Remembering Kevin Moore

Jimmy Moore’s n=1 Experiments: Atkins Nutritionals Protein Shakes

Little did I know when I started my n=1 experiments in May 2011 that they would so quickly capture the intense attention of my readers and the manufacturers of the products I am testing. It all started with Dreamfields pasta which unfortunately tracked virtually identical blood sugar response as white pasta despite their claim that one serving size has 5g “protected carbs” on blood sugar. When I asked Dreamfields President Mike Crowley to explain why this happened in an interview, all he could say is “we stand behind the nutritional claims of our low-carb pasta.” I was disappointed to say the least.

Then last month I moved on to Julian Bakery SmartCarb breads made into grilled cheese sandwiches using coconut oil and cheese (which is how many low-carbers who were purchasing this bread probably used it). The blood sugar testing results I shared started a firestorm of responses from a representative there named Heath Squier (who ironically showed very similar poor blood sugar control after eating the SmartCarb #1 bread which he described as “great results”) who claimed his 1-2g net carb breads produce “almost no increase in blood sugar” in anyone who consumes them alone. He went on and on about how the couple of grams of natural sugars contained in the cheese I consumed with his breads led to the huge spike in my blood sugar and that this made my test results invalid. This was totally bogus and I knew it was merely a smokescreen excuse.

Nevertheless, I gave Heath the benefit of the doubt and retested my blood sugar consuming just the SmartCarb breads alone. The result? My blood sugar results were even worse eating just the bread than they were with the coconut oil and cheese. A lot of hemming and hawing ensued after I published my second set of tests and I continually asked Heath for a logical explanation about what happened to my blood sugar when this bread is supposed to be “low-carb.” All I ever heard from him was that my “results are not typical” and that within two weeks there would be plenty of examples from the over 100,000 customers nationwide that would counter my results. It’s now six weeks later and there’s only been this one blood sugar test result from a Type 1 diabetic eating SmartCarb #1 bread published so far. I welcome more people who doubt my results to test for yourself. Again, that’s what this n=1 experiment is really all about.

After all, lest anyone following my n=1 experiments forgets, this is merely one man’s blood sugar response to a series of food products purporting to be “low-carb” and ANYONE can replicate them for themselves quite easily (if they don’t mind pricking themselves as many as 10-15 times each day for the glucometer readings). What I happen to see with my blood sugar levels doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing will happen to YOU! So, as my friend Jenny Ruhl says on her popular “Blood Sugar 101” web site, you just gotta “Test test test!”

When I started testing my blood sugar levels and posting the results on my blog, some of my fellow non-diabetic friends and readers scoffed at the notion of testing blood sugar levels since we’re not diabetic. But anyone who has read my blog or listened to my podcast for any length of time already knows that keeping blood glucose levels under control is of the utmost importance (the amazing Dr. William Davis from “The Heart Scan Blog” refers to this kind of self-testing as “Glucomania”). Out of control blood sugar levels is arguably the worst thing metabolically for your body to endure. Consuming foods that keep blood sugars stabilized as opposed to an erratic up and down rollercoaster ride is ideal for optimal overall health.

That’s why so many of us with compromised metabolisms and hormones that are out of whack enjoy livin’ la vida low-carb so much. Keeping our carbohydrate intake limited primarily to green leafy and non-starchy vegetables while consuming ample amounts of healthy fats and proteins from quality sources of meats, eggs, cheeses, nuts, seeds, and more makes improved metabolic health and balanced hormone levels happen rather effortlessly. This is the very essence of low-carb living that helps keep so many of us happy, healthy and satisfied better than any other way of eating out there bar none! The miracle that is low-carb has kept me motivated to keep sharing about it for over six years and I plan on continuing to shout it from the mountaintops for many more years to come.

Because we all live busy lives, it can sometimes be a bit hairy trying to find access to good nourishment for our bodies that won’t compromise our low-carb lifestyle commitment. At the same time, so many companies out there claim to have good low-carb products for people who are on-the-go. Today I have the first set of product test results from what is arguably the biggest name in low-carb food manufacturing and distribution today: Atkins Nutritionals.

Bearing the famous name of the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins, this company has been putting out low-carb protein shakes, breakfast bars, candy and other such foods for people on carbohydrate-restricted diets for over two decades. People write to me all the time asking whether these Atkins products are good for people following a low-carb diet. My answer has always been the same: try them for yourself, test your blood sugar response, and respond accordingly. Since I’ve given out that suggestion so many times over the years, I wanted to do it for myself over this past week to see what my results would be as part of the next phase of my n=1 experiments. With such an enormous product line, I decided to start off my testing with the Atkins Daybreak Protein Shakes.

Keep in mind, I don’t normally drink protein shakes. I’d personally rather have some delicious local pastured farm eggs cooked in some coconut oil that takes me three minutes max to whip up in a pan. But I know some people get tired of eggs or can’t stand them, so they may be considering adding the Atkins shakes to their low-carb menus. If I were going on a trip somewhere and wanted to have a snack on hand for the plane or car ride, then perhaps I would turn to the Atkins shakes as an option. I wonder what would happen to my blood sugar after consuming this product that claims to have just 2g net carbs? That’s what I wanted to find out while comparing the Atkins shakes to their major competitor Kellogg’s Special K Protein Shakes as well as other typical breakfast beverages that people would consume, including orange juice (UGH!), 2% milk, and raw whole milk (sold legally in my home state of South Carolina).

Because it’s been kinda busy in the Moore household since finding out Christine is pregnant after 16 years of trying to have kids and my jam-packed podcast recording schedule this month, I was only able to test in 15-minute increments for two hours instead of the more preferred three hours. Even still, the results I received provided some truly incredible information that I think you will find both noteworthy and eyebrow-raising. Hopefully it inspires you to do some testing of your own.

Are you ready for the results? Check ’em out:

Atkins Daybreak Wild Berry Protein Shake
SERVING SIZE: 11 fl oz

Blood sugar testing results–July 14, 2011 from 9:15AM-11:15AM

Fasting reading: 105
Peak reading: 108
Low reading: 93

Atkins Daybreak Creamy Chocolate Protein Shake
SERVING SIZE: 11 fl oz

Blood sugar testing results–July 15, 2011 from 8:15AM-10:15AM

Fasting reading: 98
Peak reading: 108
Low reading: 92

Kellogg’s Special K Strawberry Protein Shake
SERVING SIZE: 10 fl oz

Blood sugar testing results–July 16, 2011 from 7:00AM-9:00AM

Fasting reading: 105
Peak reading: 127
Low reading: 81

Simply Orange Original Pulp Free 100% Pure Orange Juice
SERVING SIZE: 13.5 fl oz

Blood sugar testing results–July 18, 2011 from 8:45AM-11:00AM

Fasting reading: 104
Peak reading: 142
Low reading: 104

Southern Home 2% Reduced Fat Pasteurized/Homogenized Milk

Blood sugar testing results–July 19, 2011 from 9:00AM-11:00AM

Fasting reading: 108
Peak reading: 117
Low reading: 102

Milky Way Farm Raw Milk

Blood sugar testing results–July 21, 2011 from 8:30AM-10:30AM

Fasting reading: 101
Peak reading: 106
Low reading: 99

Here’s a composite graph of all of the blood sugar readings from these experiments:

What did you think about these test results? Here are my quick observations:

  • The Atkins shakes seemed to have a minimal impact on my blood sugar
  • That Special K Protein Shake dropped my blood sugar nearly 40 points in 30 minutes
  • Predictably, orange juice produced a huge sustained blood sugar spike
  • There was severe hypoglycemia only with Special K (not even OJ)
  • 2% milk showed a slow rise in blood sugar and then not that much
  • Raw milk, despite having 12g carbs, saw a flatline glucose response
  • I felt most hungry after consuming the OJ and Special K protein shake

    It appears that the Atkins shakes aren’t such a bad option for me when I’m on the go or away from home and need a quick something. It’s also curious that raw milk performed the best among all the tests I conducted. Does this mean I should add it into my low-carb diet as another real food source of fat and protein as well as other healthy nutrients despite the extra carbohydrates? Perhaps I will. You just never know what you’re gonna find out when you test your blood sugars on various foods. One thing is for certain: I won’t be drinking orange juice or Special K Protein Shakes again anytime soon!

    We’re just getting started with the Atkins Nutritionals n=1 experiments though. Now that the Atkins shakes performed well for my blood sugars, how about those Atkins Advantage bars meant as a snack or meal replacement? We’ll see what if any impact they have on my blood glucose numbers in August and then I’ll tackle the Atkins Endulge candy bars in September. It’ll be interesting to see what happens and I’ll be sure to share all the results here at my blog when I start testing again in about a month. For now, my fingers need a rest from all the pricking. If you have conducted blood sugar tests on the Atkins shakes, then I’d love to have you share your results in the comments section below.

    • Mike

      Thanks for doing those expirements Jimmy. They are very interesting.

      I was surprised that Atkins was good for glycemic control. Although, when I read all the ingredients of some of their products. They had a lot of vegetable oils, which I know are toxic. So I have avoided taking them.

      The objection I have with most low carb products is that they either have too many total carbs, and most of them have soy, which I know is a horrible, Monsanto, genetically modified legume.

      I am coming to the conclusion that if a person wants to be at an optimal weight they have to eat real food! Avoid sweet (even artifical) things, and when hitting a long term stall, cut the calories and increase the excercise.

      • If people followed your credo here 80% of the time, we’d be much healthier.

      • I can’t buy the cut the calories and increase the exercise bit. I would sooner tell someone the following:

        1. Assess your health. Have you been sick? Have you been stressed out? Have you gone on meds, gone off meds, or changed a dose? This is usually the most obvious answer.

        2. Wait it out. We all who have been through this for long enough are aware that it’s normal for low-carbers to plateau for a while and then “whoosh” some more weight off. Check your measurements along with your weight–those might change for the better! And yes, theoretically your weight might not move, because muscle takes up less space than fat. If you gain the former and lose the latter your weight could stay in one place while you get smaller.

        3. If you’re honestly not losing fat, if your measurements aren’t changing and your weight is going nowhere, check your micronutrient intake (vitamins and minerals). Have you been careful about getting what you need? If all you’re doing is counting calories and carb grams, how would you know? A multi is better than nothing, but 90+ percent of them don’t contain the best forms of all the vitamins and minerals they typically include.

        I read something at Whole Health Source about a study done on two groups of fat people eating the same diet, but one group was on a multi. The multi group lost more weight. I truly believe this is where the so-called “starvation mode” comes from when a dieter goes too low in calories. It’s not the body conserving calories. It’s the body’s metabolism breaking down because it is not properly nourished. The *real* “starvation mode” is ketosis!

        4. If your micronutrients are OK, tweak your macronutrients. Could be that your carb tolerance or your protein needs have changed. The glucose meter comes in handy here. You shouldn’t go over 140 mg/dl an hour to two hours after you’re done eating. Any more than that is associated with long-term damage and increased risk of heart disease.

        In short, don’t just hypothesize about what’s wrong and don’t fall back on old dogma. Have an inquisitive mind, like Jimmy, and make an effort to find out what is actually wrong.

        • Great advice Dana!

        • Dana

          you missed what I think was Mike’s key point: Eat real food. But hey we have been saying that for years and getting nowhere because the money drives so much.

    • Thanks Jimmy for doing all those tests. You ARE a brave guy and we appreciate it. Good info!

    • Beth

      That’s really interesting information. Thank you for sharing it. I will be very interested to see the results of your August and September tests, because Atkins bars are some of the most easily available.

      • The shakes are everywhere too, but the bars are probably more popular.

    • Dame Liberty

      I’ve been thinking about trying raw milk (it’s legal in my state). Now, I am making it a priority. Thanks, Jimmy!

    • Josh

      Thanks for this info! To think, all those years I drank milk and had people telling me “eww, you drink milk? You should drink orange juice instead, it’s much healthier!” Glad to know I made the right choice! Now to finally use those $5 and $2 off coupons I have for Atkins shakes…

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Beth

      Thank you so much for posting these results, “Papa Jimmy” ;o).

      I enjoy an Atkins shake before a morning jog (I can’t do anything on an empty stomach) and though I know I ought to be making my own shakes/smoothies with natural ingredients, I haven’t been able to find a recipe with net carb counts that come anywhere *near* as low as the Atkins shakes.

      After you exposed the Julian Bakery bread claims, it set me to wondering whether *all* these low carb food manufacturers are fudging the numbers!

      Now I can enjoy my Atkins shakes again. 🙂

      • I sincerely hope there are a bunch of low-carb companies that do well.

      • Beth: Pick up a copy of The 6-Week Cure For The Middle-Aged Middle by the Drs. Eades. It’s got shake recipes. They’re part of a specific diet plan, but they can kind of stand on their own.

        Also, Google around for Paleo or Primal smoothies. Primal Toad is always posting up recipes and many of them aren’t all that low-carb, but some are.

        Dana Carpender has done a low-carb smoothie book in the past. It needs to be updated (she’s updated some of her books but I don’t think all of them yet), but you could substitute unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk for the Carb Countdown she features in that book.

        BTW, be very careful when using almond milk in particular. Do not just grab the regular flavor. It likely has sugar added to it. Check the label. You want the unsweetened version and it should say that on the front, but check just to make sure. That might also be true for coconut milk depending on which brand you grab. Sneaky lil so-and-sos. I was annoyed beyond belief that Kroger started selling almond milk under its own label but you can only get sweetened regular and sweetened vanilla. I hear vegans are huge sugar hounds and Kroger’s catering to them, not the low-carb crowd. Grr.

        • FWIW, Almond Breeze offers unsweetened versions of both its vanilla and chocolate almond milks (in addition to its “natural” unsweetened almond milk). I’ve found that the unsweetened vanilla and chocolate versions minimize the slight bitterness of unsweetened, unflavored almond milk.

          • THANKS Lainie! I’ve had almond milk….would rather just drink raw cow’s milk, though. 🙂

            • I like ’em both, actually, but I have a mild dairy intolerance, so almond milk is a better “every day” drink for me. Of course, nothing beats tea. 🙂

    • It’s fascinating. I find the difference in your response to the special K drink and the orange juice interesting. That one triggers a reactive hypoglycemia response and the other didn’t. The special K drink can hardly be called a protein shake with 29 grams of carbs (mostly table sugar from the ingredient list) and just 10 g of protein.

      I love these N=1 experiments! I’m always interested in real life experiences, thanks for doing them.

      • The hypoglycemia with Special K was wicked. Should have happened with OJ too…but didn’t.

    • Kirsten

      Whew! I love Atkins shakes for their convenience and flavor. I’ve been steadily losing, but it’s nice to have a little external validation of a product. Thanks so much. Fingers crossed for the Endulge peanut butter cups, too.

      • We’ll find out soon on the Endulge products.

    • Rebecca

      Thanks again for doing these Jimmy! I didn’t realize that raw milk was available here in SC. Might be worth looking into for my protein shakes. I assume you get yours up in S-burg, do you happen to know if it’s available down the road a bit in the Columbia area? If not, I may have to get my son, who lives up your way, to get me some.

      So far I haven’t been a big consumer of the products you’ve tested, just some Dreamfields about once a month, but the results are still interesting to me. Especially the bread as theirs was a straight label calculation on net carbs, not a claim based on protected carbs or glycerin as Atkins is.

      Congrats to you and Christine as well!

    • Dana Patterson

      Got a deal on Atkins Shakes/bars/candies recently and tried them. They’re OK, I guess and make great lunch bag items for my daughter who works 10-12 hr shifts sometimes. Haven’t had any noticeable spikes with results similar to yours. Great work, Jimmy.

    • Ben

      Hey J, these reports are so interesting to read. I’m not a LCer and I definitely don’t do any Atkins products but what interesting findings you have. These are interesting to read, very influential and educational to the busy public, and an excellent representation on taking your health in your own hands. So well done.

      • Thanks Ben! Everybody should know where they stand with the foods they eat.

    • Terri Sartoris

      Fascinating. I’ll be curious if you do a test on the Atkins Endulge chocolate coconut bars. I love them but I just read that malitol is pretty high on the glycemic scale and I do feel like they spike my blood sugar. Disappointing cause i love them 🙁

    • Steve

      These are the only experiments that matter.

    • Andrea40

      Hi Jimmy,
      Thank you for doing these experiments. I’ve been curious about the effect of raw milk ever since we started drinking it several months ago. Glad to see the results here! I have only been using the cream (thus far) in my coffee.
      I go for whole, unprocessed foods for the most part, and really watch my carb and sugar intake closely. I am not diabetic, but, I know it is a danger that those of us who are overweight- may face. So, its important to watch.
      Thanks again for all the work you do in researching and sharing the results here!

      • Thanks Andrea! Would love to see your blood sugar testing of raw milk.

    • You did a fabulous job, Jimmy. I forgot you live in SC. My little girl’s dad’s parents live there, and we visited last October and I noticed raw milk was available in the area, but I was also sick at the time and not inclined to do much hunting for it. Maybe next time. It’s a nice area.

      I want to do an experiment like this with diet soda. I used to have a wicked soda habit and with much luck and grace I’ve managed to kick it, though sometimes I still want a diet soda just ’cause. But I keep hearing things about aspartame raising blood sugar. I don’t like aspartame anyway, but I wondered if the phenylalanine was doing the blood sugar raising, so I googled it and lo and behold, that amino acid is supposed to *lower* blood sugar. What gives? So I want to see what it does to me. I need to get my ducks in a row with my glucose meter and then we’ll see. Also Splenda and stevia since I keep hearing weird things about them. It should be interesting.

      • I’ve tested diet soda previously, but not in my current testing. Might add it.

      • Peggy Holloway

        I don’t test, because I have very dramatic symptoms when I eat something that messes with my blood sugar/insulin levels.
        I have no doubt that I have issues with anything that even tastes sweet. When stevia-sweetened soft drinks were first available in my area, I bought a 4-pack and drank one “unbuffered.” (Usually if I endulge in something with artificial sweeteners, it’s in something with lots of fat, such as homemade ice cream or cheesecake). I had my typical hypo/hyper glycemic reaction, which for me is an immediate shaky feeling that feels like my skin is crawling with a gnawing in my stomach, followed by brain fog an hour or so later.
        I have rationalized allowing myself treats (I tell myself I have cut out sugar, grains, and starches pretty much 100% for 11 years and have given up on low-carb versions of junk food and even the protein bars and shakes, so don’t I “deserve” some sort of treat?) by imbibing about 1/4 cup of cream with one-third can of Zevia root beer and some sparkling water for dessert. I don’t have a reaction to hat concoction, but my more critical self knows that I would be much better off to give up “dessert” altogether. Maybe over the next 11 years. 🙂

    • Thank for reporting you n=1’s. All useful information. n=1 raises does not prove anything, but it does raises doubt in the pasta and bread claims.

      Vitamin C also raises my BG. 1000mg will raise BG 15 to 33 points in a 1/2 hour. How much Vitamin C was in the orange juice and special K? It is one that is often added after processing.

      Also, your phase 1 (taste driven release) insulin must be ok to get the special k drop. My phase 1 is very small to gone, but phase 2 (postprandial release)is still ok.

      Just a tester. Keep up the good work.

      • Interesting info on the Vitamin C. The OJ says 120% RDA and the Special K says 100% RDA.

      • Nick P

        Hey Fred,

        Is it Vitamin C pills that raise your BG? Have you tried a smaller dose?

        If you read Dr Bernstein’s book – he definately thinks taking too much Vit C is a problem (he recommends only 250mg/day). However, Dr Mary Vernon recommends a much larger doseage in her Diabetes Book.

        I might try to eliminate my Vit C pill and see if that reduces my morning BG readings.

        Thanks for the tip….

    • Rob

      Jimmy, have you tried this with a quest bar?

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    • Fascinating to see these results. I stopped eating “processed” low carb foods a while back, but have done quite a bit of experimental blood sugar testing on whole foods. Interestingly I too have a relatively flatline response to raw milk despite the carbs in it. I wonder how many do? Back in the 30’s raw milk was used to cure various diseases (incl. diabeyes!)And at the Mayo Clinic (their “raw milk cure”). Unfortunately almost all research on raw milk halted with the introduction of pasteurization. I think there’s alot about it we don’t understand.
      Oh and OJ sends my blood sugar thro the roof too. Interestingly enough whole apples give me quite aa spike too.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

      • I’d love to see a study on raw milk and blood sugar done. THANKS Nina!

    • ValerieH

      i was thrilled to see how well you tolerated raw whole milk. I buy raw milk but I don’t drink it much due to the carbs. However, I kefir it. I have kefir grains. When my kids don’t finish a glass, I throw it in with the grains. I don’t think there is good data as to how many carbs there are due to the fact that the lactose is eaten by the bacteria. Kefir seems to taste the best in summer. It gets too sour (goat cheese off flavors) in winter. It is probably the seasonal quality of the milk.
      I should do one of these experiments on fermented foods; kefir, water kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, etc…

    • Mark


      Awesome post and really interesting stuff. While I’m certainly in favor of raw milk, do you really think it was the nature of the raw milk as opposed to it being WHOLE raw milk (vs 2% milk that you tested)? I think there might be some confusion here. I’m not saying that regular whole milk is as healthy as raw whole milk, but when it comes to blood sugar readings I bet that they would be the same and the nature of it being raw would have nothing to do with it.

      Of course, that would be an interesting experiment to test. 🙂

      Anyways, great post and experiment!

      • Thanks Mark! I would suspect my blood sugar response would have been similar to pasteurized and homogenized whole milk the same way as the raw milk. Although, there is debate about the quality of the fat in P/H whole milk vs. the natural fat in straight from the cow’s milk. Since raw milk was readily available to me here in SC, I decided to test it. If there were no difference at all in the glycemic response, then I’d opt for the raw every time.

    • Mike

      I think that this is great info Jimmy!

      It’s good to remember that going ‘low carb’ isn’t really about the carbs at all but rather about blood sugar. So if there are carbs out there, esp whole natural carbs like the raw milk, that don’t have the typical blood-sugar impact then we don’t have to worry as much about them.

      Counting carbs is just the easiest way to gauge how it will affect ones blood sugar.

      Instead of calling it a low-carb diet it would be more accurate to call it a steady blood sugar diet.

      • I like that Mike. Keep blood sugar stable with what you eat and the rest will take care of itself. Of course, that means a mostly low-carb diet to get you there.

    • Mike

      What is a good blood gluecose tester to use?

      • There are opinions galore about this. Just find one you like and use it consistently. Dr. Bernstein recommends the Bayer brand.

    • DiannaDZ

      Thanks Jimmy for all your N=1 experiments. Have you tried Konjac or Shiritaki noodles? No calories or carbs. They would be interesting candidates for N=1.

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      • I blogged extensively about the shirataki noodles back in 2006 when they were all the rage. They were okay for a while, but I just didn’t need ’em anymore.

    • Sam Huff

      Kellog’s should be advertised as a high carb, low fat shake. 3 times the amount of carbs than protein and 5 times as much carbs as fat.

      It is to be remembered that Kellog’s was founded to reduce sex drive in effect to geld people. In effect their products are poison. Nasty, nasty company.

      • Ha ha! Tell us how you really feel Sam. 😉

    • Peggy Holloway

      I am telling this story, because my sister, who regularly tests her blood sugar, can’t find any consistency or explanation for her difficulties with her blood sugar.
      She is a “Type II Diabetic” who, since her diagnosis 11 years ago, has been following a low-carb diet. She continually has very high first morning blood sugars, the highest blood sugars of the day (140 to 200. They apparently go down after eating. Her HA1C is usually around 6. She is on Metformin and Januvia. She went off Januvia and her A1C shot up to 10. She went back on Januvia. Her doctor tried to cut back on her Metformin, and her A1C went up to 7. She also says that it doesn’t matter what she eats, because the same foods can result in vastly different blood sugar readings. She told me yesterday that although she has not gained weight recently, she has noticed an increase in abdominal fat (she is a classic “apple” body type). She has an appointment with Mary Vernon next week but is apprehensive. The “reviews” of Mary on one website have 3/5 very negative and say that she is cold, rude and doesn’t have any recommendations beyond a low-carb diet which my sister already follows. I was so hopeful, because my sister is a lovely person who has really tried to manage her condition with diet and exercise, but it is simply not working. I had hoped Dr. Vernon would consider hormones (my sister has severe hot flashes and other menopause symptoms and has a somewhat stressful life) or help her “tweak” her medicines and already very low-carb diet. I will report back after the visit.

      • No need to be “apprehensive” about Dr. Mary Vernon. She is the best in the biz at figuring out metabolic issues like what your sister is enduring. Don’t let any pre-conceived ideas about this amazingly wonderful physician sway you into being pessimistic about the prospects of your sister getting the help she needs. I know Mary quite well and she sincerely loves her patients so much that she will help them find the solution to their health problems. Don’t put her in a box about what you think you know about her. It’s vastly different than what you’ve heard. Looking forward to your positive report.

        • Peggy Holloway

          Thanks for the reassurance, Jimmy. I was the one who recommended that my sister see her because I was so impressed with what I’ve heard. I’m curious as to why the online reviews of her are so negative. I am hoping the comments came from disgruntled patients who didn’t want to hear the truth that they would have to change their diets and were looking for a magic pill!

          • They probably wanted a pill to solve their problem…no doubt about it. Mary is as authentic as they come.

    • Would be interesting to list ingredients as well as nutritional info.

      But great job, Jimmy!

      • All of that can be obtained quite easily in a Google search for people who are interested.

    • Wearing a continuous glucose monitor facilitates testing like this and even produces graphs, so Christine could concentrate on knitting booties. The problem is, they’re expensive. Maybe a fan would loan you one.

      • I’d love that…trying to get a company that makes it to donate one to me.

    • Thanks for sharing your trials. I’m curious how Primal Fuel would stack up. Could you please add a Primal Fuel trial to your experiment?

      • Thanks Kelly! The focus of this experiment was Atkins shakes and comparing to typical similar breakfast beverages. I’m not opposed to doing various protein powders, but it’s more difficult since you have to add ingredients to the powder. Maybe I’ll squeeze it in somewhere. Of course, you could test. 🙂

        • Not a bad idea, Jimmy. I’ve never tested blood sugar, but it would be interesting to see its response to different foods.

    • Andrea

      I’m fascinated by the raw milk result.

      My husband is an entertainer so we travel a great deal. I sometimes use the banana creme muscle milk smoothies, especially when I’m running low on cooked meats and eggs an haven’t had time to get to a store or anywhere to cook between gigs.

      I keep meaning to test them but I rarely have my g-meter with me on the road and I don’t use them at home. I’m going to make it a priority to do some testing when we get back home on august.

      I recently found the Sara Lee 45 Calories and Delightful bread. The wheat shows 9 net carbs for two slices. It helps tremendously to have some bread available on the road. Lunchmeat is often the most readily available meat but husband doesn’t like the messiness of lunchmeat wraps, especially when he’s in costume. I can make him a nice, filling, non-messy sandwich that he can eat during the day between shows with this bread.

      I also need to test the bread for myself. I don’t feel like the bread or the smoothie is destabilizing my bs control. I don’t get the rapid heart rate and irresistable carb nap cycle that accompanies a spike for me. Testing is the only way to know, though, so I am putting that on my to-do list for August.

      If you are interested in testing the Sara Lee products, there are three breads in the 45 Calories and Delightful line. There are also hamburger buns and English muffins in a line called 90 Calories and Delightful. The buns have the same carb count as the wheat bread. I think the English muffins were a little higher. We’ve only tried the bread but husband wants to try the buns.

      (Warning– road-weariness promotes rambling comments on teh interwebz.)

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Jimmy, it is really amazing to me you continue to slander our product. Your results on our product were disappointing but you are in the minority. Julian Bakery Smart Carb Breads help over 100,000 people across the US lose weight. Most diabetics have an extremely minor response when eating our our Smart Carb bread see here: http://julianbakery.com/type-1-diabetic-results-after-eating-smart-carb-1-bread-by-the-julian-bakery/

      We agree with your post that everyone should test themselves like our customer in that blog post but most people have little to no response when eating our bread.

      We also get daily testimonials from Nicole Cook who is a trainer who said “I’m a personal fitness trainer… And I have clients lose weight and build muscle while eating this bread! I eat at least one piece a day with one of my meals..I’ve made croutons, various types of delicious grilled sandwiches, and just a nice piece of toast fills you up without any guilt! 🙂 I looooooooooooooove this bread for it’s benefits and taste!!!! :)”

      • You keep living in a land of delusion Heath. The truth is your bread spiked my blood sugar. Period. End of story. And I’ve still not received an explanation for this nor an apology from you for calling me a liar when you blamed the cheese for the spike in my blood sugar.

        If you had actually read this blog post, then you’d see I already provided a link to your Type 1 diabetic’s response post. But that graph of his blood sugar is quite deceptive and inaccurate. Have him fast overnight, test his morning fasting blood sugar, consume two slices of your bread, test at 15-minute intervals for three hours and see what happens. You did not do this.

        This is just one response. How about the over 100,000 customers you brag about and the impact on their blood sugar? This isn’t about weight loss or tasting great. It’s about glycemic control. Julian Bakery SmartCarb breads are highly suspect after the reaction I saw.

        Are you willing to do a scientific study on your best customers to confirm or deny the impact your bread has on their collective glucose levels? It would only take 100 people following the same scientific testing methodology that I did to provide adequate information to draw a conclusion.

        Pony up for this real test if you stand behind the nutritional claims of your breads.

      • Katy

        Heath, the claim that a Type 1 diabetic–who was on no medication–consumed your bread with no rise in BG is dubious at best, considering that I know of no T1 diabetic who takes no medication. Do you even know what the classifications of T1 and T2 means (hint: check Wikipedia)? What did the tests show at 15 minutes? You have a recipe on your website for French toast that Ricky claims is “low carb,” but it contains 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour! Clearly, the representatives at Julian Bakery are at minimum confused, but to me seem to be scam artists.

    • Anita Kinsella

      Loved your results of the raw milk experiment but in order to even taste raw milk in Ohio I would apparently have to buy a cow. Sad

    • greensleeves

      Hi Jimmy, if you talk to the folks at Weston Price, they can explain the raw milk results.

      As we have learned, the body is an amazing chemical detection system. It can tells all kinds of fats apart, down to their chain length and what kind of charge is on each end of the fatty acid. It has a different method for dealing with each depending on our metabolic state. It’s really amazing. Raw milk hasn’t been homogenized – that is the fats haven’t been mechanically split apart by processing. The Weston Price folks have long claimed that the “shape” of the fat and original chemistry of the milk is important to the way the body handles the whole product, including the way it cleaves the milk sugars.

      The homogenization completely changes the chemistry of the milk in a subtle but very bad way for our bodies. Those of us who have the genetics to be able to drink milk certainly evolved to drink raw whole milk, that’s clear. Like HFCS, white flour, and sugar, we just haven’t had time for our bodies to adapt to homogenized milk.

      Of course we all used to think this was crazy talk until we learned what we learned about long and medium chain stuff. The body really does process these things much differently. Raw milk deserves a second look – it turns out the people at Weston Price are in fact onto something.

      • Indeed Sally Fallon and crew are on to something. May have to get her back on my podcast to get into this further.

    • Nick P

      Great Work Jimmy! Thanks again for taking the time and effort (and sacrifice to your diet)!!!!

      I was really surprised with your results. I had eliminated milk out of my diet because of the number of carbs and the expected impact to my BG. Maybe I will try it again.

      I was also surprised to see no impact from the Atkins Shakes. In the past, I have recommended to folks to avoid the grocery store products with the “Atkins” label on them. Your testing has me rethinking my recommendation. I might have to try them!

      • The cool thing about testing, Nick, is you know exactly where you stand. It may not hurt to test again a few more times just to make sure, but this is certainly encouraging.

    • When you test the Atkins Advantage bars, I’d be particularly interested in the results for their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch bars. I recently swore them off, and my weight loss has sped up since then.

      • I’ll try to get a nice cross-mix of flavors, Eric. Should be interesting.

    • Andrea

      Glad to see good results on those shakes.

      Husband recently found a bread from Sara Lee that is lower carb. The whole wheat variety in the 45 Calories and Delightful has 5g net carbs per slice. They aren’t marketing this as low-carb.

      Husband is pleased as punch to have the occasional grilled cheese sandwich. I’ll have to test both of us and see how it fairs.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

      • Definitely let me know how the tests go, Andrea!

    • Katy

      Re: having to buy a cow to get raw milk– in states where selling the milk is illegal, people get together and buy cow shares, so they don’t have to buy the whole cow themselves. The cow resides at a farm (obviously!) and the money the people pay is for taking care of the animal, not to buy the milk; the milk is simply a side product “owned” by the people who own the animal. I think it’s ridiculous to have go to such lengths, though. Given the history of the milk industry, I understand why there was a need to pasturize milk in the first place, but we have the ways and means now to test raw milk for safety, and to safely store and distribute it as well.

    • Richard A.

      It would be interesting to do a Glucerna vs Atkins shake comparison. Does Glucerna do as good or better than Atkins since Glucerna is aimed at diabetics?

      • That would be interesting…

      • Peggy Holloway

        I looked at the ingredient/nutrient lists of Glucerna a while back, and if I remember correctly, it was very high-sugar, high-carb.

    • tam

      Thanks for testing some ‘normal’ foods too. You’ve given me 2nd thoughts about orange juice. I would like to see a video of your blood testing method. 🙂 Do you wipe with alcohol first? Btw, here’s my glucose tests of 1 cup rice 1st thing in the morning after 20 minutes:

      brown rice 120
      white rice 137

      (steel cut oats were 133, sorry Jonny Bowden, maybe I should try groats)

      Isn’t there some other blood tester where you just ‘staple your arm’ for senior citizens (Arriva?)?

      • THANKS Tam! I’ll be doing a video soon about the methodology used to test. Yes, I thoroughly clean my hands prior to each reading. Coming soon!

    • Alms

      Nice test Jimmy, I wonder if net carb is just an illusion. I notice that all the shakes and raw milk had circa 9g fat per serving, special k and 2% milk had 5g fat and OJ had none so fat naturally played a role in blunting the sugar response. Maybe if you’d had 9g fat along with the OJ, there would have been no spike? Just thinking out loud . . .

      Off topic a bit Jimmy, are you pre-diabetic? I read blood sugar 101 about a year ago and saw that a FBG is 83 or less. When I was carrying my daughter, I ate SADly but when I had my sugars tested every other week and they were always 75-80. After the pregnancy and eating primal with less that 100g of carbs per day, I was curious to see how mine was doing. Somehow by eating primal and moving from olive oil to butter and coconut oil it was suddenly in the 100-105 range which shocked me!

      I switched my diet round pretty sharpish to my normal diet of very little meat (I don’t like meat all that much) loaded up on veggies, fruit and beans and removed butter in favour of minimal olive oil and within a week or so my fasting sugars were down to the 80’s again. Now they tend to remain in the high 70’s. My n=1 test with primal was a complete failure!

      • I wondered the same thing about the fat in relationship to the carbs. Maybe a certain amount of fat per carbs consumed is the key.

        As for being pre-diabetic, possibly. Or maybe all this testing has pushed my BS higher than normal.

    • That’s the way! Thank you for publishing the hard experimental data – I love it! I was amazed how much better (flatter) was the raw milk curve as compared with the partially skimmed milk, even though the difference was only -4g of fat! (BTW you are lucky being able to buy it – it’s all pasteurized in Canada where I live, and even the old 4.5% full fat milk has somehow got “slimmed” down to 3.5%, in recent years. For our owm “good” I presume).

      • I was thrilled by the raw milk results. I wonder if P/H whole milk would have performed the same.

    • David

      Heath @ Julian Bakery wrote: “We agree with your post that everyone should test themselves like our customer in that blog post but most people have little to no response when eating our bread.”

      When are you really going to prove this claim? Enough with the glowing testimonials about how wonderful your bread tastes and with people exclaiming that their blood sugars didn’t rise. These statements are not evidence, Heath (or Ricky), and neither are BS tests that don’t show the incremental increases/decreases every 15 minutes; posting what the BS levels were after they went down doesn’t mean that there were no spikes at all.

    • tam

      a whole large orange, first thing in the morning after 20 minutes, 155!

    • Very interesting, Jimmy! I love these experiments, although I do wonder how they impact the rest of your day. When I get a job, I’ll buy a meter (know of anyone who needs a slightly used Dir. of Customer Service? I’m willing to move …)

      I was thinking the same thing about the fat to carb ratio being the difference in the low fat vs. regular raw milk. Interesting what the Weston A. Price folks say; I’ll have to head over there and take a look. I abandoned all milk in favor of heavy cream because of carb content, but I’ll try testing (after I get a job) and see what effect the whole milk I can buy here has.

      I am definitely looking forward to the test of the Atkins Candy Bars (oh, sorry, “protein bars”). I love them, but I only have one a week or so. I suspect they will affect you on your n=1 experiment next month.

      • Thanks Frank! There’s certainly a lot more going on than just carbs.

    • I really appreciate what Jimmy is doing for the community using himself as a lab specimen to help us make more informed choices. All the things he has done and will do we could do ourselves, but he is providing a service that allows me to not have to spend as much time as I would on research myself. I for one have decided that the service he is providing is valuable enough to me that I think it’s only fair that I pay something for that service. I have clicked on the donate button and given Jimmy some well deserved compensation for his work that has value for me. I encourage everyone to evaluate if you gained significant value from Jimmy’s work and if you have gotten value if it’s enough to warrant compensation. I for one have been screwed over by contractors and other vendors on the service they provided me and still paid. It feels good to compensate someone for good work they have done for me.

    • tam

      As a contrast to the orange, I only saw an apple bring me up to 124 after 20 minutes.

    • Jen


      Thank you SO much for this test!! I have always stuck to my guns on milk and continue to drink it insisting it does me no harm. I’ve never felt it or had a weight gain when I drink it. I’m a dairy farmers daughter so your results make me very happy…I love me a cold glass of milk!!

      I also enjoy the Day Break shakes from time to time so this is also good news. I know I need to test myself but its out of the budget at this point in time.

      Thanks again, you are invaluable to the LC community!!

    • Katy

      Re: Julian Bakery’s Type 1 diabetic test: Note that they state that the tester wasn’t on any medication AT THE TIME OF THE TESTING. It doesn’t say that the person was on NO medication, as Ricky stated on another blog. Many T1s are on pumps or other digital devices that deliver insulin automatically, preventing highs and lows. This whole testing business is bogus.

    • Natalie


      The results from the 2% milk and the raw milk are very interesting. I would like to see what you’d get with pasteurized whole milk as well to see if you would get the same results as the raw whole milk. I would be surprised if pasteurization itself would make the difference. I use our grassfed whole milk for my coffee and it’s really exciting to see the low reactions milk since milk is good for you in so many ways.


      • THANKS Natalie! I won’t be testing that, but I’d love to see the results of someone who compares raw whole milk to pasteurized/homogenized whole milk.

    • Mike

      Really appreciate the testing results. I do have one off-hand question for you – what do you think of your fasting blood glucose levels? I had read that 90 was the upper limit when checking in the morning after a 10-12 hour fast. Your fasting blood glucose for all of your tests were in the 100-110 range. How long did you fast beforehand?

      • Working on that Mike. Overnight fast each reading.

    • Banknote

      Thanks for doing this Jimmy. You’ve inspired me to test and it’s been really motivating. So far no spikes from food, but my fbg is a little higher than it should be (100 – 105) so I’m working on that.

      Testing is pretty easy and painless and I’m enjoying having data to motivate me.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Stacie

      Hi Jimmy:

      Great experiment. I was especially happy about the raw milk. I go to a local farm once a week to buy raw, whole milk, pastured eggs, grass fed beef, liver, etc. I guess that is the one good thing about living in PA. It surprises me that people are surprised about the raw milk, though. Raw milk is a natural, whole food. Pasteurized, homogenized milk is NOT real food; it is something manufactured. Dr. Willaim Campbell Douglass has some good information on raw milk. I love it, and I wouldn’t drink any other kind.

      • Stacie, I’m only surprised because the carb content is up there. Bu something else is going on.

    • Michelle from Durham

      Hey Jimmy,

      When I was living with my grandparents during the 1980’s they were both Type 2 diabetics. My grandfather especially could not get his diabetes under control and was eventually on 2 shots of insulin a day. My grandmother tried to control her diabetes with diet, but yet to no avail. She was put on “The Needle” to control her diabetes.

      You know what we drunk pretty much every single day for breakfast? Orange Juice. None of their doctors told them to lay off the orange juice to control their Type 2 diabetes. That stuff is lethal to a diabetic.

      Thanks for the info. Now I can drink an Atkins drink once in a while, when there is no other healthy option available.

    • tam

      Btw, watch out for the caffeine in coffee or tea. I’ve seen my blood glucose go down to 87 after a blended drink with ice, milk, and coffee.

    • I am super glad to see the Atkins products had minimal effect…my hubby will be happy! I personally love the raw milk experiment! Go raw milk!
      Again, you are braver than I to take on the Special K and the OJ…yeesh, what a jump!
      You know, I’ve been experimenting with making sugar-free, low carb ice creams for my hubby…now that’s an n=1 I might try out! I use stevia and/or xylitol as a substitute for sugar or artificial sweeteners…wonder what those do…a very important question for the diabetic hubby!

      BTW, congrats to you and Christine! I am extremely excited for you! Glad it happened!

      • Nanderson10

        cant use the atkins advantage shakes fast enough they are 4 months past the enjoy by date of march 2011 are they still ok to drink? thanks nedra anderson

      • Jann

        Last night I made ice cream with blueberries, heavy cream, Splenda, DaVinci Vanilla Syrup, Lemon Zest, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Extract. I used 2 cups of cream, 1-2T Splenda, maybe 1/4 cup of DaVinci Syrup, 1 cup of blueberries and zest from two lemons. I microwaved the blueberries with the lemon zest for about 2 minutes, and when that was cooled, I mixed in the rest of the ingredients to taste and stuck it in the ice cream maker. This was much less sweetener than the recipe, but we both thought it was really good. Our blood sugar reading after 1 hour was 107.

    • Jimmy, have you tried the low carb SlimFast shakes (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J3MU9C)? I’ve been using them for meal replacements and was wondering how those would stack up against the Atkins shakes…

      • Anonymous

        Well, the Atkins shakes did well for me. Slim-fast is high in sugar and reminds me too much of my low-fat diet days. I wouldn’t touch them personally.

    • Cbreuer

      Thank you so much for doing this!  It is so hard to sift through all the competing claims of the “low carb” industry, and your work arms us with information.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks! I’m happy to help.

    • John

      Great series (n=1), we you first advertised Julian Bakery bread i was quite excited. I ran out and purchased a couple of loaves. As a T2 diabetic i tested my blood sugar after eating their “2 net” carbs bread and was shocked to see my blood suger spike so high. I waited a couple of days and retested and obtained the same crazy results. Needless to say i was very disapointed. Keep up the good fight.

      • Anonymous

        THANKS John! I’m trying to do my due diligence on these companies making claims…

    • Me and Jorge – Amber

      Jimmy,  l love these posts. They are the absolutely most informative thing I have seem on low carb/low sugar dieting. Keep it up, and I thank you for pricking your fingers dozens of time for us all!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks! It’s worth doing.

    • Me and Jorge – Amber

      Jimmy,  l love these posts. They are the absolutely most informative thing I have seem on low carb/low sugar dieting. Keep it up, and I thank you for pricking your fingers dozens of time for us all!

    • Suejoy57

      Hey Jimmy, Check out this website:  http://lcfoodscorp.com/index.php
      They claim to have come up with a formula to make breads, cakes and cookies low carb but taste like the real thing.
      Jury is still out, but I ordered the pizza mix….will let you know what I find out.

      • Anonymous

        THANKS Sue! Yes, I know the owner of this company and he’s been on our Low-Carb Cruise. Hope you enjoy.

    • Anonymous

      Go ahead. You can do that test anytime you’d like.

    • Anonymous

      Go ahead. You can do that test anytime you’d like.