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Insulin is the cause of all weight gain and we should all be cutting carbs, right?!


I really hope this is the beginning of the demise of the insulin hypothesis.

The carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis – what is it? Is it true? Where does it come from? Let’s clear up some nutrition Billy BS, shall we?


The long and short of the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis then - it is the term given for the belief, that many have been led to believe, that when you eat things rich in carbohydrates it increases the insulin levels within your clever, clever body, the more insulin that is then produced causes a person to be ‘insulin resistant’ and, in turn, causes excess body fat. They also spout off some stuff about insulin causing fat to become ‘trapped’ in fat cells which means the body can’t access it for energy resulting in increased fat mass, increased hunger, more lethargy and so, in turn, lower energy expenditure all leading to a person putting on weight.

…it’s rubbish.

This school of thought came about because AT FACE VALUE, low carb diets seem to be effective for weight loss, obesity has been linked with higher insulin levels and when type 1 diabetes goes untreated it can lead to fat loss…amongst other things! HOWEVER – high carb diets do not cause chronically high insulin levels, in healthy people insulin is only elevated post-feed and this is necessary! Fat can also be synthesised and stored with low insulin levels in the body.

Reliable data has shown that:

· Obese people DO NOT have a reduced level of fat from fat tissue due to higher levels of insulin.

· Insulin and blood sugar levels DO NOT predict hunger or cravings – insulin is infact a satiety hormone!

· Higher carb and insulin levels DO NOT predict energy expenditure.

· Insulin levels DO NOT predict future weight gain.

· Asian cultures frequently showing lower average body fat levels and obesity rates have high refined carbohydrate intake in their diets generally.

· Dairy stimulates a high insulin response but it has been shown that diets high in dairy DO NOT hinder fat loss.

· Fat loss DOES NOT increase when we switch from high to low carb diets when protein and calories remain the same.

Low carb diets MAY work in SOME individuals due to being easy to implement, the increase in protein that often comes with it may lead to increased feelings of fullness so could help with appetite control, and also often leads to initial decrease in WATER weight (note – this is not body fat) and perhaps an advantageous increase in nutrient density in the diet. HOWEVER they DO NOT have a metabolic advantage (i.e. increase your metabolic rate) and you are not ‘carb intolerant’.

The carbohydrate ratio in your diet should be dictated by your preferences and training needs…NOT when Sheila in accounts tells you about what she read on the Daily Mail over her morning green tea and lettuce leaf.

Peace and love. A x

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