Insulin: The Driver of Inflammation
As with all my thoughts and suggestions I take the time required to provide current safe and sound information. After attending 2 large conferences, a vast amount of research and conferring with top medical experts my paradigm is shifting with respect to carbohydrates as the drivers of inflammation.
If you are a regular reader to my blog you know I advocate a moderate carbohydrate diet with more of your carbohydrate sources coming from veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.
However, what happens when your body is stubborn with respect to weight loss, and consuming a moderate carb diet does not seem to help? What is the best course of action?
There is a range of carbohydrate intolerance in the general population from slightly carb intolerant to having a higher level of carb intolerance. Is there a way to test or discern your intolerance?
Unfortunately its not all that simple but it is easier than it was a few years ago.
Those with carb intolerance can be classified into some broad categories with those at the top being the most intolerant:
- Overweight at birth (over 7.5 pounds)
- Weight gain at approximately 8-9 years old
- Weight gain at menarche (menstruation or adolescence)
- More than normal weight gain during pregnancy (over 35 pounds)
- More than normal weight gain at menopause (male and female)
In addition, there are labs that test for markers of insulin resistance along with a score for your level of insulin resistance.
Since insulin is the driver of inflammation and carbohydrates are the main macronutrient driver of the body’s release of insulin it makes sense that lowering your intake of carbohydrates will lower inflammation.
Lowering inflammation is associated with a reduction of not only blood glucose levels and weight loss but also a reduction of symptoms related to many medical illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and pain.
Finding out the level of carbs your body can handle may be a combination of testing, and trial and error. Being your own health detective may require keeping the pulse on if your weight is shifting with varying amounts of carbohydrate consumed or if your blood work is improving.
Although nutrition advice seems to be changing seasonally, we are finding that for health sake and our genetics we need to consume food closer to our past ancestors, whose intake of carbohydrates was significantly less than our diets contain.
Finding your recipe for reducing inflammation is not easy but may be the difference between health and illness, and that put’s you in the driver’s seat for your own health!
August 24, 2014 @ 9:20 pm
Very useful information, especially the signs and symptoms of possible carb intolerance. Also like your suggestion of moderate carb diet with most carbs coming from plant based foods.
Being interested in child nutrition and health, I noted your point about weight gain at 8-9 years of age. Are you aware of any data that shows the prevalence of this weight gain at this age? Also, does it happen in a short period of time or builds over time through the toddler years? Thank you.
August 24, 2014 @ 10:08 pm
The research of Pat Catalano, MD – an ob/gyn researcher who is big in the world of gestational diabetes – if you google him his wealth of research is what shows that babies adiposity at birth relates to their adiposity at 8 years old. We are not discovering that babies are born with double of body fat they are supposed to have (8 % vs. now 16%) along with fatty liver disease which unfortunately sets the tone for the rest of their lives.