At Nutrisense, we believe that experiments are an incredible tool to learn more about your body and how it uniquely responds to various inputs, especially glucose. However, we understand that starting out with experiments can be intimidating. That's why we've created this comprehensive guide to help you get started.
Our guide includes an overview of the Scientific Method, experiment ideas, a step-by-step guide on how to create experiments in the app, and what to do with your experiment's findings. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect to learn:
Outline of Experiments
- Part 1 includes a step by step manual for how to conduct great, scientific glucose experiments
- Part 2 helps you create specific glucose experiments and provides ideas and suggestions
- Part 3 shows you how to use the glucose experiments using the tab in the app
- Part 4 explains what to do when you have a "bad" glucose response
Part 1: Learning How to do Great Glucose Experiments
To get the most out of your Nutrisense experience and your CGM, we recommend becoming a proficient N=1 researcher. While scientific literature considers experiments with just one subject as anecdotal, at Nutrisense, N=1 testing is crucial because you're here to learn about yourself. To become a proficient N=1 experimenter, we'll take a step back in time to fifth-grade science class and rediscover the tenets of The Scientific Method.
1. Formulate a Question
At Nutrisense, we believe in the power of curiosity when it comes to health and longevity. Whether you're inspired by a news headline, a trusted friend's advice, or your own personal experiences, we're here to help you explore your questions and discover the answers.
For instance, perhaps you're a fan of oatmeal and you're curious about how it might impact your glucose levels. Experiments can help support you in finding the answer to your question: “Will plain oatmeal have a negative effect on my glucose levels?”
2. Create a Hypothesis
Let's dive into the world of health and longevity and explore some hypotheses.
A good hypothesis has two important qualities that make it testable and falsifiable. First, it must be something that can be measured and observed. Second, it must be something that can be proven false if it is not accurate.
Let's take the example of plain oatmeal and its effect on glucose levels. Our hypothesis is, "If I consume 1 cup of plain oatmeal, then I will have a slight increase in glucose but will stay within normal limits." This hypothesis is testable and falsifiable. We can easily design an experiment to test whether or not oatmeal affects glucose levels, and we may find that oatmeal actually does push us out of optimal glucose levels.
We encourage you to ask questions and explore the world of health and wellness. With a curious mind and a willingness to learn, you can discover the answers to your health-related questions and make informed decisions about your lifestyle.
3. Test Your Hypothesis
- When testing a hypothesis related to your diet, it is important to control the number of variables and eliminate any confounding factors. This ensures that you are accurately testing the effect of the ingredient in question.
- Here are some tips for testing:
- Isolate the ingredient you want to test to eliminate any confounding factors. For instance, if you want to test the effect of oatmeal on glucose levels, avoid adding blueberries or peanut butter to the oatmeal as they can interfere with the results. You can test the oatmeal with these foods later.
- Eat the ingredient in isolation with at least 3 hours separating it from other foods. This ensures that any response is solely due to the test food.
- Control for other factors as much as possible. Try to keep physical activity, sleep, and stress levels constant during the testing period.
- Consider the time frame needed to draw conclusions. Some foods may elicit a quick response, but changes in workout routine or trying an intermittent fasting regimen may take a week or longer to fully understand the impact on your health.
By following these tips, you can gain valuable insights into how different foods and dietary practices affect your body.
4. Draw Conclusions & Iterate
Let’s suppose that you design a good experiment and discover that yes indeed, your hypothesis was correct! Glucose levels rose 20 points but remained within normal limits after consuming oatmeal. Is the science over? Can you firmly proclaim that oatmeal is always good and will never have a negative response? Unfortunately, it is never that simple. It is essential to be able to replicate your findings.
Let’s say that you repeat your experiment and see that you are not able to reproduce the same findings – you now have a blood sugar response of 160 (high!) after consuming 1 cup of plain oatmeal.
Now it is time to consider some confounding factors you may have forgotten during your experimental design. Running through the mental checklist of influencers is key – physical activity, sleep, stress, hydration, illness, hormones. Suddenly you realize that you skipped your morning workout. Now you repeat the experiment under more controlled conditions (after your morning workout), and see that your findings were indeed repeatable and your glucose remained within normal limits.
Whether your hypothesis was proven correct or incorrect, it can generate a new observation and more hypotheses to go with them. From this example, you might come out with the following things to test:
Hypothesis #1 – If I do 1 hour of HIIT exercise instead of weight lifting, I will have a lower glucose response.
Hypothesis #2 – If I add 1 scoop of plain protein powder to my 1 cup of plain oatmeal, I will have a lower glucose response than without the protein.
Hypothesis #3 – If I consume 1 cup of plain oatmeal as my second meal of the day, I will have a lower glucose response than if it is my first meal of the day.
Now that you have an understanding of the overall process of experimentation, we will work on developing a hypothesis for you to test!