Monday, March 15

Insulin Invasion!

This information may at first seem very unrelated to weight loss and management, but I promise you it’s some of the most important information you could put into action. Our culture is inundated with carbohydrates, and we need to know how our bodies respond to carbs before we can consume them in a healthy way.

First things first: insulin is a hormone our bodies produce which allows our cells to absorb the glucose (or sugar) in our blood and convert it to energy. So we need insulin in our system so that we can use the sugar in our blood. Think of insulin as the key to the locked doors in our cells; insulin opens the door and lets sugar enter the cell.

Here’s the catch, though—as soon as we taste something sweet on our tongue or smell something sweet, our bodies begin producing insulin. So what happens when we consume something sweet (like a diet soda) but there is no sugar in our blood for the insulin to work with?

That insulin sticks around until it has sugar to work with. You may not even realize it, but you’ve just caused your body to produce a whole lot of insulin that it isn’t going to use. With all that extra insulin sitting around, your cells get used to it. Your cells eventually become insulin resistant, but your body thinks “I should probably just produce more of it and that will help.” This insulin resistance causes hyperinsulinemia, where you’re just producing way more insulin than you need.

Type 2 diabetes, anyone?

So, today at 2:30 in the afternoon you’ll be standing at the fridge in the office kitchen. You’re looking at this 6-pack of Pepsi and Carla’s can of Diet Pepsi (she’s wound so tight that she has a post-it with her name on the can). You’re thinking to yourself, “I really want a snack, but I should go for the diet since it has no calories.”

Wrong! It’s almost better for you to grab the regular Pepsi—I say “almost” because you’re still drinking over 100 calories of sugar and caffeine. So you reach for the regular Pepsi (I mean, you’re pretty sure you saw Bob put them in here, but they’re clearly not labeled).

Or you could skip the soda altogether. There’s this stuff called “water”…

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