Sugar Lows and the Sweet Potato

yams-vs-sweet-potatoes3One of the two best ways of burning calories quickly is by lifting as heavy of weight as you possible can to get close to 12 reps, and doing wind sprints. These two are proven winners and even though I haven’t adopted the wind sprints in my routine yet I certainly have been increasing the weight in my routines. Some routines like today I am stuck at 310 lbs because that is the highest amount of weight that my bowflex machine will allow me to go, but other exercise I have been increasing by 5 or 10 lbs. Anyway, I have noticed for the first time yesterday that with these tough workouts my blood sugar has the ability to go too low during the day. I was really dragging all day yesterday and I thought that it was just because of the gray sky above, you know, those rainy days where you feel like your energy just goes through the floor. When I got home I tested my blood sugar and discovered that it was at 62.

For someone who doesn’t have Type II Diabetes this problem is quickly resolved by eating carbohydrates, but for one with this problem and being on a restrictive diet the carbs are not an option. Or are they? One of the tricks in body building is to eat carbohydrates right after your workout. This is something that I haven’t been doing as I prefer to allow my body to go into a state of ketosis to burn fat, but with the extra demand that I am putting on my system maybe this is something I should start considering. But like a double edged sword by increasing carbohydrates also means that I will be converting more to fat that would require more working out more to burn the fat. It will have to done very carefully in very small increments.

The extra energy I gain from just a small amount of carbs will help with repairing torn muscle from the workout which also means larger gains. If my body responds this way to the carbs then I may be able to avoid the conversion to fat. But what carbs do I choose to accomplish this? I have been pretty much avoiding all grain products and it would take a huge amount of vegetables in the morning to reach my goal. As I try to avoid any man made food products as much as possible I am left with the option of root vegetables like potatoes. White potatoes break down quickly and are high on the glycemic index, but sweet potatoes may be the key to this task. They are easy to cook and do break down in your system slowly. I can simply add them to my breakfast menu in strict moderation. I found this information of Live Strong and makes it obvious to me that the best way to prepare the sweet potato is to boil it:

Glycemic Index of Sweet Potato
The way you prepare sweet potatoes makes a difference in their GI. The GI of a 150-g sweet potato, boiled with its skin for 30 minutes, is 46. That number rises to 94 if the same sweet potato is baked for 45 minutes. These dramatic differences come from the way the starches in sweet potatoes gelatinize during cooking. Foods that turn viscous, or jelly-like, in your digestive tract have a lower GI because the gelatinous substance slows the release of the nutrients in the food. Baking your sweet potatoes instead of boiling them changes the quality of their starches and transforms this root vegetable from a moderate-GI food to a high GI-food.

Glycemic Load
The glycemic load is a way to take a food’s carbohydrate content into account when figuring its impact on blood sugar. The GL considers both the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates in a food. A boiled sweet potato has a GL of 11, compared to a GL of 42 for a baked sweet potato. Because the GL doesn’t take a food’s nutritional content into account when measuring its metabolic effects, it’s important to consider the health benefits of the sweet potato’s vitamins and phytonutrients when making your food choices.

Carbohydrates and Fiber
A 150-g sweet potato baked in its skin offers 31 g of carbohydrates with only 135 calories and no fat, making it a low-calorie, virtually fat-free source of energy. A single sweet potato has 3.8 g of fiber, which regulates bowel function and may help lower your low-density lipoprotein levels, commonly known as bad cholesterol. Sweet potatoes’ fiber content contributes to its place on the glycemic index scale — it slows digestion, which lowers glycemic index, explains Utah State University.

Blood Sugar- 85, Weight- 171.8

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Bowflex- CHEST
Bench Press- 310 lbs – 20
Incline Press- 310 lbs – 16
Decline Press- 310 lbs – 26
Fly’s- 150 lbs – 21
Situps- 22
Leg Lifts- 16

Breakfast- 2 Eggs, 2 Bacon
Lunch- Dover Sole, Broccoli
Dinner- Pork Chop, Salad

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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13 Responses to Sugar Lows and the Sweet Potato

  1. Maryanne says:

    Great info! I’ve been making baked sweet potato fries semi-regularly, but now that I learned the GI index is lower by boiling, I will try that! I never had boiled sweet potatoes, but it sure sounds delicious. Years ago for holidays I used to make a raw sweet potato dish (like an ambrosia, with grated sweet potatoes, coconut, agave nectar or honey, raisins, and fresh pineapple.) Not sure that’s too healthy though with all the fruit sugar. What do you think?

  2. Great advice. And I love sweet potatoes. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  3. jncthedc says:

    Good information clearly written and easily understandable. I think you will be happy with the results. If possible, try to get the potato into your system within 30-45 minutes of completing the workout for maximal benefit.

  4. Béar says:

    The more muscle I get, the more fat I burn and the more food I can eat. Win-Win. 🙂

    Peace ~ Bear

  5. elricsfate says:

    I imagine if I had your discipline this would be a much easier condition to control. But, I don’t.
    I have more or less, at least thus far, aimed for a reasonable range (according to the ADA) and ate (in moderation) whatever I felt like so long as I remained within the range.

    I have gone too low once in the entire time, and too high on several occasions. But, for the most part I am testing high first thing in the morning, and within parameters for the rest of the day. Obviously, the before bed “snack” (which is usually something like a granola bar or something) needs to be reduced or eliminated.

    I read what you have eaten each day, and try to imagine getting through a day on that. It’s obviously working for you though, so I can’t say anything about it. You are in significantly better shape than I am, though I am younger. Right now I’m 6’2″ and 228. Which is down from 300 a year ago. But I still have a way to go.

    You have however, inspired me to buy a bowflex. It’s on my agenda, right after fixing my Harley, throwing a big party for guests from all over the country, and sending my daughter to Europe for 9 days on her senior trip. lol

    • It is a total balancing act and difficult to stay on top of. I can be a bit obsessive about it sometimes, but it is all about what I want my quality of life to be like 20 or even 30 years from now. I see too many old dudes too unhealthy to do anything and I never want to end up that way if I have any control over it. By the way going from 300 down to 228 in 1 year is freaking awesome.

  6. Donna says:

    Have you tried purple potatoes? I read that they are better for you than sweet potatoes but as far as the Gl…I’m not sure:(

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