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Old 05-27-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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Eliminate insulin or just control it? That is the question.

Confused...Is it enough to just manage insulin by controlling carb portion sizes and combining with a fat or protein to control spikes or is it better to eliminate carbs altogether? I know the Insulin Resistance diet has you limit carb portions and always combine with a prescribed amount of protein to keep from spiking insulin. This is true with fats too. If that's the case, then why not just control portions and balance with fats/protein instead of giving them up completely? Just throwing this out...I don't have the answer, just looking for thoughts. Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:48 PM   #2
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To a certain degree it depends on what you want to do. Do you want to control insulin? Then possibly the diet you mentioned would work. I'm honestly not familiar with it but I understand the basis of it. You might even lose weight depending on prior diet and if you can stick to the recommended calories/ratios/etc.

From what you've said, the insulin resistance diet is all about reducing blood sugar highs and lows. To a degree you *can* do that by introducing slow carbs (like healthy wholegrains) and fat and protein to minimize the sugar rush from the carbs.

The problem is that you still get a sugar from the carbs. Maybe it's managed but it still exists. The protein, fat and fiber doesn't stop the absorption of the carbs- just slows it. Whether that is enough to help diabetics or not, depends on the person, sensitivity to sugar, medication etc.

You may consider ketogenic (low carb) diets the next step. It seeks to eliminate most sugar highs by eliminating sugar. This is very good for highly sugar/carb sensitive individuals. If you're not eating carbs, it's very hard to get high blood sugar.

So what does this mean for the average joe who wants to just lose weight?

Well, the body has two ways of gaining energy. The first is through carbs and the other is through fat. Obviously, low carb diets rely on fat metabolism. The body, however, will always prioritize and utilize carbs first. This means that when you eat both fat and carbs, the body uses the carbs for its immediate energy needs and then stores the fat for later.

Not eating carbs stops the blood sugar high, which reduces insulin response and fat storage. Without carbs, or rather limited amounts of very low GI carbs, the body converts to ketosis and uses fat. Add a caloric deficit, then the body starts gobbling up stored fat. That's why keto works so well.

The insulin response diet will probably never allow the body convert to ketosis. I'd also guess that it's not much better for weightloss than other calorie restricted diets. Possibly, it's better for your health than a diet that promotes junk starches and lots of sugar but I don't have the facts and figures.

I will also add that ketogenic diets also help with a wide range of other health issues that the insulin response diet does not. For me, I'd be craving like crazy and not nearly as energetic... nor would I see any of the other benefits I've experienced.

That said, if it sounds easier to maintain then go for it.

Last edited by backseatadventurer; 05-27-2014 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:27 AM   #3
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Losing a significant amount of weight like you are proposing to do is one of the most difficult things a person can do. I suggest you will probably need every trick in the book, including very low carb eating. Best of luck whatever you try!

I came back to add this, just realizing what you are saying. You are not going to eliminate insulin no matter what you do. You will just need less of it with very low carb eating.

Last edited by ravenrose; 05-28-2014 at 03:30 AM..
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:44 AM   #4
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I'm not familiar with the Insulin Resistance Diet, but 'balancing' carbs with protein/fat doesn't work for many of us.

I am very sensitive to carbs and do best with no more than 20g daily. Others can manage far more. It's a matter of getting to know yourself.

We never really 'eliminate' carbs and have 'no' insulin. In a healthy body, insulin is released whenever we eat anything to aid digestion. Those of us who are very carb sensitive tend to release too much insulin, which is why we limit carbs to manage our weight. [It's virtually impossible to eat zero carbs unless you want to spend your life eating meat and fish exclusively.]

Those who can tolerate higher carb levels can do well with a variety of weight-loss plans--e.g., Weight Watchers.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:20 PM   #5
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You cannot eliminate carbs or insulin reaction. Your body is designed to have an insulin reaction to food, and it's normal and beneficial. You just want it to not be excessive, which happens with most woe that involve a good amount of carbs.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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I just got back from the docs today...3 months ago my AC1 was 10 and my average blood sugar was 250..Today my AC1 was at 6.2 and my BS was 117. I'm following the 72' Atkins, but I've only lost 10 pounds since Jan. Just changed to Levemir from Lantus. I did gain 25 pounds just from the insulin and the best news my doc cut back my insulin a couple of units
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:02 PM   #7
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I use the IR Diet framework. It does indeed allow for some moderate carbs in your diet -- not as low as most here, but definitely not as high as the "normal" American diet. Most days I am MUCH lower carb than it allows, but it gives me the flexibility I need to eat some carbs when I am with family or out to dinner.

I have PCOS and IR, and am pre-diabetic, with an A1C around 5.8 for the past four years. My goal is not just to lose weight (though that is definitely part of it) but primarily to keep my blood sugar levels... well... level. *grin* My ultimate goal is to stay "pre" diabetic and not to progress to "full-blown" diabetes.

A ketogenic diet also works for such goals, and it works to help me lose weight if I limit calories. I'm one of those "lucky" ones who will have to count calories no matter which diet I follow... I just find that I can be more satisfied and less hungry (and less horrible to my family) when I follow a fairly low-carb regimen.

Thus, while I use the IR diet framework, most days I'm closer to 30 grams of carb than the 120 allowed under IR Diet. Still and all, it's nice to have that flexibility when I need it. And so long as I "link and balance" my carbs with protein, as the IR Diet teaches, I don't have blood sugar spikes.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:08 PM   #8
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If your like me, then your weight loss will depend almost entirelly on your carb intake. It was only when I got to within a few pounds of goal that I cut back some calories from fat. And exercise had absolutely no impact on my weight at all.
The beauty of low carb is that I can eat whenever I"m hungry and maintain a good weight. I used to get hungry just from spikes in my blood sugar causing an insulin response. With low carb that vicious cycle of low blood sugar leading to heavy eating leading to spike in blood sugar leading to insulin response leading to low blood sugar leading back to heavy eating is virtually eliminated...this "normal" way of eating is why America (and now the world) is so fat.
I know that portion control can work for some people, but for me LOL...no way. I tried it any number of times with no lasting success.
For me it's low carb or be over weight, that's all there is to it.
Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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Personally, I think a ZERO carb diet (if you can even really do that) is highly stressful on the body. Just like cholesterol, our body makes insulin for a reason, and normal amounts of insulin secretion are necessary for other hormone feedback loops to work.

The problem is that often we have too much blood glucose, we overwhelm our bodies, and our poor pancreases ("Pancreai"?) have to work hard to try to keep up. So we are (unless Type One or a very end stage Type Two), we cause an overload of insulin.

Controlling the amount of carbs in your diet to let insulin do its work without causing excessive blood glucose which makes us secrete too much insulin is the key. Yes, we need SOME insulin. We don't need too much.

Even Dr. Bernstein recommends some carbs (a very small amount and spread throughout the day). This is not a no-carb diet.

No, I don't think there's an "essential carb level" and before you start telling me about the Inuit google it because there have been some compelling articles recently about the fact that Inuit still managed to get some carbs in their diets by eating the glycogen storage systems of the animals they ate.

A zero carb diet would be one without any vegetables. Personally, I think avoiding all vegetables because even non-starchy veggies might contain some carb is a little reckless. There are micronutrients in those vegetables, beyond their carb, protein and fat levels, that are essential. I recently finished the Wahl's Protocol and Dr. Wahls points out that a paleo diet and supplements did NOT work to control her disease process. Only when she added in copious amounts of vegetables did she have the proper nutritional support to REVERSE her autoimmune disease. She still manages to maintain a ketogenic diet, WITH the large amounts of vegetables.

So it makes sense to reduce the demands for insulin by eating a low carb diet, but it doesn't make sense to attempt to prevent the body from making any insulin. It makes sense to have a varied diet to ensure that your need for micronutrients is met as well.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:15 AM   #10
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I just chuckle when people say the Inuit have a no carb diet because traditionally, when they ate land animals, the stomach (I think) along with its content of grains, grasses and whatever other forage the animal has eaten. They also eat seaweed, tubers and other plants growing wild.

I do Bernstein, although I do have some days when my diet is around 6 carbs just from the eggs, cheese, etc. I've eaten that day...but long term, I probably average closer to the 25 he allows just because I want the variety...particularly in the summer when the vegies are fresh!
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geesebaby View Post
Confused...Is it enough to just manage insulin by controlling carb portion sizes and combining with a fat or protein to control spikes or is it better to eliminate carbs altogether? I know the Insulin Resistance diet has you limit carb portions and always combine with a prescribed amount of protein to keep from spiking insulin. This is true with fats too. If that's the case, then why not just control portions and balance with fats/protein instead of giving them up completely? Just throwing this out...I don't have the answer, just looking for thoughts. Thanks!
I'm not familiar with the IR diet, but I do know that until I found Bernsten, nothing controlled my BG's.
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