Visit the Start Here and Primal Blueprint 101 pages to learn more about the Primal lifestyle. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to receive an eBook called Primal Blueprint Fitness and more - all for free. Thanks for visiting!Despite all the success you might have had with the Primal way of life, doubts can still nag at you.
A question I’ve been getting of late is the effect of reducing carb intake on insulin sensitivity. Going Primal usually does improve insulin sensitivity, both directly and in a roundabout way. In overweight women, a diet with less than 10% of calories as carbs improved insulin sensitivity, while a 30% fat, low-fat diet reduced it. In obese, insulin-resistant women, both high-fat and high-protein low-carb diets reduced insulin resistance, while the high-carb diet was not as effective. In obese kids, a very low carb diet was able to reduce indices of insulin resistance along with bodyweight and body fatness. It appears that weight loss is the deciding factor, and since low carb diets tend to be more effective at inducing weight loss in subjects, they also tend to be better at reducing insulin resistance in insulin-resistant, overweight people.
Muscle glycogen stores may be depleted, but if you want to fill those back up, you can do so quite effectively post workout, even when you’re low carb and otherwise physiologically insulin resistant. In the end, insulin resistance on very low carb appears to be a physiological adaptation to spare glucose for the brain and prevent your muscles from gobbling it up. Environmental pollutants and toxins like BPA and various fungicides can have negative effects on insulin sensitivity. Thanks for reading, folks, and I hope I cleared this up for you without raising too many more questions.
Howard, try eating a sweet potato with a serving or two of fermented dairy such as kefir or Greek yogurt. More than 150 grams a day (particularly from non-primal sources) and I crash a few hours after eating. I too experienced extreme BG rises after eating something as innocent as a pear and plain full fat yogurt after a year of LC. It seems to me, that following Mark’s carb curve will satisfy all cases and cures mentioned in this discussion, so what is the Point? Fats and proteins are metabolized slowly, while carbohydrates are metabolized more quickly, causing the sharp spikes in the body’s blood glucose levels. In the same token, when the insulin level rises, it stops the breakdown of fat, protein and carbohydrate for fuel, and simultaneously promotes the storage of fat.


The correlation between a low carb diet and insulin is as follows: limiting carbohydrate consumption stimulates the burning of fat and decreases fat storage. In fact, the metabolism and burning of fat are both extremely sensitive to changes in the amount of circulating insulin released by the pancreas in response to carbohydrate intake. Following a low carb diet significantly reduces insulin levels in the body throughout the day so you burn more body fat for energy, as opposed to storing the fat. Some low carb diet plans start off with an induction phase — a period of extremely low carb intake of less than 20 grams of carbs daily — so that the body will enter a metabolic state of ketosis and burn fat stores more quickly and efficiently. Followers of low carb diets eat fewer carbs which equals to less insulin circulating in the blood — less fat is stored which equals to less weight gain. The lower the body’s insulin levels, the more effectively it encourages fat cells to release their stores, and the easier it becomes to lose weight. According to several authorities, over the long term, lower insulin levels can improve insulin resistance, markers of metabolic syndrome, and also reduce the risk of serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Moderation is advised though when going low carb as a very low-carb diet can have a paradoxical effect and can actually end up causing insulin resistance as part of the starvation response. Dying from coronary heart disease for brought on by leaky intestine because have to be a diabetic to market your extra. If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase energy levels or just generally look and feel healthier you've come to the right place. There you'll find books, food, and the best supplements on the planet to help you take control of your health for life. Lowering my carbs and upping my animal fat helped me lose weight and gain tons of energy (not too shabby for a middle-aged guy!).
Physiological insulin resistance is an adaptation, a normal biological reaction to a lack of dietary glucose. If our tissues are insulin resistant on very low carb, and insulin also promotes muscle protein synthesis, doesn’t that mean the amino acids from the protein we eat have a harder time getting into our muscles? A bout of weight lifting, sprints, or even just regular walking can improve your ability to tolerate and handle glucose by making you more insulin-sensitive.
I see no reason to think it’s a pathological problem, especially given the droves of success stories on this site and others from people who have lost weight, torn up prescriptions, boggled the minds of doctors, and reclaimed their once-failing health through a low-carb Primal way of eating and living. Weight gain and an excess of energy (that the mitochondria can’t handle for whatever reason) are potent causes of insulin resistance.
So, I conclude that even the alternate-day partial fasting is not improving my insulin sensitivity. But, in general, having some sweet potatoes is going to be a good idea on a paleo type diet.


I find Rosedale to be correct in that going low carb allows your insulin producing cells to rest. When this level gets too high as a result of consuming too many carbohydrates (a condition known as hyperglycemia), the pancreas receives a signal to produce insulin.
It converts the glucose either into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscle, or into fat and stored in fat cells. The body can convert either fats, proteins or carbohydrates to glucose and use them for energy. These spikes in blood glucose levels cause the production and release of insulin until the level goes back to a normal range.
A reduction in insulin levels also decreases glucose uptake and slows the transformation of glucose into fat. Carbohydrates, especially simple carbs like sugar, bread and pasta, are broken down into glucose by the body, thereby causing a rapid increase in blood glucose levels.
Low-carb diets emphasize eating fewer carbs which then causes less insulin to be released by the pancreas, and fewer calories to be stored as fat. Lifting heavy things, sprinting every once in awhile (in a manner suitable for your physical limitations), and doing lots of slow moving will also keep you insulin-sensitive, particularly after the physical activity. Obviously, it depends greatly on who you are and what you are trying to do, but in general, our bodies could use some carbs to their advantage. This glucose comes from the food we eat and it’s used for energy or stored as fat for future use.
It can use ketones and lactate quite effectively, thus reducing the glucose requirement, but at the end of the day it still requires a portion of glucose. In actual clinical trials, low carb diets are consistently linked with preservation of lean mass during weight loss.
I also get the feeling sometimes that sweet potatoes are actually a better carb source than fruit. Even though I’ve done well and feel great, should I be worried about insulin resistance?
Now, in a low-glucose state, where the body senses that dietary glucose might not be coming anytime soon, peripheral insulin resistance is triggered.



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