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Does Dietary Fat Cause Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

Tweet Insulin resistance is the name given to when cells of the body don’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is the driving factor that leads to type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes. Insulin resistance is closely associated with obesity; however, it is possible to be insulin resistant without being overweight or obese. Modern research has shown that insulin resistance can be combatted by treatment methods that reduce how much insulin the body is producing or taking via insulin injections or insulin pumps. Reducing insulin resistance can be achieved by following low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. What is insulin resistance? The role of insulin is to allow cells of the body to take in glucose to be used as fuel or stored as body fat. [282] It also means that glucose is more likely to build up in the blood and this can lead to too high blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it tries to cope by producing more insulin. People with insulin resistance are often producing too more insulin than healthy people. Producing too much insulin is known as hyperinsulinemia. Symptoms of insulin resistance Initially, insulin resistance presents no symptoms. The symptoms only start to appear once it leads to secondary effects such as higher blood sugar levels. When this happens, the symptoms may include: Lethargy (tiredness) Hunger Difficulty concentrating (brain fog) Other signs that often appear in people with insulin resistance include: Weight gain around the middle (belly fat) High blood pressure High cholesterol levels If insulin resistance develops into prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the symptoms will include increased blood glucose levels and more of the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Causes of insulin r Continue reading >>

Diet Tips For Insulin Resistance

Diet Tips For Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance increases your risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. But a diagnosis of insulin resistance is only a warning sign. You may be able to prevent diabetes with healthy lifestyle choices, including regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Generally, it’s best to choose whole, unprocessed foods and avoid highly processed and prepared foods. Foods that are highly processed, such as white breads, pastas, rice, and soda, digest very quickly and spike blood sugar levels. This puts extra stress on the pancreas, which makes the hormone insulin. Saturated fats have also been associated with insulin resistance. Healthy, unsaturated fats, such as those recommended below, are a better choice. Eating high-fiber foods and mixed meals, not just carbohydrates alone, can help slow digestion and take pressure off the pancreas. Here are some foods that you can mix and match to create satisfying but healthy dishes for any meal. Vegetables Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an ideal food for people trying to manage their blood sugar. The best options are fresh, low-sodium canned, and frozen vegetables. Healthy options include tomatoes, spinach, colorful peppers, greens such as spinach. collard, and kale, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Vegetable juices may seem healthy, but they tend to be not as filling and aren’t as fibrous as fresh vegetables. Fruits Munch on some fruit for fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Choose fresh or frozen fruits. Canned varieties without added sugars are fine in a pinch, but they don’t have the fiber that fresh and frozen fruits do since the skins are removed. Go for fruits that are higher in fiber, such as apples, berries, bananas, grapes, plums, and p Continue reading >>

The Vegan Diet How-to Guide For Diabetes

The Vegan Diet How-to Guide For Diabetes

Introduction Diet changes are the cornerstone to treating type 2 diabetes. Current diet recommendations require restricting portion sizes, measuring and weighing foods, and limiting the total amount of carbohydrate. However, evidence suggests that a different dietary approach may be more effective and easier to follow. The evidence favoring a new approach came first from comparisons of various populations around the world. People whose diets were based mainly on plant-derived foods—that is, rice, noodles, beans, and vegetables—were less likely to develop diabetes, compared with people whose diets are fattier or centered on meatier dishes. For example, among people following traditional Japanese diets, diabetes was rare. Studies show that when people moved from Japan to the U.S. and adopted a Western diet, they were much more likely to develop diabetes. These studies suggested that meaty, fatty diets cause the body to be more resistant to insulin’s actions. Clinical research studies have shown that adopting a low-fat, plant-derived diet does indeed improve insulin sensitivity, help with weight loss, and reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. Part of the value of a low-fat, plant-based diet is that it is very low in saturated fat—that is, the kind of fat that is found especially in meats, dairy products, and tropical oils (coconut, palm, or palm kernel oil). To cut fat effectively, you’ll want to do two things: The first step is to avoid animal-derived products. Needless to say, this eliminates all animal fats. It does something else, too: It eliminates animal protein. While we need protein, we do not need animal-derived protein. Animal proteins accelerate kidney damage in people who have already lost some kidney function. They also increase the loss of calcium fro Continue reading >>

This Kind Of Fat Lowers Your Risk For Diabetes

This Kind Of Fat Lowers Your Risk For Diabetes

TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. Not all saturated fats are created equal, it appears. A pair of new studies suggests that certain sources of saturated fat may be worse than others—especially when it comes to raising risk for type 2 diabetes. In one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Harvard University and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain tracked 3,349 Spanish adults for about 4.5 years. Overall, they found that people who consumed higher amounts of saturated fats and animal fats were twice as likely to develop diabetes than those who consumed a lower amount. When the researchers broke down the results by specific food type, the consumption of butter (at 12 grams a day) and cheese (at 30 grams a day) were both linked to an increased risk of diabetes. On the other hand, people who ate whole-fat yogurt actually had a lower risk than those who didn’t. The researchers have several explanations for these findings. Yogurt contains healthful ingredients, like probiotics and protein, that may have protective effects when it comes to diabetes risk, says lead author Marta Guasch-Ferre, a nutrition research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Even though the results were adjusted to account for other food intake, unhealthy eating patterns may have influenced them. “Butter and cheese often come with carbohydrates, like toast or crackers,” Guasch-Ferre says. Plus, people who eat more yogurt tend to have better diets than those who don’t, she adds. The study did not find any significant links between diabetes risk and consumption of red meat, processed meat, eggs or whole-fat milk. That was a surprise to the researchers, who suspect that other factors may have diluted these results. They poi Continue reading >>

What Is Insulin Resistance And How Can The Banting Diet Help?

What Is Insulin Resistance And How Can The Banting Diet Help?

What is insulin resistance and how can the Banting diet help? Today on The Ask Prof Noakes Podcast we ask Prof. Tim Noakes to explain exactly what insulin resistance is. He gives us guidelines on how we would know if we are insulin resistant and if we aren’t insulin resistant, he gives us advise on whether we should be following the Banting Diet. Today we look at a term we speak about very often on this podcast. When discussing the Banting Diet and who should be following an LCHF Diet we mention the term insulin resistance. Bruce submitted his question via our website and even though it is a fairly simple question, it is one that we quite often don’t think about answering because we almost assume that people should know the answer. Bruce wanted to know, in layman’s terms, what exactly is insulin resistance? How do we know if we are insulin resistant? And if we aren’t insulin resistant, should we still be following the Banting Diet? Prof Tim Noakes: That is a wonderful question and it is something that I didn’t know about four years ago. We weren’t taught about insulin resistance. Just to make the point that Tim Noakes didn’t discover insulin resistance. It was really discovered by a chap called Jerry Raven from Stanford University, who in the 1960’s read that there are two types of diabetes. There is one where you are insulin resistant and there’s one where you have no insulin – so you are insulin deficient. Insulin deficient gives you type 1 diabetes because you don’t secrete enough insulin or you don’t secrete any insulin so you have to inject insulin or else you die. When was insulin resistance discovered? The type 2 is the insulin resistance where although you are secreting some insulin it doesn’t work properly in the body. Then you get evi Continue reading >>

How Optimize Your Diet For Your Insulin Resistance

How Optimize Your Diet For Your Insulin Resistance

Lately, I’ve seen a number of common themes come up at low carb conferences and online. The contentious questions tend to run along the lines of: I did really well on a low carb diet initially, but my fat loss seems to have stalled. What gives? What should I do now? If protein is insulinogenic should I actively avoid protein as well as carbs if my goal is to reduce insulin because low insulin = weight loss? If eating more fat helped kick start my weight loss journey, then why does eating more fat seem to make me gain weight now? This article outlines some quantitative parameters around these contentious questions and helps you chose the most appropriate nutritional approach. Coming from a diabetes headspace, I’ve seen firsthand the power of a low carb diet in reducing blood glucose and insulin levels. As a Type 1 Diabetic, my wife Moni has been above to halve her insulin dose with a massive improvement in energy levels, body composition and mood. If your blood glucose levels are high, then chances are your insulin levels are also high. Insulin is the hormonal “switch” that causes us to store excess energy as body fat in times of plenty.[1] Lower levels of insulin in times of food scarcity then enable us to access to the stored energy on our body.[2] You can actively manage the fat storing potential of your diet by managing the insulin load of the food you eat. The chart below shows that our glucose response is fairly well predicted by the carbohydrates we eat. (note: The “glucose score” is the area under the curve of glucose response to various foods tested over the three hours relative to glucose which gets a score of 100%.) [3] [4] Having high blood glucose levels is bad news.[5] The chart below shows the correlation between HbA1c (a measure of your averag Continue reading >>

The Role Of Fatty Acids In Insulin Resistance

The Role Of Fatty Acids In Insulin Resistance

Abstract Insulin resistance is a multi-faceted disruption of the communication between insulin and the interior of a target cell. The underlying cause of insulin resistance appears to be inflammation that can either be increased or decreased by the fatty acid composition of the diet. However, the molecular basis for insulin resistance can be quite different in various organs. This review deals with various types of inflammatory inputs mediated by fatty acids, which affect the extent of insulin resistance in various organs. Keywords Insulin resistanceInflammationFatty acidsPalmitic acidOmega-3 fatty acidsHypothalamusAdipose tissueLiverMuscleEndotoxemia Introduction The human body has developed an extraordinary number of systems to maintain stable blood glucose and to avoid broad swings in its level. These systems include hormones that are directly or indirectly generated by the diet. These hormones sense dietary nutrients and send appropriate neural signals to the brain (specifically the hypothalamus) to orchestrate fuel usage for either oxidation into energy or long-term storage. The central hormone involved in this metabolic communication system is insulin. However, increased inflammation can disturb these complex communication systems eventually leading to metabolic defects (obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes). Insulin is the primary regulator of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism [1–3]. It inhibits lipolysis of stored fat in the adipose tissue and gluconeogenesis in the liver, it stimulates the translocation of the GLUT-4 protein to bring glucose into the muscle cells along with gene expression of proteins required for the optimal cellular function, cellular repair, and growth, and it indicates the metabolic availability of various fuels to the brain. Continue reading >>

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

Studies dating back nearly a century noted a striking finding: If you take young, healthy people and split them up into two groups—half on a fat-rich diet and half on a carbohydrate-rich diet—we find that within just two days, glucose intolerance skyrockets in the fat group. The group that had been shoveling fat in ended up with twice the blood sugar. As the amount of fat in the diet goes up, so does one’s blood sugar. Why would eating fat lead to higher blood sugar levels? It would take scientists nearly seven decades to unravel this mystery, but it would end up holding the key to our current understanding of the cause of type 2 diabetes. The reason athletes carb-load before a race is to build up the fuel supply within their muscles. We break down the starch into glucose in our digestive tract, it circulates as blood glucose (blood sugar) and is taken up by our muscles to be stored and burnt for energy. Blood sugar, though, is like a vampire. It needs an invitation to come into our cells. That invitation is insulin. Insulin is the key that unlocks the door that lets glucose in the blood enter muscle cells. When insulin attaches to the insulin receptor on the cell, it activates an enzyme, which activates another enzyme, which activates two more enzymes, which finally activates glucose transport (as diagrammed in the below video). What if there was no insulin? Blood sugar would be stuck in the bloodstream banging on the door to our muscles, unable to get inside. With nowhere to go, sugar levels would rise and rise. That’s what happens in type 1 diabetes: the cells in the pancreas that make insulin get destroyed, and without insulin, sugar in the blood can’t get out of the blood into the muscles, and so blood sugar rises. But there’s a second way we could end Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance: A Vicious Circle Of Excess Fat

Insulin Resistance: A Vicious Circle Of Excess Fat

Every day I see patients I talk about insulin resistance and how it leads to diabetes. I have based my conversations, on what I thought was the best data. Now that I read Insulin Resistance: A Vicious Circle Of Excess Fat, by Phil Wood DVM, MS, PhD I realize that I am going to have to change a few of my statements as there are some facts you won’t want to miss. Insulin Resistance: A Vicious Circle Of Excess Fat Phillip Wood DVM, MS, PhD Insulin resistance is a common feature in patients who are obese or who have metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. Insulin-resistant patients require higher than normal amounts of insulin to maintain normal blood glucose concentrations. The development of insulin resistance is complex, and many of its mechanisms are poorly understood. However, a common denominator in insulin-resistant patients is excess fatty acids (1), and insulin sensitivity is increased by any activity that reduces fatty acids in the tissues of the body. Such activities include increasing exercise with or without weight loss, reducing visceral adiposity with weight loss, or taking drugs that reduce fatty acids (thiazolidinediones, commonly known as “glitazones,” fibrates or metformin). The bottom line is that clearing the body of excess fat increases insulin sensitivity and, thus, decreases symptoms associated with insulin resistance. Often, insulin resistance is thought of as a focal process restricting the uptake of glucose as accomplished by muscle and mediated by insulin. It is true that muscle is a major location for insulin-mediated glucose uptake; however, uptake of glucose by muscle is only one of many metabolic processes that are disrupted by insulin resistance. I want to focus on three of those processes to demonstrate the vicious circle of insulin re Continue reading >>

Saturated Fats - Good Or Bad? Or Both?

Saturated Fats - Good Or Bad? Or Both?

More and more, saturated fat is back on the menu. I’ve been saying for years that saturated fat has been unfairly vilified as the cause of cardiovascular disease and large reviews of studies continue to agree that it does not cause heart disease, diabetes, or increase the risk of mortality. That said, I still recommend limiting your saturated fat intake from certain sources (like cornfed beef and pork). Why? Because no one said it’s a perfectly healthy option, they just say it doesn’t cause chronic diseases. Unfortunately it seems like the pendulum is swinging too far the other way. A recent New York Times article described how food manufacturers are scrambling to add saturated fats back into their processed foods now that it has been deemed “healthy.” Saturated fats are healthier than the highly damaging refined sugars and trans fat vegetable oils they originally replaced it with, but I (like many others) recommend skipping processed foods in general. Food manufacturers may be putting the fat back in, but they’re not taking the sugar out (they’re just calling it something else). It’s Not Good or Bad We like to have simple, black and white recommendations when it comes to our health. Smoking is bad, vegetables are good, but there are many food or nutrients where all or nothing thinking can lead to confusion and frustration. Is red meat good or bad? Is salt good or bad? If alcohol is harmful, why does a glass of wine a day seem to correlate with longer lifespans? What about the French Paradox? Why do French people have such low rates of cardiovascular disease when their diets are high in saturated fats? It’s one of the reasons why our nutrition news stories seem to contradict themselves every few years. We keep searching for evidence to show whether a f Continue reading >>

How A High-calorie Diet Causes Insulin Resistance

How A High-calorie Diet Causes Insulin Resistance

We were never meant to eat this many calories. It’s too much for the body to handle. The current rate of obesity and number of people who are overweight are unlike anything we as humans have ever experienced in our two million years of evolution. Processed foods, with their enormous calorie counts, are a completely modern phenomenon. If you look back at the wisdom of our ancestors, they knew that overeating was bad for your health. Eating smaller meals was common sense to them. “Today, it seems we’ve forgotten a lot of that ancient wisdom. One of the consequences of our amnesia is Insulin Resistance”, says George Blackburn MD, PhD, one of the world’s leading experts on insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School. “Basically, overeating calories causes the cell to become disrupted and brings on insulin resistance.” From Your Plate into Your Cells When you eat a meal, the nutrients in that meal are absorbed by your small intestine and then released into your bloodstream. Once in your blood, the carbohydrates from your meal are converted into sugar molecules, i.e. glucose, which is your body’s preferred fuel. The fat in your meal becomes fatty acids, or triglycerides, in your blood. These triglycerides are stored in your tissues as fat, which is a backup source of energy in the event that calorie consumption falls. Your brain recognizes the arrival of glucose in your system and responds by telling your pancreas to produce insulin. Once secreted, insulin flows to your cells, where it binds with insulin-receptors on the cell membrane. The insulin stimulates these receptors, which triggers a cascade that allows glucose to enter the cell’s mitochondria, the furnace inside your cell Continue reading >>

Dietary Fat And Hyperinsulinemia

Dietary Fat And Hyperinsulinemia

I’ve often recommended switching to a diet higher in natural fats and lower in refined carbohydrates. What’s the deal with dietary fat? Simply put, dietary fat does not raise insulin. And hyperinsulinemia is the main driver of obesity. Hyperinsulinemia means literally, high insulin in the blood (hyper means high, and -emia means blood levels). So, logically, switching refined carbohydrates (raises insulin) for dietary fat, can lower insulin levels significantly even if you take the same total number of calories. But what is so different about dietary fat compared to both protein and carbohydrates that makes this true? It all comes down to the different ways that proteins and fats are metabolized. This also illustrates the difference between the insulin hypothesis and the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis( CIH). The carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis holds that insulin is the main driver of obesity, and that the main driver of insulin is carbohydrates. Therefore, if one simply reduces carbohydrates, insulin is reduced as well. I think this is not entirely true. Animal protein, for example, is highly insulinogenic (provokes an insulin response), even to the same degree as many refined carbohydrates. If you eat according to this hypothesis, you should be able to eat as much protein as you like without problems. But this is not true. The insulin hypothesis, or the Hormonal Obesity Theory (HOT), is a more complete, nuanced version of the CIH. Insulin is still the main driver of obesity, but there are many different ways that insulin can be raised or lowered. For example, insulin resistance, fructose, animal proteins, incretins, vinegar, and fiber can all be incorporated into this more complete model of obesity, which still holds insulin at the center of the web. In this case Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Weight Gain

Insulin Resistance And Weight Gain

Hormones are powerful and you should not take them lightly. Several hormones may either speed-up or impede your weight loss success. Insulin is one such hormone. Resistance to insulin causes diabetes and weight gain. Escaping insulin resistance can give you control over your blood sugar and your weight too! What is Insulin? But, what is insulin? What does it do? Insulin is a hormone released by your pancreas - an organ in your abdomen. When you eat, your body senses that and signals your pancreas to release insulin. Your body releases insulin in response to glucose, amino acids and fats in your meals (1-3). But, its secretion is highest when you eat sugary foods. What Does Insulin Do? After its release, insulin assists the entry of glucose from your food into your body cells. Think of insulin as a key that unlocks the door for glucose to enter into your body cells. When your system gets loaded with glucose, it causes a shift in your metabolism. It slows down the breakdown of fat. More importantly, it starts the synthesis of new fat. Insulin redirects excess glucose into fat cells and triggers ‘adipogenesis’- synthesis of fat (4-7). No wonder sugary stuff is so fattening! Insulin Sensitivity vs. Insulin Resistance Insulin sensitivity is the term for how your body responds to insulin. If your body is ‘sensitive’ to insulin, it means everything is on the right track. The key is turning the locks just fine and there is no need to worry. But, things become different when ‘resistance’ replaces ‘sensitivity’. When you become resistant to insulin, it means the key is not turning the locks the way it is supposed to. Glucose is not entering into the cells and fat synthesis is on the rise (8). Insulin Resistance - Cause or Consequence? The link between insulin resi Continue reading >>

From Low-fat, High-carb To Insulin Resistance, Fatty Liver, And Heart Disease

From Low-fat, High-carb To Insulin Resistance, Fatty Liver, And Heart Disease

I recently gave a talk at a meeting with colleagues, most of them cardiologists and endocrinologists, where I, among other things, discussed the current status of diet-heart hypothesis and the possible relationship between our fear of dietary fats and the obesity epidemic. After the meeting, a senior colleague of mine, an old friend, and mentor who I deeply respect, approached me and lambasted me for several points I had made during my talk. He said that the mortality from heart disease had dropped dramatically for the last 30-40 years, mostly because we had managed to lower blood cholesterol by making changes to our diet. He was angry with me for asking the question whether our emphasis on low-fat food products could ultimately have steered us into an epidemic of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. During our discussion, I came to think of Dr. Tim Noakes’ words at the Foodloose Convention in Reykjavik last year where he touched upon the same issue. As a matter of fact, I had the privilege to speak at the same conference which gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with Tim for the first time. Tim showed the slide above and said; … the dietary guidelines changed in 1977 and in 1978 the obesity epidemic begins in the United States, and no one will take responsibility for that. And that’s the question you have to ask. You change the guidelines and why won’t you take responsibility for what happened? Why do you ignore it? And, why do you attack us for asking that question? Yes, these were the words I remembered so vividly: … and, why do you attack us for asking that question? The Macronutrient of Interest in Chronic Disease is Carbohydrate, not Fat Sixty years ago, American psychologist Leon Festinger described a phenomenon he called cognitive dissonance Continue reading >>

Study: Doubling Saturated Fat In The Diet Does Not Increase Saturated Fat In Blood

Study: Doubling Saturated Fat In The Diet Does Not Increase Saturated Fat In Blood

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood, according to a controlled diet study. However, increasing levels of carbohydrates in the diet during the study promoted a steady increase in the blood of a fatty acid linked to an elevated risk for diabetes and heart disease. The finding “challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn’t correlate with disease,” said senior author Jeff Volek, a professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University. “It’s unusual for a marker to track so closely with carbohydrate intake, making this a unique and clinically significant finding. As you increase carbs, this marker predictably goes up,” Volek said.The researchers found that total saturated fat in the blood did not increase – and went down in most people – despite being increased in the diet when carbs were reduced. Palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid associated with unhealthy metabolism of carbohydrates that can promote disease, went down with low-carb intake and gradually increased as carbs were re-introduced to the study diet.In the study, participants were fed six three-week diets that progressively increased carbs while simultaneously reducing total fat and saturated fat, keeping calories and protein the same. When that marker increases, he said, it is a signal that an increasing proportion of carbs are being converted to fat instead of being burned as fuel. Reducing carbs and adding fat to the diet in a well-formulated way, on the other hand, ensures the body will promptly burn the saturated fat as fuel – so it won’t be stored. “When you consume a very low-carb diet your body prefere Continue reading >>

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