Researching "glucotypes" at Stanford - how does blood sugar respond to food?

(Jack Bennett) #1

Stanford researchers looked at 57 people (5 Type 2 diabetic, the rest not) with CGM and investigated how they responded to various foods. More people showed undesirable glucose “spikes” than would be revealed by conventional (non-CGM) testing.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #2

It is no surprise that many of the study participants responded to the carb load as diabetics. As the late Dr. Joseph Kraft pointed out, his work showed that people are often diabetic decades before the official diagnosis. The official diagnosis only occurs once serum glucose is out of control, but it is possible to diagnose the condition twenty years earlier from the behaviour of insulin, using an oral glucose tolerance test. He called it “occult diabetes” or “diabetes in situ.”

(Bob M) #3

Anyone else finding themselves hitting their heads with their palms and saying, “Duh!”, when reading that article?

And this is complete hogwash:

“I think understanding the microbiome and manipulating it is going to be a big part of this, and that’s where our research is headed next.”

My microbiome has nothing to do with my glucose spike after eating cereal for breakfast. (Not that I DO eat cereal for breakfast, as I haven’t had cereal in 30+ years, but if I DID eat cereal, it would not be the microbiome that causes the spike in glucose.)

Let’s hope Apple/Samsung come out with blood glucose monitors on their next watches, then you’ll see a sea change overnight.

I’d personally fork out the money to buy watches for my kids, as I can tell them what I believe to be true until I’m blue in the face, but you see it happen right before your eyes, and then you believe. Same with my wife’s family: I can say that carbs aren’t good, but no one believes me. If they have a watch showing them it’s true, then they will (should?).

(Vic) #4

I’m hoping with you Bob, I truly do.
I fear it will not be enough. It takes a high level of intelligence and wisdom to break thru the carb dogma. In most cases a fair bit of misery and desperation is also needed to encourage that breakthrough as we’ll. Telling or showing measurements of the truth about carbs usually fails.

I want one of those watches and will give it to someone I care about. Combined with encouragement, example, the promise of beauty with loosing weight…maby 1 will listen.
Lets hope

(Bob M) #5

You are most likely correct. We know someone with digestive issues, but who eats tons of salads. I’m afraid to tell him that one possible (likely?) cause of digestive issues is…salads. Or at least for me, they seemed to cause IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, where you have to RUN to the bathroom). I only rarely have salads now, but I also never have IBS unless I eat certain plants, like salads. But I doubt the vast majority of people would be open to my telling them that salads might be bad for them.

(Tony ) #6

I myself now find that salads cause digestive pains, something I didn’t get years ago. I’m now a 90% meat eater… Clearly my body is telling me something.


And that’s why I’ll never go back to low fat high carb again.

I’m a bit frustrated by their reaction, though. They see clearly it is a carb problem, but they want to work on microbiome next… what’s the logic? They must know something we don’t.

I’m very critical of all the extreme claims around keto WOE, like weightloss (so many people post in this forum that they’re not losing weight on keto, and so many who did manage to lose regain weight, or stop losing, just like with all other diets: yoyo, therefore metabolic adaptation, like with any other woe used for losing weight), cure for all illnesses, mental clarity, etc. But one thing, and a big one, is undeniable: it prevents spikes, because you eat less carbs.

I just wish someone would research longterm effects. The fact the Virta group hasn’t published (at least in their website) their 3 year results worries me.

(Bob M) #8

@TonyPi I think I always had these issues, and just thought they were normal. It wasn’t until I started doing something else (eating mainly meat) that I realized what effect salads and certain plants have.

@Corals As an n=1, I’m at over 7 years lc/keto. I kept losing weight, until I tried the croissant diet. Until then, I lost. That diet added 20+ pounds to me. I’m losing again now, after eating higher saturated fat but not carbs.

As to any metric – other than BMI – I am in perfect health (other than injuries that predate low carb). My CAC score is zero (and 90% of people my age, 55 at the time, have higher scores). My HS-CRP is low, HDL higher, AST/ALT/GGT/Ferritin all low.

The longest and most expensive trial of lower fat ever done, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Intervention trial, showed the lower fat diet was no better than a normal diet. And there was a paltry few pounds of difference between the two groups. After 8 years.

Lower/low fat has a few longer trials than low carb, but ALL of those trials are failures.

Here is more evidence for low carb:

The WHI trial I discussed above supposedly cost 700+ MILLION dollars. Since it was a failure, and no one wants low carb to “win” at anything, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get a long trial of low carb.


I’ve met at least 1 centenarian and she ate a varied diet, particularly fruits. Pretty active woman.

My father is above 80 and has no illness whatsoever, runs and bikes 5 days a week, no aches. He eats mainly carbs (breakfast of fruits, lots of grains at noon) proteins only in the evening and fat only on weekends!

n=1 means a lot to the 1, but it is what it is.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think low carb is the way to go for people who worry about BG. But from there to say it’s good for everyone and that we know we have all the answers because of our n=1 and blogs, it’s a step I don’t take.

I’m betting my own health keto is better for me, as I think I suffer from insulin resistance. I just hope I’m not wrong.

(Jack Bennett) #10

My guess is the microbiome stuff is pointing in some sort of “ooh! sexy! new!” direction. Funding agencies and research interests probably point that way. Probably these particular researchers don’t have interests in boring old low carb.

My felt sense of “the right answer” is that for most people most of the time, lower carb is going to be better. Unless you’re doing heavy physical labor or ultra distance running you probably don’t need 300+g day ever. This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to cut carbs down below 50g either.

Also, what particular carbs? I suspect that rice or potato (all glucose) in the context of a meal are innocuous for people who tolerate those foods, whereas liquid sodas and juices (half glucose and half fructose and no fiber) are bad news for almost everybody.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #11

What they know is that arterycloggingsaturatedfat causes heart problems and will kill us. The fact that there is no evidence to support this notion, and quite a bit, these days, to argue against it is irrelevant. Since we have to get our calories from somewhere, that means eating lots of carbohydrate in place of the arterycloggingsaturatedfat. And the fact that excessive serum glucose levels and insulin levels cause systematic damage to the body are irrelevant, because if we cared about that, people would have to go back to eating meat, and we can’t have that, for heaven’s sake!

This is why the keto diet is unsustainable and will kill us.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

Yes, I agree! Inconsistent humans are terribly confusing. Life would be so much simpler if we were all just the same. But we’re not.

So we have to use a little logic to figure things out. Anyone can give an example of ‘my uncle Fred’ who smoked a pack a day and drank a pint of bourbon with it until he finally died at the age of 101 and never had a serious illness in his life. Genetics matter and some of us are lucky. I ate bog standard SAD my entire life until the age of 71 and never had a serious illness and only started gaining a little extra poundage during the decade of my 60s. But guess what…

We are currently in the midst of probably the worst health pandemic in the history of the human race. And I don’t mean a virus. I mean a pandemic caused by eating too much of the wrong stuff. And it’s having profound consequences on the well-being of hundreds of millions around the world. The null hypothesis is to do nothing and hope you are genetically lucky like your centenarian acquaintance.

On the other hand, there is already enough evidence on hand from multiple studies that reducing carbs will reduce your risks significantly from a host of metabolically related diseases and problems. There is enough evidence on hand to convince me that living in ketosis is better than not. I risk little or nothing accepting this evidence and adapting my life to it. It’s a safe bet.

I would worry if I accepted the null hypothesis and did nothing.

(Bob M) #13

Paul, you’re on a roll! :wink:

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #14

I guess certain topics get my Irish up! :grin:

(GINA ) #15

Dr. Atkins used to say, “An unbalanced metabolism requires an unbalanced diet.”

I think if a person only ever got their carb intake from apples and potatoes, say, then they are probably going to have a ‘normal’ metabolism and be just fine eating apples and potatoes. Once you damage your metabolism through the SAD, or a lowfat diet, or drinking a lot of liquid sugar, or however you have done it, then you can’t tolerate apples and potatoes at all.


Unfortunately, what you say makes all the sense.

“Look, there’s a carb problem!”

“Jeez, let’s pretend we didn’t see it and study microbiome!”


I agree to a point and can’t even imagine myself ever going back to low fat, high carb.

However, I have a lot of questions without answers. For instance, I totally agree it’s already proven that lots of carbs are bad for us. But I wonder if the problem was more something like: too much food in general, too much processed food, more and more of it, stuff you microwave, etc, meaning too much food->too much of everything, including carbs and horrible hyper processed fats of the worst kind (palm oil, soya oil, canola oil…).

I mean, lots of people eat a high carb diet proportionally, but with less total amount of food. I’m thinking Asians, for instance, like in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia… And their problem is the arrival of this super processed food, with their horrible ingredients, not their traditional food, eaten in normal portions, as opposed to supersized and processed stuff.

Also, if I think of the past, when people sat at tables to eat and had small amounts of food, compared to today, there was more than 20g of carbs, but they weren’t overweight, nor was diabetes such a huge epidemic.

So, the problem could be too much food, and processed, with lots of bad ingredients, therefore only the worst fats and too many carbs, because it’s too much of everything. And not a problem of too many carbs per se, as a percentage of a meal.

But since we messed up ourselves, now we go to extreme measures, perhaps erring in the exaggeration of the measures.

I started with keto. Now, I’m carnivore. Extreme measures, because in the past I did something (or was it only genes+age) that made me insulin resistant and being part of this world, I want a quick solution to the problem I’ve taken decades to create (or was it just genes+age?).

And then I wonder, am I creating another problem by being extreme? Could it be harmful to me, in the long term? Would it be more healthy to cut carbs, add good fats, but don’t go to extremes.

Only time will tell.

(Vic) #18

I believe it makes no difference, below 20gr carbs or Zero carbs. Its so low that it has no significant impact either way.

Plant toxins is another question altogether.
This is were the carnivore woe shines.

I have the same questions as you. I allow myself 20gr of plant carbs a week. Mostly those go in a few beers on saturday evenings.


Thanks @Corals for again raising good questions on this site. I’ve been thinking about these two points as I do my 30-day carnivore trial:

Or too much of specific foods? I went from eating a huge variety of fruits and vegetables before keto to eating daily 1+ avocados (high FODMAP), tomatos (nightshade) and a few other veggies that are high in plant toxins.

I would not be so dismissive of microbiome research. I am at this moment leaning towards thinking my messed up microbiome is one of my greatest obstacles to feeling better. I also think it is very hard to change the microbiome you establish over the course of your life, and it is most certainly affected by high carb consumption in the past. On this site, we all mostly agree it is a mistake to follow the SAD diet, but for the people who’ve been following it for decades, it might not be enough to simply switch to LCHF.

My personal goal here is to reduce my near constant inflammatory, arthritic pain, which more or less started with a diagnosis of late stage Lyme disease 20 years ago. I also have the usual osteoarthritis with reduced joint space, but according to my orthopedist, current thinking is that symptoms of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are not as distinct as once thought, but rather, a continuum that involves an inflammatory response. I don’t have any cardiovascular risk factors or insulin sensitivity that I know of, and I’m not overweight.

But I have a terrible history of self-imposed dietary restrictions, consisting of extreme, supposedly “health-conscious” practices, like macrobiotics, no red meat for decades, juice fasts that consisted of consuming 50 pounds of carrots a week, excessive vegetable consumption – with the idea that if some are healthy, a lot are even better, etc.

The last 3 days of my carnivore trial have been disappointing, because my pain has gradually returned to where it was at the start. If there is any pattern I’ve noticed with my pain over the years, it is that it is somewhat associated with my intestinal function. My bowel function was not bad the first few weeks of carnivore, but for the last three days, it has come to a complete halt. With that, I’m feeling uncomfortable, inflamed, a bit of a sore throat, and I’ve had a few attacks of “food” allergies that tend to come when my intestinal function is off (meaning slow and incomplete). There is no single food I’ve ever identified that sets me off, although smoked food and certain fat might be culprits some of the time.

I’m doing a few things to get my bowels to move with the hope that will reset how I feel right now. That includes magnesium and also coffee, which I was hoping to stop during my last week on carnivore, but oh well. I also take high quality probiotics, which sometimes help to get me moving, but right now they are not doing the trick.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #20

Since industrial seed oils (cottonseed was the first) entered the consumer market at more or less the same time as cheap refined sugar, it is difficult to tease apart their effects. “Too much food” is a nebulous concept, because it depends so much on context. People do not willingly overeat, for the most part; the problem with a high-carb diet is that the excessive insulin level that results blocks the satiety signals from fat tissue from reaching the brain receptors that are supposed to receive the signals (this makes sense if you think in terms of eating lots of berries in order to fatten up for the coming winter).

This is why so many people are hungry all the time on a high-carbohydrate diet, and why so many people who eat a ketogenic diet to satiety find that their food intake drops—because they stop being so hungry—a few weeks after beginning the diet. Dr. Phinney, when asked once during a lecture, estimated off the top of his head that possibly as many as 20% of the population can handle the high-carb standard American diet without ill effects, but that leaves 80% of us experiencing various forms of metabolic dysfunction. Is it any wonder that diabetes and heart disease run rampant in a population eating that way?

Tucker Goodrich and Dr. Chris Knobbe make a very good case for the deleterious effects of seed oils on public health, especially from their extremely high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. I don’t believe we know nearly enough about the effects of these new fats on the human body. We are better informed about the ill effects of glucose and fructose when taken in excessive quantity. Just eliminating sugar from my diet made an enormous difference in how I felt; it’s what gave me the courage to go full keto a month or two later. And switching back to traditional cooking fats (butter, lard, tallow, bacon grease) has had a positive effect, too, though a subtler one.