needed for energy. With our current diet of consuming a lot of carbs, or eating often, our body is always processing carbs, and it never gets a chance to retrieve the fat from cells to be used as energy. And that's how we get fat.

    If you measure your blood glucose two hours after a meal that includes a high carb item, and the glucose level is outside the normal parameters, it means your body is still processing sugar and not using the that's already stored. You'll also know to avoid that carby food in the future unless you plan on going out for a jog to burn it off. It's one way to find out what works for your personally, compared to general diet advice, like Robb Wolff says about eating lentils.

    That's about it in a nutshell, although it's more complicated than that. A lot of this mechanism is explained in Gary Taubes "Why We Get Fat" book.

    I'm in Canada, so I don't know how much a blood glucose monitor costs, but here in Canada, they're pretty cheap. It's the strips that are expensive ($35-$40), at two and half times the cost of the machines for 100 ($95). Having said that, if you're not diabetic, it will be expensive at the beginning when you measure every meal, but eventually, you'll have your list of what's good for you. After that, you'll only need to measure when you come across a new food, or you go out to eat. It could be a worthwhile investment in your health.



  • RalfLott
    RalfLott Posts: 5,056 Member
    FYI, you can pick up a highly-rated (by Consumer Reports) Contour Next EZ meter for under $10 (chain drugstores, Amazon, or eBay) and you can also find good deals on soon-expiring test strips (Amazon or eBay).
  • amb961
    amb961 Posts: 51 Member
    Thank you everyone, I appreciate your replies. It is a bit clearer to me now. So investing in one would be an effective tool in weight loss/long term maintainance....
  • RalfLott
    RalfLott Posts: 5,056 Member
    amb961 wrote: »
    Thank you everyone, I appreciate your replies. It is a bit clearer to me now. So investing in one would be an effective tool in weight loss/long term maintainance....

    Yep,

    And considering projections are that 50% of the adult population (and a shocking % of kids) will be prediabetic or diabetic and that screening is absolutely terrible, I don't think it would be a bad idea for just about everyone to check their fasting and post-prandial BG levels a few times a year.

  • amb961
    amb961 Posts: 51 Member
    Does anyone on here have any non diabetic use experience/advice? I'm off to have a look on amazon! :)
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,161 Member
    I went the Precision Extra blood glucose and ketone monitoring system and have been happy with it but seldom use it any more unless I have a question. I saw one for about $28 just now on Amazon.
  • cstehansen
    cstehansen Posts: 1,992 Member
    edited May 2017
    amb961 wrote: »
    Does anyone on here have any non diabetic use experience/advice? I'm off to have a look on amazon! :)

    I would start here:

    https://chriskresser.com/how-to-prevent-diabetes-and-heart-disease-for-16/

    https://chriskresser.com/when-your-normal-blood-sugar-isnt-normal-part-1/

    https://chriskresser.com/when-your-“normal”-blood-sugar-isn’t-normal-part-2/

    All three of these are fairly short.
  • amb961
    amb961 Posts: 51 Member
    Thank you, very useful links. X
  • kpk54
    kpk54 Posts: 5,152 Member
    edited May 2017
    I'm non-diabetic, non-pre-diabetic and non-insulin resistant to my knowledge. I don't plan on testing. I suppose it could be interesting but if I'm not planning on eating high glycemic potatoes or rice in my regular diet I don't see reason to eat them to test to see what happens to my blood glucose if I do (per the 1 article).
  • canadjineh
    canadjineh Posts: 5,375 Member
    edited May 2017
    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/fatty-pancreas-t2d34/

    I'm testing because my FBS seems a bit high even after 16+ hours. Interesting plain language blog article with studies showing only slightly elevated FBS like 5.5 regularly does correlate to T2D in approx 13 years thanks to increasing fatty liver followed by fatty pancreas.