Every so often I get research fatigue. It’s the head-spinning sensation that comes with reading endless contradictory information about health, diet, exercise, and nutrition. Red meat – high in heme iron (so it’s bad!) but high in carnitine and low PUFA (so it’s good!). Dairy – high in iodine (so it’s bad!), but high calcium to phosphorous ratio (so it’s good!). Fructose – increases triglycerides (so it’s bad!), but increases metabolism (so it’s good!) but causes weight gain (so it’s bad!) but has a lower effect on insulin (so it’s good!). I can’t stand it anymore.
My weight has been up and down a lot – now it’s up. I’m not feeling good anymore. I don’t know if my feelings of well-being associated with eating Peatarian were just a month-long diabetic sugar high or if something positive was actually happening metabolically. I’ve been experimenting with potatoes, trying to find a way to get some carbs in and also keep my blood sugar stable. Eating 1/4 cup of boiled potatoes, along with protein and fat, keeps me from having blood-sugar swings…but also makes me feel dull and lethargic.
Today I listened to Ray Peat’s interview called Glycemia, Starch, and Sugar, in Context. I was driving at the time (for 3 hours, through a blizzard I might add), so I couldn’t take notes, but what I took from it is the following:
- Diabetes is caused by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) in the diet and in the system. Stop eating PUFAs and within a couple days you’ll be more insulin sensitive.
- Potatoes have some unique and magical properties, but the magic is in the juice – not in the starch. If you juice a raw potato and drink (or cook with) the juice, there are ketones (or ketone acids?) available that are very healing and can perform miracles like make insomniacs sleep and heal severe digestive problems.
- The problem with low-carb diets is the following: The body releases insulin to process the amino acids in proteins. When insulin rises, the body needs to raise blood sugar to avoid hypoglycemia. If there’s no glycogen (sugar) stored in the liver cortisol is released instead, which increases blood sugar. Cortisol suppresses thyroid function and immune function, and lowers metabolism.
- Starches can cause bacterial problems in the gut.
- Fructose is misunderstood and is awesome.
There was more, of course, but listening from my own insulin-resistant context, this is what I heard.
I haven’t done a great job of getting PUFAs out of my diet. I keep eating chicken. I should stop doing that. It’s worth a try, to see how much of a difference it would make for me to stop that. I’m not even sure why I do. (Edited to add my inner monologue after I hit “Publish”: I know why I do. I really like meat – I like that it keeps me from being hungry. I hate being hungry. And chicken is inexpensive. I can’t even believe how much money we spend on food already. If I upgraded to higher-quality meat I’d have to get a full-time job again. Seriously. Ok, instead, I’ll work on eating less meat, more dairy, more gelatin for protein. /moment of self-awareness)
I’m tired of thinking about it. For now.
No more PUFA for me.