Saturday, November 16, 2019

Retrospective #273: Insulin Resistance = Carbohydrate Intolerance

As I rewrite this post for the Retrospective Series, I note that my readers originally received it on Christmas Eve 2014. On that eve, I was with my family, eating a wonderful Swedish smorgasbord and then watching grandchildren open presents. My message then was one of comity: “…on earth, peace to men of good will” (Luke 2:14; Codex Sinaiticus).
Today, we live in a world even more rent by division, and this applies to the world of nutrition policy as to any other field of human endeavor. 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 who was an insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetic who happened also to be my pharmacist. His death, from a comorbidity of Type 2 diabetes, was tragic and unnecessary.
Out of this sense of his loss I was motivated to begin writing this column in 2011. I later wrote about my pharmacist in Retrospective #114. And upon learning of the death of the doctor who introduced me to the Very Low Carb Way of Eating, I also wrote, in Retrospective #95, “an appreciation.” When he suggested I try Very Low Carb, 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 more than 17 years ago. Little did he know how profoundly it would change my life. It changed everything, really. I don’t think I would be alive today…had I not taken his advice…and lost 170 pounds.
Besides continuing to breath, all my other health markers changed too. My triglycerides dropped by 2/3rds (to the 50s); my HDL-C more than doubled (from 39 average to 84 average); my A1c’s dropped too; I recently had a 5.0%! And my hs-CRP, a marker of chronic systemic inflammation, previously in the 5s and 6s, has been between 0.1 and 2.7mg/L (aver. of 13: 1.4). And, I feel GREAT! I have LOTS OF ENERGY, and, at age 78, I still 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.
Then 5-years ago “yesterday,” at our neighborhood church’s Christmas season concert and tea, I saw an old friend who’s been reading this column for years. He was of “good cheer,” a jolly old soul himself, but alas I’m afraid I quashed his spirit because I lectured him (and his wife). He is still as plump as Saint Nick 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, this is probably the “expression” of your genotype, usually 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. You have time now to consider whether this would make a good New Year’s resolution. If you agree, I will guide you. Read my daily Retrospective 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,

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