Controlling Blood SUGAR levels on Low Fat Vegan Diet

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Hello everyone, this is my first post.

I'm dipping my toe into the world of Vegan and my initial experiments have been a disaster from a blood glucose perspective.

No, I'm not diabetic but have been wearing a continuous glucose blood monitor for the last 14 days.

I found that seemingly healthy vegan items like green juice, or yam in veggie broth rapidly spiked my blood glucose to 200 and then had a rapid fall, leaving me feeling unwell.

In contrast, foods with lots of protein and fat stayed in the green zone (100-140) then entire time with a gradual rise and fall.

I experimented for dinner with a half can tomato soup with broccoli and 3oz of chicken breast. It went to 144 but quickly down to 105.

My ultimate endeavor is to go low fat and lower my cholesterol.

By chance, any diabetics here or anyone who has experimented with the blood glucose consequences of these diet decisions?

Thanks a bunch,
Formerly_Caveman_Mike
 

Sax

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Welcome!

I'm not diabetic and don't monitor my glucose. But I would recommend sticking to whole foods and high-fiber carbs as much as you can. The fiber slows the uptake of carbs/sugar so you won't spike and crash. Juicing and blending can separate the sugars from the fiber and weaken that effect. Did you boil the yam in broth? That might dissolve carbs out of the fiber/into the broth where it is more quickly absorbed.

Your body may need time to adjust to a new diet as well. If you're not diabetic I wouldn't stress too much about your glucose while transitioning - though you mentioned feeling unwell and I'm not saying you should ignore that.

Hopefully someone more versed on the subject can give the advice you're looking for.

In the meantime check out the How Not To Die Cookbook and the author's website https://nutritionfacts.org for tons of great information on healthy, whole food eating.

Good luck!
 

Lou

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I'm going to guess that the green juice had a lot of fruit juice. And Yams. well, they are sweet tasting so of course, they are going to have a lot of sugar too.

I second Sax's suggestion.
and in the meantime here are some Eat to Live meals and recipes
 
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Bob Who

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Hi Formerly Mike...,

I have a lot of questions. If you're concerned with your cholesterol why are you wearing a glucose monitor? What is your A1C? Are you over weight? What are your current cholesterol levels? When you talk about spikes and rapidly falling glucose levels, what kind of a time frame are you talking about? How long did you feel unwell after this dramatic lowering? I have more questions, but I'm trying to understand what your situation is and goals are.

My wife was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Sept of 2014. At the time her fasting glucose was in the 200's and her AIC was 9. something. I can get the actual numbers from her if you want to know, but off the top of my head this is as close as I can recall. Her fasting blood sugar now tests in the '80's her AIC is 5.1 -5.2 and has been stable for a couple of years. She is taking no medication. Our primary care doctor literally said "you don't have it" refering to her diabetes. Her cholesterol is higher than mine, but I eat a vegan diet and exercise, she is virtually 100% vegetarian, she does have some other issues so she isn't as active as I am.

I found my way to eating a vegan diet for health reasons, and have been doing so , happily for 3 years now. I'm 3 1/2 years post heart-attack and triple bypass surgery. I'm not on any prescriptions for that either, although I currently take a daily baby aspirin, mostly because it makes my doctors feel better, it doesn't actually bother me. I can go into more detail on this too if you want to know.

We both changed what we ate when she was diagnosed, though at the time this was following the recommendations for a diabetic diet which were not at all vegetarian or vegan, but dos have one counting carbs and limiting portions. My wife and I operate as a team and I went to all her diabetic meetings with the nurse educator, the dietician etc. I also followed the same diet as she did. I'm also pretty much the main galley slave around here. I can go into a lot more detail about food choices, and resources, and go into a lot more of our story if you wish.

A few more questions about your test meals? Did you read the label on the soup you ate? Could it have had processed starches or sugars? And the sweet potato in broth, store bought broth product? Have you run tests on eating different foods and recording your blood sugar reactions? Since your monitoring constantly I would suggest you try different foods. Also what serving sizes are you using?

I would suggest you check the USDA nutritional data base , it's free, online, and it gives you nutritional information for serving sizes. The one important thing about using the data base is that it's a constant source for information and just relying on labels can be somewhat variable. If you use a lot of packaged products there is another resource used by dieticians : " Bowers & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used". This book wasn't helpful to us, as most of our food even pre- diagnosis, was moslty made from scratch. The book also isn't nearly as easy to use. I got a copy on ABE for less than 5.00.

I'm only offering up what our story is and what are results are now, and I can make suggestions on things to try. I like to cook and have a keen interest in food if there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

Bob
 
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Thanks everyone and thanks Bob for such a detailed reply and interest to help.

My spouse is diabetic and wears the Freestyle libre monitor. As a self-professed gadget nerd, purchased a 14 day sensor ($60) for educational/informational purposes. My A1C is good (5.1), my fasting glucose levels are normally 95.

My bigger and obviously VERY serious issue is one I just learned a few days ago when my doctor called with disturbing results from a cardiac CT scan of the heart. My calcium score was 464 which means: "Extensive atherosclerotic plaque. High likelihood of at least one significant coronary narrowing.". I heard the alarm in my primary doc's voice when she insisted I immediately start a 40mg statin, a baby aspirin get a cardiology apt ASAP (mine in tomorrow).

The reason I had that calcium score test done is my cholesterol has been high-ish (200-230) for many years. I have no heart symptoms, no chest pain, no shortness of breath. I walk 4 miles each day (back and forth to work).

I'm 51, 5'10" tall, 190 pounds. I'm active, in good health. My only health issue is crohn's which has been in remission 30 years!!!

The consequence of being hospitalized 2 weeks, 30 years ago from an acute crohn's attack is it left an 18 inch portion of my small intestine severely scarred and very narrowed. That means if I eat anything that isn't digested into a liquified state by the time it reaches the end of my small intestine, I'll end up in the hospital with a small bowel obstruction. That has happened 3 times in 30 years - dangerous and unpleasant.

This is not an issue for meat and refined carbs as those digest to mush just fine. However, I can't eat salad, raw nuts, or raw veggies. If out, I can't eat most cooked veggies, other than potatoes.

So, for the last 30 years, I've been on a "meat and potatoes" diet. Years ago, I really embraced the Paleo lifestyle. I was pretty well indoctrinated into the view that saturated fats are stable and the good fats. I'd always opt for coconut oil and butter and avoid soy/corn oil.

Coincidentally, in the month leading up to getting this disturbing cardiac news, I had been binge-watching youtube videos from "Healthy Happy Vegan" and "Mic the Vegan" because I wanted to get my cholesterol numbers down. Mic the Vegan made me question that the true villains in heart disease were inflammation caused by sugar and polyunsaturated seed oils.

So, here I am, 1 day before my cardiology apt and I'm really anxious and sad.

I feel shame and anticipate all of my friends blaming my paleo ways for my current cardiac predicament. (Much like the smoker being blamed for lung cancer).

However, I did some googling yesterday I found lots of references to crohn's and arteriosclerosis in the context of systemic inflammation attacking the arteries as well as the intestines. With only 1 data point, there's no way to know if the artery damage happened 30 years ago when my body attacked the 18 inch section of intestine, or was caused by my current diet. There may also be a heredity component as my dad died at 71 during a quadruple bypass surgery.

I'm willing to drastically change my diet but feel really handcuffed not being able to order salad and veggies if out.

I can eat chickpeas, quinoa as veggie sources of protein without needing to blend in my vitamix.

As I'm reading Dr. Essylsten's book the idea of ZERO oil / added fat leaves me feeling there's not a lot I can eat.

So, if I'm in town, hungry, walk into a 7-11 or fast food place, what the heck could I eat?
  • Peanuts,
  • plain bagel,
  • cheese stick,
  • lowfat yogurt (high in sugar),
  • banana?
  • Hamburger
  • French fries ?
Obviously, I'm posting this in a vegan forum so that rules out dairy and meat.

I now have severe cardiac issues so that rules out fat (french fries) and nuts.

Sure, I could have a banana and plain bagel and I know from past experience that will make me fat (an independent risk factor for heart disease).

I guess I'll know more tomorrow.

It's truly amazing how everything can change in just one day.

Thanks for reading this,
-Mike
 

Sax

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I know I already recommended Dr. Greger's stuff to you but this video seems especially relevant


 

Nekodaiden

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I'm willing to drastically change my diet but feel really handcuffed not being able to order salad and veggies if out.

I can eat chickpeas, quinoa as veggie sources of protein without needing to blend in my vitamix.

As I'm reading Dr. Essylsten's book the idea of ZERO oil / added fat leaves me feeling there's not a lot I can eat.

So, if I'm in town, hungry, walk into a 7-11 or fast food place, what the heck could I eat?
  • Peanuts,
  • plain bagel,
  • cheese stick,
  • lowfat yogurt (high in sugar),
  • banana?
  • Hamburger
  • French fries ?
Obviously, I'm posting this in a vegan forum so that rules out dairy and meat.
https://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/pennsylvania/philadelphia/

Obviously you will need to look at their menus/call ahead with your dietary requirements.

Vegan diets eating out are easier now-a-days, depending on where you are, but as your requirements are even more strict I'd suggest putting
together food you know you can eat and keeping it with you whenever you go out.

I do find it a little strange that you can eat meat with your small intestine narrowing/scarring but not most veggies except potato. Although flesh is partially digested in the stomach, it is not completely digested - the remnants move on through the small intestine and into the colon, where they are consumed by flesh eating bacteria that live there. Constipation and stronger more pungent smells from heavier meat eaters aren't a result of the complete digesting of meat they imagine happens in the stomach - because it doesn't.
 
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poivron

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Thanks everyone and thanks Bob for such a detailed reply and interest to help.

My spouse is diabetic and wears the Freestyle libre monitor. As a self-professed gadget nerd, purchased a 14 day sensor ($60) for educational/informational purposes. My A1C is good (5.1), my fasting glucose levels are normally 95.

My bigger and obviously VERY serious issue is one I just learned a few days ago when my doctor called with disturbing results from a cardiac CT scan of the heart. My calcium score was 464 which means: "Extensive atherosclerotic plaque. High likelihood of at least one significant coronary narrowing.". I heard the alarm in my primary doc's voice when she insisted I immediately start a 40mg statin, a baby aspirin get a cardiology apt ASAP (mine in tomorrow).

The reason I had that calcium score test done is my cholesterol has been high-ish (200-230) for many years. I have no heart symptoms, no chest pain, no shortness of breath. I walk 4 miles each day (back and forth to work).

I'm 51, 5'10" tall, 190 pounds. I'm active, in good health. My only health issue is crohn's which has been in remission 30 years!!!

The consequence of being hospitalized 2 weeks, 30 years ago from an acute crohn's attack is it left an 18 inch portion of my small intestine severely scarred and very narrowed. That means if I eat anything that isn't digested into a liquified state by the time it reaches the end of my small intestine, I'll end up in the hospital with a small bowel obstruction. That has happened 3 times in 30 years - dangerous and unpleasant.

This is not an issue for meat and refined carbs as those digest to mush just fine. However, I can't eat salad, raw nuts, or raw veggies. If out, I can't eat most cooked veggies, other than potatoes.

So, for the last 30 years, I've been on a "meat and potatoes" diet. Years ago, I really embraced the Paleo lifestyle. I was pretty well indoctrinated into the view that saturated fats are stable and the good fats. I'd always opt for coconut oil and butter and avoid soy/corn oil.

Coincidentally, in the month leading up to getting this disturbing cardiac news, I had been binge-watching youtube videos from "Healthy Happy Vegan" and "Mic the Vegan" because I wanted to get my cholesterol numbers down. Mic the Vegan made me question that the true villains in heart disease were inflammation caused by sugar and polyunsaturated seed oils.

So, here I am, 1 day before my cardiology apt and I'm really anxious and sad.

I feel shame and anticipate all of my friends blaming my paleo ways for my current cardiac predicament. (Much like the smoker being blamed for lung cancer).

However, I did some googling yesterday I found lots of references to crohn's and arteriosclerosis in the context of systemic inflammation attacking the arteries as well as the intestines. With only 1 data point, there's no way to know if the artery damage happened 30 years ago when my body attacked the 18 inch section of intestine, or was caused by my current diet. There may also be a heredity component as my dad died at 71 during a quadruple bypass surgery.

I'm willing to drastically change my diet but feel really handcuffed not being able to order salad and veggies if out.

I can eat chickpeas, quinoa as veggie sources of protein without needing to blend in my vitamix.

As I'm reading Dr. Essylsten's book the idea of ZERO oil / added fat leaves me feeling there's not a lot I can eat.

So, if I'm in town, hungry, walk into a 7-11 or fast food place, what the heck could I eat?
  • Peanuts,
  • plain bagel,
  • cheese stick,
  • lowfat yogurt (high in sugar),
  • banana?
  • Hamburger
  • French fries ?
Obviously, I'm posting this in a vegan forum so that rules out dairy and meat.

I now have severe cardiac issues so that rules out fat (french fries) and nuts.

Sure, I could have a banana and plain bagel and I know from past experience that will make me fat (an independent risk factor for heart disease).

I guess I'll know more tomorrow.

It's truly amazing how everything can change in just one day.

Thanks for reading this,
-Mike
Your body is begging you for a vegan diet. Your cholesterol is not “high-ish”; it’s high. One third of heart attacks happen in people with total cholesterol between 150 and 200 mg/dL. No heart attacks happen in people with total cholesterol below 150 mg/dL. The only way you can get your cholesterol that low is with a whole-foods plant-based (vegan) diet. Moreover, there is research that indicates that heart attacks happen when the cholesterol in the blood crystallizes and breaks through a plaque. That means you can lower your heart attack risk to zero overnight by going vegan and sticking with it. Your doctor, unfortunately, won’t tell you any of this because he’s not vegan himself, but the research is there for everyone to see.

Please go to http://nutritionfacts.org and watch every video you can find there about heart attacks, cholesterol, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes. Also check out Dr. Esselstyn’s videos on YouTube.

When you go vegan, you don’t walk into a 7-11 or a fast food place expecting to find something edible and good for you. If you want to stay alive and live a healthy and long life, you need to learn to cook. There are lots of resources available. Check out Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman. (You can double the amounts to cook for two.) It’s one of the most brilliant vegan cookbooks out there. There are, of course, others. Also check out the threads on this forum about what others had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Most importantly, though, please don’t feel guilty or shameful. You did what society told you to do. This is not about shame. It’s about respecting yourself, treating your body well, and living in harmony with nature. It’s not too late. Good luck!
 
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