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While glucose is a simple sugar, it is still a relatively large molecule, therefore it needs certain transporters in order to allow it to enter a cell. These are known as GLUTs (glucose transporters).  Contrary to popular belief, not all cells require insulin in order to transport glucose inside of a cell. Some organs and tissues are insulin-independent, meaning insulin is not required, whereas others are insulin-dependent, meaning they require insulin.  GLUT 4 transporters are located on skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the heart and do require insulin. In order for glucose to be transported into these cells, insulin must bind to insulin receptors and signal for this process to occur. Insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels. Once it is released, it binds to insulin receptors and triggers a response to allow glucose to be transported into the cell. GLUT 1 Insulin independentBloodBlood-brain-barrierHeart (partially) GLUT 2Insulin-independentLiverPancreasSmall IntestineGLUT 3Insulin-independentBrain NeuronsSpermGLUT 4Insulin-dependentSkeletal MuscleAdipose tissue (fat)HeartDysfunctions in Glucose RegulationGlucose regulation can become dysfunctional at many different steps. If insulin is not produced sufficiently, glucose is unable to enter insulin-dependent cells and these cells can starve. This is known as type 1 diabetes mellitus.
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 Not only does this research show how the keto diet can lead to weight loss and improved metabolic health, it’s also monetarily cost effective as it reduces the need for insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs. Lastly, our friends at Virta Health are doing incredible work reversing type 2 diabetes with their low carb protocols. One of their studies shows that this dietary monitoring protocol lowered glycemic control medication from 55. 7 to 26. 8% including insulin (-62%) and sulfonylureas (-100%). There was also resolution of diabetes (reversal, 53. 5%; remission, 17. 6%) in the intervention group but not in usual care group. Overall Ranking: 2/5 StarsThe experts placed the keto diet in the bottom half in all but the short-term weight loss category primarily because of the diet’s emphasis on fat-rich foods. One expert noted, “This diet is excessively high in saturated fat. ” In addition, the diet was falsely stated to be low in fiber and calcium.
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This is fascinating considering the University of British Columbia recently conducted a randomized trial which explored the results of those following a ketogenic diet versus the Weight Watchers
diet. At the 12-week checkpoint, the group following the ketogenic diet achieved two times more weight loss than
the Weight Watchers group. More significantly, the keto group lost three times the amount of weight than the Weight Watchers group after 24 weeks and had substantial improvements in metabolic health. Cholesterol and other lipids showed no changes of concern. To read more about the trial, click on the article here. Coming in at number 20 was the infamous Biggest Loser diet. It ranked . 8 points higher on “Easy to Follow” and 1. 6 points higher in the “Heart Healthy” categories. These rankings come, despite the research showing persistent metabolic adaptations after the Biggest Loser competition–six years later!  This study showed that the majority of the weight lost on the show was regained, yet their metabolisms were still suppressed/slowed. Further, while I agree that exercise is extremely important, on the Biggest Loser diet, it’s a “key part” of the success.