What do we mean we talk about carbohydrate intolerance and carbohydrate sensitivity?

Insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance go hand in hand. Essentially they are the same thing and are caused by the same stimulus.

Insulin resistance is sadly a lot more common than most people would believe. If your parents are overweight and eat a similar diet to you, they more than likely suffer from the condition. Fortunately though, the condition can be reversed and beaten through careful diet decisions.

Carbohydrate intolerance causes

Carbohydrate intolerance is caused by the frequent eating of high glucose foods. This includes grains, rice, pasta, bread and of course, sugar. Insulin is the body’s go to hormone and is possibly the most important. It is responsible for the moving around of nutrients to the muscles and various organs and the regulation of blood sugar levels.

If a person eats too many carbohydrates, muscles and glucose receiving tissues decrease their sensitivity to insulin. This means that initially muscles and cells will be willing and eager to absorb blood glucose, but after they are saturated they become resistant to continue said absorption.

Because the body treats high blood glucose as a toxic condition, when muscles and cells are “full” of glucose insulin has little effect in lowering blood sugar levels. The more the muscles and cells resist glucose absorption, the more insulin is released by the pancreas to try and keep you alive.

Unfortunately, at some point the liver has to take over and convert all the excess blood glucose into fat for storage. This is why when people eat carbohydrates, they put on weight. Carbohydrates in and of themselves are fine and are required in small amounts for optimal bodily function, but the reality is that the majority of people on Earth eat far too much carbohydrate dense foods. 

Simply put; the more carbohydrates that are eat, the higher the level of carbohydrate intolerance/insulin resistance.

Carbohydrate intolerance is a warning sign for diabetes ahead

It really is that simple. Genetically, all of us are predisposed to becoming diabetic. It’s the way we are hard wired. We were never meant to eat high sugar diets, we are built to process meats, fats and vegetables. Processed foods weren’t available when we were prowling the wilderness all those thousands of years ago.

If the process of eating sugars, bombarding insulin resistant cells with glucose and desperate, insidious weight gain is maintained for long enough, the pancreas ultimately throws in the towel and stops producing insulin. At this point, you guessed it, you’ve got diabetes. Sadly, there is little that can be done to “cure” yourself of this terrible condition.

However, diabetics can and should make a point of drastically decreasing their carbohydrate intake. The simple truth is that most diabetics are in fact still insulin resistant. That statement will really hit home for some. Think of how much insulin type 2 diabetics have to inject themselves with everyday just to prevent the onslaught of a diabetic coma. That is a lot of insulin everyday. The need for all this insulin is that type 2 diabetics have an incredibly high carbohydrate intolerance/insulin resistance. 

What does this mean? 

Even though you pancreas does not produce insulin normally and you supplement by injecting insulin into your blood, the more you inject without lowering carbohydrate intake, the more insulin you need just to stay alive. 

On a good note, type 2 diabetes is completely reversible through lifestyle and dietary choices. 

If you are ready to make the necessary lifestyle changes that will ultimately lead to increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing carbohydrate intolerance, click here for a free course on applying the paleo diet to your life.

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