Day 22 update of my ‘diabetic carnivore’ experiment. I am eating a 100% carnivorous diet, no plant-based foods. Discussed in this post:
- meat consumption levels
- glucose, blood sugar readings
- overall results
I’ve long believed that we do not require plant-based foods to survive … nor thrive! For eight years I’ve eaten very few carbohydrates but other than a two week experiment in 2010, I have not done the ultimate ‘zero carb’ or fully carnivorous diet.
Of course, as a diabetic … the main question for me is, “What is the effect on my blood sugar levels?” The picture above gives a partial answer to the question through day 22. I go into more detail later in the post.
Diabetic Carnivore Experiment
When I began this current experiment, I had planned to go at least 30 days. As of day 22 I am desiring only meat, so I don’t expect any problems ‘going the distance’. I plan on extending the experiment, with no set plans to end it.
Two factors have influenced this experiment up to this point.
- Road Warrior: I am spending more time than normal ‘on the road’.
- Which means I’m eating more foods prepared by others (restaurants) than I prefer.
- I haven’t maintained a food journal as I planned to do. As the experiment continues and progresses, I *plan* on measuring my food and recording my foods in a food journal.
- Blood sugar, diabetes testing Supplies – I was running low on test strips and procrastinated in requesting more from my diabetes supply sponsor, “TotalDiabetesSupply.com“. Therefore to conserve test strips, I have not been testing daily. Annie Sullivan from TotalDiabetesSupply.com has graciously sent me more test strips, once they arrive I’ll be testing and recording my blood sugars each morning and at various times throughout the day.
Diabetic Carnivore Posts
When I began this experiment my meat consumption was approximately what it has been for the past few years. After all, my usual plant-based foods were an ‘edible garnish’. Eliminating the small amount of plant foods should not affect either my protein consumption nor my blood sugar levels.
Because I am not food journaling, I can’t provide data to back this assertion, but I do believe I’m eating more meat as the experiment continues, than I have in the past (on average).
Friday for example, I had a pound (pre-cooked weight) of ground beef and cheese as my post-workout refueling. For dinner I ate leftovers in a refrigerator-cleaning spree! I ate a chicken thigh, a hamburger patty and a ribeye steak!
I can’t give you data … but that’s a lot of meat for me. In days past I have sporadically eaten a LOT of meat, but from a historical average, I do believe I’ve been eating higher than normal amounts.
The more meat I eat, the more meat I crave.
The more steak I eat, the more steak I crave.
I am ‘free ranging’ on meat. It’s 2:30 pm on a Saturday as I type this. I’ve not had any food since last night and I don’t feel hungry… yet. :)
How would an apparent increase in meat consumption affect my blood sugars?
Before I answer, if you don’t know already… there are MANY factors that can affect blood sugars.
A short list:
- foods and drinks
- lack of sleep
- infection, illness, sickness
- drug interactions
- exercise (or movement)
Yes carbohydrate consumption has a more immediate and profound effect but excess protein *can* affect blood sugars, depending on many factors including insulin resistance and pancreatic insulin production.
Even fat consumption *can* have an effect, although it is much lower than protein and a great deal less than carbohydrates.
Fasting Blood Sugars
The picture above of recent fasting blood sugar levels doesn’t tell the whole story. My preferred range of fasting blood sugars is 60-90 mg/dl, preferring to be in the lower-end of that range.
Read this post on how and why I set my blood sugar targets, “ Blood Sugar Targets“.
Early in the experiment my fasting blood sugars were in the upper 70’s to 80’s. The fasting numbers for the past week have been 67 to 91 mg/dl, a nice average of around 80 mg/dl.
** Since I’m not testing every day, I could have had lower or higher readings on the days I didn’t test. Once my new strips arrive we’ll get down to daily testing. :)
It’s only been a few weeks, so time will tell as the experiment continues and I measure & track my actual protein consumption.
The fasting blood sugar readings in the upper 80’s (and the 91) are a little higher than I’d prefer, but with so many factors I’m not ready to blame it all on meat consumption. Let’s see if the trend continues. If so I’ll likely choose fattier meats and maybe reduce my protein consumption but for now — I am still free ranging meat. :)
Note: Even with all the meat I had Friday and quite a bit of it was in the evening, I still had a respectable 86 mg/dl the next morning.
All in all, my blood sugars are within ‘normal range’, with a nice 67 mg/dl posted within the last week.
Truly — I am LOVING this fully carnivorous experiment!
I’ve often said,
I am a simple man, eating simple foods.
You can’t eat much more simply… than eating only animal-based foods.
I feel perfectly fine.
My workouts have not suffered, energy levels remaining high.
My blood sugars are normal, for non-diabetics.
I feel mighty fine,
as a full-carnivore,
do I dine. :)
Here’s my fasting number this morning.