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Carb Cycling and Hyperglycemia

Commented on September 02, 2013
Created August 31, 2013 at 3:22 AM

Most of the time I eat lower-carb. 2 meals per day, <40g per meal from veggies and the occasional nuts/legumes. I do periodic carb-ups sometimes timed around workouts, sometimes the night before, and sometimes just because.

I have no complaints about energy, performance or body composition, but I am starting to question whether or not this now-popular pattern of carb-cycling or -backloading is healthy or actually dangerous.

Low-carbing induces physiological insulin resistance and fasting hyperglycemia (see the Hyperlipid posts on "Physiological Insulin Resistance" : http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2007/10/physiological-insulin-resistance.html and more).

In (some) fat-adapted people, administering large boluses of glucose (=carb refeeds) creates a quite massive blood-sugar spike. Apparently the way to work around this is to increase carbohydrate gradually for a few days before that bolus, but that's not what carb-cycling entails.

Does such a massive blood-sugar spike--the kind exemplified by the "carb backload"--in and of itself, cause damage? If so, what kind of damage? Is carb-cycling actually the worst of both worlds?

I want to be clear that I don't have any more than the most rudimentary understanding of IR/T2DM/etc, so if this is a stupid question, by all means say so.

341abc7c4260f546147e1b380de7e866

on September 02, 2013
at 05:06 AM

Thanks. By the way, I just found this thread (http://paleohacks.com/questions/108225/the-high-blood-glucose-dilemma-on-low-carb-lc-diets#axzz2dflEIyvT), which is helpful if not conclusive with respect to this particular question.

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1 Answers

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874ff271ca3379984344d5f9f760fec3

on September 01, 2013
at 10:47 AM

Just keep an eye on your blood sugar. A cheap glucose meter from walmart is under $20.

Depending on the individual, a glucose bolus can be terribly harmful. Once serum glucose goes over 140, serious and most likely permanent damage is being done.

If you are fat adapted, why not let your liver make sugar as you need it ?

341abc7c4260f546147e1b380de7e866

on September 02, 2013
at 05:06 AM

Thanks. By the way, I just found this thread (http://paleohacks.com/questions/108225/the-high-blood-glucose-dilemma-on-low-carb-lc-diets#axzz2dflEIyvT), which is helpful if not conclusive with respect to this particular question.

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