A lot of us have heard the news and media talking about how calories are the issue and to avoid fat, carbs and other foods.
Unfortunately it’s not so simple
I’ll start by explaining a couple of important processes
The primary method of storing fat is through the release of insulin. Insulin is an anabolic hormone and is known as a nutrient transporter. Insulin will carry glucose and some amino acids to the liver, fat and muscle cells to be stored.
Insulin release is stimulated on varying degrees by insulinogenic foods such as carbs and some protein.
Another important process is the process of fat burning, or lipolysis. Lipolysis can only occur when insulin is at it’s lowest. In other words, if insulin is present in the bloodstream then fat burning occurs little, if at all.
When we eat too many foods that are highly insulinogenic too often we develop a disorder called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin receptors in the cells have been overused, resulting in little nutrients into the cells.
Insulin resistance will cause blood sugar levels to become increasingly high, resulting in a variety of health risks including de novo lipogenesis, a secondary fat storage that occurs with the liver converting excess blood glucose into fatty acids.
Because insulin levels are high in the blood stream lipolysis cannot occur.
To make matters worse, the cells are signalling the brain that they are starving so the brain sends out signals to crave more food. Although the muscle and fat cells starve of glucose (from the insulin resistance), the fat cells still get filled by the fatty acids converted from glucose by the liver.
To rephrase, when suffering from insulin resistance only some of the glucose from our food actually makes it to the muscle, liver and fat cells through insulin shuttling it in.
However, the glucose left over in the blood stream from not being picked up by the insulin can be converted to fat by the liver, meaning that even more of our food is being stored as fat than should be.
By Ricky Goodall, Meditation Instructor & Certified Nutrition Coach