Insulin Resistance

Two nutrition books have made their way into my reading list this year.  They are Why We Get Fat and You: On a Diet.  I was impressed by both.  Both share a similar stance that the common calorie energy balance is the incorrect model for human accumulation of fat.  By calorie balance, I mean Calories In – Calories Out = Fat Accumulated.  Instead, the fat accumulation balance may be more complicated and based on types of calories ingested, carbohydrates being a much more significant contributor than ingested plant and animal fat.  The book Why We Get Fat really dives into this subject with amazing clarity and objectivity.

I think we are still in a development phase in the field of nutrition*.  One concept new to me is insulin resistance.  In summary, insulin resistance is different for everyone and how efficiently your body converts carbohydrates into fat.  It would explain why my girlfriend can live on a constant HFCS IV drip and remain nearly single digit body fat, and why a beer and pasta is probably not a good diet for me.

*We as opposed to the ever popular “they.”  When you look at the world as we being the experts, there are a realm of unknowns waiting to be discovered or at least found in the literal definition of the word research.  We are always waiting for answers from “them.”  I don’t know who these “they” people are, but “they” often are the root causes and experts on everything known to man.  What if “they” don’t really care about solving our problems?  </rant>

It’s also interesting to me that I didn’t think much beyond a sideline interest in the Paleo diet trend going around.  People need to hear an agenda tailored for their own audience.  As a Myers-Briggs -NT-, I prefer logic.  Others will prefer convincing historical analysis.  We all tick differently.

There definitely are more similarities than differences with Paleo and the concept of insulin resistance.  And perhaps even more importantly in the nutrition subject is to take George Sheenan’s advice that we are each an experiment of one.

There are somethings I am more on board with than others in both books.  However, as a recent couch surfer passionate about nutrition, who we coincidentally had while I was reading one of the books above, said: it’s like saying we digest food the same as fire consumes cardboard.  In that simple example, the calorie balance model seems too simple for our digestion system that relies on multiple biological conversions and side-reactions.


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