My weight’s been bouncing all over the place recently, so this morning, I decided to start a series of trials. Basically, the trials will so something like this. Each morning (in a fasted state), I’ll start by checking my blood sugar. Then I’ll consume the trial food, and I’ll check my blood sugar after 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes. My goal is determine how these foods impact my blood sugar. Armed with that knowledge, then I can decide whether I should continue to include these foods in my routine food plan.
I’ve been experiencing a great deal of GI distress recently, so I thought I’d start these trials with a snack bar that I found at Aldi. They’re a knock-off of the products pushed by Atkins Nutritionals, but the ingredients look better and they’re a lot cheaper.
Here’s the nutrient profile for today’s food. One Millville Caramel Nut Bar contains:
- 130 calories
- 8 grams of fat
- 17 grams of total carbohydrate
- 15 grams of dietary fiber
- 5 grams of protein
The bars taste good. I actually prefer them to “the real thing”. And I figured that with all that fiber, the impact on my blood sugar would be minimal. Here’s what happened though.
I checked my blood sugar at 8:45 AM. Using my ReliOn Prime meter, I got a reading of 89 mg/dL. Then I ate the bar. Here’s how the rest of the readings turned out:
- 9:15 AM — 96 mg/dL
- 9:45 AM — 116 mg/dL
- 10:15 AM — 112 mg/dL
- 10:45 AM — 90 mg/dL
So basically, if I hadn’t been checking my blood sugars every 30 minutes, I’d likely assume that this food has essentially no impact on my body. I’d completely miss the 27-point spike that I caught after just 60 minutes had passed.
Now, I realize that some people might think, “It’s just 27 points. That no big deal.” Here’s the thing though. I’m never going to see an A1c under 5.0% (an average blood sugar under 97 mg/dL) when these foods are causing these kinds of swings.
Despite the fact that the label claims “2 net carbs” in one bar, my body sees it more like something that 9 or so grams of carbohydrate. And in a game where all your carbs count, “wasting” those carbs on a fake food probably isn’t the smartest move for me.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew going into the experiment that the bar wouldn’t be “good” for me. I knew there’d be some sort of impact on my blood sugar. That being said, I didn’t realize that the impact would be completely hidden by the passage of time.
This experience has taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to testing foods’ impact on my body. Checking my blood sugar two hours after consuming the food just isn’t good enough. With foods like this one, that kind of testing would lead me to think, “Hey, my blood sugar’s up just one point after two hours. This is a fine food for me to eat, and there’s essentially no impact on my blood sugars.” WRONG! And boy was I surprised by that one.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow, I’ll test some Greek yogurt that, according to the label, has 8 grams of total carbohydrate.