30 Bananas a Day!

Okay, 4 weeks ago I participated in a 5K race.  After the race they were offering free blood glucose testing, and so I asked them to test me.  The result was a worrying 231 especially since I had not eaten for about 11 hours, my last meal being 5lbs. of diced watermelon at 10 pm the night before.

In fact watermelon had been my staple food leading up to the race.  Also, I maybe had 2 avocados and a couple of handfuls of brazil nuts during that week, but the previous week I might have eating 10 avocados.

They called over  a doctor who asked me a few questions, and told me I most likely had diabetes, but said that I should go to a medical clinic sometime that week and have them do some tests.

Instead of getting tested right away I decided to get Dr. Barnard's book on reversing diabetes and switched my diet to more of what Dr. Barnard recommends: Vegan, no overt fats, and eating foods which are low to medium on the glycemic index, especially legumes. I'm still eating fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, but I'm not eating huge fruit meals like I was before.  I'm also restricting my watermelon intake, although yesterday I had some.

So after 3 weeks on the diet, I tested myself again after fasting for 12 hours, and got a reading of 82.  The following day it was 85, and today (one week later) it was 85 again.

So what happened?  Did eating all that watermelon spike my blood sugar so high that it affected my insulin resistance?  Or could just having completed some intense cardio raised my blood sugar because my muscles needed energy and that my glycogen stores were releasing glucose into my veins for my muscles to use.

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Maybe that one blood glucose reading was a faulty one?  I can't imagine how after 11 hours of not eating, your blood glucose would be so high, even if you had diabetes.  did you get any additional readings to verify that the original glucose reading was not just a bad reading?  I wouldn't necessarily change my diet without verifying that it was indeed a problem.

Thanks for your reply.  No, I didn't get any additional readings that day to confirm it.

However I ran in the race 2 years ago, and also got a high reading.  I don't remember exactly how high, 170 maybe.  Again I didn't eat before the race, but I had just eaten a banana when tested, and the girl who gave me the test said, "Oh, if you just ate a banana that might be why it's high."  The thing is I don't think the banana would have had time to enter my bloodstream, but I do remember being really exhausted after that race so maybe it has something more to do with the intensive exercise and or stress on the body involved in a running race.  Dr. Barnard's book mentioned how stress or fight-or-flight, situations can raise blood sugar levels.

Go get an A1C test.  That is the only way to know your average blood sugar over a period of months. 

That's a good idea.  Thanks.

Going to get my blood tested tomorrow.  I'll post the results when I get them, but probably not till next week.

So 10 avocados the week before, then that week 2 avo's and a couple handfuls of nuts during the week...it's possible you may have had lots of fat in the blood stream causing the sugars from the watermelon to get trapped, giving you the high reading. That sounds like quite a bit of fat, usually 1/2 an avocado a week is recommended. Fat will line the arteries preventing the sugar from leaving your bloodstream to feed your cells, causing insulin resistance.

If you lower your fat intake I would imagine you would still be able to eat lots of fruit. If this was recently you might want to wait a few days for any excess fat to leave the bloodstream before going back to lots of fruit :)

Thanks for your input, Rose.  Yes, I was overdoing it with the avocados.  The Haas (California type) avocados aren't always available here and often they are expensive, but they must have been in season because they were good and cheap and I overindulged.

Anyhow, the 231 reading scared me, and so I bought Dr. Barnard's book the next day and started reading it.  That was 4 weeks ago.  Since then I have eaten zero overt fats.  No avocados, no nuts, no oils.  I'm still eating a lot of fruit, but not in the huge portions I had been eating them in.  I've probably gone from around 2,000 daily calories from fruit to about 1,000.  The key being watermelon is no longer a staple but a treat now and then and in smaller serving sizes.

Tomorrow I will get some blood work done.  I'll post the results when I get them next week.

Okay, I got tested this morning and got my results back already.

Fasting blood sugar:  98   [70 - 99]

Hemoglobin A1C:  5.1%   [4.0% - 6.0%]

Triglycerides:  247  [Desirable < 150; Borderline 150-200;  High 200-499  Very High >500]

Total Cholesterol:  113HDL: 26.0

LDL 37.6

Vitamin D (25-OH D3):  27.6  [Sufficient > 30;  Insufficient 20-30;  Deficient < 20]

Vitamin B12: 480  [ 211- 911 ]


So my fasting blood sugar is borderline pre-diabetic.  I fasted for 12 hours, but I did eat a bit of watermelon yesterday and that may have affected my numbers.  Note that I haven't bought any watermelon in a month, I was just finishing off the rest of one that was bought before that.  Also, I took my fasting blood sugar at home after I got back from the lab.  My reading was 88 compared to the 98 that the lab recorded.

I was surprised that my A1C came back right in the middle of normal at 5.1%.  I was seriously expecting something over 7%.  So that is good news.

I take Jarrows B-12 supplements 1000mcg 2 or 3 times a week.  That's the only supplement I take.

Triglycerides are high.  Not sure what to make of that.

Anyone have any input on the overall numbers?  What do you think?  Am I pre-diabetic?

I would try barnards diet plan for a while see if trickgylcerides drop. Too much fructose can increase trig levels in some. Try cutting the fat intake and decreasing the higher fructose fruit like watermelon and apples dates etc

Sounds like good advice.  Considering the 231 reading a month ago, and the 99 reading yeserday, I think I have to consider myself as being pre-diabetic meaning that I now have to be much more careful about what I eat.  I have pretty much been eating Dr. Barnard's diet plan for the past month with the exception of a bowl of watermelon about once a week, and now I think I will be pretty much eliminating that too.  Another exception is that I also ate vegan pizza two times (without cheese and it had a very thin crust).

For those who are interested, Dr. Neal Barnard says to do the following if you want to avoid or reverse diabetes:

1) Go vegan - eat no animal products whatsoever.

2) No overt fats like oils, avocados, nuts, seeds etc.  Or at least try to keep these to an absolute minimum.

3) Don't eat foods high on the glycemic index - no white bread, no wheat bread (Rye bread is better).  Surprisingly pasta (cooked al dente) is not so bad and can be eaten.

No sugar, no sugary drinks.  He says that it is okay to eat fruit as long as it is not high on the glycemic index.  So no watermelon, no dates, no pineapple, no overripe bananas (but not so ripe bananas are okay).  No white potatoes (but sweet potatoes are okay).

He encourages eating lots of legumes like lentils, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc. 

Gianni, I am a runner too and worry about my blood levels as they were high.  I run and thought that it would not be so bad .  I would love to know if you have seen improvements.  How long have you been on raw vegan? 

Hi Oriana,  What was high in particular?  Your fasting blood sugar? A1C? Triglycerides? Other things?

I have been HCLF vegan for almost 2½ years, the first 6 months were high raw, then raw till 4, and the past month, following Dr. Barnard's diet for reversing diabetes.

Previously I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for nearly 20 years.  Sometimes I ate healthy, other times I would eat junk food like pizza, chips, chocolate, ice cream, soda pop, etc.  I was getting to be borderline obese, was probably becoming pre-diabetic or entering into diabetes already.

I really haven't had any blood work done in the past 20 years except for what is mentioned in this thread, specifically I got my blood sugar taken twice after 5K races, once 2 years ago, and again one month ago - both indicated that I was probably diabetic.  The first time I shrugged it off as being caused by the fact that I had just completed a 5k race where I pushed myself very hard - that my glycogen stores were probably putting sugars into my veins to feed my muscles.  There must be some truth in that, but probably only in part.  I had been eating a lot of really sweet watermelon which is one of the highest fruits on the glycemic index, and by a lot I mean around +1500 calories a day of watermelon.  I had also been eating a lot of avocados (85% fat) the weeks before being tested although I don't think I had any avocados for a few days before the race.  Nonetheless, watermelon & avocados are not a good mix for someone with or at risk of diabetes.

So last month I got tested a few minutes after the race, and got a 231 reading.  They called a doctor over and he told me that I was probably diabetic and I should go to a medical clinic as soon as possible and have them run some tests.  I almost went but decided to get Dr. Barnard's book first which I started reading as well as watched a few of his videos.

He says that people can show improvements in just a few weeks, so I tweaked my diet, basically swapping legumes for watermelon.  I got a home kit to test my blood sugar, but waited 3 weeks later to test myself.  I got readings of 82 and 85 though maybe I didn't put enough blood in the reader so it may have been an artificially low reading.

Then on Tuesday I went to a lab and got myself tested, the results of which are posted above.

So, in 4 weeks time my fasting blood sugar went from 231 to 99.  My Hemoglobin A1C test came back right in the middle of normal.  Cholesterol was very low at 113.  My triglycerides were a little high but my overall lipid profile is good.

I plan on getting tested again in two months time, hoping to get my fasting blood sugar a little lower.



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