To Carb or Not To Carb? with Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch – Episode 13 – Summer Tomato Live

by | Sep 27, 2011

Tonight on Summer Tomato Live we’ll be talking to Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch about how she got over her fear of carbs and lost weight in the process.

Join us live here at 6pm PST to ask Alexia your questions. To participate click the red “Join event” button, login with Twitter or your Vokle account. There is no password for this event.

I encourage you to call in with video questions, particularly if your question is nuanced and may involve a back and forth discussion. Please use headphones to call in however, or the feedback from the show is unbearable.

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4 Responses to “To Carb or Not To Carb? with Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch – Episode 13 – Summer Tomato Live”

  1. Lance Strish says:

    Going too low carb… like below ~150g/day I have heard of this ‘physiological insulin resistance’ from this post (coming from a guy who eats lard from the mail [pic]:
    “Physiological insulin resistance

    Back in mid summer 2007 there was this thread on the Bernstein forum. Mark, posting as iwilsmar, asked about his gradual yet progressively rising fasting blood glucose (FBG) level over a 10 year period of paleolithic LC eating. Always eating less than 30g carbohydrate per day. Initially on LC his blood glucose was 83mg/dl but it has crept up, year by year, until now his FBG is up to 115mg/dl. Post prandial values are normal.

    He wanted to know if he was developing diabetes.

    I’ve been thinking about this for some time as my own FBG is usually five point something mmol/l whole blood. Converting my whole blood values to Mark’s USA plasma values, this works out at about 100-120mg/dl. Normal to prediabetic in modern parlance. However my HbA1c is only 4.4%, well toward the lower end of normality and healthy. That’s always assuming that I don’t have some horrible problem resulting in very rapid red blood cell turnover. I don’t think so…

    I spend rather a lot of my life in mild ketosis, despite the 50g of carbs I eat per day. So I can run a moderate ketonuric urine sample with a random post-chocolate blood glucose value of 6.5mmol/l.

    What is happening? Well, the first thing is that LC eating rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a completely and utterly normal physiological response to carbohydrate restriction. Carbohydrate restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. Fatty tissue breaks down and releases non esterified fatty acids. These are mostly taken up by muscle cells as fuel and automatically induce insulin resistance in those muscles. There are a couple of nice summaries by Brand Miller (from back in the days when she used her brain for thinking) here and here and Wolever has some grasp of the problem too.

    This is patently logical as muscle runs well on lipids and so glucose can be left for tissues such as brain, which really need it. Neuronal tissue varies in its use of insulin to uptake glucose but doesn’t accumulate lipid in the way muscle does, so physiological insulin resistance is not an issue for brain cells.

    However, while muscles are in “refusal mode” for glucose the least input, from food or gluconeogenesis, will rapidly spike blood glucose out of all proportion. This is fine if you stick to LC in your eating. It also means that if you take an oral glucose tolerance test you will fail and be labelled diabetic. In fact, even a single high fat meal can do this, extending insulin resistance in to the next day. Here’s a reference for this.

    The general opinion in LC circles is that you need 150g of carbohydrate per day for three days before an oral glucose tolerance test.

    I did this carb loading thing, then performed my own OGTT. It came out very normal except for mild reactive hypoglycaemia. ”
    What I worry about is if you are in physiological insulin resistance and you secrete cortisol (or say exercise) and dump blood glucose and can’t clear it properly.

  2. Lance Strish says:

    ‘Which Diet Minimizes Blood Glucose Levels? If the key to health is achieving below-normal blood glucose levels, then low-carb diets are in trouble.’:

  3. Lance Strish says:

    I saw the pasta linked on Reinagel’s Google+ and she also linked to ‘If You’re Not Allowed to Have Rice, What Do You Have with Your Curry?’: Nostalgia and Tradition in Low-Carbohydrate Diet Discourse and Practice’

    “Concern about obesity has shifted weight-loss coverage in the media away from women specifically (Boero 2007: 44n1), and low-carbohydrate diets seem to appeal particularly to men (Bentley 2005), with at least one survey showing that men are much more likely than women to follow a low-carbohydrate diet long-term (Blanck et al. 2006). ”

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