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I've been busy reading around the Gary Taubes vs. Stephan Guyenet disagreement on the blogosphere -- the Carbohydrate + Insulin Hypothesis (CIH) vs. the Food Reward Hypothesis (FRH) -- and I keep hearing absolute statements to the effect that CIH has been thoroughly debunked. This has me puzzled because it makes a great deal of sense to me and even recent interviews with Dr Robert Lustig still has insulin as the key player in all this mess.

I am currently working my way through an entry at Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low carb Blog (it may be a couple of months old)... Does Insulin Deserve A Bad Reputation? The Low-Carb Experts Weigh In and these comments from Mark Sisson really struck a chord with me...
A recent undercurrent in the blogosphere is discounting the importance of insulin, instead pointing toward leptin, among other hormones, as the “master hormone.” I disagree with this slightly, not because I discount the importance of leptin, or grehlin, or any of the nearly innumerable myriad hormonal players in this crazy, complex amalgamation of meat and bones we call the human body, but because it misses the point of what I’m trying to do: maximize buy-in and discuss what works for the largest amount of people that come looking for the type of help I provide.

Discussing ASP and insulin and leptin and all the nitty-gritty details in the comment sections of blogs seems like second nature for many of us, but we run the risk of forgetting that it all looks like chemistry textbook gibberish to the average dude or lady who just wants to fit into the jeans they wore in high school. At this point, they don’t need to – nor, probably, could they effectively – worry about carb refeeds or boosting leptin or fine tuning macronutrient ratios in accordance with activity. It all gets to be way too much for the newbies. They want something as simple to understand as “eat less, move more,” except one that works. Even if “eat less, move more” is ineffective advice that rarely works over the long-term, it makes intuitive sense to someone who isn’t steeped in this stuff every day. We need simplicity.

That’s why I like focusing on insulin – because it simply works, and it’s easy to understand. If you’re trying to lose a lot of weight, eat fewer carbs to lower insulin spikes and mobilize fat stores. Exercise with intensity to improve insulin sensitivity, so that when you do refuel your glycogen stores with carbs, less insulin is required for the job. Get plenty of sleep, because mismanaged cortisol due to lack of sleep induces insulin resistance. You do those things to manage insulin, and you’ll lose weight. Then, once it works and the pounds start coming off, what usually happens is the formerly fat guy with only passing interest in nutrition becomes obsessed. He starts reading all the blogs, pouring over the archives, and learning about all the minutiae. He plays around with leptin, adds some post-workout carbs, and realizes that all these details do matter – but he didn’t get to that point by fretting over the small stuff. Paralysis by overanalysis is a real threat.

I’m not here to discover the hormonal seed of the obesity big bang that sets off the cascade of metabolic dysfunctions. I’m here to help people lose weight and get healthy. For the vast majority of people I come into contact with and who contact me or visit my site, reducing postprandial insulin spikes gets the job done. And for the vast majority of that vast majority, eating fewer carbs accomplishes that. If there’s a lull in the weight loss, or they’re looking to get to single digit body fat percentages, focusing on leptin refeeds and tinkering with the lesser-known, but still vitally important hormones can become the new focus. But for now? For the average obese person with chronic insulin resistance who just wants to live longer and walk the stairs without coughing up a lung? Dropping carbs, and therefore reducing insulin spikes simply works.

Insulin is no problem in healthy people with normal metabolisms, goes the common refrain, and I’ll agree to that – but most people are simply not healthy!
 
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WHAT, I got D
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I am in total agreement with that statement. I also believe over abundance of insulin floating around your blood stream is unhealthy.
 

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I am often frustrated by the conflicting info and arguments within the low-carb/paleo/whatever blogosphere. I couldn't put my finger on it but Mark said it perfectly.

That and if the key to health is eating unpalatable food... I am not going to do well. :D
 
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