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Evidence that infrequent eating and a low-fructose diet might be healthier

http://mercola.com/2001/dec/12/syndrome_x.htm

I’ve heard of this before, and in fact tried it for a while. But, the article only mentions That eating less frequently may be better. But, does that mean just eating less frequently, or eating carbs less frequently, because of their insulin release.

The concerns raised I believed can be remedied just fine by eating a few P+F meals per day, which doesn’t cause significant insulin to be released. The take home message…just avoid processed foods and likely you’ll be healthier than 95% of the population. Notice that Dr. Mercola, on another page, said that the inclusion of fructose from whole fruit in small amounts should not be a problem.

It does make me wonder however how many bodybuilders we have walking around with hypoglycemia or insulin resistance due to the typical bodybuilding diets being prescribed the last 10-15 years…(eat every 2-3 hours, get carbs at every meal etc.) I know when I used to eat like this I couldn’t go 2 hrs without food otherwise I’d be ravenous. Fortunately I think eating P+F meals helps to remedy this.

Right now I am confused. I thought that frequent small meals are a way to go to achieve superior insuline sensitivity. I really hate this bodybuilding thing; you can take any statement you want and back it up with evidence. Then you can invert that statement and also back it up immaculately. :frowning:

I know how you feel Sasa, life would be so much easier if we choose to remain ignorant like most people do…

I interpreted this article to simply be stating the dangers refined sugars and tell of the shortcomings of low fat diets. Omega-3’s have been shown to slow down insulin release and likewise complex carbs do not cause so great of insulin spikes. We have been told since we were school-children that we should avoid sugar and eat more vegetables there is nothing new stated in this article. I think the take home message is eat sensibly and healthy.

When I used to eat 5-7 meals a day, I had to have something every 2-3 hours. If I missed a meal, my blood sugar would drop and I would become irritable, blurry vsion, and just feel like crap. I have been on the Warrior Diet for two years and have not had those problems since. However, I agree with the others, that you could have protein and fat during the day and loy glycemic vegetables and fruits without any problems. Just cut the processed sugar out. Interesting article.

I think the recommendations to eat so often work more to optimize protein intake and nitrogen balance although even this can be disputed. In my opinion i don’t doubt that if one eats 6 meals per day with carbs at each meal that they will develop blood sugar problems of some sort.

Kelly, I think you are probably right. I think
there are a lot of BBs who have insulin
sensitivity problems. Like many people, I eat
6-8 meals per day. And personally, when I was
eating C+P+F at every meal I would have a
significant hypoglcemic crash if I didn’t
eat again within three hours. Once I started
using Berardis P+C or P+F diet, this problem
went away, and my insulin sensitivity
definitely improved (as measured by a
glucometer and insulin blood tests). I agree
with those who said that eating some P+F
meals solves this problem. Although there
are certainly BB benefits to using the split
meal plan, I think the most significant
benefits are actually the health benefits
to be gained from eating that way.

By the way, here is one thing I wonder: There
are many people who advocate the idea that
one needs to eat carbs at every meal in order
to maximize anabolism while on a mass phase.
But I wonder if this might end up being
counter productive due to the potential for
the loss of insulin sensitivity from insulin
receptors being constantly slammed. Perhaps
eating some P+F only meals during a mass cycle
might actually produce better results than
eating carbs at every meal because it might
allow for better insulin sensitivity when
you do eat the P+C meals. I’m making this
statement in the context of not using insulin.
This idea probably has most applicability to
natural trainers, but I think might even apply
to those on AAS. Thoughts?

Since you have been following the Warrior Diet for 2 years I’m assuming you like it. I have a few questions though. Did your body composition improve as Ori stated? How about your gains in the gym strength and muscle wise? What do you do with regard to post workout nutrition? If I remember correctly your at least 200 lbs. right? Which proves you won’t waste away on the diet. Anything else of note? Chris Shugart has said that the Warrior Diet was one of the duds from the several diets t-mag has posted. Possibly another article Mike? :slight_smile:

Indeed, I too would like to see Mike write an article about his Warrior Diet experiences because I’m interested, and it will provide a nice flipside to everything else written about the diet.

You’ve got a good point there. Maybe for short term pure anabolism eating lots of meals with lots of carbs at each meal will work well but I don’t think that’s the best long-term plan. Long term it seems that eating the P+C meals when the body is best able to utilize them makes the most sense.

I totally agree that eating high glycemic carbs will result in hyperinsulemia, but I don’t think the frequency is the major culprit. Anyone who has tried low glycemic eating will tell you how filling it is. I have tried eating low glycemic index carbs with every single meal and snack, and I can tell you that I was too satiated to eat enough to gain. In fact, I do not eat low GI all the time precisely becaue it is too difficult for me to gain weight. Think about it for a second. What has changed in our food in the last few hundred year? Fructose has been around for millions of years in our diet, so don’t tell me how dangerous it is. Beside, corn syrup is not pure fructose as the article claimed–in fact corn syrup, even the so-called high fructose corn syrup, is woefully low in fructose, and its glycemic index is faily high. GI of fructose is very low (about 15 if I recall correctly). What has happend to our food is that it has been refined to the point that you may as well mainline sugar. Even the brown bread in the grocery store is just white bread with a tan. That, to me, is the take home message. So, you can even out your insulin levels by eating every six hours, or you can eat smarter, more frequently and still do the same thing while making better gains in the gym.

Kelly, Half of the article was BRILLIANT! (E.g… eliminate hi-fructose corn syrup from the American diet and solve the vast majority of insulin-related health problems.) The other half of the article is in need of some serious examination. As far as their eating plan that suggests eating two meals a day, such a plan is fantastic for old folks in a convalescent home…But what about the rest of us…? Having lived with low blood sugar all my life, I can’t begin to tell you the value of eating every few hours. I eat frequently,
whether I’m training hard or hardly training. If I don’t, my blood sugar CRASHES HARD. The symptoms are akin to having a severe nicotine fit (light headedness, major irritability, and fatigue). Yes, I’m carb sensitive and steer clear of high glycemic foods!

As for athletes and bodybuilders in general?.. Eating only two times a day will most likely lead to a greatly diminished performance and to a higher degree of catabolism. Besides, it would take a lot of convincing to get me to believe that eating two 1500 calorie meals a day is less stressful on the body than eating five 600 calorie meals!!!

Hyok: your missing one thing - the GI of a
carb is only one piece of a much larger
biochemical picture. Just because something
doesn’t raise glucose levels, doesn’t mean
it can’t have an adverse effect. Furthermore
the fruit of today is quite different than
it used to be. Fruit used to be much higher
in fiber and much lower in fructose. It has
been bred to be juicier and sweeter. I’m not
saying that fruit is bad, far from it. I think
eating some fruit is a good idea. I think
the article is referring more to fructose by
itself, and in too large a quantity.

What's interesting is that the insulin index and the glycemic index don't really correlate all that well. For example, lactose and fructose have low GI. Ie they don't raise *glucose* much (because they don't contain glucose) but they *do* still cause a large *insulin* release.

I think we need to think in terms of a glucose-to-insulin *ratio* for any given carb. Lactose for example has a high insulin to low glucose ratio, while brown rice has a high glucose to low insulin ratio. People who suffer from hypoglycemia are choosing their carb sources poorly, and need to start taking into consideration this ratio. If you suffer from hypo, go find the insulin index chart and start choosing carbs that have a positive glucose to insulin ratio. IMO, you can pretty much fix all cases of hypoglycemia by 1)improving insulin sensitivity and 2)paying attention to the glucose-to-insulin ratio of a meal.

Joey Z: Agree that the recomendation for eating only 2 meals a day is not a good idea. But your hypoglycemia is either being caused by poor insulin sensitivity and/or poor choice of carbs. Regarding the poor choice of carb sources, see my comments above. Regarding poor insulin sensitivity causing hypoglycemia, it seems counterintuitive. One would think that hypo would be caused by high insulin sensitivity, thus the insulin that your body produces sends blood glucose too low. But this isn't what happens. You go hypo when your body produces normal insulin levels, but because of poor insulin sensitivity, your blood glucose doesn't decrease. So in order to compensate and prevent diabetic hyperglycimia, your pancreas produces even more insulin, which then sends you blood glucose too low. To improve insulin sensitivity, take your fish oil, ALA, chromium, a small amount of metformin (if you can get it), and stay away from the caffeine! Caffeine royally screws up insulin sensitivity and can cause a hypoglycemic-like state all by itself. And if I recall correctly from other posts, Joey Z, you stated that you use a lot of caffeine. I gurantee that is the primary cause of your hypo probs.

Right on Free Extropian…a couple of questions for you. You said you improved your insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance as measured by blood tests etc. How much did your bodyweight vary during this period and what other type of dietary changes did you make other than avoiding caffeine? Also speaking of insulin index. I’ve looked but can’t find an entire listing. Do you know where one could find a copy of this?

Free Extropian: Some really nice thoughts concerning
choosing carbs that have a positive glucose-to-insulin ratio. And your statement about lactose having a high insulin-to-low glucose ratio sure explains my Dad’s protruding belly. (He consumes at least 4 gallons a week!..why…?)

In my case, insulin insensitivity has to be the answer. It can't be my carb sources or my diet because I eat painfully clean and have been on a moderately low carb diet for quite some time. Your thoughts on caffeine definitely must be given very "strong" consideration. Although I have been like this (hypoglycemic) since I was in kindergarten...come to think of it I drank coffee back then, too...I'm currently consuming about two servings a day. I drink a 12 oz. cup first thing in the morning and usually have another one late in the afternoon before I train (this time the 16 oz. size). Yes...you remembered well....I love my coffee and would drink 12 cups a day if it weren't for the health ramifications. BTW - I'm taking 400 mg's of alphalipolic acid and 20 fish oil caps a day.

P.S. Thanks for all the solid information! Joey Z.

Everyone bookmark this now. This has been
posted on T-mag before. Here is the link to
a summary of the research on insulin index.
There is a chart that lists the insulin index
of foods on that page as well (scroll down
to second graphic). Unfortunately, only about
3 dozen foods have been tested so far, so
that’s all we have to go on for now.

http://venus.nildram.co.uk/veganmc/insulin.htm

Kelly: The changes I made included dopping caffeine, switching to split P+C or P+F meals, increasing my fish oil intake, started taking ALA all the time, and used 750mg metformin per day for a many weeks. Prior to these changes I had been eating all meals with C+P+F except for post wkot P+C. Eating mixed meals seemed to make the hypo worse, and the research indicates that eating C+F at the same time causes a synergistic release of insulin. Regarding bodyweight, over a period of maybe 6 mos (before changes) I lost about 5lbs even though I was eating a calorie surplus trying to gain weight. (That weight change is indicitave of diabetes.) Once I made these changes my weight went up by about 7lbs over the next couple months. After that, the weight changes become not relevant because I did a cycle, so I obviously would have gained weight.

Joey Z: I would definitely try the suggestions above for improving insulin sensitivity. It might be that you have genetics that predispose you to type II diabetes. Having hypo from a young age, and your father's shape, would support that idea. So you may be even more susceptable to insulin resistance and the adverse effects of caffeine. I know, I love(d) my coffee too. I was the king of caffeine abuse for years while I was getting my business off the ground, working long hours, getting little sleep and still lifting. And I believe my health definitely suffered from it. So it had to go. BTW, you can get much of the effect of caffeine by taking a number of smart nutrients and smart drugs (which also explains the good memory ;-).