By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
I’d like to share a case study that describes how high blood insulin levels can make a person gain weight and keep them overweight. Eva was a 45 year old lady who came to see me for help with losing weight. Her weight had been a problem for most of her life but she could always lose a few kilos in the past if she went on a diet and did some exercise. Those strategies stopped working a few years ago. She would cut the fat out of her diet and drastically reduce her portion sizes but wasn’t able to lose more than 3 or 4 kilos. She needed to lose approximately 15 kilos to achieve optimal health.
Eva stayed on her strict diet for more than 3 months but couldn’t lose any more weight. The frustration, fatigue and hunger made her give up on the diet and she went back to her old ways of eating and she regained the weight. Eva’s diet wasn’t too bad; she rarely ate any junk food and she knew about the importance of eating lots of vegetables. She had been diagnosed with a fatty liver 5 years ago but her doctor never offered any solutions and just told her not to worry about it. I explained to Eva that her fatty liver had everything to do with her weight and that it was vitally important to clear the fat from within it. I organised a few blood tests for Eva and the most striking result was her blood insulin level; it was 4 times higher than it should be and this was preventing her from losing weight.
Eva was able to lose 13 kilos in 3 months following my recommendations.
High blood insulin levels and fatty liver go hand in hand. In fact it is the high insulin that drives the liver to manufacture fat. Fatty liver does not develop from eating too much natural fat; it is caused by eating too much carbohydrate, which the liver converts into fat, or too much linoleic acid-rich seed oil which causes inflammation. Your pancreas makes insulin every time you eat a meal that contains carbohydrate (sugar, grains, cereals), and protein to a much smaller degree. Insulin is supposed to drive sugar (glucose) into your cells where you use it for energy. Unfortunately, people with chronically high insulin levels lose the ability to do this. Therefore they don’t get energy from eating these foods, and in fact their liver converts the carbohydrate they ate to fat.