Friday, October 05, 2012
I'm talking about what my insulin levels must have been like before starting to eat low-carb.
Here is the reason. During my recent blood work my insulin levels were 2.2 which is on the low side. I already know that my fasting glucose levels are significantly under 100 and even after eating they are under or close to 100 when I eat according to plan (under 50 grams of carbs/day).
The unexpected result was that my Hemoglobin A1c test came back high at 5.9 which is in the pre-diabetes range (5.7-6.4) . To briefly explain, this test will give info on the past 3 months, especially the last month of insulin resistance and blood sugar and it's accuracy is dependant on having normal hemoglobin levels. When my results came back high my doctor checked my hemoglobin levels and I just found out that they were normal. This means, that with a very high likelihood I was essentially pre-diabetic in the 3 months or at least in the month before the test, close to the normal margin, but still.
This was a period when I was not exercising much other than walking because of minor surgery and I also did a fair amount of boredom eating. My carbs were significantly higher than 50 grams/day but probably not more than 100 grams/day and none of those came from grains or beans. This is still far less than what I had been eating 8 months ago which was probably more in the range of 300-400 grams/day, including, of course, all natural, organic whole grains, "natural" sweeteners like agave nectar and lots of fruit, incl. often 2 bananas. I was not overweight by any definition and the only complaint I had was lack of energy to exercise and concentrate in the afternoons and evenings and difficulty in improving my running.
I found some old lab records from 2006 where I had been tested for diabetes and my A1c level was 5.2, at the upper end of normal. This was before I went to eating much whole grain.
During those years when I had switched to eating whole grains and overall a "healthy" natural foods diet I never would have thought that I could be pre-diabetic but now I'm wondering... if my A1c is at prediabetic on 100 grams of carbs/day where was it at over 300 grams of carbs/day, even with much more fiber.
Thankfully it looks like I don't have to worry about this any more. I will try harder than before to keep my carbs around 50 grams/day, even if my weight is where I want it. Clearly, after years of abusing sugar and grains this is what I need to do for optimum health.
I will repeat the A1c test in about 3 months and see what the difference is.
If you have never had an A1c test get one, even if you are normal weight. If it registers as pre-diabetic or diabetic get on a low-carb diet immediately.