Okay, before we get started, you should know I’m not going to have enough time to cover everything that came out of this experiment. Needless to say, there’s lots and lots of interesting stuff in the numbers. But the good news is that I’m making the raw data available to everyone to find these things out for themselves. (See downloadable spreadsheet below)
First, let’s the stages and dates as I’ll be referencing them quite a bit:
Baseline food eaten every single day from January 30th to February 14th are the following:
- 10 eggs
- 8 oz cheddar cheese
- 60 ml Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 sausage patties
- 43 almonds
- 15 grams of butter
- Supplements: Multivitamin, Magnesium Malate, K2 MK-7, D-3, Sports Salts
These were divided into three meals eaten at roughly 10 am, 3 pm, and 8 pm — with one floating “snack” between 3 pm and 8 pm of almonds (usually close to 5:30 pm).
- In Stage 3 and 5 I had four packets of Skittles a day. One with each meal and one with the almond snack.
- In Stage 3 the Skittles were eaten following each meal/snack.
- In Stage 5 the Skittles were eaten before each meal/snack
The Biggest Revelations
Below are the biggest findings from this experiment that I’ve noticed (so far). There are many more than this which you can discover for yourself in the downloadable Excel file at the bottom of this post.
Does the order in which I eat the Skittles matter for cholesterol? Apparently so!
As with the rest of the experiment, Stages 3 and 5 were the interventions where I ate exactly the same food over the course of the day in three time slots (again, 10 am, 3 pm, and 8 pm) but with the addition of the Skittles. The only real difference between the two stages was the order in which I ate the Skittles.
Here is a comparison of the two stage groupings of 2-3-4 and 4-5-6 so that you can see the interventions side by side. First, the Total Cholesterol:
(Note, all measurements in this second were taken with the PTS Diagnostics CardioChek Plus)
Now, unfortunately, as I had a number or readings where triglycerides (TG) fell below 50 mg/dl (more on that below), I wasn’t able to get a step-by-step accounting for LDL-C. So we’re going to do a comparison of its close cousin, Non-HDL:
All I can say is — wow! These are not inconsequential differences. Same food, same intervention, same times eaten — but that one little change in order had a fairly profound impact.
Naturally, there are already some studies on this very thing and physiologically speaking the order in which the liver will be impacted by the sugar will have measurable impacts on glucose and lipids postprandial. But again, these are effects rippling into the fasting lipid numbers of the next morning by a whole lot.
I actually have quite a bit more to say on this, but that could be a blog post by itself… and I’m a bit pressed for time right now in preparation for Low Carb Breckenridge. So on with the show…
What Blood Markers Changed the Most?
I had a total of four blood draws:
- 2/2 – Last morning of first Washout Stage
- 2/3 – Morning after 24 hours into the first Intervention Stage
- 2/5 – Morning after 72 hours into the first Intervention Stage
- 2/12 – Morning after 72 hours into the second Intervention Stage
Keep these four fresh in your mind as you look at the charts below…
Note: I had actually meant to get a lab done on 2/9 as well to precede the second Intervention Stage, but there was a problem with the lab order that I won’t get into here. Regardless, we have 2/2 serving as our “clean” washout sample along with a lot of historic lab tests I’ve done overall to compare with.
Glucose and Insulin:
So naturally, we aren’t surprised I’d have higher fasting glucose days after bringing in the sugar. This is especially true if you are fat-adapted, by the way. This is why it is generally advised you leave the diet and reintroduce carbs for a few days before taking an Oral Glucose Tolerance test (OGTT) since you will likely fail it if you don’t.
No, the really big news is how different 2/5 is from 2/12. The first is three days of Skittles after the meal, the second is three days before — and boy oh boy is that fasting insulin remarkably different! In fact, this is the highest reading I’ve ever had by far! (My average insulin is usually under 4 uiu/ml when keto)
I had only had my Cortisol checked in two tests, the before and after mornings of the first three days Skittles. Certainly, this marker isn’t one I normally watch very closely, but then, it’s usually very consistently around 10-13ish. Very first time I saw it drop this low.
WBC (White Blood Count):
Another interesting surprise. While I’ve had my WBC dip below range before, my overall average is 4.2, this is certainly unusual.
I also got NMRs in my blood draws for advanced cholesterol testing:
Okay, this one I’m super excited about. A small group of you uber-geeks are familiar with my theories know why I’m calling out the change in HDL-C and triglycerides. But for fun, I’m just going to pass the ball back to you in the comments below. Why, pray tell, would you think HDL-C would go up and triglycerides would come down in the wake of all that added sugar? (Some of you already know my answer)
Does the order matter in personal experience? Absolutely!
Once I decided I was going to add the extra intervention stage, I figured it would pretty much feel like the first one. Nope! That one tiny difference of order made the entire experience very different.
In the first intervention, I ate the fatty meal, then ate the skittles for around 20-30 minutes following. I didn’t feel especially hungry for the Skittles, but I didn’t mind eating them either. It simply felt like it was a simple dessert.
On the second intervention stage, I tried to time eating the skittles for about the same amount of time (20-30 minutes), but this time before the meal. And each time I just wanted to stop right afterward. I looked at my prepared meal with dread as I had no appetite at all for it.
It’s hard to explain just how radically different both stages were in spite of everything else that was intentionally the same.
Here’s the kicker — I had notably more gut pain in the first stage relative to the second one (again, I have Fructose Malabsorbtion, so this was somewhat anticipated during the experiment). This difference could just be my having acclimated to the diet better by the second sprint, or perhaps the order did really matter in this case. I can’t say for sure.
I’m stopping here and just posting the raw data for everyone. Note I don’t have all the numbers entered yet, but I hope to add these at a later point.