The Carb Challenge Part 4.5: Sprouted Grain English Muffin (and Quinoa)

I have some sad news: 1. I did the challenge with quinoa and forgot my glucose monitor at home, so I will not repeat it.  However, based on it’s performance during a meal, my guess is that it reached the same ballpark as banana. 2. I decided to test out a sprouted grain product that most people (including myself) would consider to be fairly healthy for most individuals….and it was almost as bad as the oats!  I scarfed those slices of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin English muffin down without any issues and 2 hours later, I forgot to test my sugars.  So, I did it 2 hours and 20 minutes later, which should mean I had 20 extra minutes to bring my blood sugar down and it was still 104.  I was secretly hoping that it would be a good reading so I could justify to myself why I could eat these delicious bread products without issue.  The reason I would never really eat them before all this carb talk was because they have wheat in them, and I try fairly hard to stay gluten-free.  So, there are 2 strikes against them now in my book.

Now that we have some sad news behind us, you want to know something funny?  I ate 2 paleo donuts the morning before to do a blood sugar test for my friend, Kristen, and THEY WERE BETTER FOR MY BLOOD SUGAR THAN EZEKIEL SPROUTED ENGLISH MUFFINS.  Now that I have done this carb challenge with a variety of foods, I want to point out something very interesting: My worst blood sugar responses were to oats and sprouted grain English muffins.  My blood sugar did fine with white rice, banana, and quinoa.  I tested meals with sweet potatoes and paleo donuts and those were fine, too.  How interesting that if I gave you that list of foods and asked which you thought would give the worst blood sugar response, you would likely say white rice because there’s no fiber, donuts for sure, and fruit because we all know fruit has sugar.  The last things to come to mind would be your heart healthy oats (which were soaked), and sprouted whole grains!  But the reality is, I should not eat these foods if I can avoid them.  For me personally, they just don’t do me any favors.  So, it’s a good thing I have plenty of other carb sources to choose from.

But Dr. A, we all know fat slows down metabolism of carbs, so you should have added fat.

I did.  I had butter with both the oats and the sprouted grain English muffin.  I did not add any fat sources to the banana, rice, or sweet potato.

Why do you think this is?

We are all individuals and we all respond differently to different food sources.  This is why individualized nutrition and medicine is important.  Often times, your body gives you signals that support this.  You may feel really hungry shortly after, or get a sugar crash, maybe brain fog, perhaps excessive weight gain or digestive issues.  Listen to your body.  If you don’t respond well to something, choose a different source of nutrients.  If you are a hardcore science person then get a meter and test!  I have a cheap one in my store tab that will give you 50 opportunities to see you sugar results.

Who should pay attention?

On some level, everyone should pay attention but those that suffer from diabetes, hormone issues, stress, digestive disorders, or sleep issues should all consider taking a closer look. Blood sugar regulation is a huge part of those issues and ignoring it is an opportunity to unlock some of the underlying causes.  Another population that should take a closer look is those with abnormal cholesterol levels.  Triglyceride levels often follow inflammation levels due to glucose metabolism.  These people are told to eat whole grains to improve their risk of heart disease; however, it may be contributing to the source of cholesterol abnormalities!

Summarize your numbers, would ya?

Oats:       pre# 74- post# 122
banana: pre#69- post# 84
Rice:       pre# 90- post# 99

Paleo donuts: pre #82-post#92
Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Sprouted English Muffin: pre#82-post#104

Now that I am done with the carb challenge, I can go back eating my normal meals.  However, it has changed what I may choose as my carb sources for workout refueling.  The results also give me a good example to share with patients about why certain foods may never be a good idea to reintroduce.  It all depends on your body!


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