New Low!

Just tested the blood sugar before dinner and it was 145, which is his lowest reading since he was diagnosed. Showed him how to make an easy dinner that he could make in 15 mins. Steamed some broccoli, and instead of putting cheddar cheese and loading it up, I just put a dusting of asiago and a little olive oil and cracked pepper, because I remembered reading (it’s a fucking blur the past few days) that hard cheeses are better, so I figured a dusting of a hard cheese would give the flavor and not the animal fat calories that cheddar would.

Also took some turkey cutlets, seasoned them, and grilled them. Used a no salt seasoning, and they turned out pretty tasty, and he is good at that kind of cooking.

The iffy part was I gave him a little cottage cheese with about a 1/3 cup of diced pineapple (they were 1 dollar a piece and I love pineapple and the GL seemed reasonable), so I am hoping the pineapple doesn’t spike him in an hour.

Oh, and I discovered today that skim milk is fucking terrible for diabetics. They jack up the sugars to compensate for the lost fat and flavor, so I’m not sure if maybe, if he has a milk craving while eating a diabetic cookie that we picked up, whole milk might be the better option, or maybe just not drinking milk at all.

As always, if I am messing this up, let me know. Regardless, `145 is fucking awesome, and right now he is walking the girls for 20 mins because of a research article one of you posted that suggested a 20 min walk after eating can stop blood sugar spikes.

*** Update ***

1 hour postprandial was 141. I haven’t been this excited about something in a long while.

*** Update #2 ***

2 hour reading after the dinner I described was 130, which is again a new low. HAPPY DANCE!

66 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    No need to skimp on the cheese. It’s no carb.

  2. 2
    Cermet says:

    All milk has its own sugar (you can thank the cow for that.) While I’d never put adding sugar to milk past any company, I’d be surprised if this was common practice.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have been border line diabetic all my life. Dog help me if I ever fall over the line.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Give up carbohydrates and you will no longer be.

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    @Cermet: I was just looking at labels, I didn’t know that they do not add sugar, but the skim had higher sugars than the other milks per serving. Plus, if they took out all the fat, then basically when he drinks skim milk, he is basically drinking sugar water with milk flavor. Wouldn’t the animal fats in the whole milk slow the sugar spike, so by my logic, a cup of whole milk once a week is far better than skim.

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: Whole milk is better than skim, half and half is better than whole milk, and cream is better than half and half.

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: You must read Robert Atkins book. He explains it all.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    Congrats on all the healthful stuff, and nice to see results so quick.
    And glad Cole’s dad is OK

    Maybe I missed something, but is Cole opening a fitness clinic, or what?

    I’m not diabetic, but I have to watch what I eat all the time or I will gain weight real quick unless I can exercise a few hours a day, which I usually cannot..

    I always keep a few eggs and egg whites around. They go in nearly everything, zillion ways to cook them and mix stuff up into them, and no carbs to speak off.

  9. 9
    Duane says:

    I would say whole milk instead of skim…increased fat content helps with sugar. plus it tastes way better…. of course real whole milk straight from the cow with a butterfat content of closer to 4% vs store whole milk of not more than 3.25% (usually less)…. and you would never be able to drink store milk again. As a dairy farmer, I may be a little biased, but not much! Thanks for all this discussion, I am learning how to get my diet in line to hopefully hold my own diabetic diagnosis.

  10. 10
    jacy says:

    From a hormonal balance standpoint, whole milk is better than skim. (Endocrinologist told it was a fat to carb ratio thing) Real whipped cream is a good substitute if you have a sweet craving — you just have to flavor it with something that doesn’t have any sugars.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    @John Cole:

    American Diabetes Association says low and non-fat milk is good. It has protein too, besides the sugar that all milk has. Says low glycemic index.

    But, you get hungry, cook two eggs in 1/.3 tspn olive oil with some veggies and just a little cheese for flavoring and to get some salt flavor in. Changing to that kind of snack might even slim down a blogger.

    Dairy: American Diabetes Association

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @cathyx: What’s a carbohydrate? ;-)

  13. 13
    jl says:


    ” What’s a carbohydrate? ”

    That, my son, is what I like to eat!

  14. 14
    cathyx says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I hope you’re joking.

  15. 15
    cathyx says:

    @jl: I know this will set off a firestorm, but the American Diabetes Association has it all wrong, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they have an agenda to keep people from solving their diabetes problems by giving the wrong diet to cure their disease so that they can stay in business. No one with Diabetes should be eating grains or sugars, but they give that as a diet option. Wrong.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @cathyx: Do you think they wrong about eggs too?

    Seems like going to the egg or egg white something would be a natural for a healthy snack.
    That is my mainstay when I’m tempted to over-refined-carb (which is often). But, as I said, I am not diabetic.

    Edit: I don’t know if the ADA is ‘all wrong’, but from the numbers I saw, seems like a person would have to keep track of how much milk they drank, no matter what the fat content.

  17. 17
    cathyx says:

    @jl: Absolutely not. Eggs are the perfect food.

  18. 18
    jl says:


    Awright!! Eggs, Cole, eggs!

    A person make an egg, or an egg white into damn near anything they feel like eating.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    @efgoldman: Exactly, and I am drilling this into him. He’s not fixed, he’s in for the long haul. But you know what- he was consistently rocking 230 and 200’s the first few days, and after a couple of days of constant measuring and diet changes, and we are on a downward trend. That’s worthy of celebration in my book.

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I seem to recall there was something on NPR (Morning Edition) in the past couple of days about whole milk being better than skim or 1% or 2%. I haven’t drunk any milk at all for about 13 years, but the idea of skim or low %s always made me gag. If I were to go back to occasional milk (on cereal, for instance), I would go with whole. But sparingly.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I love it when a person finds something that works for her and then insists that it is a one size fits all solution for everyone.

  22. 22
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Really, what a crock of bullshit. . .as usual.

  23. 23
    Pink Snapdragon says:

    @cathyx: Anything the American Diabetes Association says should be taken with several grains of salt, so to speak, since they are supported by America’s industrial food companies who do not exist to benefit your health.

  24. 24
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @cathyx: I would agree if it’s refined grains and sugars (white flour with white sugar).

    However, wouldn’t unrefined sugars monitored closely and whole grains in moderation be at least the first step people need to make for a healthier diet.

    (I am not an endocrinologist nor do I play one on TV or the web)

  25. 25
    The Dangerman says:


    Eggs are the perfect food.

    Whole eggs. My HDL was insanely low; have eaten many eggs and butter and HDL is now right on the recommendation. I suppose this choice may be YMMV if your total cholesterol is high. Now, my Vitamin D is in the toilet (I understand grains are bad for it) so I’ll work on it next (low Vit D is a little curious given I live in Sunny CA).

    Lots of good protein (game meats are supposed to best for you; not sure what you might find in West Virginia beyond deer … and road kill, of course), lots of healthy fats (olive, avocado, etc).

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    When I was first diagnosed, I was told to cut waaaay back on drinking milk, period. Not all dairy was off limits…my doctor specifically said that cottage cheese was OK. A bit of pineapple isn’t bad, but the thing is, be moderate.

  27. 27
    Brian says:

    145 is great unless you are pregnant. Those doctors are as close to nazis as possible.

    Yup. Walking uses the simple sugars.

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:

    He is down to 145 fer cripes sake, what do you want us to tell you? Apparently you are doing great. Would be great to have a friend like you ya grumpy asshole.

  29. 29
    Brian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: milks was one I never would have thought of.

    Orange juice sure I get it’s sugary. But milk. Coffee black only.

  30. 30
    Brian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: milks was one I never would have thought of.

    Orange juice sure I get it’s sugary. But milk. Coffee black only.

  31. 31
    Brian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: milks was one I never would have thought of.

    Orange juice sure I get it’s sugary. But milk. Coffee black only.

  32. 32
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @cathyx: I think I’ll trust experts on diabetes over that crackpot Atkins.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @The Dangerman: A nice things about eggs, for me at least, is that if you need something sweet, it takes very little sweetener to make it desserty.

    Look up how to make Japanese egg custards, and you are ready to go. They have both sweet and savory versions. Too much sugar in the sweet version, you skimp on the sugar just vanilla/chocolate or spice it up, or any combo you feel like. Or mix in some pumpkin puree and adapt it.

    Edit: except fried eggs and bacon SUCK, I hate them. Too much crammed down my throat as a kid. Forget that garbage.

  34. 34
    The Dangerman says:


    Look up how to make Japanese egg custards…

    Love Japanese food and eggs; will check it out.

  35. 35
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Soy milk is better in terms of carbs, but it is soy milk.

    Peanut butter and cottage cheese are good mainstays for high protein / low carbs.

  36. 36

    I drink skim milk and I like it. I use cream to top off my coffee, just 1 to 2 tsp.

  37. 37
    ACT says:

    No,no,no, diabetic are a bad idea regular cookies are better , just remember portion size. Read the label and it will tell you what a serving size is. They will also taste better.

  38. 38
    ACT says:

    Sorry I meant to say diabetic cookies are bad. Also 2% cottage cheese is best as is 2% milk.

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    Numbers like 200 or 230 down to 145? Cole, I can see why you are totally excited! Excellent, just excellent.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John Cole:

    I think someone was saying the other day that the fat in the milk can slow the absorption of some of the carbs, so 1% or 2% is probably better than fat-free/skim.

    I know Greek yogurt is everyone’s miracle food right now, but it’s high in protein and comes in artificially sweetened form to reduce the carb load, so that could be a good snack as well. Though, again, he may do better with low-fat or reduced-fat (2%) versions than fat-free.

  41. 41

    Also too, plain non fat or low fat yogurt. You can make your own yogurt once you have the starter; it is easier to digest than milk,

  42. 42
    Jay Noble says:

    “fat free” means more sugar than the regular kind.
    “No added sugar” means sugar there but just what it came with – canned fruits, some puddings
    “Sugar free” means Splenda, Aspartame, Truvia in it, if it would normally be sweet
    “Sugar alcohols” show up in Sugar free chocolates. The info on how these factor in to blood sugar levels is sketchy. Most sugar free chocolate tastes closer to dark chocolate than the original. Sugar free Reeses peanut butter cup miniatures taste pretty close to the original. And Russel Stover has a whole scumptious line up.

    As a diabetic, my biggest problem is breakfast. I’ve never been one for big breakfasts where eggs and bacon or sausage and fruit would be ok. Bowl of cereal with 2% milk is my style, I gotta have some sweetness but I’m one of those who suffers from “sunrise spikes” – blood sugar goes up in the morning regardless of the fact I Haven’t eaten in at least 8 hrs. What I’ve found is that the cereal – even the ‘kids’ cereals – is not as horrible as it may seem. Most are @ 10 grams. Life is 4 or 6. Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Cornflakes and oat meal are lower until you make them palatable. The surprising ones are the Granolas, Raisin bran, breakfast bars and pop tarts. Very scary. Bagels aren’t too bad, again if you hold back on the sweet topping, but you can pretty much use most of your carb allowance for the day.

    Wish your friend and you well!

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    What about almond milk? Too many carbs? No. Too much sugar? No. I can’t drink milk, haven’t been able for over 30 yrs. But almond milk seems great for me. There aren’t too many studies about it but it has been used since the middle ages in many parts of the world so it does have some background.

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    ::throws hat onto the ice::

    Three great posts in a row. Bravo.

  45. 45
    ellennelle says:

    wow. interesting how many perspectives here. s’pose mine’s as good as any.

    fwiw, can’t imagine why anyone would consume the bodily fluids of a bovine, but whatev’. i would add to that query why wouldanyone consume such fluid that has been jacked up with BGH, which in itself likely has some effect on the diabetes/pancreas/endocrine system. regardless of skim/lofat/whole.

    also, the nature of the grains matters greatly. of course whole grains are better, and provide so many essentials to a healthy diet, can’t imagine why anyone would reject them out of hand. on the other hand, my rule of thumb (which will no doubt get hammered by all my handy dandy metaphors here) is to reject all white foods (of course, out of hand): white rice, potatoes, flour, sugar, milk (just me; see above). these dry goods have been stripped of their food value. if instead you select brown or black or wild rices, gold or red potatoes, you’re much better off. forget sugar; sugar is poison, period. even brown and ‘raw’ sugars always have had molasses sprayed back into it. even then, it’s pretty intense stuff; we did not evolve to assimilate it at all. exceedingly hard on the system.

    whole grains have so much nutritional value, they really must be part of a healthy diet. and any scary carbs (almost all foods have carbs; good luck living without them) they contain are offset by their nutrition. in fact, all those grain ‘sugars’ are actually utilized to digest and get at the nutrition in the grains, so it’s pretty much an offset, no net carb gain.

    nuts and beans, in combo with grains, provide perfect protein/amino acid combos. again, bovines get all that BGH, milk or meat, so really nasty stuff for the endocrine system. the way the planet is going these days, tho, the higher a living thing is on the food chain, the more it stores up all manner of pollutants that overload the various organs and systems, including the endocrine.

    so far, stevia is proving to be a good sugar sub; natural south american root, zero calories. requires getting used to, but doable.

    eliminate sodas and alcoholic beverages, especially beer, as these are loaded with the very worst carbs. all of them. learn to love water.

    also learn to love herbs and spices to give vegetables adventure and excitement. and learn to love veggies. they’re the diabetic’s salvation. hell, they’re humanity’s salvation, at this point.

    bon appetite!

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay Noble:

    What about Special K — not all of the fancy chocolate or “red berries” stuff, just regular ol’ Special K? It has 6 grams of protein (most cold cereals only have 2) so if the carbs aren’t too high, that might work for you.

  47. 47
    sacrablue says:

    @Jay Noble: Bagels are a carb disaster area for me. Oatmeal is almost as bad. It spikes me if I eat it in the morning. I stay more level if I limit my breakfast carbs and go with more protein instead. I’m still a newbie at this and I’m definitely still working on my A1C. I started at 9.5 in August, 6.0 in December.

  48. 48
    currants says:


    hell, they’re humanity’s salvation, at this point.

    Yep. Reminds me of the drought in CA just now. Good idea to keep a garden, for that.

  49. 49
    ellennelle says:


    coconut milk. native forest is the best brand (no bpa), low fat. just excellent stuff, creamy, smooth, only a slight hint of the coconut flavor. great on oatmeal, in coffee and cocoa, cooking, all of it. a bit pricey, but worth it.

    (none of those boxed nut/rice/bean milks are any good; too much junk in them. one brand does a soy milk with nothing but water, but i don’t think our digestive tracts were designed to digest dried beans, even if they are pulverized and added to water.)

  50. 50
    ellennelle says:


    no kidding.

    and fight like hell against the frackers!

  51. 51
    ellennelle says:


    steel cut oatmeal is the only way to go. stay away from that packaged crapola.

    in fact, another good rule of thumb: view all packaged foods with deep suspicion.

    and read every label. DON’T EAT SALTS AND SUGARS!!

  52. 52
    Constance says:

    Cream is better than milk. No sugar! I use it on everything and in everything. cookies and cream, Yes. Except I can’t eat cookies. :-)

  53. 53
    sacrablue says:

    @ellennelle: steel cut is the only kind that I like, but it still spikes my glucose, especially if I eat it in the morning.

  54. 54
    lahke says:

    So I’m noticing that Cole is not sharing this walk. Knee still bad?

  55. 55
    John Cole says:

    @lahke: Getting much better. Still a little stiff and there my have been a little MCL stretch, but almost no pain other than when I first wake up. The problem right now is I am just too fucking scared to walk on sidewalks because a touch of ice could twist the knee the wrong way. I’m fine on the grass with the snow, because that is not slippery, but I just do not feel comfortable on the ice yet. I have been icing three times a day since the injury and using the exercise bike for controlled movement and exercise.

    Like I said, been down this road before.

  56. 56
    Chris T. says:

    @John Cole:

    I didn’t know that they do not add sugar, but the skim had higher sugars than the other milks per serving.

    That’s one of those “oh duh of course” things once you think about it.

    Imagine a cow and a bucket, and a bunch of milk comes out of the cow and goes into the bucket.

    Repeat for two or more buckets, with the same total amount of liquid in each.

    Now, let’s just use the two extremes: one will be whole milk. The other, we’ll skim off the cream and sell it as cream, and sell the remaining chalky drek as skim milk. :-)

    What’s left in the whole milk bucket? The milk, and all of it, of course. Measure one cup of that, how much sugar is in it?

    Meanwhile, what’s left in the skim milk bucket? Not as much stuff, as the cream is gone. Measure out one cup of that. How much sugar is in that?

    Imagine, just for the heck of it, that you were to dehydrate the remaining skim stuff down to just one cup of gooey liquid. How much sugar is in that, now? (All of it, right?)

    The total amount of sugars (lactose mostly) is the same in both buckets, but the one that is still whole milk, it’s more spread-out, as the cream is still in it too. One cup of that has less sugar in it. If a serving is a cup (or a pint or whatever), there’s less sugar there, than in the skim stuff.

  57. 57
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @John Cole: Non-fat dry milk is better than liquid milks.

  58. 58
    contract3d says:

    John – if you keep eating this ‘diabetic’ diet for a few weeks you’ll have cut your level of pain and inflammation by an almost-unbelievable extent.

    My wife, a nurse with four decades of reading and study on this topic has convinced me (by demonstration!) of the link between diet, insulin-level excursions and inflammation.

  59. 59
    ellennelle says:


    wow, that’s pretty amazing. do you add lots of nuts, no sweetener? protein helps. still, if this happens, clearly contraindicated.

    do you check your sugar level prior to oatmeal? could be sugar levels accrue overnight?

    i’m just guessing here; the endocrine system is so delicate and mysterious, like the electrical system in a car.

    best of luck with all that.

  60. 60
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Don’t be so sure about that. Most doctors receive less than an hour of training in nutrition during their whole education process. Recent studies have shown that foods that retain their natural animal fats are significantly better for you than the processed alternatives. A diet that has a moderate amount of carbohydrates from whole grains and significant amounts from vegetables is better for your glucose levels.
    Each human is an individual and should learn to balance their diet to their own needs.

  61. 61
    Luci says:

    I’ve not had time to read all the comments, so please excuse me if I am repeating anything, but…. this is wonderful John Cole. Of course there will be ups and downs and I suppose sometimes he, and all of us really, will rebel and eat things that are not good for us, but such is life. You do what you can, and I think it’s important to celebrate madly every little step forward and redouble your efforts at every little step backward, and just go on with life. I like the joyous attitude being successful to this point has given you, and I think you are doing a good thing. I hope your friend is getting some hope from it. :)

  62. 62
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    @cathyx: There’s nothing wrong with grains or sugars inherently. Some folks can eat relatively large amounts of pure whole grain (i.e., not just the stuff that’s colored darker) bread without it causing problems for their blood sugar; I snack on small quantities of dried berries without it affecting my sugar control. (Emphasis on small – I have a visual for a bit more than 1/8th cup of dried berries.) Portion control because extremely important if you’re going to do these things, and I’d rather see someone snacking on cheese or nuts figuring they can eat as much as they feel like without worrying about blood sugar, than trying to figure out if they can have a slice and a quarter of bread, or if one slice is already pushing the boundary.

    But a lot of advisers do give a lot of stupid advice, like “of course low fat milk is better than regular milk, because everyone knows that fat is horrible stuff” or even stupider for people who claim to understand diabetes, “if calories in exceeds calories out, you’ll gain weight, so you *must* watch calories!” Me, I don’t see harshing *any* diabetic about any food that helps them keep their blood sugar in control. Once they have stable sugar, *then* you can worry about bullshit like obesity, if you have to.

  63. 63
    Astor Column says:

    This has really woken me up to what I need to be talking about with the borderline diabetics in my family. And made me vow to cut out the Reeses binges.

  64. 64
    LongHairedWeirdo says:


    True, “but”.

    When you exercise, if you’re doing low intensity stuff, you’re mostly burning fat. As you increase the intensity, you start burning more and more sugar. If you knew you were acutely high in blood sugar, but you’d peaked, a good way to drop your blood sugar is pushups – as many as you can do until failure. When you’re hovering near failure, your arm muscles are burning pure sugar. Then, once your arms are ready for another go, do it again. Jogging would also be good, but more complicated.

    Anyway, where was I? Oh, right.

    If you walk, you are burning sugar, but not a whole lot. But keep in mind that the amount of sugar in your blood at any instant is *tiny*. If your body can regulate your sugar at 180mg/dl, you’d like to see it down by 60 points. That’s 60 milligrams of glucose, per deciliter of blood, there are no more than about 60 deciliters of blood in the body, 60×60 is 3600 *milligrams* of glucose need to be burned.

    16 sugar calories (rounding up).

    That’s not a lot of activity. Of course, it *is* an acute number – if you’re still digesting food, your body is still having glucose thrown at it. So that’s more like, if you knew you would peak in an hour, if you took a 20 minute walk surrounding that hour, (e.g., from 0:50 to 1:10) you’d probably shave the top off your peak. (And that’s probably a good thing – keeps your body from needing as much insulin.)

  65. 65
    StringOnAStick says:

    @contract3d: I have to agree with cntract3d and his wife; I cut out grains and beans, but especially sugars and went from not only being borderline diabetic, but also cut the knee pain/hand pain by a huge, huge amount. For me, triggering too many insulin spikes too often makes everything hurt, sends my triglycerides to the moon and makes me gain weight, plus the joint pain returns. I am super active, but when my knees starting becoming a real issue, I had to change my diet because of the weight gain, but when I changed my diet my knees got a HUGE amount better.

    The main way to keep blood sugar down for most people is to control carb intake, especially processed carbs, meaning anything made with sugar or flours of any kind. This is where the current gluten-free bandwagon is a trap; unless gluten really is a problem for you, just substituting one highly processed carb for another doesn’t do a damned thing to keep insulin from spiking. We are no longer an agrarian or heavy industrial society where people do backbreaking labor all day; we sit on our butts in cubicles eating a Snickers everyday and trying silly stuff like the cabbage soup diet or some TV weight loss pill. Processed carbs are the cheapest food in the US thanks to ag policies and subsidies. Quit eating that crap and watch your health get better.

  66. 66
    Elizabeth says:

    Korean steamed egg casserole is amazingly delicious–very savory and satisfying, also quick and simple!

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