Does insulin make you fat?

Insulin makes you fat?  It’s an issue covered in an article that I read with great interest this morning.  A recent study suggests that having high levels of insulin in your body will cause you to store body fat.  The question, therefore, is whether insulin is an appropriate treatment for someone with Type 2 diabetes if they are already overweight or obese?

It’s a question that I have posed as part of the RebalanceDiabetes programme for some time.  But in my mind it certainly doesn’t stop with people with Type 2.  What about Type 1s too?  

insulin 2All too often someone with Type 1 is taught to count carbs and compensate for them with insulin, without any discussion about the appropriateness of eating those carbs in the first place. This is no different from someone with a working pancreas, who consumes too many carbs, secretes insulin to deal with that, and ends up overweight or obese…

So is the excess fat a result of the carbs, a sedentary lifestyle or the insulin itself?  Well it’s certainly true that when someone with Type 1 has been using insulin for a few years weight gain is a common ‘side-effect’.  Several of my own Type 1 clients have referred themselves to RebalanceDiabetes to shed the extra pounds because they know that despite maintaining the same diet the pounds have crept on since they introduced insulin into their daily regime.

In clinical trials, it’s quite normal to find differing views.  Where insulin is concerned some trials from about 2006-7 associate insulin with having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.  Recent reports, however, claim that HIGH levels of insulin are associated with causing inflammation in the body.  Well, if these later views are shown to be correct then they would certainly support that insulin can make you fat, because obesity is increasingly seen as an inflammatory condition – along with Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and heart disease.

There is a gathering body of evidence that a high level of insulin is linked with inflammation and weight gain, and this issue has been reported also earlier this year.  So what to do?  Well, as in the old adage – better safe than sorry!  By eating to minimise the need for insulin you’ll be keeping yourself safe – safe from inflammation, from increased insulin resistance, obesity etc.  I’ll be very happy to show you how!


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