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It’s the insulin resistance, stupid: Part 4

In part 2 of the series, Prof. Tim Noakes argued Dr. Gerald Reaven was on the brink of discovering the optimum treatment for insulin resistance syndrome, a condition he called “Syndrome X.” Here, Noakes delves further into the scientific literature available to Reaven as he formulated his dietary recommendations for patients with the condition. Despite a growing body of evidence revealing the detrimental effects of carbohydrate ingestion in persons with insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), conventional wisdom at the time, propagated by Ancel Keys and his cohort, suggested carbs were an essential part of a healthy diet and cautioned that the consumption of saturated fats would promote heart disease. Reaven’s own work revealed there was “no evidence that restriction of dietary fat will impede the development of atherosclerosis in patients with diabetes.” Nevertheless, popular wisdom prevailed, and Reaven failed to evaluate the health benefits of a very low-carb, high-fat diet, instead promoting a diet that was very close to that recommended by the American Heart Association — a diet Noakes argues “has caused the rates of obesity and T2DM (and ultimately the arterial disease caused by T2DM) to soar in the U.S. and around the world.”