Insulan and it's Relationship to Blood Sugar

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Many of us hear about insulin spiking in our body when we eat certain foods, yet we don't fully understand what this is and what it means. Hopefully this will help debunk the questions and give a better understanding.

First off, insulin release is mainly a body response produced by the foods we eat. Now, we can control this to a certain degree by consuming certain types of foods and when to eat and when to not eat these foods. I will get into this here is a bit.

The culprit = Carbohydrates. Carbs are basically sugar, and sugar is the culprit in insulin spiking. Now, like I mentioned before, you can control this to a certain degree. When we consume too many fast carbs, (fast carbs being basically sugar oriented foods), or going long periods of not eating, our bodies tend to up-regulate the blood sugar extremely fast. When we consume slow carbs or “complex” carbs, our bodies take longer to digest and the release of blood sugar is much slower causing a much less spike in blood sugar.

Now, how does this relate to insulin you ask?

Well, any sudden changes to your body in terms of blood sugar is bad. Insulin acts upon rapidly stomping down the blood sugar. Sounds good right? Well, not so fast. Insulin acts too fast and sometimes too good. It usually acts too good and will return the body back down to a level well below where your body's blood sugar was at before this. So think to yourself, if you were to eat a higher fast carbohydrate oriented meal, your blood sugar would spike and your friend insulin would come to the rescue to help regulate this rapid release of blood sugar in your body, only to moments later dropping your blood sugar to moderately lower levels. Make sense?

Here is how this works:

Insulin, for a lack of better words, feeds the muscles with the excess sugar from these meals. The amount of sugar being let into the muscles depends on the level of insulin released, which in turn is determined by the insulin receptors in the muscles. However, the bad news is, once this happens, it automatically shuts down your fat burning capabilities and starts your fat storing capabilities.

The logic is pretty simple. Think, with the massive amount of sugar going out into your blood stream, your body makes the assumption you are getting a massive amount of food. Since the load of food is obviously so significant that you need to store the excess energy.

So, to summarize and recap:

When you get a sudden blast of sugar in your system, insulin is released to protect you from it. The insulin tries to grab all the sugar and transport it into the muscles, shuts off your fat burning switch, and turns your body into a fat storing machine.

So your body thought it was getting a load of food from that meal I was talking about it early, remember? Well, since it was a fast carbohydrate meal, your body returns back to the blood sugar levels lower than where it was at before. So what happens now, it taps into protein as an emergency fuel source, more importantly, muscle protein. Muscle protein can be used as an energy source, and in this situation, it will. Do not get to this point people!!

In short, to stop this process from happening, eat small, frequent meals spaced out evenly throughout the day with complex carbohydrates paired with lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. This will keep your body functioning with adequate blood sugar levels throughout the day.


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