In a previous Heart Scan Blog post, I discussed how to make use of postprandial (after-meal) blood sugars to reduce triglycerides, reduce small LDL, increase HDL, reduce blood pressure and inflammatory measures, and accelerate weight loss.
In that post, I suggested checking blood glucose one hour after finishing a meal. However, this is a bit of an oversimplification. Let me explain.
A number of factors influence the magnitude of blood glucose rise after a meal:
–Quantity of carbohydrates
–Digestibility of carbohydrates–The amylopectin A of wheat, for example, is among the most digestible of all, increasing blood sugar higher and faster.
–Fat and protein, both of which blunt the glucose rise (though only modestly).
–Inclusion of foods that slow gastric emptying, such as vinegar and fibers.
–Body weight, age, recent exercise
Just to name a few. Even if 10 people are fed identical meals, each person will have a somewhat different blood glucose pattern.
So it can be helpful to not just assume that 60 minutes will be your peak, but to establish your individual peak. It will vary from meal-to-meal, day-to-day, but you can get a pretty good sense of blood glucose behavior by constructing your own postprandial glucose curve.
Say I have a breakfast of oatmeal: slow-cooked, stoneground oatmeal with skim milk, a few walnuts, blueberries. Blood glucose prior: 95 mg/dl. Blood glucose one-hour postprandial: 160 mg/dl.
Rather than taking a one-hour blood glucose, let’s instead take it every 15 minutes after you finish eating your oatmeal:
In this instance, the glucose peak occurred at 90-minutes after eating. 90-minute postprandial checks may therefore better reflect postprandial glucose peaks for this theoretical individual.
I previously picked 60-minutes postprandial to approximate the peak. You have the option of going a step better by, at least one time, performing your own every-15-minute glucose check to establish your own curve.
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