Over the last 14 days I’ve been testing the Veristable App and the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that pairs with it. This is not a paid review, I just happened to find Veri in my search for a good CGM and app to pair with it for insights, and this is my honest review.
Part of my mission with Eat Better Food is to help people learn what foods work for them specifically, so they can learn to eat the foods that work for their body. I’m working towards that for my own body by testing and tracking as much as I can.
Tracking my blood glucose is one of the first steps, along with microbiome testing.
Before I even start, I want to say that this specific option is not cheap! There are no cheap options out there at this time, I am hoping to see if I can get this covered by insurance, and will report back on that. OK let’s get into it!
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Why use a continuous glucose monitor?
TL;DR Blood glucose spikes can be bad for your health and lead to insulin resistance or diabetes. They also create a spike of energy and a crash. Using a CGM can help you identify foods that impact your body in this way.
Blood glucose monitoring is typical for diabetics and in particular the use of a CGM, but it is not typical for those without that type of metabolic condition. There is however a new interest it seems like in utilizing this type of monitor from the biohacking and nutrition community.
Your blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are an indicator of how the food you’re eating is impacting your body. It is generally accepted that keeping your blood sugar levels stable are better for your health, and reducing spikes will allow you to have more consistent energy throughout the day. According to some of the insights I found in Veri, keeping your blood sugar stable can also decrease inflammation.
While most people know that eating sugary junk foods like cookies, cake and soda can wreak havoc on their blood sugar levels, studies show that people can have a wide range of responses to many foods. In one intriguing study from 2015, researchers in Israel followed 800 adults for a week, using continuous glucose monitors to track their glucose levels. They found that even when people ate identical foods — such as bread and butter or chocolate — some people had substantial blood sugar spikes while others did not. The researchers concluded that a variety of factors unique to every person, such as your weight, genetics, gut microbiome, lifestyle and insulin sensitivity, determine how you respond to different foods.The New York Times
As a general rule, food that is high in simple carbohydrates or sugar will have the biggest impact on your blood glucose.
I did find this article from Harvard that is pretty skeptical about the need for this, but I think part of the skepticism is because this is expensive and basically a luxury good at this point.
|Price||$$$ ($159.00/mo for 2 sensors)|
|Would I recommend this to a friend?||7.5/10|
Veristable is expensive (dolla dolla bills!). But to put this in context, compared to companies in the same space it seems like Veristable is substantially cheaper. Their 2 sensor/month subscription comes in at $159 / month.
Comparing the 2 sensor package across competitors:
- Veristable: $159/month
- Levels: $399/month (according to the one blog post I could find)
- January.ai: $288 / month
- Nutrisense: $300 / month
A lot of the price actually comes from the cost of the Continuous Glucose Monitor itself. In this case Veristable sends you a CGM by the company Freestyle Libre. These go for an average of around $129 for each 14 day tracker.
When taking that into consideration, Veristable the app is basically free and they must be making all of their money from selling you the CGM itself.
Below are a few screenshots from the app. The value that Veristable brings is in taking the data and translating that into actionable insights.
I will say that after 14 days of use, I’m pretty intrigued with what. I might learn with more time. So far I haven’t specifically taken action on anything that I’ve noticed, I’m just tracking the insights.
I haven’t used any of the top competitors, but based on their websites it seems like they all offer similar insights. Levels and January appear to offer some additional insights, but I’ll have to try them to find out.
Some of the things that I like about Veristable:
- It’s so easy to check my blood glucose at any time
- The visualizations highlight increases in velocity which helps you to identify fast moving spikes up or down
- You can track your meals and Veri will automatically tag the meal with the foods you mentioned, and then you can go back and look at meals with those foods. Over time this is probably one of the most powerful features.
- The weekly recap helps you understand how you performed over a period of time.
I noticed that these foods spiked my glucose:
- Eating popcorn
- Amaranth (grain)
- Cassava root tortilla chips
- Having honey in my tea
Overall, having these insights is great. Based on what I see, there are some major opportunities for me to improve what I’m eating and keep my energy more consistent. At the end of the. day though, so far I’m not sure any of this is a surprise to me.
I really never knew though how my sugar levels would be impacted by specific foods and I like to get this data which will motivate me more to make changes.
As a Product Manager in my day job, the user experience is something that I care a lot about. I think Veristable is getting some things right, but there are opportunities for improvement.
Some things I enjoy:
- I like that I can take a reading from anywhere. in the app with just a single click. I like the visualizations and the way they overlay exercise and food.
- It’s great that they automagically tag your food for you when you write it out, that’s so nice.
- The customer service has been top notch. Very responsive and helpful.
The things that I would change:
- The sign up progress is a bit difficult and confusing
- The app is organized in a way that I still don’t understand. It’s very unclear where everything is. I’m still discovering new features! These should be easier to find.
- The UI has a bit of an outdated feel to me (outside of the visualizations).
Would I recommend this to a friend?
This is a tricky one. Does this friend have some disposable income?
This is not a cheap product, so if you are very interested in biohacking, improving your health, and learning the ins and outs of your body this is something I would highly recommend.
By no means though do I think using a continuous blood glucose monitor is a necessity for improving your health. This is more like an add-on and a nice biohacking tool.
Thank you for reading this far! Drop a comment. and let me know if you’d be interested in trying this or have used a CGM in the past.
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