Horizon "high fat or sugar" programme? Does anyone know if insulin resistance can be made worse by avoiding carbs?

(7 Posts)
takingawhile Sat 01-Feb-14 15:39:48

In theory I would have thought a low carb diet would have insulin resistance. Did anyone see the Horizon programme that looked at the effects of a low sugar high fat diet and a high sugar low fat diet in twins. They found that the twin who ate the high fat low sugar diet became LESS efficient at producing insulin at the end of the study!

Has anyone any thoughts on this? I'd be interested in your own experiences or thoughts...

:-) x

solveproblem Sat 01-Feb-14 16:29:38

I found this interesting http://www.dietdoctor.com/sugar-vs-fat-on-bbc-which-is-worse

Don't know how to link, sorry!

capsium Sat 01-Feb-14 17:13:34

I think insulin resistance is signified by hyperinsulinaemia, the body produces more and more insulin, in response to glucose, as the insulin receptor's function becomes impaired. Eventually the adrenals can become exhausted and cannot produce enough insulin and Type 2 Diabetes develops as a result. Too much insulin in the blood leads to the body storing excess fat, as it lowers glucose by moving it to the body's fat stores.

The twin who ate the high sugar diet was already producing more insulin in response. His insulin response was quick but this could be in response to the body overworking to produce more insulin in response to dulled insulin receptors.

The twin who ate the the no carb diet produced less insulin. If he had had hyperinsulinaemia this would be a positive result. His fasting blood sugar was slightly higher but still within the range of normal. The body can metabolise protein into glucose so his fasting glucose level may have been higher due to his body doing this (dietary protein takes longer to digest than simple carbohydrate). His insulin response was slower, but this was not necessarily bad, no comparison was made to figures detailing optimum insulin response.

Also the experiment was rather extreme for the twin who ate no carbs. Usually during a low carb diet plenty of vegetables are eaten. These vegetables also contain Chromium, a nutrient which helps maintain good insulin receptor function.

The bod pod they used to measure fat only measures fat percentage of body make up. It does not distinguish between muscle mass and fluid retention. So they could not say exactly how much muscle the twin who ate no carbs had lost. Restricting carbs means the body retains less fluids.

capsium Sat 01-Feb-14 17:59:27

There is the possibility that the body's insulin response gets a bit sluggish if no carbs were eaten at all. However most low carb diets are low carb and not no carb. Plenty of vegetables are eaten, these contain carbs.

Insulin resistance though is usually signified by high blood sugar, the twin who ate no carbs was still within the range of normal, together with high levels of insulin (the body produces more insulin as the insulin receptor's function is impaired).

takingawhile Sat 01-Feb-14 18:42:46

Interesting guys thank you!

ChippingInWadesIn Sat 01-Feb-14 18:55:14

I haven't watched it yet, but you are right, a LOW carb diet, with carbs coming from veg (mostly leafy greens) will improve insulin resistance.

SidandAndyssextoy Wed 12-Feb-14 10:01:46

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