This is a theory, very speculative. I came to think about it, inspired after reading the latest articles by Peter (Hyperlipid blog, see also his Kitava articles). I am thinking about the effect of frequent snacking in between the meals on a high carb diet, may be more damaging than we thought. Under a healthy metabolism, even on a high carb diet, one's body goes back to ketogenic state some time after every meal, when most body tissues revert back to using lipids and ketone bodies as fuel. This should happen in between the meals providing that the body is given enough time to burn glucose off and to switch. On the other hand, any time one eats something sugary or starchy in between the meals, insulin inrush causes the body to switch back to glucose processing state, turning off production of ketone bodies and turns off the release of adipose fat into bloodstream. It takes about 1-2 hours to work out all that insulin peak. Probably longer for older people.
For some reason, our bodies probably require this alternating between glucose-burning/ketogenic cycles to be done throughout the day to work properly. This is based upon the assumption that ketogenic mode is essential for the body and must take place at least some of the time throughout the day, every day. I suspect that frequent snacking on a high carbohydrate diet derails that cycling and may be one of main triggering factors behind the development of the metabolic syndrome.
From my personal observation, one can notice that people who are used to snack frequently are often obese and often have metabolic syndrome. Perhaps there is a causual connection? Perhaps it is not just what and how much one eats but how often and when?
Diets based on natural whole food like our vegetarian friends recommend, usually discourage sugary or starchy snacks, or discourage consumption of the processed food that forms the typical fast food snacks. It makes snacking more difficult, especially that preparation of meals out of natural unprocessed whole food is time consuming and labor intensive. Perhaps that may be one of the reason why such whole food natural diets are often helpful?
Of course, the high fat low carb diets make that issue irrelevent since a high fat snack would not cause the glucose+insulin spike thus would not break the ketogenic mode. This could be another reason why the high fat low carb diets work so well!
Just some thought,
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