My “Very Low Carb, Strict Paleo Diabetes Experiment” is over. I am enjoying it so much I am continuing to follow the protocols.
- 30 day, truly low inflammatory, very low carb diet
- Consumed meats, leafy greens, coconut oil and butter
- Food Journal, Blood Sugar and Exercise results.
For 30 days, I consumed only meats (no eggs), leafy green vegetables, water, coconut oil and coffee. No nightshades (potato, tomato, pepper, etc), no dairy (other than butter), no eggs and no alcohol.
Here is my typical low carb paleo meal plan, this experiment was not drastically different from my usual meals, avoiding eggs and wine were the biggest changes. :)
Why do this Experiment?
I really wanted to know if going low inflammatory, very ‘strict paleo’ for 30 days would affect my diabetes, by reducing or remove my insulin resistance.
The thought is, by removing potentially inflammatory foods, my body may be able to heal itself more than it already has. (my personal diabetes story).
I always eat a very low carb paleo meal plan but I wanted to go strict paleo “all the way”. To do so I eliminated as many of the potentially inflammatory agents, namely nightshades , dairy and eggs.
I also eliminated wine (all alcohol) because it affects metabolism. Here is the best post I’ve read about alcohol and how it affects metablolism, “The Truth About Alcohol“.
So… for 30 days I consumed only leafy greens, meats, water, coconut oil and coffee.
Let’s dig into the ‘data’. :)
– see the note section after the picture below for my comments.
1) ONLY 9 grams of CARBS PER DAY!!! And after subtracting ‘fiber’ … less than 7 grams per day. Truth is, had I not bought beef liver (which is relatively high in carbs) this number would have been around 2-3 grams per day… all from spinach (or leafy green veggies).
If your certified diabetes educator, doctor or nutritionist … tells you, you must eat carbs or fiber… please laugh in their face.
2) 59% of my calories from fat, I love that. Historically I’m in the 65-75% range. :) If anyone tells you saturated fats are unhealthy … laugh in their face. Hydrogenated veggie oils are bad… not saturated fats.
3) Protein Grams of 144 … is a little high, but not by much. Protein consumption should be approximately 1g of protein for each lean body pound. I estimate my lean body mass is about 135 lbs.
4) PUFAs – I really loved the Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA) percentage. Most knowledgeable people will tell you a PUFA percentage in the 3-4 range is preferred.
Blood Sugar & Insulin Resistance
Blood Sugar Levels
There is no doubt the reduction in carbohydrates lowered my blood sugar readings. Above I posted a 72 mg/dl, my lowest during the 30 days.
Was the reduction due to eating less carbs? Or could some be due to reduction in an inflammatory food? … time will tell.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. While the trend was lower for sure, I did have a few elevated blood sugar readings too. I experienced significant stress during the experiment including an injury to my lower left leg. It is healing nicely by the way, here is the post, “Primal Blood was Spilled“. I decided not to treat with any antiseptics nor antibacterial lotions, potions nor chemicals.
I did coat with coconut oil and vitamin D3 a couple of times. :)
Insulin Resistance Improved?
THIS is the big question that I want answered.
I won’t know until I perform my next experiment… I am planning on adding back carbohydrates (slowly) over a week’s time, until I reach approximately 100g of carbohydrates per day.
Then the plan is to maintain that level for a week, allowing my body to adjust back to burning glucose as it’s primary fuel.
Why? I’ve read that once a person converts to a Very Low Carb diet, staying in ketosis, the body needs a couple of weeks to adjust back to burning glucose. I am going to give it two weeks and see ‘where I stand’. I will call off the experiment if my blood sugars remain elevated … I have not yet determined at what levels I will cancel the experiment…. but we shall see. :)
Note: I will NOT eat ‘junk’ foods… no glutenous grains, no high fructose corn syrup… my exact meal plan is still in the planning stages. :)
Despite a reduction in over 800 calories per day… you would expect a slight drop off in energy, right?
Wrong, I felt no drop off at all. I maintained my workouts and noticed no ill effects… alternating weight resistance with intense cardio.
Due to the cessation of wine, I even added two to three evening ‘intense cardio’ sessions to help reduce stress…. naturally. :)
15 Minutes of Hell – In support of my contention that I experienced no reduction in energy levels … I set new personal records in “Maximum 45 lb Kettlebell Swings in 15 minutes” several times during the 30 days.
Here is the last post where I achieved my long term goal. “Goal Achieved“. I completed 405, 45 lb kettlebell swings in 15 minutes. That is over 18,000 lbs, over 9 tons in just 15 minutes… and yes, I am just a little proud of that. :)
I do not believe in ‘calories in, calories out’ theory … however, if you remove 850 calories for an extended time and have a slight increase in intense exercise levels … I do believe weight loss/fat loss will follow.
Guess what??? … it did! :) My weight trended lower during the experiment, about 6-8 lbs in the 30 days.
This experiment like most… answers a question or two…
One thing I am more certain about today than ever …
“we do not require dietary carbohydrates to survive… nor to THRIVE!“
Please… do not believe ignorant and intellectually lazy diabetes educators, doctors or nutritionists who tell you that you MUST eat carbohydrates to LIVE! … it’s a lie.
Additional posts on the Very Low Carb Strict Paleo experiment
Intro – Nagging Question … a new challenge
Week One – Very Low Carb Paleo Experiment
Midpoint – Half Way, 30 Day, Very Low Carb, Strict Paleo – Update