It`s All About The Insulin Spikes

by freelance

Did you know that insulin controls fat storage?You can tell your body to burn fat and not store it; just eat the right foods and avoid the insulin spikes.

Sugar
Sugar

What Is Insulin?

Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone whose job is to regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism within the body. It is what causes the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose (simple sugar) from the blood, and store it as glycogen (molecule responsible for long term energy) in the liver and muscle. It tells our body not to use fat as energy by averting the release of glucagon (hormone which raises blood glucose levels). Depending on the foods you choose to eat and the things you drink, blood sugar levels rise and fall throughout the day. Our bodies` response to this is to call out the 'marshal' and restore it to balance. The 'marshal' is, you guessed it, insulin. Think of it as a chemical messenger who 'talks' to various tissues in the body that have ears that can only hear insulin speaking. The receivers, or what are otherwise known as insulin receptors, lie on top of muscle, fat, and liver cells, plus they lay on certain cells in the kidney and in the apetite control center of the brain.

Insulin`s Role In The Body

As I stated above, insulin`s main job is to keep blood sugar in a pretty narrow 'comfort zone'. It is secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels. Our goal, since we are our bodies only food providers, is to keep our blood sugar as stable and steady as possible. When our glucose levels heighten, it alerts the pancreas, which then secretes insulin. Insulin`s next move is to lower the blood sugar level by shifting our metabolism into storage mode. Insulin converts the excess sugar into glycogen, takes it out of the bloodstream (because it`s dangerous to have it floating around), and stores it in the liver and in our muscles. The left over blood sugar that can`t be stored as glycogen, turns into brand new fat, and will call our butt, hips, and back its` home. Our body is designed for preservation and reproduction so we are 'wired' to save food energy, stored as fat, for when there is no food. Most of us these days don`t ever have to tap into those stores, as famine really isn`t prevalent in America, so once there, the fat doesn`t move.

Extra Insulin And Weight

It`s All About Balance

Many people eating a S.A.D.(standard American diet) produce so much insulin that their bodies simply can`t use it, or store it all. It ends up floating around in our bloodstream which is very dangerous. Can we say diabetes? The excess  insulin that is called out in the body in response to a meal that you just ate converts protein, glucose and dietary fat to stored fat. You can turn this around. You can tell your body to burn fat for energy and not store it by the foods you eat. It`s all about taking in certain things and then your bodies` hormonal response to that food. You cannot maximize fat burning when you have excess insulin, period. Even if you`re a slave to exercising, elevated insulin levels will not maximize the fat burning response. What`s even worse news is that extra insulin encourages your body to store fat.

What Should I Eat?

Balance. Balance and moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. It manifests in the foods we eat, our exercise routines, our 'bad' habits, our religious lifestyle; I`m convinced balance is the key to happiness. Something goes too far out of balance and there is a reaction. Action requires reaction. If we balance out our carbohydrate intake, our protein, fat, and fiber intakes, our bodies will react accordingly. Most Americans eat an average of 300 grams or more of carbohydrates daily; we need about 150. All of those extra carbs are being turned into sugar, enacting an insulin response, and stored as fat. Or worse yet, floating around in your bloodstream causing insulin resistance, and maybe diabetes. Remember we talked about the cells having ears for hearing insulin? Well, too much sugar floating around makes those special ears deaf to insulin`s words. Insulin is speaking but the receptors can`t hear. That`s a simplified version of insulin resistance. Back to balance. All foods have a value that has been given to them concerning how fast they`re metabolized. Everything we eat turns to glucose (sugar), just at different rates. If you can make that rate slow and steady you`re ahead of the game! You`ll notice in the list below some things that may puzzle you. Some foods that you would think are unhealthy and would  have a higher number actually are equal to foods that you thought were 'healthy'. For instance, a junk food with peanuts or peanut butter in it is going to metabolize at a slower rate than, say a piece of wheat bread because the peanuts have protein and protein takes longer to break down than a simple slice of bread. So if you`re planning on eating a plain carbohydrate, then add some form of protein to it to offset the insulin spike.

In my link list there is a hyperlink to a glycemic index site where you can find the values of different foods. Check it out; you might be surprised at how certain things you like score on the scale.

In Closing

I have analyzed my nutrition and exercise for years. I`ve used my body as a human guinea pig since I figure no one knows my body better than I do. I`ve found that what works the best for me, and what my body seems to run more efficiently on is when I cut way back on my processed carbohydrate intake. I try and eat whole, unprocessed foods and I find my energy is pretty stable and my moods are stable. Everyone is different and I think we all need to take our health and well being into our own hands. Do your research and experiment a bit. Find what your body works best on.

 

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Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, nor am I a registered dietician. I am simply a woman who has been researching health, fitness, and nutrition for a pretty long time. I have tried different ways of eating and exercising and I have found out what works best for me. My hope is that everyone can find their comfort level and live a long, happy, and healthy life. If some of my experiences help you, or if you`ve learned something from my writing, then Hallelujah!

Who Am I?

Hi. My name is Patty and I`m the mom of 2 teenagers. I`ve been happily married for over 16 years. I have been involved in nutrition/fitness for most of my life and before I became a stay at home mom I worked as a back office Medical Assistant. I try my best to stay on top of nutrition news and the latest discoveries on foods and their healing abilities.  My wish for you is health, happiness, and prosperity.

Updated: 11/30/2011, freelance
 
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