Timing of blood sugar rise due to carb intake

Does anybody have a good website or book or set of references that will indicate when one’s blood sugar will spike due to certain foods? I’m finding my numbers rising lately, and while it could be time to change the basals, I would like to get my bolus timing worked out. I think the most helpful thing would be to know when foods will spike your blood sugar, but I have no idea how to go about finding this info. I keep reading that pasta will spike you much later than other refined carbs which just puzzles me. Since I know about when my Apidra spikes, it would be lovely to know when the food I’m eating will max out my blood sugar so I can try to match it as best as possible.


A study i saw a while back said that 75 minutes was when most foods spiked. Foods with more fat will be a bit slower. Pure glucose much faster (10 - 15 minutes). It will depend on how much of the food you ate, and what other foods you ate it with exactly how fastit hits. So it isn’t possible to give precise figures. That is what makes controlling with insulin so challenging.

Pasta is unusual in how slowly it digests. Four hours is no at all unusual, and I often see a higher fasting number if I have pasta for dinner. It is SO high in carbs, and eventually they will all hit your blood stream, so there is no “health” reason to eat it. Nutritionists erroneously advice people with diabetes to eat it because they were misled by the fact that at 1 or 2 hours it tests flat. That’s just because it hasn’t digested. And in a Type 2 with some phase 2 insulin response left, delaying the carbs may make it possible to secrete enough insulin to handle them. But even so, the typical pasta serving is 100-150 grams of carbs. NO one with diabetes needs to eat that many grams of carbs! (Try measuring a 2 oz portion the “56” gram portion listed on the box and you’ll realize no one eats that little pasta!)

Probably the best thing to do is to test your favorite meals carefully and try to stick with the combinations of food and insulin that work for you. The combining of foods with each other is what makes things like the Glycemic index not very helpful. Combine a fast carb with enough fat and you’ve created a “low glycemic” food, but still, all the carbs will hit, sometime.

We need to start a Spike index to document how specific foods spike blood glucose over a period of time.

The idea of a Spike chart sounds great! I’ve no idea how to do graphs. I’d love to contribute:)
I wonder if there is a difference for Spikes between type1 and type 2?
ps egg drop soup is ok;but the fried noodles will spike me 50 points in 90 minutes!

It’s different for each person, because the amount of residual Phase 2 insulin response each of us has is different.

This is true even for Type 1s, some of whom have more beta cells left than others.

Type 2 spikes are very different from person to person and over time, many of us see changes in our response, both degeration AND improvements.

In fact, it can change from month to month.

That’s why we have to use test strips all the time, not just the first couple months after diagnosis!

If you haven’t already, go buy a copy of “Pumping Insulin” which covers this subject, although not food by food. Even if you’re not a pumper it’s a great resource.

Learning to time my boluses and to use the square and dual wave features to extend a bolus have been a great help to me.

As others have said - although a chart would be great, it can only be a guide, not a formula.

YMMV (your mileage may vary)

What a fantastic idea! When we hook up my niece’s cgms, I do plan a little research on my own and I will put the results on the Continuous Monitor Forum. However, each person reacts to certain foods differently. One thing a lot of people do to combat post-prandial spikes is to prebolus prior to eating by 15 to 20 minutes. Aphidra works quicker than Novolog, though, so ask your endo before trying this. Also if newly diagnosed this may not be a good idea. Another way to reduce spikes for high sugar treats is to add the treat after your meal. This way you will have protein and fat to slow down the speed at which the sugar is digested. And do not eat too many carbs at once. For instance, pasta… I often substitute Quinoa pasta for the real thing. It has a higher protein content, tastes like regular pasta. You can buy it in Health food stores. I still do not feed her more than three ounces of pasta at a time (approximately 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups). If still hungry, add salad and protein, such as mozzerella cheese or meatballs. As for cereal, I do not consider that a breakfast food anymore, unless you want to look at 375 plus blood sugars. I have told her she can have cereal, but it is a desert, not a food. She has never wanted to forego her usual desert of fruit, chips or icecream for the cereal. Timing of insulin to match food is very difficult. We also test two hours after eating so we can correct, if need be.

Whoa. Where did you get such a huge amount of carbs for pasta?

I had a cup of (cooked) penne tonight and bolused for 45 grams of carbs (the entire meal was 60 grams). I’d have to eat three cups of the stuff to get over 100 grams of carbs which would be impossible to eat, I think. And if I’d bolused so horribly wrong for it I would be much, much higher than I was after dinner.

Kimberly any carbs with a low glycemic index will make your bg go up more slowly than a carb with a high glycemic index. That said, the other food that you eat with the carb will also affect the absorption rate, ie how fast your bg will rise. For example, ice cream has a lot of sugar, but b/c it also has fat it will usually increase your bg not just immediately but also very many hours later. Furthermore each diabetic reacts a bit differently. Any book providing the glycemic index of foods will guide you - but you have to check how YOUR body reacts. The books can only provide general guidelines. I have had diabetes for 45 years. Please visit my blog at http://chrissieinbelgium.blogspot.com if you are curious about how I live with diabetes. The ups and the downs of it all…

Try this site: http://www.proactivemetabolics.com/

Go to the Subscriber area and sign in as a guest. The site is still free. You can add the composition of the meals you’re eating, and it will give a graph showing when in theory it should peak.

Gretchen - you just rocked my world. This is exactly what I was looking for. Being so new to this, I don’t have the years of experience to know how long carbs will be absorbed into my blood and when based on what I’m eating. But I’m a complete control freak and need some sort of guide b/c it’s driving me crazy. I realize to each his own, but I just wanted a guide b/c I don’t have a freaking clue how long certain carbs will take to spike blood sugar. I love you.


Weigh the pasta on a food scale. When I do this, the portion of pasta I end up with–the 2 oz, dry, that is defined as being 45 grams turns out to be tiny. Unless you are getting 8 servings from a 1 pound box of pasta, your pasta servings are going to be large.

Because pasta is slow you’d see the rise over the next 4-12 hours. Coincidentally I had some packaged lasagna for dinner last night, and though I dosed it properly for the carb count, by weight, given on the package. I ended up about 25 mg/dl higher this morning than usual, which is pretty much what I expected.

Pasta is tricky because if you like your past more cooked it will digest quicker causing you bg to go up faster. I like my pasta el dente so it digests slower. A good way to counter this and have consistency is to time your pasta. Decceco pasta actually tell you how long to cook it. It is right on all the time.

I love pizza but that love hate relationship has to end…

As a T2 my numbers are above 300 the next morning… who said I only eat one piece?

Scott’s diabetes blog has neat chart that he is willing to share. I made one for maual input(paper) and it shows mye exactly what I need to know… it’s worth a try…

When I eat pasta,pizza,or breads… I know I’m getting into trouble… listen to mommy…she’s always right!


Hmmm, I dunno. If I bolused for 45 grams of carbs and was really eating 100-150 grams of carbs I would be in the mid or high 20s from eating 55-105 grams and not covering them. I’ve never gone even close to that high after eating pasta. Usually I estimate pasta after it’s cooked and count each cup as 45 grams. I rarely eat more than one cup or a cup and a half of pasta at a time without getting overfull (plus all the other dinner stuff eaten).

I must say, however, that having visited the U.S. a few times, I think your serving sizes are generally enormous compared to ours. Even our restaurant servings which are usually huge are less than what restaurants (at least the ones I went to) in the States seemed to serve. So I don’t know if a “serving” of pasta for me really is super tiny compared to a “serving” for you, and maybe we actually are talking about the same amount. I just can’t imagine eating 150 grams of pasta and having any room to eat or drink anything else with that kind of meal.


These website help…