Monday, May 9, 2016

Experimental Diet: Postscript

Three more things I have to mention about my recently concluded experimental extreme low-carb diet.

1. I speculated that the weirdly low reading of 75 on the first morning after I started the diet might have been due to having taken an omeprazole pill the day before. So I took one again and measured my sugar the next morning and it was around 100, the same as during the rest of the diet. So the omeprazole had nothing to do with it.

2. Originally I sort of wanted to get into ketosis, i.e. using ketone bodies for energy instead of glucose. I did notice some changes like headaches, a funny taste in my mouth and changes to my urine, that are said to be associated with ketosis, but none of these things are objective.

3. I briefly mentioned that some populations seem to be able to live on a high-carb diet without getting fat and I speculated that there could be genetic differences at work. For example, the Japanese can afford pretty much all the rice they want these days, but still they don't get fat. Well, today I read this preprint which lists the top 16 traits found in English populations that have been selected for over the past 2000 years. Four of them have to do with glucose metabolism.  The authors don't interpret exactly what is going on, and I am no biologist, but I can see that increases in the fasting insulin level, which is what helps the body tolerate big spikes in blood glucose, was the fourth-strongest trait.   This is a population evolving to deal with a diet high in refined carbohydrates. 

Evolution may be good for the species but it is hell on individuals. For the insulin trait to be selected, someone with poor glucose tolerance has to die before reproducing, or be unable to reproduce. Wouldn't it be easier to just stop eating so much sugar?

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