What Causes Insulin Resistance?

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, | By NutritionFacts.org | NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG is a science-based nonprofit organization founded by Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM,

Saturated fat can be toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Explaining why animal fat consumption can impair insulin secretion, not just insulin sensitivity.

Like other leading killers, especially heart disease and high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes may be an unfortunate consequence of dietary choices. There is hope, though, even if you already have diabetes. Indeed, even if you’ve been suffering with the disease for decades, you may be able to achieve a complete remission of type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes.

One of the latest trials studied the effect of a strictly plant-based diet versus the conventional diabetic diet on blood sugar control of patients with type 2 diabetes. For the diabetic control diet, researchers calculated specific calorie and portion controls. On the plant-based diet, however, people could eat much as they want. (That’s one of the benefits of eating plant-based!)

What did researchers find after controlling for the greater abdominal fat loss in the plant-based group? Those who pretty much stuck to the more healthful plant-based diet dropped their A1c levels by 0.9 percent, which is what you may get taking the leading diabetes drug—but with only good side effects

The Spillover Effect Links Obesity to Diabetes

Being obese may result in as much insulin resistance as eating a high-fat diet.

Lipotoxicity: How Saturated Fat Raises Blood Sugar

The reason those eating plant-based diets have less fat buildup in their muscle cells and less insulin resistance may be because saturated fats appear to impair blood sugar control the most.

Diabetes as a Disease of Fat Toxicity

The “twin vicious cycles” explain how the buildup of fat in the cells of our muscles, liver, and pancreas causes type 2 diabetes, which explains why dietary recommendations for diabetics encourage a reduction in fat intake.

Dr Michael Greger Notes:

This is an installment in my year-long intermittent video series on the intricacies of the development of diabetes. Here are the first four, with a bunch more to come:

Separate from the series is what we can actually do about preventing it:

And treating it:


Did you know Dr. now has an audio podcast? You can subscribe to it on your favorite “pod-catcher” or listen to it at NutritionFacts.org/audio.

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