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Nutritional Injustice!

June 22, 2017

As I read more and become more convinced of the insulin resistance model of why people get fat, I find myself becoming disappointed at what Gary Taubes (in Why We Get Fat) calls the injustice of it all: for those more predisposed to get fat by eating carbohydrates (like I am), there’s probably no way of completely getting over it. It’ll probably always be the case that carbs will make me quite fat.

To state that slightly more technically (though my technical understanding of the biomechanics is not especially advanced), we don’t seem to know how to reverse insulin resistance. We can only fight it by minimizing the amount of insulin through diet (and maybe through medication to some degree). I can take some hope in the knowledge that the research on insulin resistance still has quite a ways to go. Maybe we’ll figure out some way to fix it rather than just manage it.

But if that’s true, it means there will never really be a time I can look forward to enjoying, say, ice cream or beer, to even the moderate extent “normal” (i.e., insulin sensitive) people do. Completely unjust!

But even more than that, it means some of us really could be so insulin resistant that even the small amounts of insulin I get from eating a low-carb, intermittent-fasting diet will still affect me enough that it will be difficult or impossible to slim down like I’d like.

And I work my ass off at this. If I still plateau far from my goals. What hope do others have they don’t have time, effort, or focus like I do?

In addition to the ratchet effect–that as you click higher, you can’t come back down again–there’s a further injustice. Not only is there little you can do after you’ve followed the advice of the American Heart Association and the government and eaten lots of carbs, but some level of insulin resistance can be passed from mother to child in the womb. (Many mothers of people my age and younger also having been admonished to eat lots of insulin-spiking foods, of course.)

So yeah. There are still things to try. And, like I say, there’s more research to be done. I’ll keep reading and working on it, certainly. As much as it feels like the damage is done and I (and others) just have to learn to live with broken metabolisms, I’m also not a fan of the mindset of focusing on being a victim.

Gotta keep #gettingafterit.

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