Chareva’s birthday was Sunday, so her parents came down for the weekend to celebrate with us and get their first look at the farm. Her dad is one of those “Tim the Toolman” types who can build pretty much anything he puts his mind to, so he had some good suggestions on ways to fix up the house without spending a fortune. (He even built a riding train around his property near Chicago — the girls love it. You can read about his train here. )
Sunday evening we all went to P.F. Chang’s for the big birthday dinner. I tend to let my hair down (so to speak) when we go to ethnic restaurants, so I had two egg rolls, one fried crab wonton, and about half of the little cup of white rice the waitress brought with my sesame chicken. It didn’t appear to be a major carb load, but an hour after dinner, I felt that buzz that I’ve come to recognize as the result of high blood sugar.
So I got out my meter and tested … 219 mg/dl. Yikes. I waited an hour and then tested again to get a two-hour postprandial reading … still pretty high at 169.
I know some people would see those results and immediately declare that my blood sugar went high and stayed high because my low-carb diet has made me intolerant to carbs, but I’m not so sure. When I tested my one-hour reaction, both girls decided they wanted to know what their blood sugars were as well. So after they successfully talked themselves out of the fear of having their fingers pricked, I tested their blood-sugar levels. Sara’s was 189 mg/dl. Alana’s was 176.
We don’t feed them sugar or flour at home, but their diets are nowhere near as low-carb as mine. They like berries and full-fat yogurt for breakfast. They usually take an apple or a banana in their lunches. Chareva often serves sweet potatoes or squash with dinner, which they eat even when I don’t. I don’t think it’s likely we’ve induced an intolerance to carbohydrates in them. I think it’s more likely some people just don’t handle refined carbohydrates very well, period.
I also suspect intolerance to carbohydrates is largely genetic. When I first started testing my blood sugar a couple of years ago, Chareva’s sister Susan happened to be visiting. When I grumbled about a small serving of pasta pushing my glucose up to 174 mg/dl an hour after eating it, Susan wanted to see what her glucose level was. She’d eaten a bigger serving of pasta than I had plus a potato, but her one-hour glucose reading was only 112 mg/dl. No wonder she (like Chareva) is naturally lean. Those foods don’t spike her blood sugar.
But they definitely spike mine … and that’s why I rarely eat them anymore.