23 Aug INSULIN AND THE FOODS YOU EAT
By Michele Reid, PhD – Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach
Many Americans have bought into the craziness of reducing their carb intake without having a clear understanding of WHAT and WHY they are doing it. For example, we are told to distinguish between NET carbs (who came up with this media ploy?) and total carbs but why? ’You need more protein’ says the person sitting next to you but we are eating more protein than is probably necessary or healthy.
Unless you understand the relationship between the foods you eat, insulin secretion and fat gain/loss and honor YOUR body’s response mechanism, you will continue to yo-yo.
Basically, when you consume and digest food, blood sugar rises and insulin is released to control blood glucose levels. Without this internal control of blood glucose, insulin can be lethal. For example, if someone, with insulin-dependent diabetes did not take their insulin, they would slip into a diabetic coma and die.
Specific foods affect insulin levels. Furthermore, there are specific ingredients IN foods that affect insulin. Here’s the key: Unlike most other hormones, the release of insulin is driven directly from the foods you consume. For example, secretion is greater in response to a carb-rich meal.
But wait! That doesn’t mean that you should stay away from carb – rich meals? Quite the contrary. Between the two different types of carbs: simple sugars and complex (i.e.: fibrous veggies), it is those diets characterized by consistently high amounts of simple sugars and/or processed foods that can lead to insulin resistance overtime.
Insulin resistance is generally a self-induced condition where the body cannot effectively metabolize sugar in the blood released in response to the consumption of starchy carbs and simple sugars. Bottom line – if you become insulin resistant, your body will hang onto excess stored body fat instead of burning it. Reason: because high insulin levels indicate there is another source of fuel (blood glucose) available for energy. There goes your energy spent counting NET carbs and TOTAL carbs!
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