For the past several years, much of America’s health care research has been centered around our growing obesity epidemic. While this issue absolutely needs to be addressed, what if there is an underlying problem beneath the scourge of obesity which deserves a great deal more attention?
In April of 2013, Dr. Peter Attia, a surgeon, gave a TED Talk in Washington DC which focused on this very topic. In his speech, he explained that he had believed for years that the majority of people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes had developed these conditions as a result of a sedentary lifestyle of excess, which caused them to become obese.
However, after he himself developed insulin resistance and gained sudden weight despite daily exercise and following a physician-recommended diet, he began to look deeper at the sequence of events and developed a hypothesis that exposes a new culprit.
Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the cells to use and absorb the glucose that they need to function. Insulin resistance is the condition that occurs when the body becomes desensitized to insulin, resulting in the body needing more to generate the same effect, which in turns causes the pancreas to work overtime. Insulin resistance is linked to a number of chronic conditions, including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, as well as breast, colon, endometrial and pancreatic cancers.
Dr. Attia proposes that instead of insulin resistance stemming from obesity (the commonly held assumption), obesity is actually a metabolic response by the body caused by insulin resistance. He explains that the body copes with insulin resistance by storing energy in fat cells, leading to weight gain and often type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Attia’s hypothesis is that it is an excess of glucose, from both sugars and starches, that leads directly to insulin resistance, which then paves the way for other health issues including obesity. Dr. Attia states that when he cut carbohydrates from his diet, his insulin resistance issues dissipated, and he lost the excess weight that he had gained. This makes sense, because the more carbohydrates you take in, the more insulin the body must release to process them.
This theory that it is our nation’s consumption of sugar and carbs that is making us ill is not unique to Dr. Attia. Dr. Mercola states, “the low-fat (thus high carb) diet craze is largely responsible for the metabolic mayhem we see today.” On the relationship between carbohydrates and insulin resistance, Dr. Ron Rosedale says, “every time you have a surge of sugar and you have a surge of insulin, you become more and more insulin resistant.”
Dr. Attia is currently involved in additional research exploring the relationship between insulin resistance, obesity and metabolic illnesses. He passionately states in his speech that if insulin resistance is the primary driver of obesity then many obese people have been unfairly treated by those assuming they simply “ate too much.”
The challenge is they simply ate the wrong foods. And in our highly processed, carbohydrate-rich world, eating well has become very difficult. So once again, from the desk of us at here at The Alternative Daily, we reiterate the need to cut out sugar and processed foods and eat whole, organic foods – including a large number of vegetables, fruits, high quality protein (like wild caught salmon) and brain-healthy saturated fats like coconut oil and olive oil.
-The Alternative Daily