Pip, I was noticing my blood sugar would drop much lower after using coconut oil and coconut milk (Todd noted a similar effect), and I think whereas that's good if someone tends to have higher blood glucose readings, for me it was compounding a hypoglycemic tendency, so I'd end up in the 70s an hour later. Today I used heavy cream and didn't have the dramatic drop. So I just don't think it's a good thing for me to use coconut products.
Jbird and Pip,
I'm not sure that it is necessarily a bad thing to have your blood sugar drop into the 70s. I know that in certain situations this is bad, for example if one is a diabetic or has reactive hypoglycemia. However, low blood sugar may be a good sign for most of us.
In this light, I've recently done an experiment twice regarding the effect of high intensity exercise on blood sugar. In both cases, I started my day out fasting, skipping both breakfast and lunch, and having only some water or tea with coconut milk, and went for a mid-day run. In both cases, my run lasted about one hour and I was really pushing it to the limit of speed. So I was out of breath by the end of both runs, these were not casual jogs.
Here are my BG measurements from the two runs:
Start run 92 95
End run 152 157
15 min 123 138
30 min 112 124
45 min 112 96
90 min 91 --
170 min -- 68
300 min -- 74
I also found that when my BG dropped into the 70s and lower, that adrenaline kicked in (I could feel it) and stabilized my BG from dropping any further. This is exactly what happened when I take CO or CM and my BG drops below 80. The adrenaline kicks in, which is mobilizing glucose from the glycogen stores and stabilizing my blood sugar.
Now why does BG spike so high during intense exercise and then drop so quickly, whereas with a casual walk (as Seth has noted) BG just drops a little and never spikes?
I think the answer is that with intense exercise, the need for glucose and fatty acids exceeds the rate at which it can easily be supplied from the limited volume of the blood stream, so adrenaline, glucagon and other stress hormones kick in to free up stored energy. The body overcompensates a little, expecting that there is going to be a higher than usual demand -- so BG goes quite high. However, once the intense exercise stops, adrenaline secretion stops and insulin briefly turns on to shunt the excess glucose and fatty acids (no longer needed) back into storage. In this case, the insulin is good, it is just replacing fuel that was temporarily taken out of storage, putting things back where they started. But notice how quickly the BG comes down (much faster than after a meal) and then stabilizes at a new, lower equilibrium -- around 70 vs. where it was before exercise, in the 90s.
I've noticed that if I can drive my BG into the 70s or 80s, either with exercise or CO, they tend to stay there. And on both days when I kept my BG low, I lost weight overnight I also measured elevated ketones in my urine using Ketostix (familiar to anyone who has tried the Atkins diet), which is another indication of fat burning.
What I'm getting from this is:
1. Transiently high or low blood glucose measurements are not as significant as absolutes, but need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening.
2. The body can adapt to lower (or higher) average BG measurements as it "learns" what it needs, e.g. based on dietary intake and exercise.
3. Low BG may be OK, as long as it is stable. The body will tend to stabilize it by using adrenaline and glucagon to free up glucose from glycogen or convert fats to glucose in the liver (from the liberated glycerol).
So you might consider tentatively seeing how comfortable you are with a lower BG level. I've found that I have adapted fine to a lower BG level. From some preliminary research, it looks like athletes and certain non-Western populations get by just fine with BG levels around 70 or even less. But I want to research this more and get other opinions.