Food Experiment: Good Idea Drink

How well does a new soda help prevent my glucose spikes?

Richard Sprague


May 22, 2023

Good Idea®

Good Idea®, “the Swedish sugar buster”, is a sparkling soft drink formulated with a proprietary blend of ingredients that claims to lower overall glucose levels when consumed before a meal. How well does it work for me?

My can of Good Idea: “The Swedish Sugar Buster”

My Personal Science Experiment

Wearing a Freestyle Libre™ continuous glucose monitor (CGM) on five different mornings on an empty stomach, I ate a bowl of Cream of Wheat mixed with 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 TBS butter. This meal is about 500 calories, including 50g of net carbs and 35g of fat. I wanted a food that is generally considered “healthy”, with no sugar content, but high carb. I served it with a generous amount of fat to avoid significant glucose spikes.

I finished within five minutes and then I remained as sedentary as possible for the next two hours.

Instant Cream of Wheat is a high carb meal, which I loaded with extra fat

On one of those mornings I drank a can of Good Idea® fifteen minutes before the meal.

## In the code above (not shown):
## We pull the glucose data into r_glucose
## and the metadata into r_notes


cgm_data <- cgmr:::cgm_data(r_glucose,r_notes)
foodname <- "Cream of Wheat"
# return all users who ate foodname
food_results_a <- cgmr::food_times_df(cgm_data,
                                    user_id = 1234,
                                    foodname = foodname)

food_results <- food_results_a %>% group_by(meal) %>% arrange(t) %>% mutate(value = value - first(value)) %>% ungroup() %>% arrange(meal)

new_foodnames <- c("Cream of Wheat (Plain)", "Cream of Wheat (Plain)", "Cream of Wheat (Goodidea)")

food_results[food_results$meal=="1234-8/31-Cream of Wheat","meal"] <- "Cream of Wheat (Plain) #1"

food_results[food_results$meal=="1234-9/2-Cream of Wheat","meal"] <- "Cream of Wheat (w/GoodIdea)"

food_results[food_results$meal=="1234-9/1-Cream of Wheat","meal"] <- "Cream of Wheat (Plain) #2"
food_results[food_results$meal=="1234-9/5-Cream of Wheat","meal"] <- "Cream of Wheat (Plain) #3"
food_results[food_results$meal=="1234-9/8-Cream of Wheat","meal"] <- "Cream of Wheat (Plain) #4"
food_results %>% group_by(meal) %>% arrange(t) %>% mutate(value = value - first(value)) %>% ungroup() %>% arrange(meal) %>% #transmute(t,value,meal = paste(foodname,date_ch)) %>%
  ggplot(aes(x=t,y=value, color = meal)) +
                xmax=120, #max(Date),
            color = "lightgrey", 
            alpha=0.005) +
geom_line(linewidth=3) +
  labs(title = "Change in Glucose Levels", subtitle =  sprintf("%s",foodname), y = "Change in mg/dL", x = "Minutes") + 
  # ylim(-50,100)+

This chart shows an obvious spike soon after plain Cream of Wheat meals, climbing at least 20 points within the first half hour. (Note: the values here are normalized so all meals start at 0). By contrast, the meal that followed a glass of Good Idea® seemed more stable.

Interestingly, in several of the plain meals, my glucose level was actually lower at the end than at the beginning, a “sugar crash” after eating such a high carbohydrate load. Good Idea®, on the other hand, gave no such crash.

food_results %>%
    distinct() %>%
    group_by(meal, foodname) %>%
        iAUC = cgmr::auc_calc(tibble(time = t, value = value)),
        # auc = DescTools::AUC(t,value-first(value)),
        min = min(value),
        max = max(value),
        rise = last(value) - first(value),
        .groups = "drop"
    ) %>%
    select(-foodname) %>%
        colnames(.) <- c("Experiment", "IAUC", "Min", "Max", "Rise")
    } %>%
    # summarize(auc = sum((lag(value)-value)*(t-lag(t)), na.rm = TRUE)) %>%
    arrange(IAUC) %>%
    kable(digits = 0) %>%
    kableExtra::kable_styling(bootstrap_options = c("striped", "hover", "condensed"))
Different meals arranged in order of “iAUC” (area under the curve).
Experiment IAUC Min Max Rise
Cream of Wheat (w/GoodIdea) 670 -6 13 -6
Cream of Wheat (Plain) #4 754 -17 27 -12
Cream of Wheat (Plain) #1 765 -26 26 -13
Cream of Wheat (Plain) #2 1125 -9 25 -9
Cream of Wheat (Plain) #3 1542 0 31 15

iAUC is a standard method that nutrition scientists use to calculate the overall effect of glucose changes. “Incremental Area Under the Curve” uses a simple sum of the area of all the trapezoids under the curve marked out by the various CGM measurements.


With such a small sample, we can’t say definitively but the relatively small rise on the day I drank the Good Idea® points to some effect.



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