2013-09-10

The Impact Of Fat On Diabetes

My doctor has me trying something new. What you are about to read is still very new to me and I am not sure how well it will pan out. In fact, what follows is information that is apparently not common knowledge among most endocrinology experts. That is to say, take this with a grain of salt because it hasn't been fully vetted. I mention it here simply to report on new information that, for now, appears to be working for me.

According to research conducted at the clinic at which I am a patient - which I am told has not yet made it into the clinical literature - dietary fat in excess of about 30g of total fat consumed at a single meal delays the release of sugar into the blood stream. The delay is on the order of three or four hours after a meal. Thus, should you decide to consume more than 30 grams of fat (which is not a difficult thing to do, considering that we're talking about total fat, not just saturated fat), you can expect to experience a sugar spike 3-4 hours later.

While this sounds like "just one more complication," hearing this news was actually wonderful for me. My blood sugar has not been as controlled as I would prefer, and I have been wracking my brain for reasons why not. I almost completely eliminated red meat from my diet. I stopped eating more than 60 grams of total carbohydrates per meal. I stopped eating foods with a high glycemic index. Yet, nothing seemed to impact my blood sugar at all. My insulin seemed ineffectual because my BG was too high all the time. I didn't know what to do.

But, speaking with my diabetic educator (who behaves more like a clinical researcher), I learned that her patients have been observed to bring their BG within tight controls after putting limits on how much fat they consume at a meal. Well, this all seemed to make sense to me because it jives with my BG mystery and explains why even seemingly low-carb meals have sent my blood sugar into the stratosphere. Over the past few days, I have dutifully assessed the fat content of my meals and imposed limits on how much fat I consume at any given time. So far, it seems to be working.

Of course, the real test for me will be how well it works after the two-week point, which is the point at which my body has, in the past, adjusted to new approaches blood sugar management. But I am hopeful.