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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Welcome to the crazy world of dietitions.

I know I am stating the obvious, but it seems to me, most people become interested in lowcarb, for the weight loss benefits. It is a fact there are many more overweight people than there are diabetics, let’s hope it stays that way. A diabetic going lowcarb 50 carbs a day or less, has a huge incentive to stay lowcarb. Less medication, for many type two diabetics nil medication, to hold stable non diabetic blood glucose numbers.

The over weight non diabetic may wait weeks, or even months to see a substantial reduction in weight, the diabetic sees a massive change in their fight to reduce the risk of blindness, limb amputation and kidney failure, in a matter of a few days. Very high and very dangerous BG numbers, are very often reduced to non diabetic in less than a week. This is very important, because many type two diabetes medications are close to useless, expensive, and many banned for killing and maiming people. Actos and Avandia two well known examples. The benefit of weight loss is of secondary importance for most type two diabetics. Weight loss is still an important issue for around 80% of type two’s because excessive weight brings about insulin resistance for many.

So, the type two has  great incentives to go and stay lowcarb, what about the non diabetic over weight person. Many people believe, including some medical professionals that a diabetic runs high BG numbers because of a lack of insulin. This is true for some diabetics such as type one’s. It comes as a great surprise to many, when I tell them at diagnosis, a heavily overweight diabetic can be running plasma insulin levels of three times higher than a slim non diabetic.

Insulin is often referred to by biochemists as the fat building hormone. In fact, the body cannot make body fat without insulin. It is very unusual to find an overweight individual who doesn’t also have elevated insulin levels. Insulin also inhibits the body’s use of stored fat as a source of fuel. Lowering insulin levels is extremely important, perhaps essential, for weight loss to succeed. This is one reason why low carb diets are particularly successful in weight loss since the fewer the carbs, the less insulin is required. Some may also find that they consume fewer calories without feeling hungry, because their fat metabolism begins to work properly once more, allowing the body access to energy reserves in fat stores which were previously inaccessible.

So, if you are a non diabetic, but heavily overweight, the last thing you need is to be awash with excess insulin. Insulin has a measurable impact on blood vessels by narrowing them, with increased cardiovascular risks. Insulin has often been called the aging hormone. Not enough is bad, too much is also bad. I am sure most people who visit this site know, carbohydrates have a large impact on blood glucose levels, protein much less, and fats have little if any effect. The $64000 question is, if you have not been diagnosed as a diabetic, do you know what your BG numbers are ? Most do not. I would recommend if you are heavily over weight or type two diabetes runs in your family, invest around £10 in a BG meter. It will come with ten test strips. Check your BG one and two hours after a typical meal, you may not be happy with the BG numbers you see, but you will know where you stand. 

I once asked a medical professional, why don’t you BG test every over weight person or people that have type two diabetes running through their family’s. She replied the cost would be astronomical. I said the cost of a test strip won’t break the NHS. She replied you are right, but we would find so many diabetics the system could not cope ! Meanwhile most dietitions and healthcare professionals, are telling not only diabetics, but also non diabetics, to base their meals on starchy carbs. Welcome to the crazy world of dietitions.



Anonymous said...

It never does any harm to state the obvious as somehow it reinforces what you are going to say. It helps make matters clearer and can educate more to those who do want to know. Keep up the good work. Great article.
From a thankful diabetic who is not in love with dietitions! There advice raised my bg it did not lower it!

Low Carb Fan

Anonymous said...

Very good article, gives you more to think about.

LeonRover said...

"It is very unusual to find an overweight individual who doesn’t also have elevated insulin levels."

"very unusual" equals 30%

According to
Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2012 Oct;19(5):341-6. doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e328357f0a3.

"30% of obese patients are metabolically healthy with insulin sensitivity similar to healthy lean individuals, lower liver fat content, and lower intima media thickness of the carotid artery than the majority of metabolically 'unhealthy' obese patients"

tess said...

first Wooo and now you, Eddie, have written an outstanding blogpost today! i'd better not write one, for fear of looking awful by comparison. ;-)

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Leon

Thanks for your comment and link, I checked it out. It states "Individuals with obesity typically develop type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, fatty liver disease, gout, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. In the past years it became clear that up to 30% of obese patients are metabolically healthy with insulin sensitivity similar to healthy lean individuals"

That to me reads that at least 70% do not have metabolically healthy with insulin sensitivity similar to healthy lean individuals.

What do others think ?

Kind regards Eddie

LeonRover said...


I agree with the blogpost - perhaps more than most.

I am not diabetic; however 12 years after my stepson became Type 1, I got my own glucometer and do an OGTT every 3-4 months. In addition, tri-annually I have fasting insulin checked: it has remained 3 to 3.5 IU.

In the Journals it has become popular to refer to a "diabesity syndrome" while there a sizable minority (no pun intended) who claim to be HAES. (My diabetic stepson's mother is one of these.)

The unwillingness of NHS endos and dieticians to deal with the obvious alternative treatment because of costs or ideology IS quite deplorable and almost anti-Hippocratic.


Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Leon

As a Father I feel for you. When I see type two adult diabetics, whinging about giving up the junk and having to get off their butts it makes me want to puke. All kids are a worry, but a type one child must be a worry 24/7. I hope everything is going well for you and yours. A woman that helped me in the early days was Dr. Katharine Morrison. She is a UK Doctor and a lowcarb expert, she has a type one diabetic son. Her details can be found having a Google around. If you ever need some help she is very approachable and goes out of her way to help people.

Thanks for taking the trouble to post on our blog.

Regards Eddie

Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for the kind words. To Tess looks like I am going to have to put in a bit more effort and spend less time winding up the antis out there.

Regards Eddie

Anonymous said...

"I once asked a medical professional, why don’t you BG test every over weight person or people that have type two diabetes running through their family’s. She replied the cost would be astronomical"

I am sure it would be as obesity and diabetes cases are increasing alarmingly. However, it is not always the case that being overweight you become diabetic as there are many out there who are not overweight. I think genes play a much bigger part in our health heredity.

Good food and more exercise would help us all maintain healthier lives and certainly as I am finding if you restrict the carbohydrates the benefits are enormous. Doing this did not please my health care team although they are beginning to see perhaps MY decision was good for ME

Paul B