Day 22: Insulin Resistance

Breakfast:  Coffee
Lunch: 250g burger; tomato and pesto; omelette; juice
Dinner: Salmon; veg shake (broccoli and spinach); Paleo desert

Exercise: Weights

Back to insulin…

Continuing from a previous post… If our diet is high in carbs, it wouldn’t be a surprise if our blood glucose, and therefore our insulin level, was persistently elevated.

We all know that our brains recognise new smells, and that when those smells persist, our brains stop telling us that they are there. We can initially smell them, but after a while they seem to disappear. Our brain works similarly for insulin. When we have high insulin levels for a prolonged period, we can become “insulin resistant”: our bodies no longer recognise the insulin in the system. Instead of going into our cells, glucose remains in our blood.

In response, our bodies produce more insulin to get that glucose out of the blood stream and into our cells. A dangerous cycle has been created. If we are lucky, the pancreas can create enough insulin to get our blood glucose back to normal. If not, we greatly increase our risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Another painful consequence of insulin resistance is that there is a limit to the amount of insulin that can cross the blood-brain barrier. The insulin circulating in the system doesn’t signal satiety in the brain, and we feel hungry again soon after eating. This creates the cycle of carb binges, and our energy levels rise and fall in line with the binges.

The bottom line is that eating lots of carbs will increase your insulin levels, and if you’re not doing enough exercise to use them, your body will store those carbs as fat. The longer this goes on, the more your energy management deteriorates, the higher your risk of developing T2D and becoming obese. In fact, there are a plethora of harmful effects from excess carbs, but that’s a story for another day.

(P.S. Where do we get most of our carbs? Grains. Horrible grains.)