Non-fat Greek Yogurt with Cherries, an excellent snack with plenty of nutrients, anti-oxidants, healthy carbohydrates, and protein * This is part of a year-long series called “52 Weeks to Eating better than Ever”. Click on the side bar for more information and to read the previous essays.
There are many things which can go wrong with inactivity and eating too much sugar. Eating simple sugars raises your insulin levels, and high insulin can cause a chain reaction of other effects. As a matter of fact, eating at all raises your insulin at least somewhat. For a normal, healthy adult, this is not a problem as the insulin acts to help store your food in the liver and muscle cells, which you need. Over time though, a poor diet and an inactive lifestyle can cause you to become resistant to insulin, which can cause a variety of possible problems.
It is often difficult to distinguish between high insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and Type 2 diabetes because the two are so closely related. Having high insulin levels does not necessarily indicate a diabetic condition, but it still is a health concern. Both are also related to obesity. Insulin increases the production of fatty acids from glucose (blood sugar), and inhibits the breakdown of fat as an energy source. Obesity is an increase in adipose tissue, thus can be at least partially caused by high insulin.
Bottom line- high insulin levels and obesity feed each other.
Keep in mind that:
- Simple carbs raise insulin levels, which promotes fat storage.
- Fat storage makes the body more insulin resistant.
- Insulin resistance forces the body to produce more insulin
- Yet again, fat storage is promoted.
- The cycle continues.
In general, it’s a good idea to:
- Keep your body fat relatively low. (Men <15-20%) (Women <20-25%)
- Eat foods that don’t cause big spikes in insulin.
High insulin levels can:
- Promote fat storage.
- Create problems with the liver, kidneys, and nerves.
- Possibly raise the proliferation of cancer cells.
The Three Rules of Thumb I recommend:
- Fast once a week (skip a meal).
- Avoid sugary things and simple carbs.
- Exercise every day.
*See you doctor if you think you have diabetic symptoms.
Like the blog? Pass it on!