Taken from Insulin Resistance Diet by Cheryle R. Hart M.D., Mary Kay Grossman

Bottom Line:  You do NOT want an insulin rush in your blood because it shuttles glucose to fat and inflames your arteries (thus raises cholesterol). Therefore these dietary rules keep you from provoking that insulin rush.


The Rules:

  1. NEVER eat a sugary food/drink or a carb on an empty stomach!!!  (Even diet drinks cause an insulin rise, resulting in the deposition of fat and formation of cholesterol.)  This includes a sugary cereal first thing in the morning, or a sugary coffee or sweet smoothie.
  2. ALWAYS eat a carb WITH A PROTEIN in the ratio of about 2 parts carb to 1 part protein.   So one serving protein=1 oz or size of 2 fingers; one serving of high carb food (not sugary) = ½ cup
  3. Fats and protein delay hunger.  Eating fat with carbs delays an insulin rise.
  4. Eat no more than 2 servings (1 cup) carbs per meal or snack. [If you want to lose weight then reduce the carb intake to one serving, that is, ½ cup per meal, with a max of 1&1/2 c per day.]
  5. No more than or 1 cup of carbs may be consumed within 2 hours of the last serving.  If one consumes more than this, then the excess is stored as fat.  This concept is known as the 2 hour fat window.


Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body does not efficiently use insulin.  As you develop insulin resistance, glucose remains high in the blood and you tend to store most carbs as adipose fat rather than utilize them for energy. After you eat, digest, and absorb carbs, your blood glucose (blood sugar) level normally rises.  The pancreas responds by releasing insulin, which then transports glucose into your body cells where it can be used as energy.  If you have more glucose being released into the bloodstream than your body needs, the insulin takes extra blood glucose and transports it into fat storage.  The key to avoiding this scenario is to eat in such a way to always keep insulin levels low.  When insulin rises and spikes to regulate high blood sugar levels, then more fat is also being stored.


Glucose & Insulin Factoids

1.  Glucose is the simplest sugar and the only sugar that your body can use for energy.  Every one of your body’s cells uses glucose to function.

2.   The more overweight you are, the more resistant to insulin you become.  This is because extra adipose fat causes a hormone reaction (a rise in body cortisol) that closes the cells’ doors to incoming glucose.  The “shunned” glucose has no alternative but to go on to become fat.

3.   Too much insulin also causes sodium retention, which leads to higher BP.

4.   High insulin levels interfere with the clot-dissolving pathway in the bloodstream, so blood clumps more easily and blocks arteries.  It also interferes with the kidney’s ability to clear uric acid from the body (kidney stones and gout).

5.   Stress produces epinephrine, which causes liver/muscles to change glycogen (stored glucose) to glucose, its active sugar form for energy which, in turn, causes glucose levels in the blood to rise, again causing insulin to rise to control high glucose levels by, you guessed it, ushering the excess glucose to fat storage. [This is how stress makes you fat.]

6.   The body makes fat as quickly as 2-3 hours after eating a high-carb food.

7.   Proteins and fats do not cause insulin to spike.


Dietary Suggestions:

High protein foods:  Eat as much of these as necessary to satisfy your hunger.

·   Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs (Roast beef, thinly sliced at the deli is convenient to accompany carb snack food.  Chicken and turkey also come this way)

·   Legumes-Dried beans, lentils, peas

·   Dairy foods

·   Nuts and Seeds-Enjoy no more than 4 Tbsp. per day

High carb foods: – Read labels! [If you want to lose weight, avoid these.]

·    All grains – especially corn, wheat, pastas, cereal, muffins, breads, candy, soda, syrups, cookies, etc.

·    2 tsp honey/sugar=1 carb serving.  Use xylitol instead for its low glycemic index. [That means that it is sweet but does not provoke an insulin response.]

·    ½ banana, 2 ½ cups popcorn, 1 slice bread, ½ cup pasta=1carb serving (15 grams) => always balance with about ½ the weight of protein.


Ideas from the Book

·    Balance 1 serving of high-carb food (15gms) with 1 serving of high-protein food (7 gms).  Veggies (except potatoes and corn) are neutral foods.

·   You may have more than 2 servings of protein to satisfy hunger.

·    Apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, and grapefruits do not need to be linked to protein.  Eat at least 2 servings daily of fruit (1 being a citrus).  Fructose does not raise blood sugar significantly.

·   You must have foods from at least 2 food groups at each meal.

·    Eat frequent small meals every 3-5 hrs. Going longer promotes fat storage, slows down metabolism, and slows fat burning.

·    Write down what you eat everyday until you get the hang of it and retrain what a serving is.

·    Drink water: 8-8oz glasses + 1 glass for each 25# overweight.

·    Takes 6-8 weeks to make a new routine.

Examples of Linking/Balancing

·   1 egg with 1 slice toast(no butter or jelly) and veg juice

·   Sandwich (can use mustard), meat, cheese, lettuce and raw veggies

·    Piece of meat, potato, lots of veggies

·    Cheese w/ crackers

According to the authors, it is not carbohydrates that cause weight gain, but lack of protein and an excess of carbohydrates consumed in one sitting. Therefore, the authors recommend that carbs and protein be consumed in the ratio of 2:1. The maximum amount of carbohydrate allowed per meal or snack is 1 cup, and this must be balanced with at least 1/2 cup of protein. This concept is referred to as “linking and balancing” in that all carbs are linked with protein and balanced in this specific ratio. All vegetables with the exception of corn and potatoes can be eaten freely on the diet.  Apples, cherries, peaches, plums and grapefruit do not need to be linked and balanced with protein, but are confined to no more than a half cup serving every 2 to 3 hours. No more than 1 cup of carbs may be consumed within 2 hours of the last serving.

Protein, however can be eaten at any time



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