Real Talk The Paleo View

TVP Podcast, Episode 305: Why Insulin is Important & Awesome!

Ep. 305: Why Insulin is Important & Awesome!

In this episode, Stacy and Sarah tell you about how awesome insulin is and why you shouldn’t be trying to go very low carb.

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 305: Why Insulin is Important & Awesome!

  • Intro (0:00)
  • News and Views (0:40)
    • Sarah is on single-parent duty this week and is feeling the effects!
      • Kudos to all you single parents out there who do it all.
    • Stacy is in her busy season at work.
    • Stacy wants to mention something that has been on her mind this week: it is easy to get wrapped up in wanting what someone else has- which is partly human nature.
      • If this looks like jealous, anger, and frustration… those are not good feelings.
      • Have patience and compassion, and consider reaching out and giving a compliment or asking for mentorship if you’re having these feelings.
    • Sarah has become a regular contributor for Paleo Magazine.
      • She wrote an article coming in the Aug/Sept issue about the case for more carbohydrates.
        • This was spurred by the editor of the magazine noticing Sarah isn’t a supporter of very low carb diets.
  • Insulin as a Super Hormone: Thyroid
    • There are insulin receptors in just about every cell type.
      • It isn’t always about shuttling glucose into the cells.
    • Insulin is important for thyroid function.
      • There are 3 different variations of the same enzyme that convert “inactive” T4 to “active” T3.
        • This can happen in the thyroid or all over the body.
        • The Type 2 Deiodase is the most active form.
          • It is stimulated by insulin.
            • This is how insulin feeds into thyroid function.
            • With insulin resistance and diabetes there is a higher risk of hypothyroidism.
      • A recent paper looked at ketogenic diets in epileptics.
        • 120 participants followed a mediterranean style ketogenic diet.
        • 1 in 6 participants developed hypothyroidism requiring medication within the first 6 months.
        • 8 of these participants developed hypothyroidism within the first month.
        • The ketogenic community counter-argues that any weight loss diet causes suppression of the thyroid.
          • The difference is the magnitude, and their hypothyroidism requiring medication.
      • We want to maintain proper insulin signaling because insulin is important!
        • You do want some insulin.
          • Don’t eat all the sugar.
          • Slow burning carbs like root vegetables and fruits are generally low glycemic load.
          • It’s not about ditching all carbohydrates at all costs.
    • Stacy knows the low carb does not work for her- it caused her to have major health crash.
    • Sarah has been a loud voice of decent for the ketogenic diet.
      • Most people who are recommending this diet are not presenting a balanced look at what science tells us.
      • Ketogenic diet can be therapeutic in people with neurologic and neurodegenerative disease.
      • Ketogenic diet is not a healthy way to lose weight.
        • The cost/benefit for this vs. someone with a neurological disease is very different.
      • When you take out large amounts of vegetables from your diet, as keto or very low carb does, it is hard to be healthy.
        • It would be difficult to eat the recommended amount of vegetables and still be very low carb.
  • Insulin as a Super Hormone: Other roles not related to blood glucose.
    • Insulin is important for muscle growth and repair.
      • It helps bring amino acids into muscle tissue, including BCAA.
      • It stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
      • It suppresses protein break down.
      • We see this reflected in insulin resistance, diabetes, and ketogenic diets.
        • A side effect of diabetes is poor muscle strength and function with age compared to healthy individuals.
        • One study compared weight loss in a balanced macronutrient diet vs. ketogenic.
          • It showed there was no metabolic advantage to a ketogenic diet.
          • Ketogenic diet group lost more muscles mass than the balanced macronutrient group.
      • 2 things important for maintaining lean muscle mass during weight loss.
        • 1. High protein intake: 20-30% of calories.
        • 2. Physical activity helps stimulate muscle growth and repair.
    • Insulin is important for bone mineralization.
      • Bone is constantly turning over- breaking down and rebuilding itself.
        • This is driven by osteoclasts (break down bone) and osteoblast (build bone).
          • As we age, osteoclast activity remains more constant and osteoblast activity slows.
          • Insulin is important for signaling osteoblasts and drives its activity.
      • Bone cells are signaling to the pancreas, helping to control insulin sensitivity.
        • There is growing research suggesting that osteoporosis is like “bone diabetes.”
          • This might be driven by insulin resistance in our bones.
          • Similarly, Alzheimers disease is thought to be driven by insulin resistance in our brain.
        • Type 2 Diabetics have 69% increase bone fracture rate.
  • The Case for More Carbs can be found here.
    • There is a lot more detail in this article that Sarah wrote, but here are some highlights:
      • Insulin is important for cognitive health, promoting learning and memory.
      • Insulin has an impact on neuro-inflamation.
        • Insulin is important for turning off these inflammatory cells.
        • This could be why insulin resistance in the brain is linked with other neurological diseases.
      • There is impact on cognitive performance in diabetics and ketogenic diets.
        • Mood problems, psychological adjustment in kids.
        • Ketogenic diet caused adults to be less motivated to exercise in one study.
      • A study in young, healthy men showed short-term ketogenic diets caused reduced concentration, slower memory retrieval, and slower processing of visual information.
      • Insulin is a happy medium hormone. If it gets too high or low, the wheels fall off the cart.
      • Every single thing in human health is designed around a happy-medium range in which it functions.
      • Yes, you can see physical results short-term from a very low carb diet, but that doesn’t mean it’s supporting your health.
  • If you’ve enjoyed the show, please recommend it to someone who might enjoy it.
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