How to Eat 3 Donuts and Stay In Range

Most of us have “cheat” foods we want to still be able to enjoy from time to time, so Steve and Jeremy did an experiment to see if they could eat three donuts in a 15-minute time span and keep their blood sugars in range. (We don’t recommended you do this – it was purely for science!) They each tried a different technique to demonstrate that you can splurge every now and then on foods you love, and do it safely. See which method takes the cake!

Both Steve and Jeremy use a Dexcom CGM, which helped them monitor their blood sugars and trends during this experiment. To find out more about Dexcom, click here:

For more information on inhaled insulin Afrezza, click here:

If you live in San Diego or plan to visit, check out Steve and Jeremy’s favorite donut shop!


  1. Avatar

    Fascinating! We just moved to Encinitas from Idaho in August. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 in December. We’ve heard of VGs but have avoided them because of his diabetes. Maybe we’ll have to give it a shot (probably with only 1 donut, ha!). I just found your website today – it looks like a fantastic resource – thanks!!

    • Avatar

      Welcome to San Diego! Glad you’re here, and happy you found us! VG’s is the BEST, plus it’s right near the ocean so a beautiful walk to the beach ain’t a bad way to help with the blood sugar!

  2. Avatar

    I was just diagnosed with Pigmentary Dispersion Syndrome and Pigmentary glaucoma. Do you know anything about this. The eye doctor told me it is associated with exercise such as running or playing basketball. My eye doctor said that if I sat on a chair all day, the intraocular pressure would be normal. I run 5 days per week.

    Do I need to stop exercising? It seems that exercise helps me control my diabetes.

    • That’s a good question for your ophthalmologist. I don’t want to give you the wrong answer…I do not think you will have to stop exercising, but you really need to check with your eye doc.

  3. What a fun experiment.
    I like how you said you can do it. Its a lot of work. Enjoy in moderation.

  4. Avatar

    Superbly done Drs. Pettus and Edelman! Thank you!

  5. Ok guys, I love this! But… for me coffee affects my glucose. I’m curious what type of coffee you each had, and with what sugars or creamers, and how that may have played into your numbers?

    • Hi Rebekah,
      Both Jeremy and I had coffee with some whole milk, and we both also use Splenda. This all went into our “SWAG”…sophisticated wild-ass guess! Coffee affects my blood sugar too – it’s pretty common. But we followed our numbers and trends closely.

      • Avatar

        Thx for sharing! You both are awesome and so informative. I learn so much – keep it coming!

  6. Avatar

    I am in Australia, so no VGs, but we do have Krispy Kreme. I almost always go low initially when I eat a normal glazed donut, and only ever bolus for 18g of carbs. Although most often I am stopping for a KK after aikido class or ballet, so maybe that has something to do with it….. I am on a DIY hybrid closed loop with Fiasp, so rarely go above 10mmol/l or 180 ever. Creamy pasta and delicious Indian curries are my nemesis – so hard to predict when they are going to peak – could be 4 hours, could be 6. Sigh. I don’t even bother with pizza any more, unless it is a really delicious one.

  7. Avatar

    What are your thoughts on using a dual wave for something like donuts that are high carb and high fat- wouls that have a similar effect to the follow up doses you had to do later?

  8. Avatar

    Love you guys! I’ve learned so much to share with patients…the practical side of life.
    Thank you.

  9. Avatar

    Thank you. This was great 🙂

  10. Avatar

    Hello from Australia. This was great guys, one of the best things I’ve watched on insulin management. I learnt so much from watching the way you each handled your blood sugars. It certainly was a full time job but good to see what can be achieved. Thanks again.

  11. Avatar

    Hello Dr. E and Dr. P. You two always make me laugh and provide me with great information. Thank you for this entertaining video. My pump alarm/CGM woke me up at 3 AM because my BG was 70, so I had a snack and just watched the video. Strange timing, but I needed both! I enjoyed learning the different approaches with Afreza and the pump. I had not heard of such an aggressive proactive way to handle a high carb/high fat snack or meal. I’ve always been a little fearful of going too low. It was nice to see how you both handled the food in different ways. Thanks.

  12. Avatar

    I loved this experiment, and the two of you were Great! I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner and I may not comfortably teach this to the majority of my patients, but there are a few that this would benefit. Super presentation!

  13. Avatar

    Always learn something from you both!
    Thank you for all the great information you provide.
    Yes, diabetes is a full time job, but TCOYD makes it do-able.
    TCOYD has made a huge difference to so many of us!

  14. Avatar

    I have done some of the things that you guys did in this video. I hate when my sugar is starting to climb quickly and to keep it in range, I start quickly exercising. Who in their right mind starts jogging in place or dancing vigorously while at their computer at 8pm even though they had exercised from 5-7pm except us diabetics who try to keep our sugars in range (My blood sugars tend to rise after I finish exercising). I sometimes feel like a slave to my CGM. LOL. However, there are those days too when I have used an extended bolus for a high carb/fat meal such as lasagna with a donut for dessert and my blood sugar never raised higher than 110 and never got lower than 90. Being diligent does give me some proud moments. Thanks for all of the laughs gentlemen. You guys are great. 🙂

    • Avatar

      Diabetes is, at the very least, a part-time job (that nobody applies for) so definitely be proud of those positive moments! Thanks Anita!

  15. Avatar

    I love watching and learning from you two. I wonder if you’d be willing to do a video on BG management around exercise? I struggle to avoid going low if I’ve eaten (and bolused) within 2 hrs prior to exercise, which makes spur of the moment activity hard (without eating more, when I’m not hungry, which stinks).

  16. Avatar

    Excellent and fun, too!

    Definitely would like to see one done with pizza!

  17. Avatar

    Great video! Entertaining and informative, thanks a million for the demo. I learned some valuable details about Afrezza from your video.

    I’d like to see a similar experiment with spaghetti and meatballs. That meal actually gives me more trouble than pizza, despite weighing and overcooking my pasta in an attempt to keep the pasta carbs under control. The spaghetti + meatballs combo seems to delay the “second wave” of BG rise for up to 4-5 hours and I have not been able to figure out when/how much to bolus for the “pre emptive correction”.

    • Jeremy and I would be glad to stuff our faces with spaghetti and meatballs to demonstrate how to stay in range. 🙂 The best thing to do is set your upper limit at 150 so when it goes off you evaluate the trend arrow and if horizontal do nothing, however, if the trend arrow is diagonal up or up, then that is the time to give yourself a follow on dose of insulin. This is my permanent high alert value and it really is helpful to get notified long before you get to 180.

  18. I was rooting for Jeremy the entire time. I love competition. Is Steve related to Julian Edelman from the New England Patriots? They kind of look the same.

    Oh, one more thing…if I were to eat 3 donuts in a single seating I wouldnt survive. My wife would kill me!

    Keep up the great work, guys.

    • Avatar

      Haha! Your wife is a keeper! Unfortunately no, Steve is not related to Julian (but if you ask him he’ll say yes). Thanks for watching!

  19. Finally, who paid for Steve’s donuts? He carries no cash or credit cards. I know this. Did he pan handle outside the donut shop or did Jeremy have to step up and cover the $3.20 cost of Steve’s food tab?

    • Avatar

      Jeremy paid for the whole dozen. Dr. Edelman did have something else he wanted to say in response, but it’s not appropriate for the blog and we don’t want to get kicked off the internet. 🙂

  20. Steve and Jeremy: Thanks for all you do for all of us with diabetes. I really enjoyed reading all the comments regarding your donut escapade. One of the first questions our patients ask when they are diagnosed with diabetes is, “What can I eat?” My response is always, “Do you mean right now or for the rest of your life?” Im thinking about showing our pump patients your video. Unlike Edelman, my patients actually have a good sense of humor! In the meantime, I wanted to express my gratitude for all you do for those of us who have to navigate the diabetes mine field on a daily basis. Keep up the great work, Jeremy! Jeff

  21. Avatar

    I have kidney disease. I also have a Freestyle Libre 14 day meter. I track it all the time.

    90 days ago, my A1C was 7.8% Yesterday it was 6.7%. My 90 day reading on the meter was 134MG. I expected it to be around 6.3% based on charts on the internet.

    Can anyone explain why the readings are different?

  22. Avatar

    You just made my week! I’m newly diagnosed with LADA at 50 with kids in the house and we watched this together. Trying to figure out how and what to eat as I adjust to this diagnosis led me to days of tears thinking I couldn’t enjoy food with my kids. Now, I’m not going out and getting donuts to share just yet BUT when I come to visit San Diego this summer, we’ll be sure to find VG’s. Thanks so much for your sense of humor, smart posts and all of your videos! I’ll definitely be making it through them all.

    • Avatar

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Let us know when you will be in San Diego and we can have you over to the office for VGs!

  23. Avatar

    Virtually attended the TCOYD conference on Saturday. Today I am reading the material in my “briefcase”. Well, I am so overwhelmed with joy having discovered TCOYD. In 2021 I was diagnosed as a Type 3C after a Whipple surgery and radiation and chemo 17 years ago. I am learning so much from your website, videos, and conference to help empower me to understand how to live my best life. I nearly starved trying to keep my glucose stable through diet alone to please my GP. Even with a CGM (which I had to provide out of pocket without a diabetic diagnosis), I failed. My gastro said I would die if I didn’t eat more carbs, so I found a new GP, started insulin, and got a Dexcom. That is a long way to say, thank you, thank you! Searching for an endo that is as skillful as you are, but I feel so much better knowing that I have TCOYD to teach me.

    • Avatar

      Wow that is quite a story. So glad you are doing better with a new doctor, insulin therapy, and Dexcom. Thanks for your kind words, and welcome to the TCOYD community!

  24. Avatar

    I am 83 and paranoid about going low. Using a CGM I can see sudden drop with minimal exercise or 1 unit of insulin too much based on carb count and I avoid eating carbs because of that and generally allow my sugar to exceed 200. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Dean,
      We all are afraid of going low. It is ok to go high once in awhile, but it sounds like you are doing well with your CGM!

  25. Dear Dr. Edelman:

    Just for fun the other day I wore a dexcom 6, freestyle libre 14 day CGM and a dexcom 7 just to check accuracy. I found that the dexcom 7 was never within 80 mg/dL of the other 2 sensors. Most of our pump patients are using both the libre and the dexcom 6 in case their is loss of data from the dexcom which happens often. Also, when you can, could you or Jeremy send me a few donuts? Thanks

    • There have been lots of reports similar to yours including loss of connectivity. I have also received feedback on excellent accuracy of the G7. I think you need to eat some donuts and do a finger stick for comparison! What is your favorite type of donut?

  26. Dr. Edelman: I prefer the apple fritter consumed with a super big gulp diet coke and an extra large blueberry coffee from 7-11.

Leave a Reply