N=3 experiment – fructose and blood sugar

Fructose is converted to glycerol phosphate more efficiently than almost all other carbohydrates. Glycerolphosphate → triglycerides (via the liver) → fat storage. And I thought it was one of the worst types of sugar to raise your blood sugar as well, as it turns out it was not. I wanted to peak my blood sugar because what happens then? Insulin is being released and the blood sugar is absorbed by glucose receptors on tissue cells, causing a drop in blood sugar.

This phenomenon made me interested in using fructose to lower my blood sugar. During my quest for perfect keto adaptation I’ve come to realize that my blood sugar is a bit to high (hovering around 5.5mmol/l (100mg/dl)). I also thought about the possibility of getting away with more carbs (cheat days) if it’s possible to manipulate the blood sugar first.

It’s grapefruit season were I live so I used fresh grapefruit as a source of fructose and started my measurements. The thing is that my blood sugar acted a bit differently than expected…

BS2_eng
My blood sugar didn’t increase as much as I thought it would, and went downwards pretty quickly!

It was time for an experiment! As we’re 3 people in my household I took the chance to do an N=3 experiment to see if the results were consistent, and not just due to an individual sensitivity to grapefruit. I was out of Freestyle Precision test strips and used my Chinese blood sugar device Sannuo instead. It shows higher values in genereal, but at least it’s consistent.

Results:

  • Martina: 5.6 mmol/L – 6.2 mmol/L (Grape fruit) – 5.0 mmol/L (after 1h)
  • Mattias: 5.2 mmol/L – 5.9 mmol/L (Grape fruit) – 4.9 mmol/L (after 1h)
  • John: 5.2 mmol/L – 5.5 mmol/L (Grape fruit) 4.7 mmol/L (after 1h)

I found it really interesting so I wanted to repeat the experiment with carbs! I ate purple potato and some chocolate and Mattias and John ate soft ice cream…

BS3_eng

Hah! My hand drawing is not exact… What I try to illustrate is that the blood sugar didn’t reach its original level after grapefruit + carbs, but stayed pretty low:

  • Martina 5.4 mmol/l – Grape fruit – carbs – 5.6 mmol/l
  • Mattias 5.5 mmol/l – Grape fruit – carbs – 5.0 mmol/l
  • John 5.2 mmol/l- Grape fruit – carbs – 4.6 mmol/l

Purple potato slow things down, and that’s why I didn’t get the same result. Mattias and John ate ice cream which metabolizes a lot quicker.

But what’s happening here?

Is it the fructose?

No it’s not the fructose but the small molecule naringenin, responsible for the bitter taste in grape fruit and other citrus fruits. I discovered this by accident since it happened to be grape fruit season in China right now.

After some research I found that naringenin is actually as powerful as oral anti-diabetic medication;

Naringenin (100 µM) stimulated 163 % glucose uptake in rat adipocytes (compared to untreated cells) and this was significantly higher than the insulin mediated glucose uptake at similar concentration. Thus, naringenin may play an important role as an adjuvant and/or alternative to insulin therapy for the management of diabetes mellitus.

I guess it means that it’s possible to lower ones blood sugar by drinking home made grape fruit juice, even though I’m not too thrilled about fructose in general. Either way, it’s a cool finding! ? Other natural stuff that lowers blood sugar effectively is R-ALA, ALA and Gymnena Sylvestre that can be found in the health food stores and online.

Notes: I choose fruit because I wanted to ingest simple carbs, no protein and no fat, I know that fruit also contains sucrose and that Ascorbic acid can affect blood sugar readings. I won’t repeat this experiment because it was just for fun and it was pretty cool to find out about naringenin ?

Article quote from: Lim, S. L., K. P. Soh, and U. R. Kuppusamy. “Effects of naringenin on lipogenesis, lipolysis and glucose uptake in rat adipocyte primary culture: a natural antidiabetic agent.” Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine 5.2 (2008): 11-11.

The importance of consistency

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The strategy for achieving long-term greatness in almost any category whether it be health, fitness, business, relationships, spirituality or emotional health is to be consistent. It’s absolutely crucial if you want to make any significant change or improvement in your life

Since I’ve been a keto enthusiast for several years now I get a ton of questions from impatient people about health improvements, weight loss and strength gains on the keto diet. When I ask how long they have been on the diet the response is almost always “2 days”, “a week” or “a couple of weeks” which is no time at all. Lowering blood sugar and inflammation, balance hormones and lose weight is a process. It takes time which is why there’s no room for “cheat days” and all that kind of stuff; you just can’t cheat success and there’s no way around consistency.

Let me share my 5 tips for keeping on track!

Keep your eye on your why!

You need to know why you are making certain lifestyle changes, why you want to improve your health, get fit or lose weight. If you know why and remind yourself often it’s much easier to stay on track. What’s your higher purpose?

Narrow down your focus

Don’t try to change a thousand things at once. I know it’s tempting but start with one thing and keep at it until it’s a habit. This is why I always recommend people that are new to low carb not to be too strict in the beginning but to make it a habit first. After the diet feels natural you can move on and look at individual micronutrients, additives, food sources, ketosis etc.

Schedule your new habits

If you want to write a book or get fit or whatever your goals are you need to make time for it. Take a look at your calendar and see what you can leave out. Your new habit will steal time from something else, that’s just the way it is.

Push trough the pain

Everything is a bit painful in the beginning but just stick with it and remember that the day will come when it’s not painful or tedious anymore.

Get back up on the horse!

It doesn’t matter if you miss a work out or fail to be consistent in the beginning. It happens to everybody. Just get back up on the horse and continue according to plan and schedule. Remember that it takes about 10.000 hours to become really good at something. If you are consistent and create new constructive habits you can become world class in anything you want!

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