Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Nutrition Debate #273: Insulin Resistance = Carbohydrate Intolerance

As I write this (on December 7th), I’m thinking my readers will get this message in their inbox on Christmas Eve. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be busy with family, eating a wonderful smorgasbord and watching grandchildren open presents (from family). They will wait until morning to open others that arrive “down the chimney” later that night. So, I’m thinking my message should be one of comity and “on earth, peace to men of good will” (Luke 2:14; Codex Sinaiticus translation).

We live in a world increasingly rent by division, and this applies to the world of nutrition policy as to any other field of human endeavor. Accordingly, this column frequently positions itself fervently in opposition to the perceived wisdom in broad areas of public policy respecting a “healthy diet.” We (in the royal sense) were originally motivated to take on the establishment view after the premature death of a friend. He was an insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic who happened also to be my pharmacist. His death, from one of the comorbidities of type 2 diabetes, was tragic and unnecessary.

Out of this sense of his loss I was motivated to begin writing this column over 4 years ago. I later wrote about my pharmacist in The Nutrition Debate #114 here. And I also wrote “an appreciation” (#95 here), upon learning of his death, of the doctor who introduced me to the Very Low Carb Way of Eating, i.e. VLC WOE. Doc just wanted me to lose weight, but he said, with his hand on my shoulder as he walked me down the hall, “It might just help your diabetes too!” That was 12½ years ago. Little did he know how profoundly it would change my life. It changed everything, really. I seriously don’t think I would be alive today…had I not taken his advice…and lost 170 pounds.

Everything else changed too, most notably my blood markers. My triglycerides dropped by 2/3rds (to around 50mg/dl); my HDL-C more than doubled (from 39 average to 84 average); my A1c dropped (originally) to the mid 5s (they’re starting to creep up recently though); and my hs-CRP, an inflammation marker, has been between 0.1 and 2.7mg/L (aver. of 13: 1.4). In addition, I feel GREAT! I always have LOTS OF ENERGY, and I have no joint, back, hip or knee issues. Even early signs of arthritis, which began to appear about the time I started this WOE, have disappeared. And my body “tags” all dropped off.

Then yesterday, at our local Christmas season concert and tea, I saw an old friend. He’s been reading this column for years. He was of “good cheer,” a jolly old soul indeed, but alas I’m afraid I quashed his spirit because I lectured him (and his wife). He is still as plump as Saint Nicholas himself, and I am dispirited. I am forlorn because I worry for him. It’s tough to accept sometimes that the best I can do to help people is sometimes just not enough. I need to remind myself of the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.”

So, my “Annunciation to the Shepherds” message is simple; it is one of “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10; King James Version) who would listen:

Insulin Resistance = Carbohydrate Intolerance

If you are rotund, the “expression” of your genotype is undoubtedly characterized by a progressive condition called Insulin Resistance (IR). And if you have IR, you are CARBOHYDRATE INTOLERANT. If you want to live a long, happy and healthy life, you need to give up most of the carbohydrates in your diet. There’s a week left in the year to consider whether this would make a good New Year’s resolution. If you agree, we will guide you. Read our twice-weekly blog posts and write to me using the Blogger link or email me directly at I will do my best to support your decision and lifestyle change.

In any case, whether you decide to transform your life or not,


We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin,
We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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