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Remembering Kevin Moore

Jimmy Moore’s n=1 Experiments: Julian Bakery SmartCarb Breads

NOTE: Click here to see what happened to my blood sugar after re-testing the Julian Bakery SmartCarb breads when the owner of this company promoting their product as “low-carb” bread pitched a fit claiming my testing methodology created errors in the results.

After explaining the purpose and the process of my n=1 experiments that are forthcoming in the months and years to come, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of examining the most popular low-carb products that many people choose to consume as part of their low-carb lifestyle. Dreamfields pasta was merely the first of a long list of products that I’ll be doing blood sugar tests on over the course of time. As previously stated, I won’t be doing more than one of these testing periods every month or so to give my body a chance to recuperate from all the pricking and blood sugar spiking that may or may not happen when consuming these foods. I will remind you that the information I provide is only about what happens to Jimmy Moore. Other people may consume the exact same foods and see a very different result than I did. The primary purpose of my testing is to encourage YOU to start testing your own blood sugar to see how a particular food affects you. Please don’t take my word or my results for it–test it yourself and take appropriate action from there.

One of the primary purposes of this series of n=1 experiments is to be very open and honest about the products that are purporting to be “low-carb.” All of the companies making these foods for people on a low-carb diet claim they are genuinely interested in creating a product that can be healthy for people to eat–and I believe that is true in my heart of hearts. But testing such a claim can be tricky since individuals respond to various foods in different ways. I am only one person out of billions in the world today, so all I can do is test myself, see what happens, and then share those results with you. Next up on the list of foods to test my blood sugar reaction to is Julian Bakery SmartCarb breads.

I’ve personally been a fan of these breads since discovering them a couple of years back. Freshly-baked bread that is high in protein and fiber that actually tastes amazing and claims to have 1g net carb for the #1 bread and just 2g net carbs for the #2 bread–what more could someone on a low-carb diet want? In fact, one of the most often searched terms on my blog is “low-carb bread,” so there is a sincere desire by people to find a bread they can consume that will help them keep their blood sugar and weight under control. Let’s see what happens to my blood sugar after eating SmartCarb #1 bread, SmartCarb #2 cinnamon raisin bread, traditional white bread, traditional whole grain bread, and eggs (as a control since they are not supposed to raise blood sugar levels).

Before I share my results, I want you to know how the experiment was conducted in case you want to replicate it for yourself. I did these five tests on five consecutive days (May 24-28, 2011) at about the same time each morning after an overnight fast. This is critical to making sure the results I found would be consistent and as scientific as they can possibly be. Additionally, nothing else was consumed before or during the testing period so as not to skew the results. In fact, after finishing my meal, I didn’t even drink water for the three hours of testing just to make sure there was nothing else that could be construed as changing the outcome of the testing.

Unlike the Dreamfields test where I replicated the methodology used by the researchers in their published February 2011 Diabetes Care study (seasoning the pasta with just salt and pepper), I decided to be more practical and realistic about how people on a low-carb lifestyle would use the Julian Bakery SmartCarb breads. That’s why I chose to make grilled cheese sandwiches in each of the experiments using TWO SERVINGS of the bread. The added ingredients that were included in each of the experiments were 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 slices of American cheese. Sure, these could possibly impact blood sugars, but if they did it would show up in the control experiment I did on the eggs. We’ll see what happened in a moment.

When I woke up each morning, I’d test my overnight fasting blood glucose levels, consume the meal I was testing, check my blood sugar readings every 15 minutes for three hours, and document the numbers I observed. The results of these readings were then plotted by my wonderfully, talented wife Christine on graph paper individually and then cumulatively all on one graph at the end so you can see how each of them performed. I’ll show you a picture of each of the breads I consumed, their nutritional information per serving, and a graph of how my blood sugar responded to each of them below.

SMARTCARB #1 BREAD from Julian Bakery
SERVING SIZE: 1 slice
CALORIES: 109
TOTAL CARBS: 13g
DIETARY FIBER: 12g
NET CARBS: 1g
TOTAL FAT: 1g
PROTEIN: 12g

Blood sugar testing results–May 24, 2011 from 8:15AM-11:15AM

Peak reading: 125
Low reading: 78

SMARTCARB #2 BREAD from Julian Bakery
SERVING SIZE: 1 slice
CALORIES: 125
TOTAL CARBS: 15g
DIETARY FIBER: 13g
NET CARBS: 2g
TOTAL FAT: 1g
PROTEIN: 14g

Blood sugar testing results–May 25, 2011 from 8:45AM-11:45AM

Peak reading: 133
Low reading: 84

Texas Toast White Bread from FlowersFoods
SERVING SIZE: 1 slice
CALORIES: 70
TOTAL CARBS: 14g
DIETARY FIBER: Less than 1g
NET CARBS: More than 13g
TOTAL FAT: 1g
PROTEIN: 3g

Blood sugar testing results–May 26, 2011 from 8:45AM-11:45AM

Peak reading: 136
Low reading: 88

Nature’s Own 9-Grain Enriched Bread
SERVING SIZE: 2 slices
CALORIES: 80
TOTAL CARBS: 18g
DIETARY FIBER: 6g
NET CARBS: 12g
TOTAL FAT: 1.5g
PROTEIN: 5g

Blood sugar testing results–May 27, 2011 from 8:15AM-11:15AM

Peak reading: 114
Low reading: 81

Pastured eggs from a local farm
SERVING SIZE: 1 1/2 eggs
CALORIES: 108
TOTAL CARBS: .8g
DIETARY FIBER: 0g
NET CARBS: .8g
TOTAL FAT: 7g
PROTEIN: 9.5g

Blood sugar testing results–May 28, 2011 from 9:15AM-12:15PM

Peak reading: 105
Low reading: 92

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

Jimmy’s final thoughts, observations, analysis, and conclusions from this experiment:

  • All four of the breads responded with a blood sugar spike within 30 minutes
  • All four of the breads elicited a reactive hypoglycemic response
  • The biggest drop in blood sugar happened with SmartCarb #1 bread
  • The egg experiment showed very little change in blood sugar
  • White bread predictably raised blood sugar the most; SmartCarb #2 was second highest
  • The whole grain bread surprisingly didn’t raise blood sugar above 114
  • High levels of fiber in SmartCarb breads did not prevent unstable blood sugars
  • SmartCarb breads and eggs had similar net carbs but radically different results
  • The white bread made me hungry while I was still in the 3-hour testing period
  • I gained 5 pounds on the scale over the course of conducting this experiment

    Just as I did with the Dreamfields pasta n=1 experiment I previously conducted, I wanted to give a representative from Julian Bakery an opportunity to respond to the blood sugar test results I found consuming their low-carb breads. Listen to Heath Squier from Julian Bakery who shared more about the company his mother began two decades ago, how they make their SmartCarb breads to be “low-carb,” their new gluten-free breads that have 3g net carbs, why the SmartCarb #2 bread is probably not recommended for diabetics, why he says 85% of diabetics have minimal impact on their blood sugars from SmartCarb #1 bread, and the hundreds of testimonials of weight loss and diabetes control with the SmartCarb breads:


    http://youtu.be/Z5BfQBe6Aeg

    Heath says the SmartCarb breads have been independently lab-tested for accuracy in the labeling to ensure the nutritional panel is correct. Last August they tested the breads with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics and continued to modify the recipe until there was a nominal response in the blood sugar readings. Afterwards, the bread was then sent to a lab for testing precisely what the nutritional make-up of the breads which resulted in the nutritional numbers that appear on the label. Heath has asked me to test my blood sugar after eating his SmartCarb breads again, but this time without the coconut oil and cheese to see if there is a difference. I told him I’d be delighted to test again in a couple of weeks consuming just the SmartCarb breads and water. Although, the fat and protein I used in my experiments should have slowed the blood sugar rise and there was only a very small and statistically insignificant change in blood sugar when I consumed the eggs with the coconut oil and cheese. Even still, I’m happy to test again and share my results with him and you. Stay tuned!

    So what did you think? I’d be interested in hearing from people who consume the SmartCarb breads from Julian Bakery and having you do your very own n=1 blood sugar testing. If you decide to do this experiment for yourself, then make sure you fast overnight, don’t eat or drink anything else during the testing period, test every 15 minutes after eating for three hours, and then share your results in the comments section below. We can have our own little homegrown research study of the breads to see how they impact all of us. I’d especially love to hear from people who do this test on the SmartCarb breads and show little to no blood sugar impact from consuming them. Heath stated in my interview with him that there are hundreds of testimonials of people who have found blood sugar control and weight loss success using the SmartCarb breads–so let’s hear from you guys!

    Oh, one last related link for your reading pleasure for all you geeky science-oriented people out there: THE IMPACT OF INGESTION OF BREADS OF VARYING COMPOSITION ON BIOMARKERS OF GLUCOSE METABOLISM IN OVERWEIGHT AND OBESE ADULTS (courtesy of my friend, low-carb psychiatrist and medical doctor Dr. Ann Childers)

    • Kelly

      I would be interested for you to test what their gluten free bread does for your blood sugars in comparison to the other breads. The more and more research I do, the more I think while carbs are the enemy – so too are grains to many people. The gluten free bread has a higher net carb count, but I wonder if being wheat free would counter that in your body? Just some thoughts and ideas. Love these features and appreciate all you do for the cause. :)

      • Will probably test their new SmartCarb #3 bread that’s gluten-free.

    • Sylvie O.

      I notice from your curve for bread #1 that your blood glucose peaked after just 15 minutes… That means digestion is really swift….

    • We appreciate attempting do to an accurate test here but unfortunately he strayed from guidelines for testing by adding cheese (Yellow Cheese) that has sugar which can throw off blood sugar results. Check out this independent review from a Type 2 Diabetic that had no rise in blood sugar: http://plainolfood.blogspot.com/2009/04/julian-bakerys-smart-carb-1-bread.html

      After talking with Jimmy about the problem with the test he did he agreed to re-test our bread in a couple of weeks by itself for accurate results. Additionally we will be posting some graphs from a couple of Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetics in the next week that shows a 5 minute interval test after eating one slice of our bread with just water. This test will be posted here: http://julianbakery.com/blog/

      • Thanks Heath! I have a question for you: if the cheese was supposed to “throw off tblood sugar results,” why wasn’t there a spike when I consumed it with the eggs?

      • David

        Dr. Richard Bernstein actually recommends using American cheese slices that have been “toasted” and puffed under a broiler or in a toaster oven as substitutes for bread when making a sandwich for lunch. I really don’t think that he’d do that if cheese spiked blood sugar. And coconut oil does not raise blood sugar.

      • David

        And, from the link that Heath provided, the person had already eaten, and was testing the bread after her BG had gone up and then came back down:

        “I didn’t want to shoot insulin as it would interfere with the bread test so I had a theoretically low carb dinner of baked fish, broccoli, Italian salad with no dressing, and spinach. Interestingly, the BG was a little too high two hours later so, I waited until it was at 130, still high but not horrendously so, and began my ritual for testing the bread…”

        And, there WAS a rise in BG, 12 points:

        “At one hour, my blood sugar was 12 points higher than before eating the bread and at two hours the blood sugar was only six points higher. Even better, at three hours, the BG was four points lower than before I ate the bread.”

        She also put Smart Balance on the toasted bread, so it was not eaten plain, with water. This results of this person’s “test” was also a n=1 outcome. It’s ok for her to post her “positive” results, but it’s not ok for Jimmy to post his?

    • Charles Archer

      I recently tried your Smart Carb #1 bread, and I am very impressed with the FIBER content, quality, and texture. In short, it tastes great!
      Because I am a Type 2 Diabetic, finding your Smart Carb bread is of even greater importance to me – because it actually seems to help lower my blood sugar!

      I have been a Type 2 Diabetic for 15 years, and it has been difficult (until now) to find bread (or other foods) that I can eat which contained as much FIBER (good Carbohydrates) in them.
      Any “regular” bread (English Muffin, etc.) sends my blood sugar soaring up to 140-160 or higher, soon after breakfast.
      This is because those “other” breads are loaded with sugar, sweeteners, corn syrup, and such carbohydrates – yet only have 1 or 2 grams of FIBER. Your bread has none of this.

      I experienced the effect of 12 grams of FIBER (in your Smart Carb #1 Bread) on my blood sugar after eating one delicious slice of it at breakfast one day.
      Before breakfast, I had tested my blood sugar. It was 124. About two hours after breakfast, I tested my blood sugar again. It was 109! It had actually gone DOWN from 124 to 109.

      This had rarely happened before. It most often goes UP after breakfast – as high as 140, 160 or higher.
      I attribute (part) of this amazing result to the addition of the 12 grams of FIBER (a good carbohydrate) in one slice of your “Smart Carb #1 Bread” – to what I had for breakfast.
      The 12 grams of FIBER in your bread are much higher than the fiber content in “other” breads – which typically have only 1 or 2 grams of FIBER (plus sugars and starches; the “other” two carbohydrates).

      However, please note that my blood sugar reduction (noted above) does NOT happen every day. Further, it is NOT solely one slice of Smart Carb Bread that is responsible for reducing my blood sugar.
      As any doctor will tell you, it is the combination of things that you eat and do that will help lower your blood sugar – and keep it at a low level.
      This includes minding what you eat, and doing regular exercise to boost your metabolism.

      That said, the 12 grams of FIBER in Smart Carb #1 Bread is a BIG HELP.

      Breakfast for anyone is usually a great meal, and very tasty for most people.
      My typical breakfast includes scrambled eggbeaters, with a slice of fat-free Borden’s American cheese mixed in (to make them creamy).

      I include some pan-grilled (heated) sliced turkey or chicken breast (for protein), along with variable combinations of tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, black beans, etc.
      While these menu items vary for breakfast and other meals – I never eat potatoes, rice, or beef, processed food, or any food with sugars, starch, corn syrup, or excessive salt; and very little saturated fat.

      Most Heart and Health specialists believe that FIBER goes a long way toward controlling blood sugar. In fact the AHA recommends 25-35 grams a day.
      So Smart Carb #1 Bread was perhaps, literally, a “life saver” for me – because now I can enjoy (Smart Carb #1) bread with my food choices, without worrying about the effect on my blood sugar.

      Thank you, Julian Bakery, for having the insight to develop and market this bread.
      It costs a bit more than “regular” breads, but I feel my health is worth a lot more than the cost.
      Besides, eating bread is a taste I have been missing for so many years – and now I can look forward to eating it every day.

      Sincerely,

      Charles Archer
      Chandler, AZ.

      • Thanks for sharing your story, Charles. Sounds like you had some reactive hypoglycemia consuming the JB bread. Would love to know what’s happening to your insulin levels when that happens.

      • Would just like to comment on Charles response to the article.

        Charles said, “I never eat potatoes, rice, or beef, PROCESSED FOOD, or any food with SUGARS, starch, CORN SYRUP, or excessive salt; and very little saturated fat.” (emphasis mine)

        I’d just like to know Charles’ definition of processed foods. It sounds like his breakfast is made up entirely of processed foods (eggbeaters, fat-free “cheese” slices, and bread). And those cheese slices contain corn syrup solids, which is sugar.

        If Charles wants to eat unprocessed foods he should try some real eggs and cheese. I hate the hype against real foods that fund the “food” industry.

        Back to the subject at hand: Thanks, Jimmy, for your guinea-pig type sacrifices on behalf of your readers!

        Karen
        (an anti-bullion follower of Jimmy) :)

    • Kathleen G

      Thanks, Jimmy, for doing these interesting tests! I will be interested in your results when you retest. You’ve inspired me, I will be purchasing a glucose meter myself as I’m not losing as fast as I would like.

    • Cindy

      Can’t believe your dedication – subjecting yourself to all that fasting, eating foods that evoke hunger, plus a 5 pound weight gain, just for your readers!

      Amazing how this outcome seems so similar to the Dreamfield pasta n + 1 test…

      • Cindy, I thnk this is too important for people not to be more aware of how foods are impacting them.

    • Comparing eating our bread with cheese which is acidic and has some sugar to eating our bread with eggs (additional protein) which drives down blood glucose levels in the answer itself. As I mentioned on the phone to you that this test is simply not accurate. I am very excited for you to properly test our bread and post results. As I previously stated we will be posting very accurate results from diabetics using a Dexcom Gluose unit which will monitor there levels and map it out into an accurate graph.

      • Well, I disagree that my experiment wasn’t conducted “properly.” I used the same ingredients with all the tests and the cheese provided protein as well. That said, I’m happy to test the breads again without anything but water and we will see what happens. But realistically speaking, won’t people who use the Julian Bakery SmartCarb breads consume it with cheese and fat sources? If that’s reality for most people purchasing your bread then do you need to put a warning or something on the bread to eat it alone? These are critical questions for people to know the answers to.

        • The problem Jimmy is that you have to test the product by itself in order to determine if it spikes blood glucose levels or not by itself. If you take a product like Jelly which is high in sugar and put it on our bread and then test yourself of course your going to spike.

          I think it is a bit premature to launch this blog post considering you did not test our product with just butter or dry. How can you post results without testing the bread by itself. We have so many customers that have almost no increase in blood glucose when eating our bread. We understand people make grilled cheese sandwiches but how can you combined two different items and claim them as the results when eating our bread.

          • But the thing is I didn’t use jelly which is loaded with sugar. I used coconut oil and a tiny bit of cheese–mostly fat and protein those sources. As I’ve stated to you, I am happy to test again in two weeks with just the bread (SmartCarb #1, 2 and your new 3 breads) and water. We won’t know whether there will be a difference until that happen. I look forward to it!

          • David

            http://holdthetoast.com/node/402

            JB bread, with butter, after having eaten (a similar scenario to the one in the link above). You also seem to be ignoring the fact that ALL of the breads were tested with the cheese and coconut oil, not just JB’s. Are you actually arguing that the BG levels would be lower WITHOUT the cheese and coconut oil? If anything, they would have slowed the rise.

            • That was my thinking too David. Those added elements should have made the numbers BETTER. But we’ll see when I test the breads dry.

        • The bottom line is that our bread is the best answer for a low carb diet. This bread is used in hundreds of Weight Loss clinics nationwide. These clinics all ask there customers to eat the bread by itself or use something with the bread that does not have sugar….bottom line cheese has sugar and if you were making a grilled cheese you most likely used a good amount of cheese. This cheese would of course completely alter the test. This test you posted is simply not accurate and reflects a spike from the cheese.

          • We’ll see if you’re right when I test again. Thanks for the discussion.

        • Jo

          I’m more interested in real life results, who eats bread and water? Eating healthier should be a way of life, not a prison sentence. People really eat grilled cheese sandwiches. And egg sandwiches. And toast with butter and (low carb) jelly. And with turkey. And BLT’s. Dang, where can I buy this bread in Atlanta! :)

      • By the way, your breads have about as much protein in them as an egg. So wouldn’t the protein in your bread “drive down blood glucose levels” as well? Something just sounds strange about this.

        • Well all I can say is I look forward to you doing an accurate test in two weeks with just the bread itself as how can we be responsible for the sugar in the cheese increasing a persons glucose level? Our bread has both Whey & Egg in it as well as protein from the grain but this can all be offset by cheese being acidic and containing sugar. We tested a piece of yellow cheese on a diabetic and it shot their blood glucose level way up. If you don’t believe me try it yourself.

          • I will test the cheese when I test your breads dry. But I still disagree with your saying my test wasn’t “accurate.” Would you have said this if the outcome had been steady blood sugar control? And why aren’t you warning low-carbers and diabetics who are buying your breads that they need to consume it alone without anything else so there won’t be blood sugar spikes? That’s what you’re saying to me about my very appropriate use of your bread making them into grilled cheeses. Sure, the cheese has 1g carbs in it–do you really think that alone resulted in the spike? This counterargument you are making just seems like smoke and mirrors to hide how your bread responded in my body. People should try your bread, test it themselves, and judge whether it should be part of their low-carb lifestyle as I’ve stated.

          • David

            So what the JB representative is actually claiming is that foods, such as cheese, that previously did not spike a person’s blood sugar, if combined with their bread, now WILL spike a person’s blood sugar! If cheese is the culprit of the spike, why didn’t the cheese with the eggs spike Jimmy’s blood sugar? And if cheese is the culprit, the JB representative is also acknowledging that all of the other breads that Jimmy tested will also not spike blood sugar (if the cheese is eliminated), ergo their bread is no different than white Texas toast. Good to know!

    • Jimmy,

      It does appear to me that the spikes are still quite drastic regardless of the bread. I was surprised to see that the Nature’s Own 9 Grain was the lowest spike initially. I would be interested in seeing the reaction of the Smart Carb breads without the cheese and coconut oil…even though I know that’s not a practical, real-world scenario. Oh, and don’t confuse me with that Flowers family that puts out those nasty breads (lol…my maiden name is Rachel Flowers)…trust me, that is NOT my gig! LOL.

      Ooooh, all of this is making me want to do my own N=1!

      • Good! Was hoping to sucker…I mean, inspire others to test too. Woo hoo!

    • Sarah

      Well, I know that coconut oil and deli style American cheese don’t spike my blood sugar so I’d be interested to know if the addition of two slices of Julian low carb bread would make a difference for me personally. I know a lot of people wouldn’t consider a temporary spike to 125-130 as being a negative but I try and keep my blood glucose levels stable and if I’m going to spike them, I’d rather it be with a piece of chocolate cake.

      • And my blood sugar generally stays steady on my low-carb lifestyle–so these increases and decreases below baseline are dramatic for me. I’m just asking others to test themselves.

    • Rip

      The way you’ve presented the results is interesting and a good way to visually track the results of blood sugar changes. One thing, though: am I right in thinking that the SC#2 bread resulted in a second spike 90 minutes after consumption? If so, is that a worrying effect?

      • SC #2 bread was all over the board as I told Heath in my interview. I suppose I could have gone out six hours and still seen changes. Didn’t have that kind of patience. Maybe for the dry bread experiment.

    • While this is interesting it may all prove to be academic compared to the larger, more insidious and less well known & examined aspect of carbohydrate consumption: systemic fungemia.

      One of the few people I know of discussing the issue of yeasts in breads besides this guy- http://goo.gl/aIXy0 is Mycologist Doug Kaufmann, your interview with him is Episode 132 from 4-24-2008, Excellent show by the way, he’d make a good re-interview.

      Another authoritative source is the former head of the World Health Organization A.V. Costatini, MD. http://www.fungalbionicbookseries.com/blue12.htm

      At the conclusion of, or even during, your N=1 series you might want to consider adding some natural antifungals to your diet to knock down any residual yeast & fungi you’re sure to expose yourself to while eating so many processed breads & carb products.

      Fungal diseases can be extremely virulent & deadly, after revisiting this information I think the entire grain & carb eating world has much cause for concern.

    • Christopher Dittemore

      Using my phone to type this… but your blood sugar can only raise so high… also speed you consume could be a factor… as your blood sugar rises your insulin kicks in to drop it… so really the level of insulin in the blood is the factor… the fat from cheese and oil should have lowered the speed of absorption minimizing blood sugar increases… not increased as jillian claims… cool experiments though.

      What I will be interested to see is if blood sugar numbers stay the same with subsequent testing or if the body adapts from constant consumption.

      P.S. I had to actually send this from my computer, because WP hash kept deleting my post from my Android phone. Might want to fix that.

      • Will be testing the JB bread again soon with just the bread and water. We’ll see if that makes any difference. Can you email me the problem you had posting your comment Christopher so I can pass it along to my IT guy? Thanks! livinlowcarbman@charter.net

    • I don’t get why the cheese should be a problem. The cheese I buy have 0 carbs, 27 grams of protein and 27 grams of fat pr 100 grams. And that is typical for most hard cheeses. Is the American cheese any different?

      Maybe you should test your blood sugar after eating cheese only.

      • Already planning that experiment. It makes no sense to me either since my BG didn’t rise with the eggs.

    • anne h

      I stuck my own finger before during and after my:
      Diet Root Beer Phase…. went down
      Dreamfields Pasta Phase…. no change
      Fasting Phase…. went way up- higher than ever!

      Now that I have two years of LC, I wonder if my metabolism is just healthier –
      It’s funny how blood sugar is different from person to person
      and time to time.

      • And that’s the lesson I’m trying to convey in all of this Anne–we are all different.

    • BobT

      I believe the majority of folks who are lo carb eaters are looking for weight loss at first. That’s the main goal. Weight maintenance, health, and fitness are next. So a 5 pound weight gain? Was that the cheese? Coconut oil? Or could that possibly have come from the grain. Those of us who just cannot give up bread have to keep this in mind.

      • Or a combo of all of those things. Or none of them. That’s why I stated very clearly that this doesn’t prove anything except what happened to me. Others should cetainly test themselves.

      • David

        The weight gain is what really makes me suspicious of the true amount of carbohydrate in the JB breads, since Dr. Atkins warned that combining fat with carbohydrates was the fastest way to gain weight.

    • Benay

      Jimmy, despite the Julian Bread disclaimers and “cry foul,” you did carry out a correct N=1 experiment since every bread you used (whether from Julian Bakery or a different one) was acompanied with coconut oil and a slice of cheese. In other words you “controlled for” all added ingredients by using them with all the breads. Julian Bakery is upset because your results do not agree with their advertising. You properly held everything constant except the type of bread. Correct N=1 procedure. So your experiment included:

      Variable = type of bread (two types Julian, white — the gold standard and Nature’s Own)
      Constant = time of eating, food added to the bread, no other foods or beverages for 3 hours, BG testing every 15 minutes from time of arising for 3 hours

      Second test
      Variable = amount of bread (one slice versus two)
      Same constants

      Third test
      Variable = 1 1/2 eggs (how did you get the half egg?)
      Constants = time of eating, BG testing intervals, fasting from food and liquid before and after eating, same additives that were used for the bread

      In my opinion this was a well designed n=1 test

      As I say, Julian Bread just has it’s nose out of joint because the results didn’t go their way. Reminds me of all the protests from Zone, Ornish, Brownell etc when the Stanford study results showed Atkins to be the superior diet in terms of weight loss and sustainability.

      Thanks for doing this experiment. Now I don’t have to.

      • Thanks Benay. On the 1 1/2 egg serving size, I was staying consistent with the nutrition labeling like I did per serving for the bread. Since I was consuming two servings and wanted to keep the egg meals as isocaloric as possible, I split the 3-egg serving in half. Thanks for your analysis. But you should still try it yourself. 😉

      • I agree that you used proper scientific method. I have a friend visiting, and she’s arguing that she “doesn’t see the point” of the experiment since everyone’s body reacts differently to food. I love her dearly, but I had a Tom Naughton “head bang on desk” moment when she claimed that your experiment wasn’t accurate because you used cheese. You controlled all variables except for the bread. You’re encouraging other people to test for themselves. I think that this does have a point, and your experiment was completely valid. Sorry. I have to vent here so I can keep my friendship intact. :)

        • THANKS Auntie M! You can let your friend know I’ll test the JB SmartCarb breads dry in a couple of weeks to see if there’s a difference. 😉

    • Karen Norris

      Hey Jimmy! Thanks for the N=1 experiments! My eyebrows flew up when I saw the lowest spike and drop came from the 9 grain bread! That to me was astonishing. I think I’ll try a little N=1 test myself. Jenny at bloodsugar101 tells us we should be doing that anyway. (I’m diabetic) again thank you and be careful of those 5# gains! They can be hard to get rid of. Karen

      • Thanks! This is why I’m taking at least a month break between tests. Gotta recover from the experiments.

    • I totally agree with Benay’s analysis here. A strong baseline was established, because of the inclusion of White Bread, and sound controlled comparisons were made.

      Scientifically speaking, considering that the “additives” that Jimmy ate at the same time as the each of the bread samples were consistent, even if those items were responsible for notably raising or lowering blood-glucose level, the direct effects of the different bread samples can easily be independently seen…….and is thus, valid.

      Also, the link to the article from the Diabetic person that tested the bread (posted by the JB Rep), was far from being a valid reference, because there was no multiple product comparison, and the person ate “Smart Balance” on the bread. Which, according to Julian Bakery, should invalidate the test, due to the fat from the “Smart Balance” that supposedly would have muddied the water. Of course, the ironic thing here is that the “Smart Balance”, and Jimmy’s Cheese and Coconut oil, should have had relatively the same blood-glucose effect……but Julian Bakery chose to only pick on Jimmy’s “additions” to the mix. Either the Julian bakery rep is trying to conceal the truth, or they just lack a basic grounding in the scientific method….either way, they’re being a little aggressive about the whole thing for my liking. Speaking as an informed consumer, I don’t think that Julian Bakery arguing their case here, is going to help their reputation at all.

    • Peggy Holloway

      For the first few years of “livin’ la vida low-carb,” I made every attempt to find low-carb alternatives to foods I used to eat. As the years go by, I have become less interested in replicating the SAD with low-carb products. The more I rely on whole-foods and avoid any sort of packaging/processing, the better I feel. My goal this summer is to wean myself off even artificial sweeteners, including Stevia, because I have no doubt I am one of those that gets an insulin spike from anything that even tastes sweet.
      I wish that insulin levels were easier to test, because I also suspect my symptoms (shakiness alternating with brain fog)of eating something I shouldn’t are more related to insulin levels than blood sugar levels. The only glucose tolerance test I ever took (I was in my 20’s and already having those symptoms) failed to correlate my symptoms with blood sugar readings. However, I consider myself very fortunate that I have such dramatic reactions to foods that raise my blood sugar/insulin because I certainly save money not having to buy test strips and the awful symptoms are enough to prevent any temptation to eat anything except the proven “winners,” i.e. meat, cheese, eggs, and green veggies. Last night, we went to the local food festival and I was in heaven and completely satisfied with the featherbone, pork chop on a stick, Somali beef, and rib-eye skewer samples I found at three booths and no desire to try the huge array of carby foods. I wouldn’t change my lifestyle for the world, and easily say “no thanks” to trying any kind of bread at this point.

    • jimmy, aren’t your finger tips getting sore? Ouch!

      Makes me wonder about the low-carb tortillas I routinely use as hamburger buns… I may test those out myself one of these days…

      • Yep, that’s why I’m giving it a rest right now, Freddy. Will test the low-carb tortillas sometime…down my list. :)

    • Nick P

      Hey Jimmy,

      Great Post! First, I have to say that I never believe any printed claims for “NET CARBS” – What is listed as “Fiber” is often digestible and needs to be included in your Carb Count.

      To anyone on a Low Carb Diet or anyone watching carbs, the term “NET CARBS” is one of the most abused and misused terms in the industry. Let me illustrate.

      For my own diet, I usually use the calories to try to determine the actual amount of digestible carbs in a product.

      For instance: (From Jimmy’s report, he lists)
      SMARTCARB #2 BREAD from Julian Bakery
      SERVING SIZE: 1 slice
      CALORIES: 125
      TOTAL CARBS: 15g
      DIETARY FIBER: 13g
      NET CARBS: 2g
      TOTAL FAT: 1g
      PROTEIN: 14g

      So, if the slice of bread actually has 125 calories, how many digestible carbs does it have?

      First, subtract out the fat calories. Since the bread has one gram of fat, it has 9 fat calories:
      125 total calories – 9 calories from fat = 116 net calories (from protein and carbs)

      Second, subtract out the protein calories. Since this slice of bread has 14 gram of protein, each gram of protein has 4 calories per gram –
      116 net carbs (above) – (14 g of protein x 4 calories/g) = 116 – 56 = 60 net calories from carbs

      Therefore, after subtracting out the Fat and Protein, you are left with about 60 calories from carbs. THEREFORE, according to the information on their label, their bread provides about 15 DIGESTED CARBS!

      Again, this math is an estimation, and is only is accurate as the information given by the manufacturer.

      Therefore, I would NOT recommend this bread to anyone on a Low Carb diet. Again, just my humble opinion.

      • Jason

        In the USA calorie count does include non digestible fiber, sugar alcohols, esc. The totals of fat carbs and proteins will always equal the calorie count. This is also why hidden carbs, fat, protein (less then 1 gram or 1 1/2 of one gram) will never show in the calorie count.

    • Being a follower of a real food diet, my experience is much the same as Peggy Holloway’s. Low carbing is great in so many ways and to me will always be the ideal (life) diet. It has such a positive impact on so many health issues and yet, it doesn’t address the whole problem. The ingredients in processed foods, as well as the processing methods themselves, continue to cause all sorts of health problems. It wasn’t until I started eating real food that my debilitating arthritis went away. So, I say go for the whole (low carb, real food) enchilada! Don’t just focus on weight loss or good numbers on a glucometer. Go for total health! (In other words, “fear the bread, not the butter”)

      In response to JB and their arguments:
      My understanding of the experiment is that it shows the comparison of the response of their bread against other breads, not the actual effect of their bread (since it wasn’t used alone). When all of the added factors (cheese, coconut oil) are the same in each test, see how each bread compares overall. Without looking at the actual numbers, look how JB (#2) impacts blood sugar. It is (literally) all over the chart. Even the white bread has a steadier decline. Looking forward to the follow up test results!

      Thanks for doing a great job, Jimmy!

      ~Karen

      • KA McWade

        Amen, Karen! (on all counts) My daughter has debilitating fibromyalgia and arthritic conditions, and has stated more than once that she feels better when she eats low carb. Now if I can just get her a little further, to the point where she is willing to drop the artificial sweeteners, perhaps she will find the same relief that you have from her ailments. Take care!

    • Cathy

      Jimmy, as a somewhat obsessive tester of blood sugar, I’ve been very frustrated by the variability of meter results. Often I will test twice in a row — and if the results are 10 or more points apart, I’ll test a third time. Then I’ll use the average. Or, if 2 of the 3 are close together, maybe I’ll average just those two. More complicated and more expensive, yes! But I’m not as likely to believe that whatever my meter says in a single reading can be taken as gospel. 10 percent variability is common and meters are only required to be within 20%.

      You would also ideally do each test more than once, to see if results are consistent. But, with a 5-lb gain from just one series, that’s not likely something you’d want to do! Therefore I think the multiple-readings approach is more practical. Maybe do it for some but not all of the key readings, to minimize use of strips.

      Thanks for doing this and reporting it! Very interesting.

      Cathy

      • THANKS Cathy! I realize meters can have flaws, but those same flaws exist with each of the products tested. Overall, I think the movement in the blood sugar from experiment to experiment will remain consistent. I’ll be testing often…but not too often. The point of my n=1 is to encourage others to do their own testing.

    • Here is a nice endorsement from a diabetic customer:

      I am the founder of Friends of Diabetics. I was diagnosed with diabetes in July 2004. It was the most devastating thing in my life. What added to that frustration was the challenge I had with foods I enjoyed bread being one of them.

      I wandered into Goodwin’s Organic Foods one day and while browsing I noticed your bread was a low carb product. I was skeptical at first but I purchased it. That was the best taste experience of my life. I ate bread with every meal and my snack. Not only is it delicious it did not have a sufficient impact in my blood sugar.

      I introduced this product to five other diabetics and they join me with the review. We endorse your product with every meeting. When I say it is delicious please believe as I am very particular to taste.

      Thank you Julian Bakery for a great product.

      Kind Regards,

      Dana Thomas
      Friends of Diabetics

    • KA McWade

      Jimmy,
      In echo of other readers sentiments,thank you for subjecting yourself to these tests for the benefit of the low carb community,in the name of truth in advertising. It is unrealistic for JB to believe that any consumers would eat their bread “naked”…why bother? Most folks are looking for substitutes for their old favorites, such as sandwiches, or as toast with breakfast. A low carber would never put jelly on their bread, as Heath so absurdly suggested. (If someone is concerned enough about their health to spend $8+ for a loaf of bread, they aren’t going to slather it with a sugar filled jelly, I assure you, Heath!) So, in either scenario, our bread is going to be paired with protein and/or fat, both of which would serve to slow the absorption of the carbs, as so many other readers have reiterated, but Heath continues to ignore. We use real butter on our toast, and our cheeses are REAL cheeses, not processed cheese foods, so the protein and fat content far outweighs the minute sugar content…1g…seriously, Heath? Also, we are still waiting for Heath’s reply to: “Thanks Heath! I have a question for you: if the cheese was supposed to “throw off tblood sugar results,” why wasn’t there a spike when I consumed it with the eggs?”, that he has conveniently side-stepped. I think I’ll just stick with lettuce wraps and meat roll ups, and avoid the pseudo foods altogether. Thanks again for opening our eyes, Jimmy. We appreciate all that you do!

    • KA McWade

      Oh, and Oopsie Rolls! I know exactly what’s in them. 😉

    • Benay

      In response to Nick, thank for the calorie versus net grams post. I never thought of doing it that way. No wonder calorie counts are “off” when comparing the manufacturers calories and ingrediants compared to a comparable computer generated calorie count.

      Oh, by the way Julian Bakery, please stop including testemonials that have no factual evidence. What little respect I had for you and your product, based upon our past history, is going downhill fast. The more you protest, again with no eidence, the less respect I have for you.

      If you can’t accept valid criticism of your product, your product is not worth buying because I don’t know how truthful you are about its contents.

      • KA McWade

        I agree with Benay, Heath. You are digging your own grave. And btw, all of your testimonials state they they ate your bread WITH something else…not plain. Once again this demonstrates the real world application for your product, and the absurdity of your protests to Jimmy’s inclusion of cheese and coconut oil in his tests. They were controls…what part of that didn’t you get? The only difference was THE BREAD. Oh, and one last thing. You may want to take a refresher course in grammar… when referring to people, the spelling is T-H-E-I-R, not there. While there,(proper use of this word),I strongly suggest a science class, as well, to educate you on how foods are metabolized in the human body.

        • We will be posting the plain results within a week and Jimmy will be re-testing the bread plain so you can see the difference. The goal of this whole test Jimmy did was to specifically identify the spike in our bread and nothing else. Jimmy did a great job with the test in general and did test our bread with cheese but to truly identify accurate numbers the test needs to be done plain. Our customers get wonderful results and out bread is the highest quality low carb bread sold on the market. We want to thank Jimmy for reminding all diabetics to test themselves with any product that eat.

          • Not just diabetics…everyone should test! Look forward to the new experiments coming soon.

            • Agreed everyone should test and we appreciate you recommending and endorsing our bread for people on low carb diets.

    • Martin “The Zeeman”

      We are very interested in this, as we just purchased to large orders from Julian Bakery. Off topic, has anyone heard of Konjac Root as a “carb blocker” featured and endorsed by Dr. Oz (strangely, after he essentially told Gary Taubes it wasn’t about the carbs…). Anyway, anyone use this or know anything about it?

      • Konjac root is the main ingredient in shiritake noodles, which is touted as a next-to-no-carb pasta alternative. I tried them, and they tasted blandy blah, while being waaay expensive, so I considered them a waste of time & money.
        I didn’t use a meter, sorry, but didn’t feel the need to go fridge-diving after a few hours. Having said that, “carb blocker” sounds like the same sort of rah-rah as “protected carbs.”

      • Sonya

        My low carb friends and I all love the shirataki noodles. We buy them at the local Korean market and they are really cheap – less than $2.00 for a large bag. They have a great “mouth feel” to them and provide a great substitute for when I’m really craving pasta or chicken noodle soup.

        You have to make sure you’re not buying the ones made with tofu. They don’t really have a flavor so make sure that whatever you use them in tastes real good, they will pick up that flavor. The root itself has a sort of fishy smell that’s light and goes away after you rinse them and add them to your meal. I love ’em, but suppose, like Jimmy’s advocating – I should check my blood sugar next time I eat some.

    • Jan M.

      I’ve been testing the effects of various meals and foods on my blood glucose for about 5 years now, so I agree that this kind of experiment is valuable.

      This experiment raises a few questions though, such as: What type of meter was used and it’s precision. Were the test strips all from the same vial for all experiments? The same lot? This affects the precision. The test site location also affects results. Other factors will affect the results as well: experiment start time, fasting glucose level (different for each test), activity and stress level during the tests.

      It would be interesting to see how much your numbers would vary if you tested the same bread each day for several days. You would then be able to get a feel for what normal fluctuations might occur and you would have a better idea of how accurate the experiment is.

      I don’t eat grains of any kind, but I do find these experiments that you’re doing to be interesting. Just wanted to mention these factors out of fairness to all involved.

      • Meter was Reli-On Confirm. Same vial and lot for all the strips used in the experiment. I tested in exactly the same place each morning during the experiment and as you noticed in my post above at about the same time. My fasting blood glucose numbers were within a few points of each other each morning (again, I noted this in the graphs), I did not exercise during the tests so it wouldn’t have an effect and my stress was no different on the various days. I like your idea of testing the same bread for several days to see what change there might be. That wasn’t my purpose with this n=1 experiment though. Someone else can feel free to do those experiments if they’re interested in finding out the answers. I think I was VERY fair in how I set this experiment up, conducted it, and then in my reporting of my findings. Hopefully it helps intrigue others to try it for themselves which was the whole purpose of doing it.

    • Greg

      These Julian Bakery replies are getting absurd. How does including cheese make Jimmy’s experiment not valid? As far as I’m concerned he could have poured a half-cup of honey on each slice, if he did it with each one he tested – if the Julian Bakery bread was associated with a different response and the bread is the only variable that has been changed, how is that not reflecting the bread’s effects? If I eat a slice with cheese or butter and I eat a slice of something else with the same exact cheese or butter and my blood sugar spikes, but doesn’t spike if I just eat the cheese or butter or if I eat them with an egg, then I know that the bread is the problem, don’t I? If the only situation in which the bread doesn’t cause a spike is when eaten plain with water, what’s the point of buying the bread? And, really, since when is cheese full of sugar? I sure don’t get spikes when I have an omelet with a moderate amount of cheese, and haven’t heard of many others who do either.

      • Jason

        I believe there basic premise is that the cheese being acidic may be causing a faster breakdown of the bread then normally tested with. In such a cause you would see a faster spike then a low constant burn. They are not very good at stating their case sadly.

        • And if that’s true, then they need to put a warning on the bread to not consume with acidic foods.

    • Love reading the results, Jimmy. I think Julian’s Bakery is concerned they’ll lose business because of all the people who read your blog, but they should just chill and wait until you do their version of it (nothing but water) before panicking. Your results with their breads aren’t nearly as damning as the Dreamfields Pasta test, IMHO. As well, this is only one man’s reaction/result. YMMV, as they say, and everyone needs to test for themselves.

      My own story: When I was eating bread (I gave up grains 2+ weeks ago), I found that the 100% whole wheat bread from Wal-Mart that I ate didn’t spike my blood glucose much at all. And it had HFCS in it, and only a couple of grams of fiber. White rice will shoot my blood sugars sky high, though.

      • This is definitely just one man’s response…it’s funny watching the reaction. I’m thinking of doing a “bad” carb test as part of my n=1 experiments that will include white rice and potatoes.

    • Rebecca

      In addition to the so-called “low carb” products you plan on testing, as well as possibly some “bad” carbs, I’d actually be interested to see some “good” carb results too, just to put some things in perspective. Perhaps some broccoli or green beans, if you can manage them first thing in the morning.

      Just a thought :)

      • Actually, those are the foods I’m eating as a control. Like the eggs in my bread experiment.

    • Dana Patterson

      Fascinating,Jimmy. Thank you for being our LC guinea pig in this. It’s interesting to watch the slicing and dicing of results. We don’t eat foods like bread separately, and I think your approach was very rational.

    • Gloria

      Jimmy, you’re inspiring me to get my own glucomenter. It’s very commendable for you to take the lead on doing this. Those of us who want to investigate our diet to this level will, I think, as always, will have to accept personal reponsiblility for our approach and our choices and start to do this ourselves.

      Though I haven’t eaten any grains myself for sometime.(Except very very occasionally, what happens in Vegas must stay there….) I was interested to see how a whole grain product stacked up in this test as well. It’s one of the items I suggested be in a test range of Dreamfields products as well.

      Excellent post from Nick P. as well. Crunching the numbers really casts the cold light of day on these products and the point on digestible fiber is well taken. Come to think of it, asking about whether ingesting more fiber will “cancel” out carbs is a very frequent newbie low carber question, actually?

      You’re leading with you chin, Jimmy. I urge the LC community to keep supporting you!

    • Benay

      Jimmy, you suggested to me (and others as well) that I do the experiment on myself. You make a good point. The problem for me would be that I would arrive at information that is of little use to me. I weaned myself off grains a long time ago except for an occassional “falling off the wagon” croisant luxury.

      For me to try to replicate your excellent N=1 experiment, I would have to buy 4 loaves of bread, use one slice from the middle of each loaf, then throw away the rest of the loaf. With Julian Bread, that is an expensive item for the garbage can. (I would select the middle of the loaf as that is where I found the mold in my Julian bread when I defrosted it. When shipped it comes frozen. JB and I had a lot of correspondence on this issue. End result was that they said the mold was my fault. Since that time I stopped buying Julian Bread.)

      I would be better off selecting a high glycemic carb such as a fruit or vegetable, rather than a grain product since fruits and vegetables are part of my LC diet. I would find it hard to replicate your results (with breads) when using different fruits. If I could figure out which fruits were comparable, I might try it. But for the moment, your personal experiments are just fine and I appreciate your personal prickings on my behalf.

      • Actually, doing this kind of n=1 experiment is for those people who consume these products. If you’re doing well without them, then you should keep doing your thing. 😉

        • Sonya

          Actually, I think it’s a good idea to do these tests personally on most things we eat – especially those things we love…. there could be a reason we love and crave them.

          I’ve been procrastinating getting refill strips but you’ve inspired me, Jimmy! I love the shirataki noodles that Martin asked about and wonder if they have any impact. I also plan to test my response to some other things like my beloved Quest bars, Powerade Zero, Splenda packets (I’ve read they hare higher carb than the boxed, loose Splenda), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc…

    • Perhaps we should replicate this with a Type 1 who has no insulin response (such as myself). I would be willing to ingest the bread with basal insulin only and see where it lands me 4 hours later or with my CGM. If it truly is 1 carb I know precisely how much that should raise my blood sugar.

      • If you’re willing to do that test, I’d love to see it.

    • Amber

      I did an informal test on myself with the Smart Carb #2 shortly after they changed the formula last year (switched from soy to whey protein and added inulin.) I toasted one slice and added one ounce (pre-portioned pack) of almond butter, with almonds as the only ingredient. I didn’t think to test the bread by itself because I would never eat it that way and this was just an informal thing for myself. Anyway, I don’t have the numbers handy, but I do remember my largest spike was 24 points. Since the almond butter is three net carbs and the bread claims two net, this seemed to fall in line with the five points per impact carb guideline. We’ve been testing a lot of things in our household lately, so maybe we’ll have to do a formal test like Jimmy did one of these days with controls and all. I’ve given up wheat for a bit, but my husband and son will do it if I ask nicely. Incidentally, we’ve non-scientifically tested the dreamfields pasta a few times and have had quite varying results. Obviously what you eat with any of the products in question makes a huge difference. High fat alfredo pasta fared better than the pasta topped with tomato based sauce, but again, all our tests have been very informal and just for our own info. I personally stick with shirataki or veggie ‘pasta’ but the rest of my household feels somewhat comfortable eating the dreamfields on occasion – I’m too scared.

      • THANKS Amber! It’s pretty ludicrous of a company to say you shouldn’t eat other foods with theirs or else there will be a spike in blood sugar. We will know for sure when I consume the JB SmartCarb breads without anything else in a couple of weeks–but I’d NEVER eat them that way.

    • Jason

      Well since Julian Bakery is really poor at defining itself I will jump in a bit.

      1. Unless your blood sugar can easy go well above 140, the tests that are hitting that point are not overly useful. In both sets of tests your blood sugar has maxed around 140. Unless it goes well above that then you’re clearly hitting a ceiling.
      This frankly invalidates the dreamfield test as both hit the same place (considering the bread test 5 carbs max be enough to max you in most cases) and it should be redone with a smaller serving to make sure it’s not testing against maxed regular pasta.

      2. You adding way too many factors into these tests. Cheese, oil, heat from cooking plus 2 slices of bread. (BTW you made a grilled cheese from #2 bread? Yuck :P) You have overcomplicated the results as well as making it super easy to hit the 140 ceiling.

      To nitpick, your egg is .8 carbs a service so it’s a little light there even assuming that 1 carb bread is 1 carb even. The type and content of the cheese is not discussed, but even while I agree that it’s an equal factor in theory, its changing the chemistry and breakdown process and that could lead to different results. I don’t think that’s causing much of a problem but it’s likely to be a factor of at least a small degree.

      3. YMMV is a common saying for a reason. The biggest example I have ever seen of this is your 9-Grain Enriched Bread part of the test. That test is either an outliner or you have really strange processing at work. While you have said that I still wanted to bring it up again because we know it’s true. There are people with bloodsugar raises on diet soda. Some others have no problem with even large amounts of sugar alcohols. If you’re diabetic you should already be testing all this. If not beware that your likely going to hit a short ceiling no matter what.

      4. And lastly there are non food ways bloodsugar is influenced
      http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/stress.html
      http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/sports/UpWithExercise.htm

      Also just the taste of sweetness will raise bloodsugar temporarily. I use that trick to get energy before working out.

      5. With a single person doing a single test there is no way to control these secondary factors. That’s why if you’re worried you need to check your own results.

      • And your final point, Jason, is precisely the purpose in my experiments. THANKS for your input!

    • Cathi

      Interesting discussion. Thanks Jimmy for all your hard work. I do have a question or a thought about the cheese used American Cheese. Wouldn’t there be a difference in between American Cheese, which is made with Skim Milk, and Regular Cheddar Cheese, which is made from whole milk? Does not Skim Milk have more carbs/sugar than Whole Milk? I’ve personally always used Real Cheddar Cheese for my cheese sandwiches with real butter. I’ve also thought the longer a cheese has been aged also makes a difference in how much carbs/sugar is left in the cheese. So, the aging process should also lessen how many carbs are left in Real Cheddar cheese. So, maybe when you test cheese, you may want to do a test of American Cheese against Real cheddar Cheese and then a longer aged Real Cheddar Cheese, to see if there is any difference. I would have a tendency to believe that American Cheese would spike more that Real Aged Cheddar. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens, when you retest the bread without the American cheese.

      • I chose American since that’s what a lot of people use for grilled cheese sandwiches.

      • David

        Not to belabor the point, but in my opinion, if American cheese slices are ok with Dr. Richard Bernstein, they’re ok with ME:-). I believe that they are still only 1-2 carbs per slice, and certainly aren’t going to spike blood sugar by 30+ points.

    • Monica

      I wonder how sourdough bread would test. I read recently that it has a low glycemic index due to the fermenting of the wheat.

      • Perhaps I will try the sourdough bread when I retest the Julian Bakery breads dry in a couple of weeks.

    • Shannon

      If you ever do this again will you test the Sara Lee 45 Calories and Delightful? I find it does not spike my blood sugar at all.

      • I probably won’t since the focus of my testing was the JB breads. But feel free to do your own testing and share your results.

    • THANK YOU Jimmy for illustrating why the more fiber, more whole grains advice is a total load of garbage.

    • Mike Kline

      Great experiment Jimmy!!! Sucks for me because I regularly by this bread. I have bought it 6 at a time to save on shipping.

      I felt the bread stalled me so I have one “cheat” day per week when I’ll eat two Julian Bread sandwiches.

      I agree with you, no one eats this bread alone. Grilled Cheese is one of my favorites too.

      Thanks

      Mike

    • Jay Wortman MD

      Hi Jimmy,

      I think it is great that you are doing these n=1 experiments on various foods. We need more of this kind of data. I like n=1 experiments. As you know, I have a little pediatric n=1 experiment underway at the moment and, for that matter, my whole life good be described as an n=1 experiment.

      There are methodological issues, as others have pointed out, but it is a good start and you will certainly inspire others to conduct their own experiments which is the important thing. In the responses from the bakery, they seemed confused not only about how one controls for variables in such an experiment but also your use of an egg meal for control. The testimonials also seem contrived. I predict the results of a bread and water version won’t give them the answer they are seeking, either. Your weight gain is likely from salt and water retention related to carb consumption. I admire you for your willingness to endure that.

      Keep up the good work.

      Regards,
      Jay

      • Thanks Jay! I welcome your input via email about how to improve the methodology of my experiments.

    • digby

      I plan to test the Julian bread tomorrow morning, and the Carb Krunchers multigrain Friday. I have enjoyed having the bread, but have only used it for occasional weekend breakfasts, in part because JB does seem to produce flatulence. I have liked having this bread which I can serve to guests who just think it is a good dense whole grain bread. I use the Carb Krunchers more for grilled cheese, or to make into breadcrumbs for meatloaf. In any case, I will continue to use these sparingly. Anyone with insulin resistance/hypoglycemia is best off avoiding too many substitutions. I used to use several, but have eliminated almost everything since my weight stalls easily and I gain even easier.

    • PhilM

      Jimmy – this is just great information! I can’t help but notice that the garden-variety Natures Own didn’t raise your BG much at all! I am a skeptic when it comes the claims of carbs that don’t impact BG. From what I know of biochemistry (which is not much!), it would be impossible to consume carbs and not have it raise your BG. And who can trust those net carbs calculations?

      As a recovering vegetarian, I see my own cravings for carbs to be an addiction best avoided. If you are glucose intolerant, you are better off skipping carbs (except what you get in vegetables). For myself, it’s impossible to just eat a single slice of bread or half cup of rice. My strategy is to shun it entirely. I have also given up my search for friendly carbs as I have realized it to be a manifestation of my carb-craving. I came to this realization after a thorough search for rice and wheat which didn’t impact my BG.

      This may sound like an extreme outlook at carbs consumption, but as a potential Type 2 diabetic(bad postprandial BG), I have no other way of controlling my BG. There are tons of other foods that I can eat and enjoy without worrying about my BG (even as a lacto-ovo-vegetarian) and I have to be content with that.

      Just sharing my perspective.

      • That was the biggest shock of my experiment…but it also led to a big hypoglycemic reaction which is most probably a high insulin response.

    • Alms

      Sorry Jimmy, I would say that a repeat of this experiment is definitely necessary. Even a cursory look at the insulin index by Mendosa (http://www.mendosa.com/insulin_index.htm) will tell you that high carb with high fat produces a high insulin response not in relation to it’s GI.

      You know the GCBC graphic on the cover, bread and butter? It’s not the bread that’s bad and it probably isn’t the butter that’s bad either. Its both together . . . All I know is that I could eat fries for lunch and be hungry an hour later. It never happens when I eat boiled new potatoes with no oil. Just a thought.

      • Well, that’s precisely what I’m doing, Alms. I’ll be testing again soon and posting my new results with just dry bread. But I gotta tell you Alms. I’d NEVER EVER EVER eat bread that way. It would have to be with fat and cheese in a normal, everyday meal circumstance or it’s just not worth eating. If JB doesn’t want people to eat their bread in combination with other foods lest there is a blood sugar response, then they need to put warning labels on it to eat the bread alone.

    • Jay Wortman MD

      Alms – I had a look at the Mendoza site and the insulin index chart at the link you provided and I don’t see anything there that suggests that fat potentiates an increased insulin response to a carbohydrate food. Of the three macronutrients, fat would be expected to have the least effect on insulin secretion and would be expected to attenuate the absorption of glucose and thus result in a muted insulin response, not the opposite. In either case, since Jimmy’s well-designed experiment involves eating the same fats with his bread and varying only the type of bread, the effect of the fat will be cancelled out in evaluating the results.

    • Well done Jimmy, as I reported last year in this post on the FAT TO SKINNY Forum- http://www.fattoskinny.net/index.php?topic=147.0

      It’s very important to recognize that when something seems too good to be true it should be questioned. Labeling of carbs is lax and not really monitored the way you’d expect by the the FDA. Always look at the ingredients on the label when in doubt, if it’s loaded with grains it turns to sugar….PERIOD…

      Remember this rule, if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck….it’s a duck

    • maurile

      Thanks for doing these tests, Jimmy. I’ve been a fan of the Julian Bakery for a while. I don’t think any bread is particularly healthy, but their Manna from Heaven is the best bread I’ve found. I’ll keep eating it (when I eat bread at all) regardless of the outcome of the blood glucose tests. I’m not as worried about the carb count or the blood sugar spike as much as I am about the various anti-nutrients in most breads; so I’ll take the bread that’s sprouted and fermented every time. That said, the test results are the test results. If the Julian Bakery breads don’t fare all that much better than plain white bread under normal consumption patterns in your n=1 experiment, that doesn’t mean you did the experiment wrong. It might mean that you’re an abnormal test subject, or it might mean that there’s simply no such thing as a bread that doesn’t temporarily raise blood sugar after eating it. Either way, I still think Manna from Heaven is the best bread I’ve found, all things considered. (You should add Manna from Heaven to the re-tests if you can, by the way.)

      • THANKS for your input, Maurile. I’m currently in the midst of testing the Julian Bakery SmartCarb #1 and #2 breads again all by themselves as Heath requested. I’ve tasted the Manna From Heaven bread and it’s just not my cup of tea taste and texture-wise with bread. Thank you for sharing your experience and for finding something that you enjoy as part of your healthy low-carb lifestyle.

    • goldenamrit

      holy crapola!!!

    • Bike Commuter

      Hello, Thanks for this research Jimmy.

      I am T2 diabetic. I have used Julian Bakery smart carb bread a lot before I discovered it was wrecking my blood sugar control. My response to this bread was no better than any high carb bread. For a diabetic it is something to definetely be avoided!!!

    • JT

      Thanks for the information. I’m currently on a very low carb diet to burn fat, I am not diabetic. For the past two weeks my body was in a state of ketosis, although somewhat low. This was confirmed a few days ago using ketosticks. Up until yesterday, I was eating about one slice of the Julian Bakery Smart Carb #2 (Cinnamon Raisin)(2 Net Carbs) every other day.

      After reading the information and comments on your side, plus the fact I wanted to satisfy my cravings, I went ahead and had a total of 3 slices yesterday to see what would happen. By late last night the ketones in my urine dropped to a point where I was either knocked out of ketosis or on the verge of. The only other thing I take in that has carbs is VitaRain. (1 to 2 bottles a day at most)

      Maybe there is more carbs than what’s actually stated on the nutrition facts, maybe it’s my metabolism…I don’t know.

      In either case, I’ve decided to stop eating their bread for now. I’ll post again once my body is back in ketosis.

      • I think the carbohydrates listed on their label are grossly underestimated.

    • Bike Commuter

      Amen!

    • tom

      Jimmy, I have been eating at least two slices of Julian bread everyday for the last 3 months. I am on Atkins and not diabetic. After reading your results, I decided to do my own testing. Every morning I eat two slices of Julian Bread #1 with two slices of hot pepper jack cheese,two fried extra large eggs, two heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise, two teaspoons of hot sauce and then four teaspoons of grated parmesan cheese. After a four hour fast from breakfast I ate the same thing for lunch and tested my blood glucose(I bought my glucose meter after breakfast). My results were as follows:
      minutes after ingestion blood glucose
      -15 94
      0 93
      15 94
      30 106
      45 108
      60 105
      75 106
      90 96
      105 98
      120 99
      135 104
      150 96
      I have never tested glucose before so I am not exactly sure what the results mean. Obviously my numbers did not go as high as yours or as low. I also ate more with the bread.

      • Tom, that’s interesting and a minimal BS response. Perhaps the added protein and fat slows the blood sugar rise (although Heath said cheese causes a spike in blood sugar). You prove my point that people should test for themselves and decide what’s right for them. Thank you for providing your input.

        BTW, if you replicate this test, make sure you fast overnight and test after at least an 8-hour fasting period.

    • tom

      Jimmy, I took your advice and fasted overnight (for about 12 hours). I ate the same (two slices of Julian Bread #1 with two slices of hot pepper jack cheese,two fried extra large eggs, two heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise, two teaspoons of hot sauce and then four teaspoons of grated parmesan cheese). The results are similar but this time my bg high was after 15 mins and yesterday it was after 45 mins. My first reading was at -135 when I first woke up; I ate 2hrs 15 mins later. Here are my results from this morning:
      mins after ingestion blood glucose
      ————— -135 — 92
      ————— 0 — 89
      ————— 15 — 100
      ————— 30 — 93
      ————— 45 — 79
      ————— 60 — 93
      ————— 75 — 88
      ————— 90 — 99
      ————— 105 — 93
      ————— 120 — 96
      I guess Julian bread is not having an adverse effect on my bg; but is it stopping me from losing weight? Last evening I tested mg bg after a 3 hr fast with Russell Stover assorted sugar free chocolates. I had 7 pieces (about 4 ounces). The stuff is filled with maltitol. Here are my results:

      mins after ingestion blood glucose
      —————– 0 — 98
      —————– 15 — 99
      —————– 30 — 114
      —————– 45 — 120
      —————– 60 — 122
      —————– 75 — 103
      —————– 90 — missed this one as I was walking the dogs
      —————– 105 — 90
      —————– 120 — 97
      I think maltitol is a sham. Here is a good website on sugar alcohols:
      http://www.mendosa.com/netcarbs.htm
      Take care

      • Curious Tom. It does appear you had a reactive hypoglycemic response at 45 minutes, but not shabby otherwise. Maybe you’re able to tolerate this bread more than others. Thanks for doing the test again. As for Russell Stover, they’re on my list to test: http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/n1

    • Jessica

      Hi Jimmy,

      I had the same results with Julian Bakery’s bread, unfortunately.  Yesterday, I purchased a loaf of their regular Smartcarb #1 bread and I was excited to be able to have regular sandwiches for a change.  Well, I tested my blood sugar every half hour and the results surprised me.  After 30 minutes of eating two slices of their bread, my blood sugar shot up from 99 to 142.  It got worse from there.  After one hour, it was over 160!

      I couldn’t believe a bread that claims to have only 1 net carb could do so much damage to my blood sugar.  It was upsetting because I had been so good at maintaining my blood sugar and then, suddenly, my blood sugar skyrocketed because of this so called low carb bread.  I have thrown the bread in the garbage and I’m now searching for a home-made recipe for low carb bread – a recipe that will not raise my blood sugar too much.  If anyone has ideas, feel free to let me know.

      Thanks,
      Jessica