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Insulin Resistance Keto

Dear Mark: Does Eating A Low Carb Diet Cause Insulin Resistance?

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 >>

How Does Fat Affect Insulin Resistance And Diabetes?

How Does Fat Affect Insulin Resistance And Diabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29 million people in America have diabetes and 86 million have prediabetes. Insulin resistance is recognized as a predictor of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But what causes insulin resistance? In this NutritionFacts.org video, Dr. Michael Greger talks about how fat affects insulin resistance, and about how the most effective way to reduce insulin sensitivity is to reduce fat intake. We’ve also provided a summary of Dr. Greger’s main points below. Insulin Resistance of People on High-Fat Diets vs. High-Carb Diets In studies performed as early as the 1930s, scientists have noted a connection between diet and insulin intolerance. In one study, healthy young men were split into two groups. Half of the participants were put on a fat-rich diet, and the other half were put on a carb-rich diet. The high-fat group ate olive oil, butter, mayonnaise, and cream. The high-carb group ate pastries, sugar, candy, bread, baked potatoes, syrup, rice, and oatmeal. Within two days, tests showed that the glucose intolerance had skyrocketed in the group eating the high-fat diet. This group had twice the blood sugar levels than the high-carb group. The test results showed that the higher the fat content of the diet, the higher the blood sugar levels would be. What Is Insulin Resistance? It turns out that as the amount of fat in the diet goes up, so does one’s blood sugar spikes. Athletes frequently carb-load before a race because they’re trying to build up fuel in their muscles. We break down starch into glucose in our digestive tract; it circulates as blood glucose (blood sugar); and it is then used by our muscle cells as fuel. Blood sugar, though, is like a vampire. It needs an invitation to enter our cells. And that invit 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 >>

Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

Ketogenic diets around the world have been known to be extremely effective in helping improve health and lose weight fast. The diet takes into account and addresses the underlying causes of your weight gain, which could include things such as hormonal imbalances. With the ketogenic diet, you are restricting your net carb intake to under 50 grams a day. With the number of restricted carbs, your body needs to reset its way of getting the fuel that it needs. See how a diet high in healthy fats can help improve insulin resistance by changing the bodies preferred fuel source from glucose to ketones. What is Insulin and Insulin Resistance Insulin is a fat storing hormone formed by the pancreas that enables your body to manage glucose and sugars from carbs within the food. It prevents blood sugar levels from hyperglycemia or reaching too high or hyperglycemia which is too low. Insulin resistance has many symptoms including sugar cravings, weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.(1) Insulin resistance is also linked to type 2 diabetes. Therefore, cutting out or reducing sugar in your meal planning will help prevent becoming diabetic. The worrying thing about insulin resistance is symptoms take a long time to appear. When symptoms surface such as weight gain, multiple other problems may creep up. Why You Gain Weight Insulin in your body helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar also referred to as glucose is the primary fuel in the body for energy and brain function. When blood sugar rises, the insulin your pancreas releases move the glucose into your bloodstream. If there is glucose in your system your body will burn it first for fuel. If your body is already filled with higher glucose levels, more cannot be broken down for fuel. So because of this, your Continue reading >>

Keto Diet Mastery: Your Comprehensive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

Keto Diet Mastery: Your Comprehensive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

What if you could train your body to burn fat more efficiently and speed up your metabolism without restricting calories? If you’re struggling to lose those last 5 pounds or wondering why the muffin top just won’t budge (despite eating clean and exercising), you may find the answers you’re looking for in this keto diet master guide. What Is the Keto Diet? The ketogenic (aka: “keto”) diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that puts your body in a natural fat-burning metabolic state called ketosis (1). This is done by heavily restricting carbs and focusing on high fat, moderate protein meals (in some cases protein may be also be heavily restricted). According to PubMed, the classical ketogenic diet contains a 4:1 ratio of fat to proteins and carbs. In other words, the principle of the keto diet is to “eat fat to burn fat”. Now, the keto diet is often grouped with other high-fat, low-carb diets such as the Paleo or Atkins diets. But the reason these diets boast fat burning benefits in the first place is because they promote ketosis. Therefore, the ketogenic diet isn’t so much a “diet”, but more so the basis of these diets, and the biochemical reaction that occurs when you train your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. While the ketogenic diet has become popular for weight loss, studies have also shown numerous other health benefits of following a keto diet. For example, studies have shown it may help reverse type 2 diabetes and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and autism (2)(3). In fact, the keto diet was first used in the 1920s not as a weight loss diet, but a natural treatment to prevent seizures in epilepsy patients (4). With that said, let’s look closer at how the ketogenic diet can work for dramatic weight loss, and other Continue reading >>

#125: Food Aversions, Keto “freedom”, & Low Carb Diets For Insulin Resistance

#125: Food Aversions, Keto “freedom”, & Low Carb Diets For Insulin Resistance

Here’s the notes for episode #125 of The Paleo Women Podcast. Be sure to check back every Tuesday for a new episode, and head over to iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe! To leave a review for the podcast (HORRAY!), go to: In this episode, Stefani and Noelle discuss food aversions, keto “freedom”, and low carb diets for insulin resistance. Got a question you’d like us to answer? Email us at [email protected] 10% of the funds we receive from our sponsors is donated directly to our partner charity, Thistle Farms, a place where women survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution receive help and support through residential programs, therapy, education, and employment opportunities. Because we get paid per download, you are actively supporting Thistle Farms by downloading our podcast each week. [17:05] Food Aversions and Keto “Freedom” [32:17] Low Carb Diets for Insulin Resistance Noelle’s website: Stefani’s website: Paleovalley We have a brand new offer from Paleovalley to share with you that we are incredibly excited about. Paleovalley not only offers Grass-Fed Organ Complex, a gently freeze-dried organ supplement in pill form that contains beef liver, heart, brain and kidney, they also high quality snacks and collagen supplements on their website. Now, when you use the promotion code paleowomen at check out, you’ll get 30% OFF your entire order. You can try their grass-fed beef sticks, which are made from 100% grass-fed beef preserved through a natural fermentation process that gives probiotics to the sticks, or their superfood bar, which is made with grass-fed collagen. To take advantage of this special deal, simply go to and use the code paleowomen at check out. Thanks for your support, and for listening! We absolutely love being Continue reading >>

I Went On The Silicon Valley Diet Craze That Encourages Butter And Bacon For 2 Months — And It Vastly Improved My Life

I Went On The Silicon Valley Diet Craze That Encourages Butter And Bacon For 2 Months — And It Vastly Improved My Life

Bacon became my new best friend on the ketogenic diet.Business Insider A diet that goes against conventional wisdom on healthy eating is gaining momentum among Silicon Valley tech workers. And it involves eating a lot of fat. The ketogenic, or "keto," diet — which first became popular in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and diabetes — limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day, which is the rough equivalent of a plain bagel or a cup of white rice. By comparison, dietary guidelines laid out by the US Department of Agriculture recommend consuming between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day. On the keto diet, the body goes into starvation mode and taps its fat stores for fuel. Studies suggest the low-carb, high-fat diet may promote weight loss, dull hunger, and stave off age-related diseases. More research is needed on its long-term effects, especially in healthy people. An increasing number of health nuts — from the internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose to the podcaster Tim Ferriss — swear by the keto diet. I spent the past two months eating bacon, butter, and avocados to see why the keto movement is so popular. I am no stranger to diets. I've cut sugar, counted points on Weight Watchers, and swapped solid food for Soylent, a venture-capital-backed meal-replacement shake. Here's me eating a doughnut.Melia Robinson/Business Insider I gave up breakfast for a week and drank this caffeinated meal-replacement shake instead » But those usually don't last long. I love food. I'm a chronic snacker. Melia Robinson/Business Insider When I first learned about the keto diet, it caught my interest because dieters could eat seemingly unlimited amounts of healthy fats, like cheese, nuts, avocado, eggs, butter — foods that have high "point values" on Weight Watchers and a Continue reading >>

Does Long Term Ketosis Cause Insulin Resistance?

Does Long Term Ketosis Cause Insulin Resistance?

“It’s a snake.” “It’s a wall.” “It’s a rope.” “It’s a fan.” “It’s a tree.” “It’s insulin resistance.” I’ve always been fascinated by those describing a “new finding” in medicine. I am reminded of the story of 5 men who, never having seen an elephant before, were blindfolded and asked to describe what he discovered. However, each man was introduced to a different part of the elephant. Each of them had a dramatically different description of the elephant and each made a conclusion that was very different from the others. What is fascinating, is that we usually make our “blindfolded comparisons” to those things we have seen or about which we have some descriptive understanding. Observing and describing human physiology is much like examining an elephant while blindfolded for the first time. This week’s “blind-folded finding” is what has been interpreted by some as “insulin resistance” made worse by a ketogenic diet. Really? This perked my curiosity, because I’ve personally been following a low-carbohydrate/ketogenic diet for 10 years and have thousands of patients doing the same. To this day, I’ve never seen insulin resistance “get worse.” In fact, it gets better. Clinically, it seems to take about 18-24 months to improve, but, it usually gets better. THE QUESTION – I’ve had three people from around the world contact me this week and ask why, after being on a ketogenic diet and “in ketosis,” they suddenly get a notably large blood glucose spike when they cheat. By notably large, I mean that their blood sugars rise to over 200 mg/dl within 2 hours of a carbohydrate containing meal. Now, they admit to rapid glucose recovery within an hour or two, and their hemoglobin A1c levels are subjectively normal (l Continue reading >>

Glucose Numbers And Ketogenic Diet

Glucose Numbers And Ketogenic Diet

GLUCOSE NUMBERS and KETOGENIC DIET When eating a ketogenic diet, the most exposure to carbohydrates is overnight especially towards morning as the liver produces glucose to keep your brain fueled and to prepare you for getting up. Therefore, if you are eating a very ketogenic diet, the blood ketones go up during the day as you burn more fat for fuel (as apposed to a high carb diet where the opposite happens). Something to consider, a ketogenic diet rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a normal physiological response to carb restriction. Carb restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. This breaks down fatty tissue into ketone bodies (blood ketones). Your muscles prefer to run on ketones and so they become insulin resistant leaving the glucose in your blood for other cells (like the brain). However, while muscles are in “refusal mode” for glucose any glucose put into your bloodstream, from food or gluconeogenesis (blood glucose made from protein or other tissues), will rapidly spike blood glucose. This is fine if you stick to LC in your eating. It also means that if you take an oral glucose tolerance test you will fail and be labelled diabetic. In fact, even a single high fat meal can do this, extending insulin resistance in to the next day. So if you are getting a blood glucose test, you can increase your carbs to 150 grams a day for 3 days prior and your blood glucose levels will show normal according to the standards. Otherwise, you can look at a better marker for metabolic syndrome which is you HbA1c levels. If these are low (5.5 or less is what a doctor will define as low diabetes risk, 5 or less is ideal), it doesn’t matter what your fasting blood glucose levels are. Also an interesting note, when mice in a r Continue reading >>

Are You Insulin Resistant?

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 >>

10 Graphs That Show The Power Of A Ketogenic Diet

10 Graphs That Show The Power Of A Ketogenic Diet

The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet is a proven way to lose weight (1). It also has powerful benefits against type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and may even help treat cancer (2, 3, 4). Additionally, it has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s (2). Here are 10 graphs that show the many powerful benefits of a ketogenic diet. Source: Johnstone AM, et al. Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008. Over 20 studies have shown that a low-carb or ketogenic diet can help you lose weight. The weight loss is usually much greater than with a high-carb diet (5). In the graph above, the ketogenic group in the study lost more weight, despite the fact that their protein and calorie intake were equal to the non-ketogenic group (6). The ketogenic group was also less hungry and found it easier to stick to the diet. This suggests that a low-carb or ketogenic diet provides a distinct "metabolic advantage" over a high-carb diet, although this is still being debated (7, 8, 9, 10). The ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss. It is superior to a high-carb diet, and may even provide a metabolic advantage. Source: Volek JS, et al. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutrition and Metabolism, 2004. Abdominal obesity, or excess belly fat, is a serious risk factor for all sorts of metabolic diseases (11, 12). This kind of stored fat can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and premature death (12). Interestingly, a ketogenic diet is a very effective way to lose belly fat. As shown in the graph above, a ketogenic diet reduced total weight, body fat a Continue reading >>

A Practical Guide To Carb Tolerance And Insulin Sensitivity

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 >>

Ketoadaptation And Physiological Insulin Resistance

Ketoadaptation And Physiological Insulin Resistance

This is where the magic happens. Rat pups, fed a flaxseed oil-based ketogenic diet from weaning onward – note the drop-off in ketones after 2 weeks (Likhodii et al., 2002): Patient history: these rats have been “low carb” their whole lives. Side note: flaxseed oil is very ketogenic! (Likhodii et al., 2000): Flaxseed oil-based ketogenic diet produced higher ketones than 48h fasting; the same can’t be said for butter or lard. PUFAs in general are more ketogenic than saturated fats in humans, too (eg, Fuehrlein et al., 2004): Crisco keto (adult rats) (Rho et al., 1999): At this point, please just note the stunning consistency in the drop-off of ketones. Experiment 1 & 2 (above) are adult rats; they went through a period of high carb chow dieting, unlike experiment 3 and the rats in the first study, who were weaned onto ketogenic diets. Still same phenomenon: ~few weeks after initiation of ketogenic diet = breakpoint; ketones decline. Ketoadaptation: why do ketone levels decline? This happened in both rat studies above, Phinney 1983, and in many “n=1” practitioners. Possible explanation 1 (ketoadaptation): rat milk is kind of like a low carb diet; high in fat, but not low enough in other stuff to be ketogenic. -Hooded seal milk is practically heavy cream: imagine the amount of suction pups must need to apply. Poor mom, that’s gotta hurt; fortunately, lactation only lasts 4 days. -Rat milk is super-high protein. Therefore, weaning to the flaxseed oil-based keto diet is what really initiates ketoadaptation… which seems to take 2-3 weeks (judging by the decline in ketones [this is explained further below]). Possible explanation 2 (physiological insulin resistance): free fatty acids released faster then they’re burned, accumulate in skeletal muscle, induce mil Continue reading >>

How Does Keto//os Affect Insulin Utilization And Sensitivity?

How Does Keto//os Affect Insulin Utilization And Sensitivity?

KETO//OS can enhance insulin sensitivity. In preclinical studies, exogenous ketones have been shown to do this. Richard Veech (scientist at the NIH) showed that feeding exogenous ketone supplements lowers blood glucose while simultaneously lowering blood insulin "research has demonstrated “ If more glucose is removed from the blood with less insulin that suggests that insulin sensitivity has been enhanced. We are experiencing this from testimonies of KETO//OS. As with any medical condition we recommend you consult with your physician. Continue reading >>

When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet

When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet

When Not To Be on a Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted or keto adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. It also improves cellular healing and mitochondrial biogenesis which supports stronger and healthier cells. All of this leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). Where Ketosis Can Be Extremely Beneficial There are certain cases, where I typically recommend a ketogenic diet as the research appears to support that ketosis significantly improves the functionality of these individuals. Overweight or Obese Neurodegenerative Conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Most Cancers but especially those of the brain, nervous system and blood (leukemia) Chronic Pain Seizure Disorders Non-Elite athletes or individuals looking for higher mental & physical performance The final one is the area that I and many others who have pursued a state of ketosis fall into. At this point in my life, I have no chronic diseases, I feel great 99% of the time, but I am always looking to improve my productivity and performance. I have found being in mild-ketosis to be one of the best ways to improve my energy, mental acuity, creativity, physical strength and overall life performance. There is no one diet that works perfectly for everyone. Ketosis has the potential to benefit everyone, but under unique circumstances it would not be warranted. Here are a list of special cases where long-term st Continue reading >>

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