Blood sugar and Anapur - the experiment
By: Stepan Andrle - Anapur founder
As you know, I developed AnaPur with the goal of providing a food alternative for office guys like me, who sit at the desk all day and don’t have enough time to get a proper lunch. Therefore, it was very important to avoid quick sugars when designing AnaPur recipe. These quick carbohydrates cause a very fast increase of blood sugar levels which is also known as the “sugar rush”. After a while this radical increase of energy is followed by a quick drop. Riding this sugar rollercoaster is simply not good for us. When the blood sugar levels are high, spare energy is not used and stored for later as fat. When the sugar in our blood suddenly drops, we start to feel tired, hungry and crave an additional “hit” to slow down the energy decrease. It is obvious that if you sit at the desk all day, having these highs and lows aren’t good good for your work performance nor your body.
AnaPur is therefore designed to provide slow carbohydrates. Carbs which are slowly released to our system and supply our body with a sustainable amount of energy without unwanted ups and downs. These slow carbs have one thing in common – low glycemic index (GI). Glycemic index measures the actual impact of foods on our blood sugar and suggests how fast and how much each ingredient supplies energy to our body. Simply said—the lower, the better. For example, oatmeal has a low GI and therefore is often recommended for breakfast. Fiber also works fine. Not that it has slow carbs itself, but it helps to slow down the absorption of energy. On the other hand, table sugar is often referred to as a quick sugar with GI of 68, or even worse, maltodextrin (a commonly used sweetener) with a shockingly high GI of 135.
AnaPur contains a plenty of fiber and zero maltodextrin. It also contains oats so when it comes to a good and stable source of energy, it should be more than enough. In theory it all sounds good, but does it really work? I decided to find out.
In order to test how AnaPur works as a stable source of energy, it was necessary to “spill some blood”. Therefore, I volunteered for this personally.
The experiment will be done like this: for the first day of the experiment, I will eat as I normally would. The second day will be entirely on AnaPur. Nothing other than AnaPur. I will then compare my blood sugar levels during the day and see how AnaPur serves as a stable energy source.
To monitor my blood sugar levels, I use a glucose meter, which is commonly used by diabetics. It works pretty simply. You just prick your finger with a lancing device and place a sample of a small blood drop on a test strip plugged in the glucometer. The display quickly shows how much sugar is in your blood.
The glucometer shows the amount of glucose in the blood. Normal level of blood sugar is between 4 to 5,5 mmol/L. Values above 6 mmol/L indicate increased blood sugar. Values below 3,3 mmol/L indicate low sugar levels.
Fluctuation of blood sugar is of course individual and depends a lot on insulin sensitivity. It is also influenced by the food we eat and it is normal that its levels fluctuate during the day or after a meal. It is therefore not the goal to completely avoid the blood sugar changes; however, large changes of the blood sugar levels caused by a poor or sugar-rich diet have a negative impact on our health and are directly connected to weight gain, as redundant energy is stored as fat and the quick decrease in energy forces us force us to get another “hit” of sugar.
Here’s the test:
Day 1 – busy day at the office:
After the whole day and twelve performed measurements, all my fingers are completely punctured – this is not pleasant at all, but I have the data and that is more important! So how did my day go?
I measured my blood sugar right in the morning on an empty stomach. I took a croissant for breakfast when I arrived to the office and I had an espresso and some water with that. Caffeine and sugar held me until 11 a.m. By that time, I got quite hungry, but I managed to get my lunch a bit later at 1:15 p.m. I had quite a light lunch though – a bagel with smoked salmon. However, one hour later I got really tired (I guess my sugar level dropped rapidly), so at 2:42 p.m. I got another coffee. I had no time for a snack so the next meal was my dinner. By that time I was really starving. I ate tuna salad with some bread. And a beer, cause I’m a Czech :) . So not much food during the day after all. I consumed quite a fair amount of sugar and I felt hungry and tired during the day which was not pleasant However, I believe this is a reality for many of us who work at the office.
As you can see in the graph below, the blood sugar always jumped up above the boundary of increased sugar level. Sweet breakfast with a lot of sugar but even the dinner hit me with the energy that jumped up for a few hours. After that, however, it began to fall down quickly. Right during this decrease, I experienced a strong desire for some more food or at least something sweet.
Day 2 – AnaPur all day long
The second test was simple. Whenever I wanted to, I got AnaPur. I put my shaker with AnaPur on my desk and whenever I finished it, within one minute I mixed a new one. I felt well energized during the day, not hungry at all, and didn’t even think of having any sweet snacks. And as you can see the results are great! According to measured numbers, which you can see in the graph below, my blood sugar remains in optimal values during the whole day. That means that I had just the right amount of energy for the whole day without any unwanted "sugar rush" or any feeling of fatigue.
Bonus test – Pizza and Coke for dinner
The third day I wanted to push my experience a bit further, so I thought of having a “special” dinner. I tested what will happen if I have pizza and coke for dinner. I am not much of a coke drinker, but I thought to myself that this was necessary for sake of science :). It is not recommended to eat high carb foods in the evening. It is simply because the energy consumed will not be used and will store as a fat. I expected high blood sugar values but I wasn’t expecting this! As you can in the graph below, the blood sugar soared up to extremely high values and remained there for FOUR HOURS. That means I spent four hours in a state of a very high blood sugar level, during which my body could not use the energy provided. I was supposed to have a lot of energy, but I definitely didn’t feel like that at all as I sat tired on my couch. If you want proof that junk food and soda does harm your health, there it is. And yet this is a standard dinner for some of us.
I am very glad that I undertook this test despite its rather painful method. The results are exciting! They prove that AnaPur works as a stable and optimal source of energy. I avoided increased levels of blood sugar and hunger from sudden energy decrease. The experiment also proved how rapidly our bodies react to ubiquitous sugar contained in sweets, pastries and meals with a high glycemic index. I really wonder if AnaPur could serve to people with diabetes. Maybe it would serve really well.