In Categories: Practical Tips

Our Medical Director, Dr. Sarah Hallberg, gave a talk for TedxPurdueU three years ago that remains one of their most-watched videos. This video has taught millions of people how food affects our bodies and our health, and many have followed the nutrition advice she gave.

Dr. Hallberg says,

Obesity is a disease, not something created by lack of character. It is a hormonal disease. There are many hormones involved, and one of the main ones is a hormone called insulin. The vast majority of obese individuals are resistant to insulin and that causes a lot of trouble. So, what does being insulin-resistant mean? Insulin resistance is essentially ‘pre-pre-type 2 diabetes.’ Insulin’s job is to drive glucose or blood sugar into cells where it can be used. In a nutshell, when someone has insulin resistance, they are having trouble getting glucose where it needs to go, into the cells. It can’t all hang out in the blood after we eat, or we would all have a diabetic crisis after every meal. When there is resistance to insulin, our bodies will just make more of it. The insulin levels rise and rise and for a while, years usually, this will keep up and blood sugar will stay normal. However, eventually it can’t keep up, and even elevate insulin levels are not enough to keep blood sugar normal, and blood sugar rises. And that is diabetes.

Learn more in her Ted Talk.

About Dr. Hallberg:

Dr. Sarah Hallberg is a Medical Director at Virta Health. She also created the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at Indiana University Health Arnett and serves as its Medical Director. She is an adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Hallberg is an expert in diabetes care and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Obesity Medicine, and Clinical Lipidology and also a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist from the ACSM.

Dr. Sarah Hallberg holds a Doctor of Osteopathy from Des Moines University as well as a  Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Illinois State University.

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    This is the talk that gave me my path forward to lowering my HbA1c. Thank you Dr. Hallberg.

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    i take a lot of insulin every day do you have a book that i can buy.i would like it very much if i could reverse this diease.i need your help.

    Reply

    1. Avatar

      Because you are on diabetes medications, we recommend getting medical supervision before making any dietary changes. You can apply for the Virta treatment here: https://www.virtahealth.com/thevirtatreatment

      Here are a few resources that could he helpful:
      http://virtahealth.com/reversediabetes
      https://blog.virtahealth.com/reversing-diabetes-101-truth-about-carbs-and-blood-sugar/
      https://blog.virtahealth.com/nutritional-ketosis-faq/

      Reply

  3. Avatar

    Is this okay to use against gestational diabetes? I have PCOS and am pre-diabetic. I actually followed this way of eating (before seeing the Ted talk) with my first GD pregnancy and was scolded by the nutritionist. Yet my blood sugar was kept below 98 and I lost 15 lbs and our son’s blood sugar was perfect with an apgar of 10. So I’m thinking of just going this way again despite the ADA’s recommendations.

    Reply

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for your question! Dr. Phinney wrote a short answer on this topic here: https://blog.virtahealth.com/keto-during-pregnancy/

      Reply

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    Teresa spaulding August 14, 2018 at 3:05 am

    This is great thank you

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    Is this type of diet hard for ovo-lacto-vegetarians to implement? (eggs & dairy OK, but no meat, poultry, seafood, etc)

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Hello Anon! Virta is sustainable for all dietary needs and will be completely tailored to you. Your health coach will be able to give you lots of options to ensure you are getting enough protein and fats. Here is an article that you may find helpful. https://blog.virtahealth.com/vegan-vegetarian-low-carb-keto/

      Reply

  6. Avatar

    Thank you for the help

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    How about potatoes

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thanks for your question! Potatoes are a significant source of carbohydrate and best avoided on a well formulated ketogenic diet.

      Reply

  8. Avatar

    Can I still use this approach with gestational diabetes?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      We are unable to provide specific medical advice via this forum. We would encourage you to work with your health care provider.

      Reply

  9. Avatar
    mohamed A ben gleil June 1, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Hi
    Trust this finds you well, I got my blood test results today, it shows that I am diagnosed as predaibitic, I there a way to get in contact with your Clinc and send you my results to see how you could help me, looking forward to hearing from you and wishing you a great happy weekend.
    Regards

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Hi Mohamed! Thanks for your interest! You can learn more and apply here: https://www.virtahealth.com/thevirtatreatment

      Reply

  10. Avatar

    I have worked out for 4-6 days a week since 2009 and I have tried every diet and have not had much success in losing weight. As a matter of fact, I have gained weight. I am not prediabetic or diabetic, yet. We have addressed my sleep apnea and my thyroid is fine. I keep searching for answers and am coming to believe that perhaps I have adrenal fatigue and/or I am insulin resistant. I have used the circadian method of eating and had some success lately, which seems in alignment with what was discussed in the talk. Does this sound right to you?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Great question, Greg. Continued weight gain or difficulty losing weight can be a hallmark sign of insulin resistance before you see elevated blood sugar levels. Our patients find that, once they are able to reduce carbs to below the level they can tolerate, that they are able to lose weight for the first time in years. You may find this discussion on ketosis and weight loss helpful as it demonstrates how ketosis can assist weight loss efforts: https://blog.virtahealth.com/weight-loss-ketogenic-diet/

      Reply

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