Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
27 Jun

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar & Type 2 Diabetes (and you’ll understand it)

BITE ME, ADA

We all know by now that type 2 diabetes is an epidemic. We’re seeing words like crisis and runaway all over the news and in the journals. Heart disease rates have been cut in half since the staggering margarine days of the 1980s, but diabetes has swiftly risen to fill that gaping void and meet the challenge of Completely Unnecessary Disease Epidemic.

Here’s my ultra-simple explanation of the entire insulin/blood sugar/type 2 diabetes mess. Big Agra could really care less about you. That’s just business. The pharmaceutical industry is not in it for the love of life. If that were the case, drugs would be much cheaper. The FDA has to think about public health, but it also has to think about treading carefully on the toes of corporate interests, because that’s how it works when you’re the biggest economy in the world.

Print this explanation out, stick it on your fridge, email it to your aunt. And put down the pasta.

When you eat food, the body digests the macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins – actually many different amino acids – and fats. (Anything it can’t digest, like alcohol or fiber or toxins, either passes right on through or, if it makes it into the bloodstream, gets filtered by your liver, a beast of an organ if there ever was one.) We measure these macronutrients in grams and calories, but your body operates in terms of fuel. If you eat more fuel than your body needs – which most people do – the body is forced to store this excess. This ability to store excess fuel was an evolutionary imperative in a world that was in a state of constant “feast or famine” 50,000 years ago. In terms of Primal Health and our DNA blueprint, humans became very efficient fuel storage specialists and were able to survive the rigors of a hostile environment and pass those very same genes down to you and me. Thanks a lot, Grok!

caveboy

Bear in mind that every type of carbohydrate you eat is eventually converted to a simple form of sugar known as glucose, either directly in the gut or after a brief visit to the liver. The truth is, all the bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, rice (stop me when you’ve had enough), fruit, dessert, candy, and sodas you eat and drink eventually wind up as glucose. While glucose is a fuel, it is actually quite toxic in excess amounts unless it is being burned inside your cells, so the body has evolved an elegant way of getting it out of the bloodstream quickly and storing it in those cells.

It does this by having the liver and the muscles store some of the excess glucose as glycogen. That’s the muscle fuel that hard anaerobic exercise requires. Specialized beta cells in your pancreas sense the abundance of glucose in the bloodstream after a meal and secrete insulin, a peptide hormone whose job it is to allow glucose (and fats and amino acids) to gain access to the interior of muscle and liver cells.

But here’s the catch: once those cells are full, as they are almost all the time with inactive people, the rest of the glucose is converted to fat. Saturated fat.

Insulin was one of the first hormones to evolve in living things. Virtually all animals secrete insulin as a means of storing excess nutrients. It makes perfect sense that in a world where food was often scarce or non-existent for long periods of time, our bodies would become so incredibly efficient. How ironic, though, that it’s not fat that gets stored as fat – it’s sugar. And that’s where insulin insensitivity and this whole type 2 diabetes issue get confusing for most people, including your very own government.

If we go back 10,000 or more years, we find that our ancestors had very little access to sugar – or any carbohydrates for that matter. There was some fruit here and there, a few berries, roots and shoots, but most of their carbohydrate fuel was locked inside a very fibrous matrix. In fact, some paleo-anthropologists suggest that our ancestors consumed, on average, only about 80 grams of carbohydrate a day. Compare that to the 350-600 grams a day in the typical American diet today. The rest of their diet consisted of varying degrees of fat and protein. And as fibrous (and therefore complex) as those limited carbohydrate foods were, their effect on raising insulin was minimal. In fact, there was so little carbohydrate/glucose in our ancestor’s diet that we evolved four ways of making extra glucose ourselves and only one way of getting rid of the excess we consume!

Today when we eat too many carbohydrates, the pancreas pumps out insulin exactly as the DNA blueprint tell it to (hooray pancreas!), but if the liver and muscle cells are already filled with glycogen, those cells start to become resistant to the call of insulin. The insulin “receptor sites” on the surface of those cells start to decrease in number as well as in efficiency. The term is called “down regulation.” Since the glucose can’t get into the muscle or liver cells, it remains in the bloodstream. Now the pancreas senses there’s still too much toxic glucose in the blood, so it frantically pumps out even more insulin, which causes the insulin receptors on the surface of those cells to become even more resistant, because excess insulin is also toxic! Eventually, the insulin helps the glucose finds it way into your fat cells, where it is stored as fat. Again – because it bears repeating – it’s not fat that gets stored in your fat cells – it’s sugar.

sugar

Over time, as we continue to eat high carbohydrate diets and exercise less, the degree of insulin insensitivity increases. Unless we take dramatic steps to reduce carbohydrate intake and increase exercise, we develop several problems that only get worse over time – and the drugs don’t fix it.

Ready for this? Let’s go:

1) The levels of blood glucose stay higher longer because the glucose can’t make it into the muscle cells. This toxic glucose is like sludge in the bloodstream clogging arteries, binding with proteins to form harmful AGEs (advanced glycated end-products) and causing systemic inflammation. Some of this excess glucose contributes to a rise in triglycerides, increasing risk for heart disease.

2) More sugar gets stored as fat. Since the muscle cells are getting less glycogen (because they are resistant), and since insulin inhibits the fat-burning enzyme lipase, now you can’t even burn stored fat as easily. You continue to get fatter until eventually those fat cells become resistant themselves.

3) It just gets better. Levels of insulin stay higher longer because the pancreas thinks “if a little is not working, more would be better.” Wrong. Insulin is itself very toxic at high levels, causing, among many other maladies, plaque build-up in the arteries (which is why diabetics have so much heart disease) and increasing cellular proliferation in cancers.

4) Just as insulin resistance prevents sugar from entering muscle cells, it also prevents amino acids from entering. So now you can’t build or maintain your muscles. To make matters worse, other parts of your body think there’s not enough stored sugar in the cells, so they send signals to start to cannibalizing your precious muscle tissue to make more – you guessed it – sugar! You get fatter and you lose muscle. Woo hoo!

5) Your energy level drops, which makes you hungry for more carbohydrates and less willing to exercise. You actually crave more of the poison that is killing you.

6) When your liver becomes insulin resistant, it can’t convert thyroid hormone T4 into the T3, so you get those mysterious and stubborn “thyroid problems”, which further slow your metabolism.

7) You can develop neuropathies (nerve damage) and pain in the extremities, as the damage from the excess sugar destroys nerve tissue, and you can develop retinopathy and begin to lose your eyesight. Fun.

8) Eventually, the pancreas is so darn exhausted, it can’t produce any more insulin and you wind up having to inject insulin to stay alive. Lots of it, since you are resistant. Congratulations, you have graduated to insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetes.

That’s the bad news. And it’s seriously bad. But the good news is that there is a way to avoid all this. It’s all right there in your DNA blueprint. First off, exercise does have a major impact on improving insulin sensitivity since muscles burn your stored glycogen as fuel during and after your workout. Muscles that have been exercised desperately want that glucose inside and will “up regulate” insulin receptors to speed the process. That’s one reason exercise is so critical for type 2 diabetics in regaining insulin sensitivity. It’s also the reason why endurance athletes can eat 400 or 600 grams of carbs a day and stay lean – they burn it all off and make room for more.

Resistance training seems to be as effective as aerobic activity, but a mix of the two is the best. And because you are now “insulin sensitive”, you don’t require as much insulin to store the excess, which “up regulates” all the fat burning enzymes, so you burn your stored fats at a much higher rate throughout the day. Important amino acids and other vital nutrients have access to the cells when insulin sensitivity is high, so you’re building or maintaining muscle and losing fat weight. Go team.

Second, cutting back on carbohydrates, especially the obvious sugars and refined stuff is absolutely essential. Make fresh vegetables the base of your food pyramid. I get rip-roaring furious when I see our government suggesting that we get 60% of our calories from carbohydrates. That’s ridiculous, bordering on criminal. Think about what is optimal for human health from a “primal” perspective. Look at the genetic blueprint. Look at the statistics and studies if you like – or simply observe what’s going on around you at restaurants, movie theaters and school cafeterias – and you’ll begin to understand the implications of a diet out of whack with our design. The evidence is nothing short of overwhelming: carbohydrate intake of the refined, sugary sort is enormously stressful to the body.

Not only should diabetics limit carbohydrate intake – everyone should. We are all, in an evolutionary sense, predisposed to becoming diabetic.

Mainstream opinion is, of course, partly correct in that sugar does not necessarily “cause” diabetes – increasingly, scientific evidence is showing that genetic susceptibility plays a huge role in individuals’ potential for developing diabetes. Well, no kidding! The entire mainstream argument boils down to this: sugar does not cause diabetes; it’s genetic. I couldn’t agree more. I would simply say that our shared genetic susceptibility to insulin resistance, inflammation, cardiovascular disease and obesity shows that any sort of refined sugar or grain is the last thing humans should be eating. Our genetic “primal blueprint” indicates that we are not meant to consume sugar.

Next week, I’ll be discussing cortisol, stress, and the adrenals in light of our “primal” blueprints. See you then. I welcome your comments and questions as always.

Further reading:

What I eat

My Carb Pyramid

More Primal Health columns

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You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Im 38. Take four tablets a day. Eat well. My sugar levels are still around the 20 mark when fasting. Im only fifty five kg. so need to put weight on. Hard when I cant eat carbs. Very frustrating. Any help?

    Matt wrote on December 4th, 2011
  2. I am diabetic taking metformin, diet, exercise to manage my blood sugar, and my parents are also diabetic. Recently my 13 year old daughter diagnosed as Type 2. She lost 4-5 kg weight before the diagnosis. Dr. put her under two type of medication, Gucovance 500/5, Januvia 100, levothyroxin 50 mcg. I think she has insulin resistance. When she was diagnosed 1 month before, her HA1C is 12.4, c-peptide – 2.65, TSH – 7.5, T2 and T3 was normal, and slightly overweight BMI -26. After 1 week medication, she was frequently reaching low sugar and felt very bad during school hours. When we asked our Endocrinologist, he insists continue with the same medication. So we stopped her medication for last 10 day because of her frequent complaint of low blood sugar. After the diagnosis, she completely changed her life style. Now she eats more vegetables, fruits and whole grains, a-zinc mineral tablets and fish oil. Every day she is doing 30 minutes walk after dinner. Now her fasting sugar is OK, and the average is around 110, but her sugar elevated after each food reaching 210 in 2 hrs time, but come down to 140 in 3 hrs time. My question is how long she can continue with this practice? Should she require any additional supplementary? or she requires metformin? I would appreicate your answer to this regard.
    Thanks.

    shk wrote on December 5th, 2011
    • Why on earth is she eating whole grains? Read the article, again.

      Ditch them and she will improve, out of sight. Report back.

      Dan wrote on December 23rd, 2011
      • Whole grains don’t spike bloodsugars as fast for diabetics… But I got to say it still kicks them up, just doesn’t give us the huge roller coaster bloodsugars that simple carbs like white bread simple sugars give. I haven’t tried this diet yet but I am going to start! I’m so excited to see what it does!

        Amanda wrote on January 20th, 2012
  3. No, actually, I don’t think heart DISEASE rates have been cut. It was my understanding that the heart attack DEATHS have decreased, but that the disease RATES have *increased*. And the only reason deaths have dropped is we’ve got better heroic medicine to treat someone who’s had a heart attack.

    Mind you, some of the increased diagnosis probably has to do with better diagnostic medicine and perhaps the standards for diagnosis have gotten pickier. But still.

    And with the increase in diabetes you’re going to see a lot more heart disease from *that*, too.

    Dana wrote on December 31st, 2011
  4. Reading this, I became nauseated and tearful. My mother recently passed away from a heart attack at the age of 55, but she might as well have been dead for years before that. Type II diabetes had ravished her body. She couldn’t see, couldn’t walk, was continually on dialysis, and in-and-out of the hospital several times per year. Despite her health issues, she still ate like there were no consequences. There was never a time that she wasn’t sipping on soda. Since her death, I’ve been researching various diets and lifestyle changes to make certain I don’t follow in her footsteps. I have become convinced that this blog will save my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am passing on this particular article to my siblings in the hopes that they will join me. We are all terrified of diabetes and I hope that this will kick us into gear towards real life changes.

    Maeve wrote on January 16th, 2012
  5. I am a type 2 diabetic.. I am eating like I should to keep my glucose level down lately I cant keep it down in the morning its over 200 it will go down slowly until noon to about 145 I am taking Januvia, glyburide, & Metformen my Dr says to stay on the same track for 4 more months. I need more help can you tell me your plan?

    Janet Cearley wrote on January 21st, 2012
  6. i have t2 i take 4 shots a day can you tell me if i loose weight and exercise i can get off these shots i just had a tripple bypass done,,i was on metformin 500 x2 daily then i started to have to take shots please help i dont like needles is it possiable ??

    thomas wrote on January 21st, 2012
  7. Hello Mark (and the Primal Community)

    Thank you so much for this site and all the information on it. I really appreciate your unbiased and evidentiary based approach to understanding how our bodies work – and that fact that you are making a real difference in peoples lives.
    In your article you said:

    “But here’s the catch: once those [glycogen] cells are full, as they are almost all the time with inactive people, the rest of the glucose is converted to fat. Saturated fat.”

    We’ve had difficulty tracking down evidence for this and would LOVE IT if you or anyone else could help us get to the bottom of this.

    So far, we have found evidence that where individuals have an energy surplus, DNL (de novo lipogenesis) does convert glucose from Carbohydrate to fat.

    However, in most cases, the amount of carbohydrate converted to fat makes up only a very small amount of the total fat stored – i.e. the majority of fat stored in a calorie surplus situation is coming from somewhere other than carbohydrate.

    For example, in the study below, McDevitt reported that, in all settings, the total de novo lipogenesis flux represented a small fraction of both the surplus carbohydrate energy ingested and the total fat stored in the body.

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/74/6/737.abstract?ijkey=be05a00f703d80a7f12451f8f95de95e41917112&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

    Now there are some exceptions, such as when people eat LOTS of carbohydrates – see the Guru Walla Men study here:

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/56/3/483.full.pdf+html

    But otherwise, for the most part, when we have a calorie surplus, only a small amount of additional carbohydrate that is digested is converted to fat.
    Does anyone have any evidence which says that the majority of carbohydrate consumed in a calorie surplus scenario is converted to fat (aside from the small amount accounted for by DNL)?

    If no one has any evidence to support the above, then where does the rest of the stored fat come from?

    Does it from dietary fat?

    Thanks for your comments.

    p.s. please provide references to existing studies to support your argument.

    Steve wrote on January 25th, 2012
  8. I just found out that I have PCOS with insulin resistance. I already do HIIT as a part of my gym rotation, but I’m planning on stepping it up (more often/more intensity). My question for Mark is: what’s the best post-workout recovery meal for someone with insulin resistance? I think I understand how a workout taps the glycogen stores in the muscles, and as a result, cells draw glucose from the blood. But what happens if I drink a protein shake right after an intense workout? Does my blood glucose shoot right back up again, negating all my hard work? If you can help me understand this, I would be most grateful!

    Christin wrote on January 29th, 2012
  9. Hey there

    Just thought people would be interested in seeing what the Australian health authorities are currently saying about the link between sugars & starches and diabetes. Here’s the link: http://ginews.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/gi-update.html

    There still seems to be many misconceptions and basic errors about the status of saturated fat and the link between sugar consumption and diabetes!

    Cheers
    Richard

    Richard wrote on February 2nd, 2012
  10. Dear Sir, I just got out of the hospital again. They claim I am a brittle type 2 diabetic. I try to control everything. I learn 14 months ago about it and I have currently lost 70 pounds but nothing helps. Today I have been in hospital all day with levels around 600. I am now at home and levels won’t register on my machine. I wish I knew what to do. I took
    1000 metformin and 42 units and 10units of fast acting and nothing is happening. I think no one cares and i am only 40 with 3 kids. GOd Bless…

    Tammy wrote on February 9th, 2012
    • Tammy, you should definitely talk to Steve Cooksey: http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/

      He is a type II diabetic that has managed to reverse his symptoms and medication with diet.

      He has a lot of experience dealing with the medical community. Maybe he can help.

      Hope that helps,
      Kristjan

      Kristjan wrote on February 9th, 2012
    • Hey bro….dont despair. Get Dr. Richard Bernstein’s book…”The Diabetes Solution”. In it you will read that there is no such thing as a brittle diabetic. I know, because I was labeled the same thing by top endos in the US. Dr. Berstein says” you are just eating too many carbs”. As a Type 1, insulin dependant diabetic, the next day after reading this I followed Dr. Bernsteins recommened carb count…6 in the morning, 12 for lunch and 12 for dinner…my blood sugars reab
      hed normal ranges for the first time in 10 years. Caution…you must reduce and adjust your medication to fit the lower carb count. I suggest giving your self a month to reduce down to normal and stairstep your meds down at the same time. FIRST..get the book. Read it . Show it to your doc. Get him/her one. Do it together. THen …after you know diabetes…get Marks books and become primal and leave diabetes in your past. Contact me at andreboco@yahoo.com….lets get you healthy for your kids and you.

      andre Chimene wrote on February 9th, 2012
  11. thanks, you really helped me with my rade 9 assignment

    poop wrote on February 9th, 2012
  12. is is possible with diet and exercise to come off Type 2 diabetes where due t illness I had to go on Insulin injections

    tom little wrote on February 13th, 2012
    • YES! Read on, my friend. Read on. This is exactly what you were looking for!

      Read some success stories. There are some specifically about just that.

      You were born perfect and you can get pretty damn close again.

      Bruno wrote on February 13th, 2012
  13. YES! Read on, my friend. Read on. This is exactly what you were looking for!

    Bruno wrote on February 13th, 2012
  14. So much carbs is recommended per day?

    William wrote on February 24th, 2012
  15. I’m worried that I have diabetes or pre-diabetes. I’m a 14 year old guy and I don’t have any symptoms (except that I can’t really gain muscle but that could also be my workout) I have never been overweight. However, I’ve been eating high carb my entire life. Which I stopped since I learned about paleo about a month ago.
    I even had a blood test done. You could say it was a fasting blood test because I didn’t eat for 8 hours except some low carb vegetables 2 hours before the test. My blood sugar was 4.2. The doctor said this was fine. How big is the chance I have diabetes? (I don’t have any symptoms, my blood sugar was normal at the test but I’ve been eating high carb for 14 years and my grandpa has diabetes 2.)

    Thanks

    William wrote on February 24th, 2012
    • William, stay alert. Keep on a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet and you won’t “get” diabetes. You are not your genes as much as you are you epigenetics (the tune your genes play). You will heal any damage you may have done. You do not know enough yet to stay healthy but that is something we will have to remedy. Keep reading MDA…let him lead you to further study when you are ready.

      andre Chimene wrote on February 25th, 2012
  16. It simply amazes me that there is such vehement hatred of and vilanization of carbs. Being inactive is criminal not carbs. I have had type1 diabetes for over 29 yrs. I eat at least 500g carb/day and fight to maintain 139lbs with extremely low body fat. My blood sugars are superb and my insulin doses quite low. My secret is tremendous daily activity. We evolved to be extremely active not to hide from HEALTHY carbs as if they were monsters.

    It really is scary that people today are so greatly afraid of being very active that they point at whole grains and lots of fruits daily as poison. The poison is your lack of MOVEMENT. Wow… laziness…

    freethinkr wrote on February 25th, 2012
    • Please pass on your exogenous insulin injection numbers, your C Peptide numbers too. If you have had your leptin done, send it in. If you eat 500grams of carb a day, as a Type 1 and you maintain “normal”, round the clock blood sugar levels, I will get both Dr. Ron Rosedale and Dr. Richard Bernstein to speak to you. If this is true, lets examine your results.

      andre Chimene wrote on February 26th, 2012
    • Where are the numbers freethinker?

      andre Chimene wrote on March 15th, 2012
  17. readings of 11 ,24 45

    David Peterson wrote on February 29th, 2012
  18. Gee…It really would have been nice to at least consider that some of us are diabetic because a medication (Seroquel) damaged our pancreas’ so badly that they had to be removed thus thrusting us into a life consumed with blood testing, two types of insulin five times a day, exercising like never before and watching everything we eat. It’s not always “consumer’s remorse” that causes diabetes. Thanks for the rest of the information, though. Have a great day!

    Carlene wrote on March 4th, 2012
  19. Hi Mark, my brother sent me your article as I just discovered 3 days ago that I have gestational diabetes, currently 28 weeks pregnant (i found it so easy to understand unlike the other articles that ive been trying to wrap my head around!!) I had no idea what it was and was so surprised that I had it. Well actually, when I look back I’ve always had a sweet tooth but I’m not overweight so I thought all was good. I was wondering if it is the same or similar to type 2 diabetes? What foods should I be eating and avoiding? My gynecologist said to stay away from all sweets, desserts, juice, salty foods, and to only have an equivalent of 3 spoons of rice a meal. Only have green apples, guava for fruit (I live in Thailand), basically nothing sweet. I’m worried the baby won’t get a variety of vitamins and minerals from food. What about whole wheat bread like complex carbs? It would be great if you would advise me. Thanks

    Rachel wrote on March 15th, 2012
  20. Wow This is making me think more than what’s the next Sonic The Hedgehog video game. Thanks for the thinking idea i’ll be sure to link to your website on my blog.

    Caleb wrote on March 19th, 2012
  21. hi everyone, just read this article and makes sense to me. Just wondering if anyone has any experience of what the diet might do to my insulin needs. I don’t eat many carbs anyway but do have oatbran porridge with raisins for breakfast and then maybe a slice of rye bread for lunch, 40g buckwheat noodles evening meal, 4 oatcakes supper this is with loads of veg and lean protein.. I am wanting to try the diet to see if it helps my Hidrenitis Suppurtiva but I am just a bit worried that it will affect my insulin levels and cause me loads of hypos… Am on 26 units of long acting and about 15 units of short acting a day at the moment … any suggestions or experiences would be great.. cheers.. :) clair

    clair wrote on April 2nd, 2012
  22. WOW What a fantastic article. Just wish I’d seen this 40 years ago before my love affair with pasta began:(
    I’ve searched for other descriptions of Type 2 and this is by far the most lucid. The med wed sites seem to fear Big Ag and HFCS producers.
    THANKS Mark

    Edward wrote on April 17th, 2012
  23. Hello Mark. Trying to find an answer to a question about insulinemic food, I came across your website and read your beautifully written article about diabetes type 2. Very clear and thankfully non-technical. I wonder therefore if you can you help me with my question.

    My husband, D., is Type 2 insulin resistant. I encourage him to reduce the amount of carbohydrates he eats but now discover that foods high in protein, especially dairy products, create insulin spikes. Surely D. does not need any more insulin in his system as he cannot cope with the amount he’s got already as he is ‘resistant’. This is puzzling me. Can you help? Your web article states that too much insulin in the system is toxic!

    Jennifer wrote on April 29th, 2012
  24. I was eating a dish of ice cream while reading the article. The description of symptoms with the progression of insulin resistance (which I didn’t understand till now) is me.
    I just turned 60. The cycle of sweets, lack of energy or motivation and craving more sweets, has left me heavier than I have ever been.
    I’m afraid to give up my friends – cookies, ice cream, candy and pastries – but now I realize that the insulin resistance is likely already in motion.
    I think I just had my last dish of ice cream. Wish me luck. I’m scared to death. I want to live.

    Gail wrote on May 28th, 2012
  25. Hello Mr. Sisson, I am very interested in what you teach. My chiropractor has been eating a paleo diet for years. I receive a newsletter from holistic.com. The writer had T2D, high BP, etc. basically metabolic syndrome. On to me, T2D since 2004, high Bp and Cholesterol, psoriasis, depression. I take so many pills, I rattle when I walk. I am obese in my mid section to the point that people ask when my baby is due and I am def. not pregnant. I have been eating sugar free and low carb (fruits, only) for about a week. Yesterday I was so hypoglycemic, I was scared. I understand your book and agree. I also know that I am having trouble because of the meds. (glyburide 10mg and Metformin 1000mg daily). I need info on how to come off the meds safely. Can you please advise. Thank you, Rita

    Rita wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  26. I’m currently a univeristy student of complementary medicine, specifically acupuncture. We also study a 60-70% course content of Western clincial medicine anantomy, physiology and pathology. I’m SO glad to have happened upon your site as it explains in simple lay terms the metabolism process of sugars and insulin. I’ll definitely be recommending this info to all family and friends and future patients. Keep spreading the word…it’s a modern day gospel that needs to read.

    sonnie wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  27. Someone asked a question: ‘why do grains exist?’ I answered: ‘they’re for birds ‘Laughing out Loud’ =D’
    I’ve been doing low-carb for about three weeks, I can’t believe how much stronger I am. I’ve lost a lot of fat and the thing is, I don’t look malnourished cos I eat a lot of proteins and fat. So the muscle tone is showing. I’m so happy, this is something I can stick to for life. Thanks Mark for opening my eyes to the lies the government give us. I’ve been on several low fat diets since I can remember. But now, I don’t even crave carbs.

    Beverly wrote on July 3rd, 2012
  28. I just finished reading the above article.I’m having a difficult time trying to figure out all the hidden sugars in all the sugar free sweeteners.I am a type 2 diabetic.I was diagnosed 2 years ago and am on Janumet, twice a day.One of my sisters, who was very concerned about my new found health situation, longed to find a better way to keep blood sugars lower for me.She found a book by Dr.Richard K. Bernstein.And started the diet herself,2 years ago and as of yesterday is 112 pounds lighter.she sent me the book, which sat and collected dust for almost 2 years.This past April, when I knew I would be visiting her for 5 weeks in Alaska, I figured “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Since than, 12 weeks yesterday, I have lost 30 pounds and 11 inches.If I get to my goal weight, I need to lose another 70.I figure if I lose just 1 pound a week, over a years time, that’s 52 gone.All days are not easy. I still want sugar and baked goods.My goal is to get my blood sugars where they need to be. So far, they are more normal than ever before.I go back to my doctor next month for my yearly appointment.Last year my LDL was high enough that he wanted to start me on medication.I asked him to give me a chance to get in under control with diet.
    I’ll see if it’s worked then.Reading this article has peaked my curiosity. I’ll read more and find out what it’s all about.
    I believe knowledge is the key to it all.Thanks for listening.

    Joni wrote on July 14th, 2012
  29. There’s a typo in there – DNA blueprint tell it to -> tells it to

    Chadd wrote on July 20th, 2012
  30. This is THE definitive guide to insulin. Thank you for putting it in easy to understand terms Mark!

    Chris wrote on August 28th, 2012
  31. Marvelous, what a blog it is! This weblog provides helpful
    data to us, keep it up.

    Major wrote on September 14th, 2012
  32. Very interesting and educational, i do still have some doubts over some of the foods you have said not to consume but i think i will try the diet as best i can and look a lot further into the philosophy. I have Hemacromatosis and the damage my diet could be doing to my liver is extremely interesting as i dont need any more impact on it like my high iron levels, i do wonder about digestive health and bowl issues with a high protein diet over long periods??

    Paul wrote on October 17th, 2012
  33. I appreciate the information you provide. However how do we cope with GMO’s and codex alimentarius, herbicides, pesticides, fluoridated water, etc.? Whom can we trust? Certainly not governments!

    Gerald Manale wrote on February 6th, 2013
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    Order Prosolution Pills wrote on February 13th, 2013
  35. As I type 1 diabetic, I am wondering if anyone can give me a couple of “starter lessons” on this. I have very high cholesterol and even tho I’ve read a ton on the website, I’m getting info overload and its all beginning to get jumbled together. I’ve started reading the daily posts (on day 2), but I’ve yet to read how to start this lifestyle! Help! and Thanks!

    Susan wrote on February 24th, 2013
    • Your best bet is to click on the icon marked “Start Here” at the top left of the page. That should get you going in the right direction.

      Abe wrote on February 24th, 2013
    • I’ve worked with thousands of chronic T2’s over the years and here’s our “6 do’s and 6 don’ts.” You might find them helpful.

      Here are 12 critical “lifestyle” recommendations for anyone serious about their health. If you make these changes in your everyday activity, you will see and feel dramatic positive changes in your health.

      Restrictions
      1. Don’t drink soda (regular/diet). Ever. Soda is a modern day scourge.
      2. Limit refined sugar intake. We all know what these are: cookies, cake, candy, ice cream, honey, molasses, maple syrup, etc. There is no place in a healthy person’s life for these health-destroyers.
      3. Don’t eat fried or deep-fried foods. Ever. These “foods” are perhaps the most damaging of any in the long-term.
      4. Don’t drink milk and or fruit juice. Commercial milk is an abomination. Don’t drink it. Ever. Fruit juice is nearly 100% carbohydrate.
      5. Limit consumption of grain-based foods (bread, cereal, pasta), rice, or potato. These foods are concentrated carbohydrates (corn is 82% carbohydrate). Never eat anything made of white flour. Eat only whole grain-based foods, and then in VERY limited quantities.
      6. Eat limited amounts of whole fruit (no more than one small serving/day). Any phytonutrients found in whole fruit can be found in vegetables without excess carbohydrates.

      Additions
      1. Eat vegetables with every meal. Eat raw as much as you can. Concentrate on the above-ground, dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables.
      2. Eat healthy fats every day. These are: flax meal/oil, borage oil, fish oils, extra-virgin olive oil. Eat these raw, not cooked.
      3. Eat some protein with every meal. Breakfast should be predominately protein and healthy fats. Primary protein sources are: meats, eggs, cheeses, nuts, and beans.
      4. Eat 3 meals/day with no snacks 
between. Eat your last meal of the day at least four hours before bedtime.
      5. Get fit. Our bodies are designed to work and sweat. There is simply no substitute for exercise. Get as close to your ideal weight/height ratio as possible.
      6. Find a good diabetes-support product with HydroxyCitric acid in it and a good multiple vitamin/mineral supplement. Other good choices would be plant-based digestive enzymes and probiotics.

      Making these changes in your life will bring rewards that you can now only imagine. This is the only life we have, so treat it like it’s the most valuable thing in the world. It is. Remember, healthy people do healthy things.

      Ken Hampshire wrote on July 12th, 2013
  36. I absolutely love your site Mark!

    At 18, I was diagnosed with PCOS but as my weight continued to creep up(from previously never going over 70 to 90kg). Doctors just kept telling me to exercise more and eat Low GI carbs etcetc… the usual spiel. At 21 and having fallen pregnant with my daughter my weight continued t spike without me changing my eating habits, following a conventional diabetic diet(my mother in non-genetic Type 1) and no one could tell me why that was. They sent me to what they called obese pregnancy groups (which let me tell you as the ladies there were eating ad excess of 2 packets of Tim tam’s a day by their own admission, was not the solution to the problem). At full term I weighted in at 120kg, nearly double my original max weight of 70kg. I have been taking metformin since then and by slogging it out and clean eating(still having a large amount of low GI carbs) I had gotten down to 90kg. However 2 hours of cardio and weights daily was ridiculous considering by watching my consumption I should have been loosing weight without any exercise(calories in calories out)! I decided there has to be a better way to eat in a manner which was more intuned with my personal body consumption requirements. I researched and by analysising the way insulin reacts to the body and the manner in which insulin intolerance comes to be and how fats are not consumed in the body the same way I deduced that carbs were BAD for me in large quatities. I have been eating in a manner the same as is described here and am utterly relieved I have now been validated! Thankyou! However the question remains, I am down to 85 kg, another 15 to lose but I do not know if metformin for the time being will assist this or hinder this way of eating with insulin intolerance? Can you give me some guidance on this?

    Tara wrote on April 10th, 2013
  37. Hello Mark. Just read this post. Read because of my recently re-thinking a same thing. I have few minor corections.Ghrelin and leptin may also be added. More fat > more leptin from fat > less insulin should work IMHO. That may be a cause why not all sedementary faty sugar eating humans have insulin resistance. One of possible causes.

    Alexander wrote on June 26th, 2013
  38. Interestingly many of these comments seem rather old. I have come across evidence pointing to Metformin as a very useful medication, unlike many others.
    My blood sugar has dropped a point ( from 6’s to 5’s) since starting the medication. The latest evidence shows drop in lipids, weight, sugar of course, and a whopping drop in cancer diagnoses in diabetics on Metformin. Google it up for yourself to see other benefits it seems to have. I am a survivor of endometrial cancer and breast cancer as well. Also surprisingly a survivor of Chemo treatments as well!! The Metformin recommended is the slow release prescription. No one will get me off this one!!!

    Mrs Wardle wrote on November 7th, 2013
  39. Of concern is that a high protein diet of meat and other animal foods is not recommended for diabetics as they have a big risk of kidney damage.

    So would this primal type diet be safe for diabetics?

    Pierre wrote on December 31st, 2013
  40. Thank you! Very informative and understandable. I am at the pre-diabetes stage and my doctor has strongly recommended a lower carb primal or paleo type diet .

    Sybil wrote on February 4th, 2014

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