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
TOTAL CARBS: 13g
DIETARY FIBER: 12g
NET CARBS: 1g
TOTAL FAT: 1g
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
TOTAL CARBS: 15g
DIETARY FIBER: 13g
NET CARBS: 2g
TOTAL FAT: 1g
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
TOTAL CARBS: 14g
DIETARY FIBER: Less than 1g
NET CARBS: More than 13g
TOTAL FAT: 1g
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
TOTAL CARBS: 18g
DIETARY FIBER: 6g
NET CARBS: 12g
TOTAL FAT: 1.5g
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
TOTAL CARBS: .8g
DIETARY FIBER: 0g
NET CARBS: .8g
TOTAL FAT: 7g
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:
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:
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)