Rice is a Killer Carb!

Rice is a Killer Carb!

Sunrise Zen Moment

But only in a good way! And now that I’ve now figured out how to eat it.

When I was a little kid, my Mom often told me that my eyes were bigger than my belly! She was right, I always went for the biggest piece. The biggest cup, bowl or plate. The largest slice of anything I thought was nice. Oh boy, if only I’d listened to my Mom!

I have the same problem today. When I filled that tiny pot with just a small serving of rice a few days back, little did I realize that, when cooked, the stuff would grow into three days worth of heavy-duty glycemic load. Though only very occasionally threatened by blood glucose numbers that might suggested I was heading towards prediabetes, I’ve always changed my eating pattern to, hopefully, avoid any consequence. Nowadays, I use a glucose meter to monitor the varying effects of the foods I eat while testing dietary patterns.

The Glycemic Index ranks foods, all with an equivalent glucose content, in order of their impact on blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Load goes one step further, ranking foods by more realistic serving size. The Index, for example, might suggest that we ought not eat carrots. While the Load, recognizing that there is far less sugar in a reasonable serving size, suggests we can.

Except in my case!

Because, sometimes, I have no concept of serving size.

Now, the Glucose Meter helps me see the impact of my eating. Today, my finger tips look like pincushions. After three days of monitoring things, while I was gorging on rice. I couldn’t help but prick my finger every time I sat down, just to see how things stood. It was fascinating.

My blood sugar never went into dangerous territory over the course of the past three days. But it did stay at a higher level than I would like. I don’t buy the theory that says older people should have more relaxed guidelines. I want my blood sugar at or below 5.4 mmol/L (97 mg/dL) most of the time. It’s been above that for most of the past three days, and today. After eating “well”, and with a lot of variety, since July 1st, I think my body is generally handling the glycemic load better. And remember, I had that bread too when I kicked off this carb-loading binge!

My weight over the course of these four days? Stable!

I think this means that I can safely include some rice, & even some bread, in my long term diet. With the odd binge, of course. If you’ve been following this story for any length of time, you know I’ve already “qualified” potatoes as a health food! But it’s really good news that I can now add these additional, almost forbidden, carbs to my regimen too. Not in these crazy quantities, and maybe not on a daily basis, but I can have them. Now that’s starting to feel a little bit like some kind of dietary freedom! 🙂

I think I need a Zen moment, by the water, to contemplate the sheer magnificence of it all!

The Last Word on Potatoes

The Last Word on Potatoes

Red Wine

It’s probably not the last word on potatoes. After all, we still have to address the health benefits of French fries! I’ll use the name of the day to more easily explain the sequence of what happened. On Wednesday evening, I carried on exploring the effects of potatoes on my blood sugar. This time, I managed to avoid my sugar-laden dessert. I knew that wasn’t going to be easy so I decided to have two full-sized spud dinners to combat the urge. We’re not talking seconds here, we’re talking two full dinner-sized portions. The first was leftovers from Tuesday, the potato & Brussels sprouts combo. The second was again made from boiled & cooled potatoes, pan fried in olive oil. Then drizzled with more olive oil because they just don’t bring any fat to the party. I added the usual chopped onion, herbs & seasonings. This one also got a shot of store-bought Jalapeño-Lime Aioli. Which I probably shouldn’t have done, but it’s just so good! And I also melted three slices of Jarlsberg cheese into each serving. While potatoes have some protein, the cheese adds more of that, along with some excellent texture & flavour. I was probably a little below my protein requirement on both days but not enough that I worried about it. And it’s only for a couple of days.

From Tuesday’s eating, it took ’til early afternoon Wednesday to get back down to 5.6 mmol/l (101 mg/dl). Remember that I had that sweet dessert on the Tuesday though. The numbers aren’t really all that bad but I’m used to being lower, and faster getting there, on low carb days. Was that difference in glucose decay caused by the sugar in the dessert? Or the fact that I had been low carb for the week prior & my body needed to readjust to handling the carb load again? Am I over producing insulin in reaction to that? And is that insulin just helping transport it out of my blood & into muscle for use? Or is it driving all the excess to my belly for storage as fat!

I don’t know. None of the readings were serious enough that I’m worried so I’ll just ignore it for now. Just before dinner on Wednesday, I was back in my happy zone, at 5.1 mmol/l (92 mg/dl). Pretty much immediately after the hour long feast, it hit 7.1 mmol/l (128 mg/dl). One hour later it was 7.2 (130 mg/dl) & it was back down to 6.3 mmol/l (113 mg/dl) at the two hour mark. By the three hour mark, it was down to 5.8 mmol/l (104 mg/dl). On Wednesday, with the potato binge only & no dessert, the glucose decay was much better, & faster. From a blood glucose perspective, I’m okay including the occasional potato binge.

From a weight loss perspective, the story doesn’t necessarily end there. Potatoes may trigger a greater insulin response than the blood glucose number would suggest. So does that mean that I’m getting fatter while I overindulge on them?

Not according to the scale on Thursday morning. Phew!

Think I’ll have to check the impact of wine & beer with that little glucose meter too! 🙂