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On December 28, 2010, in A FEW OF MY THOUGHTS, Lifestyle, by Dr. Tuchinsky

The vicious cycle of insulin.

Many people go through the glucose-insulin yo-yo throughout most of their days, which leaves them feeling very fatigued. The problem lies in the unbalanced nutrition. The old 40/30/30 rule still holds true- the best way to eat is to consume roughly equal portions of carbs, protein and fat throughout the day.

Most of us are not well versed enough in nutrition and do not have sufficient enough control over our meals to achieve that. We tend to consume too many carbohydrates and simple sugars. Some lucky people have very adoptable pancreas and liver that can handle it well, but for the rest of us this results in postprandial over-secretion of insulin.

The mechanism of hypoglycemia after meals.

The carbohydrates and sugars are quickly digested but the insulin remains floating in our blood for another 4 or 5 hours, causing mild hypoglycemia and fatigue. You may not even detect the low blood sugar with conventional glucometer, but this is because your body is working hard to keep it normal – a process that involves mobilization of glycogen and conversion of fatty acids which use up your energy stores. In addition, the insulin excess also triggers a whole wide range of unnecessary biochemical reactions in your body that may contribute to your fatigue. In other words, the delicate chemistry of your body is off balance.

How to avoid insulin ups and downs.

These blood sugar highs and lows can be avoided, when one consumes five or six small balanced meals throughout the day. This will insure more even levels of blood glucose and prevent “bottoming out” in between meals. Think of a typical breakfast choices we make- a bowl of frosted cornflakes. A croissant with coffee. These are 100% carbohydrate melas that are guaranteed to send you sugars and insulin on a wild spin and leave you feeling starved by mid-morning. On other hand a bowl of oatmeal with a generous serving of nuts and a yogurt, or a toast with ricotta cheese would last you much longer in terms of energy reserve and hunger suppression.


<p><a href=”″>Image: Suat Eman /</a></p>


  1. […]  If you really crave something sweet, save it for after lunch or dinner but  do give in to temptation in between meals (this will prevent insulin spikes that make you hungry and tired – read The Tale of Hypoglycemia post). […]

  2. […] In more simplistic terms, think of it as a credit analogy. While credit cards are convenient and cause no harm for people who use them wisely, those who use it without having sufficient funds to pay them off, find themselves over time in a big financial trouble. Same, with caffeine users, the cumulative effects of living on borrowed energy and sleep deprivation over a long period of time begin to take its toll. The combination of coffee and sugar, which most people prefer, is shown to be particularly habit forming (see Tale of Hypoglycemia). […]

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