Diet, Insulin Resistance, And Obesity: Zoning In On Data For Atkins Dieters Living In South Beach.
Diet, insulin resistance, and obesity: zoning in on data for Atkins dieters living in South Beach. Department of Nutrition Sciences, Webb 232, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1675 University Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-3360, USA. Insulin resistance is a central pathogenic factor for the metabolic syndrome and is associated with both generalized obesity and the accumulation of fat in the omental and intramyocellular compartments. In the context of the current obesity epidemic, it is imperative to consider diets in terms of their ability to both promote weight loss and ameliorate insulin resistance. Weight loss under any dietary formulation depends on hypocaloric intake, and only moderate weight loss (5-10%) is sufficient to augment insulin sensitivity. However, increments in insulin sensitivity may be more directly related to loss of intramyocellular or omental fat rather than loss of total body weight per se. The widespread acceptance of popular low-carbohydrate high-fat diets (e.g. Atkins Diet, Zone Diet, South Beach diet) further underscores the need to evaluate dietary interventions regarding their safety and metabolic effects. These high-fat diets have been shown to be safe in the short term; however, their long-term safety has not been established. With respect to insulin sensitivity, diets enriched in saturated fats can induce insulin resistance, whereas fat substitution with monounsaturated fats can enhance insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, high-fiber, high-carbohydrate diets comprised of foods with low caloric density can similarly be used for effective weight reduction and to ameliorate insulin resistance. Although some data suggest that low-glycemic index diets are most advantageous in this regard, these effects may have more to do with in Continue reading >>
Yes, A Low-carb Diet Greatly Lowers Your Insulin
Is “eat less and run more” really the only thing you need to know in order to lose weight? Why is it then that most people lose weight on a LCHF diet, even when eating until satisfied? And this without even any increase in exercise? To think that this should be so controversial! The best explanation, in a simplified version, looks like this: Carbohydrates – > insulin – > obesity Thus more carbohydrates lead to more insulin which leads to more fat accumulation. With more details this can be written as follows: Too many (bad) carbohydrates – > pathologically high insulin levels – > obesity What constitutes “too many” varies from person to person depending on sensitivity and activity level (how much carbs you burn). Intensely exercising young men can often tolerate a fair amount of carbs, while heavily overweight older diabetics can only tolerate minimal amounts without problems. The opposite is the following: Less carbs – > lower insulin levels – > loss of excess fat Insulin is a fat storing hormone. And the easiest way to increase your insulin levels is to eat more carbohydrates. The easiest way to lower insulin levels is to eat fewer carbohydrates. This seems very straight forward. But some are still adamant opponents. Without being able to come up with any better explanation as to why a low-carbohydrate diet works (it does) they still don’t want to accept this explanation. They come up with all kinds of objections. Some don’t even want to recognize the most basic, that carbohydrates increase insulin levels or that a low-carb diet lowers insulin levels. Their complicated objections don’t matter much in reality. The truth is clear in study after study on humans. Insulin levels are much higher when you eat a lot of carbohydrates and lower on a lo Continue reading >>
Dementia And Insulin Resistance: Can A Low-carb Diet Help?
Dementia and Insulin Resistance: Can A Low-Carb Diet Help? Motivation: Helping people find a way of eating with low carb that promotes robust health outcomes and sustainable weight loss and maintenance. Favorite Atkins Friendly Food: Cashew Trail Mix Bar Tips for Success: Read your labels. Watch out for hidden carbs; to calculate the grams of carbs that impact your blood sugar, subtract the number of grams of dietary fiber from the total number of carb grams. Also double-check serving sizes on labels; some foods and drinks are actually two or more servings, so you need to add in those extra carbs and calories. Dementia and Insulin Resistance: Can A Low-Carb Diet Help? Print Twitter Facebook Pinterest Pinterest After my most recent blog, I had some requests to address the connection between low-carb diets and their effect on dementia and Alzheimers disease. Heres what we know: A study in 2009, as well as other recent studies, demonstrated that a diet lower in carbohydrates may be beneficial in treating Alzheimers disease. This research shows that changing to a low-carbohydrate nutritional approach gives the brain the preferred fuel source it cravesketone bodiesto function at optimal levels and effectively reverse the impact of Alzheimers disease. And we know from research released in 2005 that the use of a high fat ketogenic diet can effectively improve conditions such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers and Lou Gehrigs disease has shown great results to those who have tried it. Based on this research, the type of diet you follow could have a profound impact on a variety of health factors. But there is another school of thought on how experts feel these conditions can be controlled. According to a study published in the February 2009 issue of the Proceedings of the National Acade Continue reading >>
Is Your Low Carb Diet Making You Metabolically Inflexible?
The answer for a lot of people is “Yes.” Let me explain both kinds of insulin resistance and pay particular note to the italicized portion at the bottom. Once again “eat less do less” isn’t helping but leaving out carbs actually harms your cells and the result is a withering metabolism. I wrote this about a year and a half ago and I (actually my editor at the time and I) use the word toxin pretty freely. Since then I have come to think the word toxin is overused and is often the defense of someone that really doesn’t know what they are talking about. Insulin Resistance With the growing population of type 2 diabetes, most everyone has been informed of insulin resistance yet it is poorly understood. The result of excessive intakes of empty carbohydrate foods lacking vitamins and minerals leads to jacked up blood sugar levels. These constantly jacked up blood sugars lead to chronically elevated insulin levels because insulin and blood glucose should rise in a relatively similar fashion but not ALWAYS be high. The result of inadequate vitamins and minerals (namely magnesium) leaves an exhausted liver and pancreas; two crucial organs to insulin’s stability and reliance. Chronically elevated blood gucose is toxic and inflammatory. The inflammation centers itself in the abdominal cavity and arteries, focusing on the liver and pancreas and widening to other parts of the body as it progresses. The body handles toxins by storing them in the body. This leaves your fat stores full of toxins. Your organs become ‘fatty.’ You store excess body fat. This is metabolic syndrome. Many doctors are forced to inform their patients these days of their ‘fatty livers.’ Over time, an overworked body with excessive glucose becomes insulin resistant which is a precursor to ty Continue reading >>
Do You Have Metabolic Syndrome?
As waistlines expand, so does the epidemic of metabolic syndrome. It’s estimated that nearly one of every four American adults has this condition(1). If you’re one of them, it puts you on the track to developing type 2 diabetes and triples your risk for heart disease down the road. The identification of metabolic syndrome two decades ago(2) is now recognized as a turning point in our understanding of how metabolism can go awry, resulting in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What Is Metabolic Syndrome? Metabolic syndrome involves several conditions that predispose people to diabetes and heart disease. These include: Obesity, particularly excessive fat in the waist and tummy, giving an “apple-shaped” appearance High blood triglyceride levels, reflecting problems metabolizing carbohydrates Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol Higher levels of the small dense type of LDL particles, which can attach to artery walls and form plaque, although total LDL (”bad”) cholesterol is usually within normal range High blood pressure High-normal or elevated blood sugar Additional markers include chronically elevated inflammation levels, such as C- reactive protein (CRP) and abnormal blood vessel function. A person is defined as having metabolic syndrome if he or she has three or more of the following markers(3). Men Women Waist Circumference ≥ 40 inches ≥ 35 inches Triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dL* ≥ 150 mg/dL HDL cholesterol ≤ 40 mg/dL ≤ 50 mg/dL Blood pressure ≥ 130/85 mm Hg or use of medication for hypertension ≥ 130/85 mm Hg or use of medication for hypertension Fasting glucose ≥ 100 mg/dL or use of medication for high blood glucose ≥ 100 mg/dL or use of medication for high blood glucose *Milligrams per deciliter. What Causes Metabolic Syndrome? The pr Continue reading >>
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The Role Of Insulin In Difficulty Losing Weight
The usual ways of eating that should lead to weight loss simply do not work for certain people who have extreme difficulty losing weight. Are you one of those tortured souls who has been told that the only reason you are overweight is because you eat too much? It is a well-documented fact that people who are significantly overweight may also have metabolic disorders. Such conditions not only cause weight gain, they also make it difficult to lose the accumulated weight. Part of the obesity epidemic we face in the United States may be due to the misconception that people who are overweight are simply gluttons or lazy couch potatoes. For most of the last century, the majority of doctors involved in treating obesity did not accept extreme metabolic resistance as a possible explanation for their patients' plight, but rather chose to believe that patients were being untruthful about what they ate. The inability to burn fat or lose weight—the phenomenon called metabolic resistance to weight loss—is not uncommon. In addition to the use of prescription drugs or hormones that inhibit weight loss, an underactive hormone and overgrowth of yeast, excessive insulin and insulin resistance—usually accompanied by high triglycerides is one of the four major categories of problems that contribute to metabolic resistance. Without question, overweight individuals with excessive insulin output (known as hyperinsulinism) and the inefficiency of insulin usage (or insulin resistance) respond best to the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ controlled carbohydrate philosophy. Even the majority of people who do not lose weight on a 1,000-calorie-a-day low-fat diet will lose weight on an 1,800- to 2,000-calorie meal plan—if carbohydrates are limited to 20 grams per day. The vast majority will lo Continue reading >>
A Practical Guide To Carb Tolerance And Insulin Sensitivity
One of the biggest reasons why people go Paleo is the metabolic benefits. Most people find Paleo to be very therapeutic for a whole cluster of carb-related problems: high blood sugar (or the rollercoaster of highs and lows), insulin resistance, and all the related issues. These issues can make weight loss difficult or impossible, but on the flip side, addressing them through diet can make it easier and more pleasant than you ever thought could happen! On the other hand, though, there are a lot of myths and half-truths floating around about diet, exercise, and carb metabolism. So here’s a quick review of what it all means, and the evidence supporting various different complementary strategies for improving your carb tolerance (preview: it’s so much more than dietary carbs). Note: This article is not written for diabetics. Diabetes is a very complicated disease and strategies that are right for other people might not be appropriate. If you have diabetes, see a doctor! What Is “Carb Tolerance”/Insulin Sensitivity? (If you already know how insulin and glucose work, this section has nothing new for you; just skip down to the next one) Very simply put, insulin sensitivity (or “carb tolerance” in everyday language) is a healthy hormonal state that allows your body to digest and store carbohydrates without a problem. In healthy people, here’s how it works: You eat something with carbs (let’s say a potato, but it could be anything). Your digestive system breaks down the starch in that potato into glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar – this is the form of carbohydrate that you’ll either use for energy or store as fat. Your blood sugar temporarily rises as the glucose enters the bloodstream. This is not a big problem, because… Insulin (produced in the pancreas) Continue reading >>
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Are You Insulin Resistant?
Finding out you are insulin resistant doesn't mean much unless you understand what that implies, and how it effects your health. Insulin resistance is an condition in which the body is not responding properly to the hormone insulin. If faulty insulin signaling is not treated, it can develop into worsening conditions of metabolic syndrome, pre diabetes, and finally type 2 diabetes. What Causes the Insulin Resistant Condition? The insulin resistant condition is rooted in the metabolic effects of a high carb diet in combination with a lack of exercise. Weight gain is a symptom of insulin resistance, rather than a cause. Carbohydrates are foods which contain either some form of sugar or starch, or both. For instance, orange juice is full of fructose, a type of sugar, and white potatoes contain large amounts of starch. Both types of carbohydrate are broken down in the body into glucose, a simple sugar, which your cells can use for energy to do all the things that cells do. Since too much glucose in your body can be toxic, your pancreas releases a powerful hormone called insulin. Insulin works to control the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. It acts to quickly move glucose from your bloodstream and push it into your cells where it can be burned or stored. But there's a catch. To get the glucose into the cells, the cell's glucose "storage tanks" have to be empty. This is logical when you think about it. Imagine what would happen if you tried to fill up your car's gas tank if it were already full. And just like running a car burns up gasoline, when a person exercises, the glucose which is already in the glucose tanks get used. Now there is room for insulin to push the glucose made from the last meal into the muscle cell for fuel. If a person exercises frequently, lots of c Continue reading >>
How To Reduce Your Risk For Metabolic Syndrome
How To Reduce Your Risk For Metabolic Syndrome If metabolic syndrome, formerly known as syndrome X, is indeed a disease of insulin resistanceas it almost surely isthats good news for Atkins followers. Heres why: High blood sugar (glucose) levels are a signal that the body may be having trouble processing carbs. High insulin levels usually go hand in hand with high fasting blood sugar. Eating too many carbs, particularly high-glycemic carbs, stimulates the secretion of insulin. The best way to control both blood sugar and insulin levels is to control carb intake. Could it really be that simple? Yes, it is. The insulin resistance of metabolic syndrome is characterized by intolerance to carbohydrate. If you have lactose intolerance, you avoid lactose. If you have gluten intolerance, you avoid gluten. You get the idea. Not surprising, many studies of low-carb diets have shown that glucose levels improve significantly in subjects who follow them(1). Insulin levels also decrease, regardless of whether or not a person has a glucose metabolism disorder and even whether he has lost any weight(2). Reducing insulin levels throughout the day, even after meals, is crucial to enable fat burning. In this way, controlling carbs has an important effect on the way the body handles fat, and in turn positively affects cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (For a quick tutorial on insulin, see Insulin Made Simple . Controlling carb intake and the resultant decline in insulin levels permits your body to use fat almost exclusively for energy, even when youre exercising(3). Heres how: During Phase 1, Induction, and Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), body fat provides a large share of that energy. During Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance, and Phase 4, Lifetime Maintenance, your diet provides most of th Continue reading >>
The Insulin Resistance Diet
Discuss this diet plan! Plan's name: The Insulin Resistance Diet Book(s): The Insulin-Resistance Diet : How to Turn Off Your Body's Fat-Making Machine . About the author: Cheryle R. Hart. M.D. is the founder of the Wellness Workshop, a medical weight-loss clinic in Washington. She was the associate clinical professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Washington Medical School. She specializes in bariatrics. Her clinic address the four main aspects of what she considers to be successful weight management: medical, nutritional, fitness education and emotional support. Mary kay Grossman, R.D She is the nutritional adviser for the Wellness Workshop. Discovered that she too suffered from Insulin Resistance when she began to formulate menus and plans for her patients. This plan enabled her to finally lose weight seven years after the birth of her child. Basic Philosophy: According to the authors, it is not carbohydrates that cause weight gain, but lack of protein and an excess of carbohydrates consumed in one sitting. Therefore, the authors recommend that carbs and protein be consumed in the ratio of 15g:7g. The maximum amount of carbohydrate allowed per meal or snack is 30g, and this must be balanced with at least 14g of protein. This concept is referred to as "linking and balancing" in that all carbs are linked with protein and balanced in this specific ratio. The authors endorse the low fat hypothesis, so the plan dictates that low fat protein such as poultry, fish and low fat dairy products be used mainly as protein sources. Red meat can only be consumed 2 or 3 times a week. The plan counts beans and milk as proteins. All vegetables with the exception of corn and potatoes can be eaten freely on the diet. Avocados and olives must be limited however due t Continue reading >>
Dear Mark: Does Eating A Low Carb Diet Cause Insulin Resistance?
157 Comments Despite all the success you might have had with the Primal way of life, doubts can still nag at you. Maybe it’s something you read, or something someone said to you, or a disapproving glance or offhand comment from a person you otherwise respect, but it’s pretty common when you’re doing something, like giving up grains, avoiding processed food, or eating animal fat, that challenges deeply-and-widely held beliefs about health and wellness. It doesn’t really even matter that you’re losing weight or seem to be thriving; you may still have questions. That’s healthy and smart, and it’s totally natural. A question I’ve been getting of late is the effect of reducing carb intake on insulin sensitivity. It’s often bandied about that going low carb is good for folks with insulin resistance, but it’s also said that low carb can worsen insulin resistance. Are both true and, if so, how do they all jibe together? That’s what the reader was wondering with this week’s question: Hi Mark, I’ve been Primal for a few months now and love it. Lowering my carbs and upping my animal fat helped me lose weight and gain tons of energy (not too shabby for a middle-aged guy!). However, I’m a little worried. I’ve heard that low carb diets can increase insulin resistance. Even though I’ve done well and feel great, should I be worried about insulin resistance? Do I need to increase my carb intake? I always thought low carb Primal was supposed to improve insulin function. Vince Going Primal usually does improve insulin sensitivity, both directly and in a roundabout way. It improves directly because you lose weight, you reduce your intake of inflammatory foods, you lower systemic inflammation (by getting some sun, smart exercise, omega-3s, and reducing or dea Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance : Atkins Diet : Active Low-carber Forums
I have insulin resistance. As such, I find it very hard to lose weight, even on Atkins. Even eating small amounts of protein tends to throw me out of ketosis. I have serious metabolic problems. However, what I want to know is: does being on Atkins improve insulin sensitivity, or make it worse? I have heard both points argued. When you are in Atkins, your meals may be low-carb, but your body uses insulin to flush ketones. So insulin is always up which could contribute to insulin resistance. Also, when people come off Atkins, they gain weight back very quickly, which implies that their insulin resistance is bad. If their insulin resistance improved on Atkins, then they would gain lean weight back when coming off Atkins. Any comments? I think a low-gi diet might be better for reversing insulin resistance - coupled with glucophase, glucuphase XR and lots of exercise.. I, too, am have insulin resistence. In my opinion Atkins is wonderful for this metobolic problem. Atkins helps keep your blood sugar at a constant level, so your need for insulin is lowered. I have been insulin resistent for almost all of my life, and had a very hard time losing before Atkins. I now have no problems with losing weight while following the low carb way of life. Also, insulin resistence also effects your period, and in trying to keep this short, low carb always allows me to ovulate every month. I take Metformin as well, which helped me ovulate too, but since low carbing, my cycles are like clockwork. My endocrinoligist even recommended to me the low carb way of life as a way to lower my insulin resistence. He is a type two diabetic himself, and he uses Atkins to control his diabetes. I know very little about the science behind it, but for me it lowers my insulin resistence, allows to me lose wei Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity And Numerous Aging Markers
A physician conducted a decade-long experiment on the health effects of a ketogenic diet, using himself as the laboratory rat; he experienced improvement in insulin sensitivity, body fat, lipids, blood sugar, and other markers A ketogenic diet requires carbohydrate and protein restriction, with 50 to 80 percent of calories coming from fats; this forces your body to shift toward using ketones as its primary fuel source, instead of glucose Although your brain is more dependent on glucose than your heart, your liver can produce a ketone-like compound that your brain can efficiently use for energy Scientists extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent by suppressing the activity of just one gene that helps control metabolism and energy balance; this is further evidence that longevity is tied to insulin signaling The best way to jumpstart your fat-burning/ketone-producing engine is by drastically reducing your consumption of sugar and grains, fasting intermittently, and maintaining a consistent exercise routine By Dr. Mercola We are just beginning to understand the biological intricacies of aging. A growing body of research is challenging the belief that aging is beyond your control, prompting scientists to begin thinking about ways we can slow our aging clocks to a slow crawl. Although this is a relatively new branch of science, there are some factors that appear to be key in controlling how quickly you age. One major factor seems to be insulin signaling and the metabolic "engines" you have running day to day, which are largely controlled by the foods you eat. In the first featured video, Dr. Peter Attia discusses how a ketogenic diet can optimize your metabolism. But before I discuss the specifics of this, I want to tell you about a remarkable mouse study, presented in the Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diet For Insulin Resistance
Losing weight and making healthier food choices are two of the most important modes of treatment recommended for people with insulin resistance, also known as prediabetes. Following a low-carb diet can help you with both. But before you get started, consult with your doctor and a dietitian to go over the diet plan and discuss health and safety concerns. Video of the Day Insulin is a hormone responsible for carrying glucose from your bloodstream into your cells. The cells can then use the glucose for energy. Insulin resistance means your body makes insulin, but the hormone can't do its job effectively. To compensate, your body produces more insulin, and you end up with consistently elevated blood sugars and, eventually, diabetes. Excess weight and lack of activity are the two most common causes of insulin resistance, which is why diet and activity are recommend as the primary forms of treatment. Eating healthy foods and using portion control are typically recommended to promote weight loss. Low-carb diets may be especially effective, however, because they not only promote weight loss but improve insulin resistance as well, according to a 2007 article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Cutting Carbs to Fight Insulin Resistance While there are no clear guidelines for what makes up a low-carb diet, most experts agree that limiting carbs to 50 to 150 grams a day is considered a low-carb diet, and limiting to 20 to 50 grams a day is a very-low-carb diet. Many low-carb diet plans begin with a very-low-carb restriction to induce ketosis -- the process by which the body uses fat for energy instead of glucose -- which is a telltale sign for fat burning. The very-low-carb plan seems to work best for people with insulin resistance, according to the 2007 Americ Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance
We recently touched on how you can use the ketogenic diet to control symptoms of diabetes such as elevated glucose and triglycerides. In this article, we examine research showing the impact that the ketogenic diet has on levels of the hormone insulin, a key regulator of blood sugar in the body. What is Insulin’s Role in the Body? Before we look at the research, we need to know our main players. Insulin is a protein-based hormone produced by beta-cells located in the pancreas. The pancreas, which is located under the stomach, also produces enzymes that aid with digestion. Insulin’s primary purpose is to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into a molecule called glucose. This compound can be used by cells to produce energy through a process called cellular respiration. Insulin allows cells in the body absorb glucose, ultimately lowering levels of glucose in the blood stream. After a meal is consumed, blood glucose levels increase and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood. Insulin assists fat, liver, and muscle cells absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle tissues to store excess glucose as a molecule called glycogen and also reduces glucose production by the liver. When blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon (produced by alpha-cells in the pancreas) stimulate cells to break down glycogen into glucose that is subsequently released into the blood stream. In healthy people who do not have type II diabetes, these functions allow levels of blood glucose and insulin to stay in a normal range. What Is Insulin Resistance and Why Is It a Problem? Unfortunately, for many Americans and other peopl Continue reading >>