Do Low-Carb Diets Cause Insulin Resistance?

A few weeks back in the “How to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity” post, I apparently dropped a bit of a bombshell: that very low carb diets can induce insulin resistance. Many of you wrote to me asking about the effects of low-carb dieting on insulin sensitivity and wondering whether you should begin eating more carbohydrates to counter it. Well, maybe, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to eat carbs if you’re low carb. The wrong way is to just add a ton of carbohydrates on top of your low-carb Primal eating plan without changing anything else. Doing that, especially in perpetuity, will likely lead to weight gain, hyperinsulinemia, and even more insulin resistance. Bad all around.

Now, many people are perfectly happy on a perpetually low-carb diet. I function quite well on a low (but not very low) glucose diet, hovering around 100-150 grams a day and often dipping below that. I might go even lower if I didn’t love vegetables and berries so much. But, assuming you are experiencing physiological insulin resistance caused by a very low carb or ketogenic diet, what happens when you do want to incorporate carbohydrates in your diet?

What if you want to pursue high intensity training or high performance goals that your current diet isn’t supporting?

What if you’d like to try out a few more carbs on your ketogenic diet — is such a thing even possible?

What if you need to take — and pass — an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)?

How do you eat the carbs, get the benefits, and avoid or limit the negative effects that normally accompany carb consumption in an insulin-resistant state?

I want to support higher-intensity training and performance, but I’m low carb.

Although many people following a lower carb Primal eating plan find that their training performance improves across the board, those seeking the upper echelons of high-intensity, glycogen-dependent performance usually need to regularly consume a somewhat concentrated source of glycogen substrates. How does a physiologically insulin resistant low-carber momentarily increase insulin sensitivity to support higher carb consumption for training?

This one’s really simple, actually, because the problem is the solution: they support their training and improve their carb tolerance by training really hard. High-intensity training, whether weight lifting or sprints or intervals or CrossFit, is a potent inducer of increased insulin sensitivity. You could take one of the most insulin resistant populations around (type 2 diabetics), have them do a few 30 second all-out sprints on a bike with 4 minutes of rest, and see big improvements in insulin sensitivity. HIIT turns your body into a metabolic furnace. It increases the capacity of your skeletal muscle to burn both fat and carbohydrates. That’s why whenever a person asks me about stalled weight loss or stubborn fat, I ask “Are you sprinting?”

I want to eat more carbs, but I’m on a ketogenic diet.

What you want is a cyclical ketogenic diet. Cycling in and out of ketosis with carb-rich forays can support high intensity training and performance while maintaining the benefits of ketogenic dieting, but these cyclical ketogenic diets (CKDs) must be done correctly. Just “eating more carbs” on top of your regular ketogenic diet doesn’t really work for most people. Also, make sure you’re the right audience; cyclical ketogenic diets are meant for people who train, and train often. If your idea of training (or if you’re injured or otherwise unable to train much) is a brisk walk every day, that’s perfectly fine, but you’re probably not a good candidate for a cyclical ketogenic diet because CKDs require glycogen depletion.

There are two basic ways to construct a ketogenic diet that includes carbs: with one big weekly carb load (the classic CKD) or multiple smaller carb loads adjacent to training sessions (often called the targeted ketogenic diet, or TKD).

On a CKD, you spend the majority of the week and your workouts in ketosis and devote a day or a pair of days to eat lots of carbs. You might be ketogenic Monday through Friday, exercising all the while and capping the work week off with a really intense glycogen-depleting training session, then go high-carb, low-fat Saturday through Sunday to refill your depleted and newly-insulin sensitive muscle glycogen stores.

On a TKD, you spend the majority of your time in ketosis but selectively eat carbohydrate before, during, and/or after your workouts. Most people seem to benefit most from pre- and peri-workout carbs. These aren’t large carb loads — 15-30 grams of relatively fast-absorbing, simple carbs. If you don’t want to opt for dextrose or other powders, a baked potato works well.

Whatever option you choose, you’ll need to deplete glycogen if you want to include carbs in a ketogenic diet. As long as you have a glycogen debt, any carbs you eat will go toward restoring those glycogen stores and won’t interfere with ketone production.

I want to pass an oral glucose tolerance test.

In mammals, pregnancy slightly increases insulin resistance and glucose intolerance to reduce nutrient uptake by the mother and preserve it for the growing fetus. This is normal and healthy and important. We do it for the kids. But too much maternal glucose intolerance means too high a nutrient flow to the fetus, prompting excessive growth and potentially untenable (and painful or even dangerous) birthing logistics. To avoid this situation, to head it off at the pass, pregnant women are given a sickly sweet drink containing 75-100 grams of pure glucose, which they must drink on an empty stomach. Their blood sugar levels are monitored at 1 and 2 hours after downing the nasty stuff. If you hit 140 mg/dl or higher at an hour, you’re in the danger zone of prediabetes and have to take further tests.

Low-carbers are at risk of failing these tests because of the low-carb-induced physiological insulin resistance. Luckily, there’s an easy fix:

For three days leading up to the test, eat at least 150 grams of carbs a day. This will increase the activity of your carb metabolizing machinery and smooth out any low-carb-induced insulin resistance. You’ll probably want to drop fat a bit to accommodate the extra calories.

Side note: if you’re pregnant and craving carbs, eat them. Don’t neglect the needs and desires of your body. Just try to stick with better quality carbs (potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other tubers, fruit, well-prepared low-toxin rice) and limit/avoid low quality carbs (bread, pasta, and other grains, pastries, cookies, potato chips, crackers, etc). Your body (and the tiny growing body you’re carrying) may very well need more carbohydrates, but it doesn’t need the trans-fat, sugar, gluten, and other junk that accompany conventional “carb” sources. I always want to throw this in so pregnant women and their partners don’t feel burdened to conform to some very low-carb ideal even as their bodies are crying for the opposite.

If you’re still freaking out about Primal eating making you insulin-resistant, take a breath. Chances are you’re not. Most people eating Primal are eating tons of vegetation and getting around 100-150 grams of carbs from that vegetation, which is plenty to stay insulin sensitive. It’s usually only when you dip down below 50 grams, start flirting with ketosis, and relying entirely on fat and fat-based fuels for energy that insulin resistance occurs. And when that happens, it’s for a very good reason — to preserve glucose for the part of the body that truly needs it: your brain.

Insulin resistance isn’t such a big deal when you don’t have loads of insulin floating around and the good thing about the Primal way of eating is that it reduces the insulin load. What do you know? The overall insulin load goes down when you eat fewer foods that require large amounts of insulin. Again and again, studies that put folks on low-carb diets find that they almost always lead to lower insulin levels. If you’re not encountering loads of insulin, being a little insulin resistant isn’t the mortal danger we often assume it to be.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope those people who were worried feel better, and those who wanted to include more carbs in their low-carb or ketogenic diets feel empowered and able to do it.

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About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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56 thoughts on “Do Low-Carb Diets Cause Insulin Resistance?”

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  1. Does any of this work when the person in question is already diabetic? I have found that the closest I came (not being the diabetic here, but am married to one) is the once-weekly Carb Nite solution: Friday night (or whatever night) potato salad, made ahead and chiilled for 24 hours before consumption. And in Hubby’s case, it only works once weekly–any more than that, and the effect wears off.

    1. I’m a type 1 diabetic and am on a low carb/primal diet. The article holds true to what I’ve found. Since my pancreas doesn’t produce insulin at all I need to add in all my own insulin. Given that I’ve found the following things:

      1) Low carb diet results in outstanding blood sugar control.

      2) It does also seem to result in some insulin resistance. If you’ve been eating really low carb (fewer than 50g/day for me) and your blood sugar spikes whether from eating carbs or another reason, it seems to take more insulin to get it down. Still worth it IMO since overall your blood sugars are amazing.

      3) Weightlifting/sprints/HIIT will release glycogen, which will raise your blood sugar during and shortly after exercise. I often have to account for this with insulin does.

      4) The hours following those exercises (often up until the morning after if I lift in the late afternoon) my metabolism goes crazy and I can often get lows– you may need to replenish with moderate carbs/reduce insulin dose during this time.

      So basically I feel that in my experience everything in the article is right on– but you need to take your own situation into account and tweak exercise and carb intake as needed. It’s been a big learn as you go process for me.

      Also I’ve been lowish carb (100 grams a day or fewer) for 4 years now and I’m never going back. The very low carb IS tougher but not undoable. I will never go back to a high carb diet.

      1. I am T1D as well and have been low carb (under 100 carbs) 6 days a week with taking saturday off. I’ve noticed after 4 months that my resistance is off the charts in a bad way on Saturdays. It spills over to sundays when i am back on low carb and then monday it starts to get better. Tu-Fri my blood sugar levels are perfect and easy to control. I’ve experience your point #4 but not #3…am thinking about training friday night or or saturday AM before by heavy carb day. will monitor thx to your comments.

        It seems to me like the author got his info from Peter Attia’s recent podcast. Probably worth checking out as well.

        1. Interesting on point 3. The amount my BS goes up from lifting seems a bit random and I’ve often wondered if it depends on how much glycogen is left in my muscles to be released or if it is some other factor. Theoretically if you are very-low-carb then you wouldn’t have any glycogen and it wouldn’t effect our BS. I end up just monitoring it a lot, which I suppose is good practice anyway.

          I think by default I’ve ended up on the TKD– I wonder if that may work better for you? When I moved from VLC to ‘medium carb’– around 100 or fewer a day– I noticed my insulin ‘resistance’ seemed to go back to normal after awhile– i needed less insulin to correct highs than on the VLC diet. Perhaps it is harder for the diabetic body to adapt to the once a week carb load than a consistent daily schedule? I don’t know.

  2. Carbohydrate restriction helps people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar but people who go on very low carbohydrate diets generally aren’t able to stick with them for long periods of time though.

    1. TH:

      Would you like to share with us the research you
      investigated to help you come to this conclusion?

      1. Seconded. Also, what is “very low” mean to you? I do 100-150g of daily carbs on a backstroke, and have for many years (and some days much lower than that). That’s low, for the general population, but not “very” low at all, for paleo/primal people.

    2. I have done and maintained a very low carbohydrate diet for well over ten years, it is actually quite easy to stick to, I could maintain it forever.

      I have blood sugar issues and watched a family member be destroyed by diabetes. Everyone is different and for those who are metabolically challenged such as I am, it is the solution and keeps me off of the medications.

      For those who are in endurance it maybe more of a challenge but I have not found it hard to stick to.

      1. I do endurance sports and I’m very low carb (as in, 20 or less on most days. Once a week I may get up to 30) and I do great. In fact, I do better on very low carb. I am surrounded by very obese diabetics in my family and I’d like to avoid that fate.

        1. I am with you there, I find I can eat like this with no problem. I eat around 20-50 daily.

          The recommended low fat high carb diet that is still promoted by the medical field is shameful. I believe it has lead to the current health problems that many in my family have had by following it, but it is really difficult to sell them on anything different even though it is obviously not working for them.

      2. I also have no trouble staying on 30-70g carbs and have done it for years. I’m also hypothyroid and last winter I began having thyroid issues, sleep interruptions, anxiety, etc. Adjusting meds helped a little, but adding sweet potatoes (2-3 oz) before bed seems to have done the most good. My blood sugar (T2, no meds) hasn’t suffered that I can notice.

      3. Me too. I love VLC.25g day. Green veggies, moderate protein and healthy fats. I need nothing else. Feels great.
        I have done this for 25+ years and was dx’d type 1 1 year ago. I only need 1 unit of insulin per meal and 2 of my night time basal. Eating this way. If I do go ‘a little’ off the board it takes up to 3 days to steady. It’s usually not worth the ride.
        I walk and do yoga for exercise. I don’t want to mess around with the highs and lows with exercise as high intensity definitely does that to me.

    3. Four years of carb restriction so far for type 2. Is that a long period ?

    4. I have to disagree, based on personal experience. I’m pre-diabetic with fasting glucose of 124 from low carbing (50-100 daily) and intermttent fasting for a little over 3 years. My fasting blood glucose has gone up every year; 99, 107, to current 124. You have to keep in mind that every individual is different and what may work for the general population doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

      1. I am Type 1 Diabetic and I have to question those numbers if you are only testing once a year. Blood sugar values change minute by minute. If you are concerned I’d suggest buying a meter for $20 from your local pharmacy and test much more often to get a feel for your values by time of day and around meals.

        1. Each time I was tested by my doctor via labs after fasting 12 hours. After I hit 124, he tested in his office on one of those $20 meters. I hit 120, within the 20% variance those devices are allowed. So, the number(s) appear to check out. After hearing this from other low carbers, I’ve come around to the notion that low carb diets can and do create insulin resistance.

      2. I’m not trying to advise you but in a diabetic world, 50-100 c is too high, I have to stay under 30 to keep things steady. You may be progressing as I did. Have you had a GAD test? Look into LADA and see if it applies. I would highly recommend you lower your carbs to start. Only green veggies. I got to the point everything raised me and it turned out I was LADA at 50 years old. I take insulin now but only one unit per meal IF I only eat green veggies. Anything else is Russian Roulette. JMO

    5. How long would you consider “a long period of time”? I’ve been ketogenic for the better part of two years now. Still feeling great and finding it easy.

    6. So true. Of the VLC folks I know, 9 tried and only one has stuck it out. And the latter sticks it out with weekly “setbacks”. As Mark said, for most, LC > VLC.

  3. I’ve been low-carbing since 2002 (sorry Tom H!), and have naturally gravitated towards very low carb, mostly cuz I like MEAT! Anyway, I also surf on the weekends and whenver else I can, and I find that a banana or two before and after doesn’t hurt anything and might help (hard to tell, really?).

  4. check out john kiefer has some great research on this exact topic and has been on the forefront of cyclic low carb diets

  5. Thanks, Mark. I have type 2 diabetes, now controlled at borderline with the help of lots of Metformin and a baby dose of Glyizide. Low but not very low carb. Under 100g per day, usually around 75g.

    I have tried very low carb (<40g) and found that my glucose went up as my body apparently struggled to hang on to what it had. I know that a few people are able to go VLC for an extended period with lots of exercise and eventually get past this problem. But like you, Mark, I want, and feel I need, to eat lots of veggies and some fruit.

    1. I found that I also have issues with my numbers going up and I eat low carb, but what I have found was that I was not eating enough. I actually have to force myself to eat more, I could easily go all day without being hungry and the longer I go without eating the higher my numbers, so for me fasting does not work. Everyone is different so finding what works for one may not necessarily work for someone else.

      I have looked for information on that but I really have not found anything about it.

      1. I can eat a no carb breakfast, skip lunch and then hike for however many miles in the woods and when I get home my bg is higher than I think it should be. I’m pretty sure that the reason is that my body is putting stored glucagon back into play that it has stored for just this scenario. My bg returns to normal in a few hours and all is well.

        I believe that excess insulin is just slightly less evil than elevated sugars so I choose to stay vlc to limit insulin response and to keep blood sugars from going too high.

  6. May I assume that your advice to pregnant women to eat however many carbs they crave does not apply to those with actual gestational diabetes? This could really lead to those large babies and birthing problems you mention in the article.

  7. This was the takeaway line:

    ‘Low-carbers are at risk of low-carb-induced insulin resistance’

    Glad I’m off this low-carb bandwagon. I’m now eating 300g carbs, have lots of energy to work out and still dropping body fat!

  8. I do about 100-150g a day, and just for giggles I did a 1hr GTT and passed with flying colors. That being said, Dr. Peter Attia did a fairly intensive, albeit n=1 post on how ketosis improved is endurance, at the sacrifice (slight, mind you) at peak performance.

  9. hey mark
    What do you think is a good amount of carbs for a female who does crossfit 3-5 days a week who is insulin sensitive? In shape but wants to lean out a bit.

  10. It sounds like everyone has a carb sweet spot. It’s nice to know there are clinical tests to back up the feedback we get from our own bodies. Thanks Mark for more great information regarding physical awareness.

  11. I was very long time in 15-20 grams carb range and I lost all energy and I think f$cked up my body.decide to up my carbs as targeted keto diet(potato,banana,carrot),will see how it helps me to lose more fat.already see changes in mood and energy up.i guess am doing it right.primal for everyone!

    1. I am in the same boat as you. 20g carbs for years and now my DHEA and sex hormones are very low and I have insulin resistance- getting into the 300s at the 3rd hour of a glucose tolerance test. Wish I could find exactly HOW to get out of ketosis with minimal weight gain

      1. i’ve gained some weight,but i think i need to restore my metabolism,it’s more important.right now it seems like my body can’t understand what am doing,but i will be patient and i maintain my weight right now.i guess will start losing soon )
        i hope you will be good too!

  12. Can anyone please tell me whether the “train fasted” tip in that previous article applies if you eat a virtually zero-carb meal, such as around 800cals’ worth of bacon and eggs with some black tea?

    I know that’s no definition of fasting but the tip only mentioned carbs, and I feel like hell trying to train on an empty stomach even though I seem to be metabolically flexible.

    1. Yes it does apply to the “train fasted approach”. This might not work for everyone. I can train fasted or train on a zero carb meal. Depending on the intensity of my workout however I will add carbs to a snack or a meal post workout. After a heavy lifting or sprint session I will sometimes have a zero carb whey protein shake (usually Isopure) and then will add some berries and half a banana to the blender with it. This will normally give me around 35g of carbs (from clean sources) in this one shake to assist with glycogen replacement or if I’m having a meal I will eat white potatoes or a sweet potato, with veggies and a good protein source.

  13. I’ve read that low carb induced insulin resistance is a protective mechanism to make sure what little glucose you need stays on hand. I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think it’s a powerful effect and like Mark says, if you’re not carb heavy you’re OK.

  14. When I’m in ketosis I feel fantastic and can work out even harder in crossfit, plus I love the way my brain feels. However, I feel like my gut health could use some improvement – anyone experiment with ketosis plus a few tablespoons of resistant starch like cooked, cooled rice a couple times a week? I don’t want to slow down weight loss efforts but also want to make sure my gut is working optimally.

  15. Carbs, the right kind the right portions, are essential. I’ve tried Paleo/low-carb diets of one form or another many times over the past 12 years, but usually, my ‘weight loss journeys’ have never been long enough to even track my progress. I didn’t like it. I found it was too bland and boring. I just love carbs and can’t imagine living without them. The key to success for me was to alternate high- and low-carb days instead of keeping carbohydrates at a constant all the time. It’s tricking the body into burning fat for fuel and create a calorie deficit to increase fat loss (more about carb cycling I’m using this method now for a 3 months and seems to work amazing for reaching a very low body fat percentage. Seeing the weight come off consistently is excellent. If you love carbs like me I can’t see why you wouldn’t follow it. There is also a psychological thing, it’s much easier to push through a low carb day when you know you have a higher carb day.

    1. Can you please share some ballpark figures for the different levels, an approx. high & low day?

      I’m happy with my system but never stop learning, and I want ideas if one day it stops working for me. Thanks in hopefuly advance! 🙂

  16. This is a wealth of information. I definitely have to share this with my diabetic father.

    Basically, what I’m taking away from this is that low-carb diets do lower insulin resistance, but they also lower the insulin load, so there isn’t as high a need for insulin sensitivity. Do I have that right?

    If someone moves off the low-carb diet permanently, will that person’s insulin sensitivity recover over time?

    Thank you for the great article–super informative!

  17. This is an awesome site. First off I am 46, retired military, currently living overseas. My access to the internet is very limited, due to my location. I have tried for the past month to cut carbs out of my diet completely, with the exception of very minimal amounts from my salad..lettuce of various types to keep it interesting, no other veggies in there. I do snack on cream cheese, and mozzarella when I am able to find them. The availability of chicken where I am is readily available, so the bulk of my food consists of eggs, leafy vegetables, and chicken. Chicken is never deep fried. I cook the breast meat in olive oil with sea salt and black pepper. My dressing is a spiced coconut vinegar. I drink mainly water…I try to drink at least 3 liters. I also drink black coffee with a spoonful of 100% pure butter, and a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil.

    I don’t seem to have the knowledge I should about a diet like this, and this article has raised a few concerns for me. If I had access to the internet on a regular basis, I could probably find the info I was looking for. Does anyone see a danger with what I am doing? I don’t want to screw up my body because of ignorance. I was basically shootuing for a keto diet, but perhaps I should have gotten a little bit more info.

    Sorry for the long post, however I feel like I am at the right place here. Thank you.

    1. I think going hard core keto should be fine for a while, but there’s more to being healthy than low carb ( and even that’s not necessary) or even being lean.

      Why not just keep doing what you’re doing but really amp up the veggies. I think it’s a mistake to reduce veggies to keep carbs low. Veggies are so central to health they should be apart of every diet – save for children trying to control life threatening seizures and have to be nearly zero carbs

      Also, the way we metabolize vegetables I don’t think they should count toward your carb total, if that’s what you are going for.

      We aren’t horses or rabbits or cows. There’s no way for us to fatten up on veggies.

      In my experience there’s a direct correlation between veggie consumption and health. The more I eat, the higher my energy, the faster my recovery time, and the more disease resistant I am.

    2. My main question Chris would be how do you feel? 🙂

      I’m doing more or less Atkins ’72 with a monthly (PMT reasons) foray into one single, one-hour duration, carb heavy meal a month, and I’ve never felt as good, despite eating 95% primally for the past couple of years now.

      I believe Atkins when he said he’d used this diet successfully for months and even years, I think his earliest book was written from the heart and his first-hand experience, and that later books that parroted the standard line about eat more veg were influenced by the conventional wisdom of more veg = must be great – also the idea that we must eat bulky foods that became the norm as people were coaxed away from eating high fat foods that were mare satiating.

      As a former vegetarian I can tell you (if you’ll pardon the TMI) that my intestinal transit and feelings of gut health are much better than when I was religously shovelling in at least 5 x 80g (about 3 ounces) of veg a day, as per the recommendations.

      So I used to be a believer, myself, that veg are the source of all good things, but cutting down, at first reluctantly, has left me feeling a lot better and no, I didn’t get constipated. 😉

      Just posting this because we’re all different, and veggies have plenty of support so I assume that you’ve read all the pros about them – I make sure the veg I eat counts, I buy the pricier stuff (just paid nearly £4 for a bunch of asparagus! 🙁 ) and aim to vary it, have as many dark-coloured veg as possible etc., but because of my experiences, I’m no longer certain that simple bulk of veggies is best for everyone.

  18. continual too low carb can raise cortisol levels – much like too much chronic cardio – combine both and you are guaranteed to increase cortisol, and stop production of HGH, testosterone and estrogen (for women). I aim to consume my carbs about 40 minutes after a workout in hopes that the increase HGH (from training), and Insulin (from eating carbs) to trigger the liver to produce IGF-1 which triggers cell growth and regeneration. IGF-1 is only stimulated when insulin and HGH levels are high simultaneously.

  19. Your lifetime insulin load is what does the most damage to your body. So, we have a big question that remains unanswered–does a higher fasting blood glucose on a High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb diet mean that you are producing less insulin? If so, then isn’t this better than eating more carb in order to get the fasting glucose down if it means you will produce more insulin? In a nutshell, just because it is far easier to measure glucose than insulin levels, let’s not assume that glucose is a more important measure. IMHO, low carb equals, mostly, low insulin, and high insulin exposure is the root cause of most Western illness.

  20. I’d like to propose the possibility that people who run into problems on very low-carb and keto diets may be suffering from inositol deficiency – this is found in fruits, wholegrain breads, and beans, also apperently synthesised from glucose, so everything a person on a keto diet avoids.

    Annoyingly, as a supplement it’s often packaged with choline, which a keto diet adherent is probably getting plenty of, from eggs. I looked up excess choline and didn’t like what I saw, neck stiffness and depression came up a lot.

    My personal experience was an intense craving for sultanas and similar dried fruit (which I wasn’t that interested in whilst eating a higher carb diet) and I took a gamble it was this, bought some supplemental inositol, and the cravings vanished almost overnight. IMO this may be why people get carb, fruit, and sugar cravings after a while on a very low-carb or ketogenic diet – and not the actual glucose itself.

    Anyway I wanted to drop the name in for people to do their own research, you’ll see the major listed sources for it with a couple of clicks of the mouse, and be able to draw your own conclusions.

    1. The Inositol is an interesting idea. Since being keto (<30g/day) for the past 6 months, my FBG has been rising and rising. Last measure was at 155 in the AM. PM is usually around 135 and climbing. My sleep has also been awful since going keto. I have better mental clarity, appetite control and improved exercise tolerance (I have chronic fatigue from mold illness). on keto so I love it. Recent blood work supports the rising FBG, trashing of male sex hormones (cut by over 50% in past 3 months), and my insulin is at 2 with C-peptide at <1. This past week I started adding in sweet potatoes and blueberries to bump the carbs up a bit. The PPG has started to respond and is good within 2 hours. <100. The AM FBG hasn't responded tho, but sleep seems to be improving a bit. What caught my attn. about the inositol was that I've taken a GABA with Inositol supplement in the past pre keto to help with sleep and it worked, but this time around has not. Maybe there isn't enough inositol to do the trick. It's something maybe to investigate on an n=1. Keeping carbs low and ramping up the inositol to see if it impacts FBG as well as sleep. Thoughts?

      1. I think all you can do is try it and see – I’d never heard of this prior to my own n=1, and I stopped doing keto in late May last year, for other reasons.

        After posting this, I was told of a link between ginger and inositol, which is interesting because most of the time the dried fruit I was craving most is also usually accompanied by ginger in baked goods (which I ate in reasonably frequent amounts in the first 2 decades of life, so they’re plausibly linked in my brain’s food memory), though whether that’s enough ginger in those foods to be biologically active is a question I can’t answer.

        If I was to take something from my own experiment, aside from supplementing it to see what that does, it would be to research ginger and see how the idea of eating more of it feels to you, for example does it feel like something you’ve missed or craved? And research other foods high in inositol (aside from the usual suspects like fruit, grains, and legumes), see if the lists feature things you found yourself missing in a way that seems unusual?

        I’ve only talked to one other person who encountered this while doing keto and who found straight inositol supplementation helped with novel cravings for (in their case) straight ginger root and ginger preserves, so please consider updating this when time permits with your results because afaik this isn’t something anyone’s talking about, and it may be useful to someone. 🙂

  21. I really like the work you do. Thanks for all the things you share on your blog.

  22. So far, I feel just fine. I had some headaches in the beginning, but i added some more salt in my food and it seemed to do the trick. I do crave my fresh fruit that we have in abundance here…jackfruit, mango, pineapple. As much as I love bread, I don’t crave it anymore. That’s an accomplishment for me as we have people coming to the house to sell hot bread in the mornings and afternoons. I am going to have some blood work done as general maintenance and as a precaution to see what is going on in there since starting this.

  23. This article was very interesting and has left me with some questions. I am insulin resistant (I have PCOS), and have been advised by some to do a low carb diet (20-50g) and by others to cut out only simple carbs. What is the best way to eat for insulin resistance and to lose weight? Should I be counting carbs or should I be freely eating veggies and other healthy carb sources? Thank you!