180 Degree Sneak Peek – Hyperinsulinemia and Friends

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…Carbohydrates alone do not cause insulin resistance. Having your insulin levels rise over and over again in response to carbohydrate-rich meals does not solely lead to insulin resistance and the compensatory hyperinsulinemia that is at the core of modern diseases. Most people on the low-carb side of the fence would have you believe that our Paleolithic evolutionary genetic programming has left us incapable of ingesting so many carbohydrates – that the amount of carbohydrates we’re currently eating is too much. That’s what the low-carbers really believe, that the human being is not designed to eat but a tiny amount of carbohydrates.

Here are some kinks. Some of the healthiest, leanest, and longest-living human groups ever discovered eat a very high carbohydrate diet. The Sikhs of India and the Hunzas of Pakistan for example eat a diet almost entirely composed of grain, vegetables, fruit, and milk (not exactly a Paleolithic food item either) – all high in carbohydrates. The longest living people on earth today, the Okinawans, eat a diet rich in not only carbohydrates, but a refined, rapidly-absorbed, insulin-spiking carbohydrate – white rice. Somewhere around 80% of the typical Japanese diet consists of carbohydrates – again, high-glycemic white rice. Yet, obesity is extremely low, heart disease is the lowest among all modern nations, type II diabetes is still rare, and so on because few have insulin resistance or compensatory hyperinsulinemia (‘metabo’ as they call it in Japan). Their health is fantastic compared to the health of Americans, who are instructed to eat a diet consisting of 60% carbohydrates by contrast.

If you think eating grains, or even eating rapidly-absorbed refined grains with no fiber to slow absorption is the cause of the diabesity epidemic, then I suggest you go to Thailand, or the Phillipines, or France to observe your theory as it gets helplessly obliterated. Mmm, croissants, baguettes, c’est magnifique. These are also great places to visit if you think saturated fat causes disease, or that saturated fat somehow causes insulin resistance, as the lean, attractive citizens of these countries choke it down like Americans do high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened sodas (foreshadowing).

Sure these are some cute anecdotes, but one easily-observable example lays the ‘eating too many carbs causes insulin resistance’ theory to rest. Murders it in fact. Considered to be the world’s most genetically prone to develop type II diabetes and obesity are the Pima Indians native to the desert Southwest and northern Mexico. The rate of obesity and type II diabetes is astronomical amongst the Pima living in Arizona. Their diet is typical cheap American fare – lots of Coke and Pepsi, vegetable oils, meats, packaged grain-based foods, etc. Basically, their diet consists of a lot of cheap processed calories plus whatever meat they can afford. It differs little from the typical diet of the socioeconomic lower class of the U.S. And their propensity to becoming overweight and diabetic has been well-documented and observed for many decades.

Do these people really have an overactive “thrifty gene” that stores fat in times of plenty? Are they simply carbohydrate intolerant? That appears to be the case until…

Until you consider that the Pima Indians living just across the border in Mexico – people obviously with the same genetic lineage, do not have the same problems. They are quite slender in contrast. Their diet consists not only of a larger proportion of carbohydrates, but their carbohydrates are considered very high-glycemic carbohydrates – corn and potatoes. Carbohydrates alone, regardless of the gylcemic index or glycemic load cannot be the reason for the unprecedented difference between the two groups – one who have hyperinsulinemia and the host of ills that accompany it, and one group that is Jim Dandy.

Is it because their diet is lower in fat? Is it fat that causes insulin resistance? Is it because their diet is lower in animal products? Does meat cause insulin resistance? No, no, no. It’s because of a combination of things that work together, the recipe for disaster if you will, brewing up a stew of disease and degeneration…

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