Is Your Low Carb Diet Making you Metabolically Inflexible?

Is Your Low Carb Diet Making you Metabolically Inflexible?

The answer for a lot of people is “Yes.”  Let me explain both kinds of insulin resistance and pay particular note to the italicized portion at the bottom.  Once again “eat less do less” isn’t helping but leaving out carbs actually harms your cells and the result is a withering metabolism.  I wrote this about a year and a half ago and I (actually my editor at the time and I) use the word toxin pretty freely.  Since then I have come to think the word toxin is overused and is often the defense of someone that really doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Insulin Resistance

With the growing population of type 2 diabetes, most everyone has been informed of insulin resistance yet it is poorly understood. The result of excessive intakes of empty carbohydrate foods lacking vitamins and minerals leads to jacked up blood sugar levels. These constantly jacked up blood sugars lead to chronically elevated insulin levels because insulin and blood glucose should rise in a relatively similar fashion but not ALWAYS be high. The result of inadequate vitamins and minerals (namely magnesium) leaves an exhausted liver and pancreas; two crucial organs to insulin’s stability and reliance.

Chronically elevated blood gucose is toxic and inflammatory. The inflammation centers itself in the abdominal cavity and arteries, focusing on the liver and pancreas and widening to other parts of the body as it progresses. The body handles toxins by storing them in the body.  This leaves your fat stores full of toxins.  Your organs become ‘fatty.’  You store excess body fat.

This is metabolic syndrome.  Many doctors are forced to inform their patients these days of their ‘fatty livers.’ Over time, an overworked body with excessive glucose becomes insulin resistant which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. So you see, becoming insulin resistant takes a while and once you are resistant to insulin, you have long been doing damage to your body.

When you are in a state of glucose excess, your muscles are full and do not need any more glucose to power them. Insulin tells your body to store excess as fat to be used as energy later. It becomes clear the benefit of having muscle; glucose will be stored in muscles before it is stored as fat so there is a bit of leeway and advantage to more lean body mass. If your muscles are constantly receiving glucose, it becomes reliant on sugar as a primary source of energy.

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In an ideal scenario, your body is optimized by using a combination of both sugars and fats for energy.  This is why simultaneously eating low carbohydrate AND a low fat diet will leave you feeling run down and fatigued.  If you are controlling your weight by controlling your intake of carbohydrate, you need to eat fats as a signal to burn fat as a primary fuel source.  This makes the condemnation of fat silly as shown before. It can not only be a primary energy source for the body, but also protect it from things like the cold.

There is a win-lose, lose-win here. Basically, eating very low in carbohydrate means you don’t have access to tons of glucose, so the majority of your cells switch to burning fatty acids instead of glucose. These same cells which are now running on fatty acids become more resistant to taking up glucose in order to save it for use by those few cells that have to have glucose, like in the brain. It is a healthy ‘saving mechanism,’ if it didn’t happen we would die. When glucose becomes sparser, the cells that have the option of running on fatty acids, which is not sparse, choose to not use the glucose and instead use the fatty acids. Thus you can assume those cells have become ‘resistant’ to glucose as they are saving it for other cells that really need it (again, namely the brain). This is a healthy response designed to keep those few cells that need glucose having a good supply of it, and at the same time, it will maintain a healthy level of glucose in the blood. This type of adaption serves as a type of insulin resistance resulting in a healthy level of blood glucose.  This can however lead to a slowing metabolism and I will get you guys that reason tomorrow.

The only problem comes if you eat very low carbohydrate for an extended time, and your cells adapt to this low level of glucose, and then suddenly you decide to pound a ton of sugar into your system. Your cells are caught flat footed for a while. They had adapted to a strategy of saving glucose and all of the sudden they are awash in way too much glucose. This is where understanding nutrient dense food and the right cycling works.

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