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Does coconut oil trigger insulin release?

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  • Does coconut oil trigger insulin release?

    Hello! I've been reading this blog and forum for a while now. I need some expert help!

    I've been trying to eat a diet that would keep my insulin levels at their lowest. (I suspect I have high insulin response, and maybe reactive hypoglycemia). Then I just read somewhere that coconut oil produces an insulin response. Ack, I've been eating CO as my main fat.

    Let me explain what I have been doing:

    I'm trying to lose 10-15 pounds which is nearly impossible if I eat almost any carbs. (Losing weight is not the only reason I'm eating this way --- for health, energy, control of cravings etc)

    I've been eating mostly meat and coconut oil, and felt great - except for really low blood sugars (3.5-3.9 and feel low blood sugar yuckiness).
    (diet is say 70% fat or so, 1200-1500 cals) (Im a girl, 5'7" 174 pounds)

    I then added 1/2 avacado and a tablespoon of oat bran a day because I read those foods actually inhibit the release of insulin.

    Then I decided to add a few more veggies and alternate days of meat with days of meat and veggies. To keep my body guessing (its pretty adaptive).

    Am I totally off base? Would this kind of diet reduce m;y insulin? Is there a better fat to eat? Thank you anyone for your input!

  • #2
    I would worry more about the oat bran insulin spikes than the coconut oil.

    Keep eatin the CO!
    Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    • #3
      Do you think so? Maybe I'll try that. So I shouldn't replace the CO with a different oil?

      This is what I read on one site about reducing insulin:
      "How you can lower the insulin index: There are two ways you can keep the insulin index down. One is to consume a kind of fiber called beta-glucan. This is the fiber found in oat bran. Anytime you eat the fiber in oat bran, your pancreas releases less insulin. Less fat will be stored."

      Sounded pretty good to me, but maybe its not?

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      • #4
        I would focus on insulin sensitivity first, not just minimizing the insulin response. I really doubt you get much insulin if any from eating coconut, and if you do, big deal (although the whole notion makes little sense to me) that's not really the issue, the issue is glucose. Get good nutrition around the board and make sure you aren't deficient in magnesium especially. Balance omega 3 and 6 ratios (1:2 is good), stop eating oat bran and switch to chicory root. I hope you're eating some vegetables, there is no way that 50g of carbs from vegetables is going to send you into a blood sugar rollercoaster ride. Consider adding some fruit and/or starch if you have low blood sugar after meals. That is because you need more blood sugar and I refuse to believe that a near 0 carb diet is causing insulin overload! Too much is bad but not enough is also.
        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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        • #5
          Hey you & I are pretty close (I'm 28F, 5'6"). I got down to 169 when I started Primal, but was up to 178 this month due to some naughty, not-so-Primal behavior.
          Anyway, way interested to see the responses you get. Everyone tries to be super helpful
          --Trish (Bork)
          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Thanks so much for the replies!

            Ok, but I'm seriously confused.

            I read Taubes latest book "Why we get fat" and it really has me convinced that insulin is the main driver of fat storage and fat loss. Previously I had done Atkins level of carbs (12-15 veggie carbs) for a year - and I lost 20 pounds - but I still had cravings and serious hunger, and the weight loss was painfully slow. So I read in Taubes book that some people have to go even lower in carbs to lower their insulin level and therefore shed the fat.

            So thus the experimentation with lowering my insulin levels. I bought a blood glucose monitor and have been tracking my blood sugar levels. I've been reading a lot about Primal and think that is ideally what I would like to do to maintain and attempt to heal my metabolism (started dieting when I was 10, pretty much been on a diet ever since. Always battle hunger and tiredness after eating)

            I thought maybe I would lose the weight, and then focus my diet on healing.
            I have also started running - not much, maybe gentle jogging 20 min 3x per week.

            I don't know if I'm on the right track though. I feel so lost sometimes!

            Comment


            • #7
              Stabby, I have a couple of questions about your post. If you don't have time to reply, that's okay. Or you can direct me to an article that explains this way of eating you are recommending?

              I would focus on insulin sensitivity first, not just minimizing the insulin response. What do you mean focus on insulin sensitivity?

              Balance omega 3 and 6 ratios (1:2 is good) What would I add or take away to make that happen? Fish oil supplements?

              , stop eating oat bran and switch to chicory root. Why?

              I hope you're eating some vegetables, there is no way that 50g of carbs from vegetables is going to send you into a blood sugar rollercoaster ride. Consider adding some fruit and/or starch if you have low blood sugar after meals. That is because you need more blood sugar and I refuse to believe that a near 0 carb diet is causing insulin overload! Too much is bad but not enough is also.
              I appreciate this advice, but I don't think I can eat like that and lose weight. I can barely lose weight eating 12-15 veggie carbs. Fruit and starch make me so hungry.

              Comment


              • #8
                Increase insulin sensitivity, as in the ability of the insulin receptors to read the insulin signal. Look if just eating carbs caused people to get fat then the Kitavans who eat like 70% of their calories from carbs would be fat, but they are thin and not malnourished thin either. The secret is that they have incredible insulin sensitivity so when they do eat carbs the blood sugar and insulin go down quickly and they can resume normal metabolism. If we are insulin-resistant we get tons of insulin to try to do the extra work and it is much harder to get it all down since we are already hard-pressed to make enough insulin-degrading enzyme. Taubes says that if you want to lose weight you have to cut out carbs because you're probably insulin-resistant. I say that less carbs is probably good but wouldn't it be grand if we weren't so insulin-resistant? Taubes is great for debunking the lipid hypothesis but I think his philosophy is just lacking. There is more to it then that but we can all agree that better insulin sensitivity is better no matter what.

                Track omega 3 and omega 6 intake. More omega 3 is good but it is also about decreasing omega 6. Too much omega 6 causes an omega 3 deficiency so someone can be taking fish oil and eating salmon and still have low cellular omega 3. Baaaad. I prefer fish to fish oil. If you do use fish oil try to get a really good quality kind.

                Oat bran isn't paleo. I can't tell you what is wrong with it, although I expect that it has some grain nasties in it, but chicory root is a splendid fiber. It contains much inulin and in small quantities like 2 tbs per day it is anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing.

                camel: You don't lose weight and then get healthy! You get healthy and then lose weight! You'll do so much better if you just attend to nutritional basics like can be found in Mark's book and blog.
                Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Stabby, that makes sense. I have much to ponder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with stabby. I've yet to meet an obese long-time vegetarian.
                    People just don't get fat from chowing on fruits & veggies all day
                    --Trish (Bork)
                    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
                      I agree with stabby. I've yet to meet an obese long-time vegetarian.
                      People just don't get fat from chowing on fruits & veggies all day
                      I know obese vegetarians, but they do tend to be the "eat any crap that doesn't have animals in it" variety rather than the "eat fruits and veggies" kind.
                      Liz.

                      Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                      Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                      • #12
                        Candy bar eating vegans... Hahaha, that's a really funny oxymoron to me
                        --Trish (Bork)
                        TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                        http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                        FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Magnesium may help increase insulin sensitivity. It certainly seems to be working for me. 400-600 g Magnesium Citrate.

                          And here's a link that Stabby shared:
                          Magnesium Intake in Relation to Systemic Inflammation, Insulin Resistance, and the Incidence of Diabetes

                          Also, make sure your are Vitamin D sufficient.

                          After you've been Primal for a month or two, check out Intermittent Fasting, which can also help with insulin resistance. Wait until you have the diet down, though!
                          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                          • #15
                            Thanks Dragonfly! I went and bought magesium citrate yesterday, as well as good fish oil supplements.
                            I've been eating coconut oil lots, and am taking vitamin d too. I am also taking bitter melon and vanadium and chromium to help with blood sugar levels.

                            As far as intermittant fasting, I have thought about it, but if I go for longer than an hour after I wake up my blood sugars drop. I wake up with around 4.0-4.6 and they drop into the 3's pretty quickly. Maybe if I can get them leveled out better it will become possible in the future.

                            While I do believe that a person with a healthy metabolism can eat more carbs and not have insulin problems, I think it might be a different story for some one with metabolic problems. Not everyone produces insulin in the same amounts. For instance, we release insulin when we smell food, or anticipate it, or when we chew gum. For some people it may be not much, but some I think have more of a response. Maybe most people don't have much of an insulin response to coconut oil, but maybe some do. Anyhow, I'm going to keep the coconut oil in my diet for now. I agree that insulin and carbs are not the whole story, but they do have a huge part in it. Ok, here's to getting healthy AND losing weight!

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