A reader from Texas, who has had type-1 diabetes for 47 years, emailed me this question:
Does [your wife, Nicole] bolus for… fat?
Absolutely not. Fat, based on our research and personal experimentation, has quasi-zero effect on blood sugars levels. But don’t take my word for it… Anybody with type-1 diabetes, a reliable glucometer and a jar of coconut oil can prove to themselves that fat doesn’t raise blood sugar.
Step 1) For breakfast one morning, eat three or four tablespoons of coconut oil. To help it go down you can have some non-caffeinated herbal tea.
Step 2) Check your blood sugar several times over the next 2-5 hours.
Step 3) Using your preferred method of time travel (machine, vortex, magical spell…) go back to just a few minutes before you had your oily breakfast. “Don’t do it!” you must yell at your slightly younger self. Then shatter the jar of coconut oil on the floor, shattering it
Alternative Step 3) If you don’t have access to time travel you can just wait until the next morning. Skip the coconut oil and eat nothing else. It won’t be as accurate, but it may avoid a rift forming in the space-time continuum.
Step 4) Compare your blood sugar readings between the breakfast of fat and herbal tea to the breakfast with just herbal tea.
I expect you’ll see little difference in your blood sugar readings.
Nicole gets 80% of her calories from fat. This is one big reason why she can maintain a HgbA1C below 5.5%. Her main source of fuel doesn’t raise blood sugar. This makes dosing insulin much easier, as any glucometer (with or without a time machine) can prove.
Thinking outside the type-1 matrix,
–John C. A. Manley
P.S. Next post, I’ll explain why people may even find their blood sugar goes down if they ea fat. Until then, check out this letter I wrote to the local newspaper, after they published a piece advising people with diabetes avoid fat: Diabetes Misinformation Month
P.P.S. For detailed instruction on how to dose insulin for meals, please read chapters 19 of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.