Where did I go wrong?

I’ve only recently tried applying the TAG principles to my blood glucose management. This morning I decided to have a cup of decaf coffee and I used sugar-free hazelnut creamer and hazelnut flavored Splenda. I checked the labels carefully - or so I thought - and my BG was 98. An hr later my Dexcom is sending an alarm and I check it. I have the single arrow indicating a “rise”. Checked my bg and it was 175 :frowning: :frowning: I sure don’t have to drink flavored coffee but I still would like to know what I did wrong? Is it the caffeine, the artificial flavor or the phase of the moon??

Maybe the fat in the creamer?

Caffeine, even in lightly brewed Japanese green tea, raises my BG. Plus there is dextrose (same as glucose) in Splenda. I don’t know about the creamer. But I think you can solve the problem if you do some careful experimenting. I drink black tea with aspartame, and like it sweet (!) so I know that I need to compensate for the dextrose in the aspartame. I also add half and half, which has milk, and therefore milk sugar in it. And the caffeine contributes to the rise, too. So I originally started bolusing for 15g of carbs, which turned out to be too much, then tried 12, which turned out to be too little, and have settled at 13, and it’s working.

Hi Mayumi,

With diabetes, you can never rule out the phase of the moon.

I am not sure which brand of sugar free creamer you used or how much, but I looked up the Coffee-Mate brand and the powdered version lists 2 g carb per TBSP. Being sugar-free, it may also contain Splenda.

Also, the way Splenda is marketed, it appears to be a “free food” for diabetics. In the USA the serving size is listed as 1 tsp and shows 0 g carbs or less than 1 g. The Canadian Splenda web site is more specific and says that 1 tsp has .5 gram carb. So depending on how much Splenda you use, you will get some carbs from the Splenda you added as well as the sugar-free creamer.

Couple the carbs from the Splenda with the fact that they are in the form of maltodextrin, which has a slightly higher glycemic index than table sugar, and it would not be surprising to see a BG rise.

For my metabolism, the non-dairy creamer also has a lot of vegetable oils that would cause some insulin resistance and the fact that it is morning time, any dawn phenomenon would also lead to a BG rise.

Due to some of the Splenda controversies. about 9 months ago, I eliminated Splenda and all other artificial sweeteners from my diet and replaced it with the liquid from of stevia. None of the stevia after taste. 108 reviews and rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Vitacost.com (see link below). No glycemic load whatsoever. So far it has worked well for me.


But don’t rule out the phase of the moon. :slight_smile:

Hi Mayumi I agree with Natalie. I drink coffee every day half regular and half decaf but I do use Sugar free vanilla flavored creamer. It says it only has 1 sugar per tablespoon. I try to TAG everything! If I am having only coffee and a Tablespoon of peanut butter with it for a snack I will take about 3-4 units of Humalog. Sometimes its to much sometimes to little. I am new to TAG and trying to figure out how much to take and when. I can tell you that I have figured out that almost everything I put in my mouth requires a shot! Congratulations on being at 98! I wish I knew the secret of staying in the 80-90 range all the time. I am doing low carb for 3 months and am still figuring out how not to bounce around from 110-280! I feel like I really do take shots all day and finally in the late afternoon get lows when it all catches up to me. Hang in there.


First, in your post you said that you drank “Decaff”. Then, at the end you mention “caffeine”. TAGing is not intended for coffee drinking management. It’s mainly for foods high in protein and fat. Of which, coffee typically has neither unless you fill up with 1/2 n 1/2 in it. As others have said, coffee has an almost immediate effect on BS if caffeine is involved. So, if your BS is 90 or above…bolus 30 minutes before you guzzle. If your BS is higher than 150 bolus more insulin an hour ahead of guzzling :slight_smile:

I checked the label again on the creamer I used. It is the Nestle Coffee-mate Sugar Free Hazelnut flavor. The fat content for 1 tablespoon is 2.5 g, carbohydrate is 2 g, and protein is 0 g. Seems harmless to me but I know what it did to my BG, so I looked at the ingredient list.

It has among other things: partially hydrogenated coconut or palm oil, corn syrup solids, and sucralose. I probably would have been better with half and half and real sugar. I used to love cappuccino before my diagnosis and I thought this morning’s coffee might be a good substitute.

Natalie - do you extend your bolus at all when you use half and half or is it even necessary for that small amount?

I must be mistaken as a nutritionist told me caffeine free beverages still have a minute amount of caffeine in them and that decaf means most of the caffeine is removed. Also, I didn’t know coffee has an immediate effect on BS - I learned something today so that is good.

That’s fine :slight_smile: Yes, I do believe decaff does have some caffeine. But, I doubt not enough to worry about. Try the early bolus dosing (ie, 30 -60 mins before). You should do that also on everything you eat basically. But, you need to do that intelligently. Like never early bolus early when you’re in a restaurant for example waiting for your food to be delivered. This is more what I do when I am at home in a controlled area where I know I have food and goodies to eat of I go low. Good luck!

No, it’s such a small amount that it doesn’t make any difference. The major rise comes from the caffeine and milk and aspartame, which are pretty immediate; the fat in the cream part would only be 10% of of the 3g per 2 tbsp, so even if I use 6 tbsp, it would only be 9g of fat, which 10% would only be .9. Not enough to matter. At least for me – can’t predict what anyone else would need to do! :slight_smile:

Can you recommend a good brand of Japanese green tea?

Oh my goodness, I have had so many brands of Japanese green tea, and so many different kinds (bancha, sencha, matcha, genmaicha, houjicha and more), that it’s hard to answer that question. The only brand that sticks out in my mind is Yamamotoyama, but there are many other brands that are just as good, and maybe some that are better. I don’t know where you live, but I would look first in an Asian market for something that says made in Japan, and then make sure there are no additives. Chinese and Korean teas are different, but good, too (except ginseng!). The only thing I would avoid is bottled green tea, which often has sugar in it (yuck!) and teas made by American manufacturers such as Lipton, which also have something added to them which make them taste bad to a Japanese tongue. As to how I got a Japanese tongue, I lived there for 2 1/2 years, and have gone back frequently, and somehow, Japanese food appeals to me more than American food, or European food. I like Chinese and Korean food too (especially the food THERE, not the American version), but these days I am avoiding the rice – hate to do that, because in Japan, the rice is gohan, the meal, whereas the other stuff is okazu, the side dishes!

When it comes to coffee, I have learned over time that we all seem to be very, very different.

Quite frankly - I don’t use TAG for my coffee cream because even black coffee can raise my BG a bit. I use a fat free half & half, liquid Splenda and various types of scrumptious coffees.

It’s just not something I’m willing to budge on! So, in the mornings, I just bolus anywhere from .40 to .75 unit (depending on my waking BG) to cover my first couple of cups - after that, it doesn’t seem to be a problem - but if it is, I simply bolus just a touch. I loves me some coffee! Think I’ll go get a cup right now…

I drink coffee all day, with a tsp of 1/2 &1/2 and a tbsp of whipped cream (> 1 cho). I don’t bolus for it, I think my basal is set to cover it LOL

It may also be that it is morning. I usually drink coffee in the morning w/ just splenda but even on mornings I don’t or when I don’t drink the coffee until later, my BS still rises like a delayed DP…because I’ve had coffee later in the day w/ not much of a noticeable effect, especially if it’s decaf. I’ve also heard the decaf has some caffeine and if you don’t drink regular coffee you may be more sensitive to the effects than someone who does.