High Insulin Goes Mainstream









In this segment I want to share with you a video which interviews a pretty traditional medical doctor, Dr. Tim Arnott of the Lifestyle Center for America in Oklahoma.  The fact that the word lifestyle in in there at least tells us that they are paying a lot of attention to lifestyle at this center, which is definitely a good thing and a real improvement over most clinics, who could be more properly called pharmacological centers, where there solutions are pretty much limited to prescribing prescription drugs.

To his credit though, at this medical center, their goal is to reduce medications actually, through promoting positive lifestyle changes, changing one’s diet to specifically keep insulin levels in check, and also to prescribe exercise, once again to lower insulin levels.

So the name of this talk is “How To Keep Insulin Levels Low,” and that’s exactly the topic of it.  This certainly isn’t the best video there is on high insulin by any means, but it is interesting to see something like this come from a guy who is certainly on the conventional side of things for the most part, although he and his colleagues at this treatment center have figured out that they need to be paying attention to insulin levels with people’s health, and especially with insulin levels of diabetics.

So the idea that we should be even looking to control our blood sugar through diet is not something that conventional doctors tend to even look at, and they are actually a lot more worried about cardiovascular disease than our diabetes, and mistakenly believe that their higher carb diet prevents cardiovascular disease better than a low carb diet.

So to convince these people to stop it, you really need to approach this from the perspective that a high carb diet actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which it clearly does.  So our friend here came upon some studies that showed just that, higher glycemic loads being correlated with a 70% higher risk of coronary heart disease and almost a 300% increased risk of colon cancer, and this turned him around and now he’s preaching lower glycemic diets.

Somehow he’s also figured out that the higher insulin levels that is caused by this higher carb diet is the culprit here, he doesn’t show how he came to this conclusion but there’s plenty of evidence about this out there but you do really need to look for it so this guy did spend some time trying to figure this out, to his credit.

So he’s telling people that high glycemic foods have to go, processed grains, potatoes, rice, sugar, etc.  He still thinks whole grains are good for you so he hasn’t woken up completely yet but this sure is an improvement over the view generally in the profession.

He does speak ill of low carb diets though, interestingly enough, and doesn’t realize I guess that he is preaching low carb as well, or fairly low carb, but if what he says is true, and it is, this other stuff like whole grains does raise people’s blood sugar, and especially the blood sugar of diabetics, because it does end up needing a lot of insulin to handle it as well, and although the spikes are less than processed grains, the amount secreted is similar over time, or at least high enough to be a concern.

There are some forward thinking MDs who do get this, but with Dr. Arnott, it’s not that he practices functional medicine here and is actually pretty close to a regular MD other than this concern with insulin, which he does deserve to be applauded for, in spite of his still needing to figure out some of this stuff, and open his mind further to really attacking the problem in the right way by looking at carb load in general, processed or not.

So he does mention the glycemic index, which by the way is based upon changes in blood sugar and not insulin levels, and they also test this out on non diabetics and then try to apply it to diabetics, and the results can vary because we don’t have insulin in reserve like non diabetics do because we tend to battle extra blood sugar from the liver all day long and we therefore don’t have much at all in reserve when we eat a meal.

So what we really need to do with these foods is to measure insulin levels over time, like Dr. Kraft has done, a 4 hour test at least where you look to see the total insulin increase and then you compare foods that way, and you also need to do this with diabetics separately.  We’re a long way off from that because not enough people care about insulin levels yet but it is nice to see that the word is getting around more.

He does mention a couple of other interesting points which are worth bringing up here, the effects of cortisol on blood sugar and how we need to keep that in check if we expect to have good glucose metabolism, and high cortisol certainly messes this up.

Also, he mentions that it’s been shown that coffee drinking has been shown to benefit diabetics, but there is what at least seems to be conflicting evidence here, where it has been shown to raise people’s blood sugar as well.  The difference though is that the caffeine in coffee can elevate levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the short term, so if you do a study and give people who don’t normally drink coffee some coffee than they aren’t accustomed it it or accustomed to it in such amounts, so you see this effect, although those who are accustomed to the caffeine don’t have this effect, but you don’t develop a tolerance to the benefits of coffee, so an improvement is seen.

So not a great video but one that I still wanted to share to show that the word is getting out about this more and more and it’s even finding its way to some pretty traditional medical practitioners overall, which is nice to see.

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