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The MUST KNOWS about carbs, sugar and the insulin insanity featuring the sugar scoundrel, bread beast and dastardly desserts … you can run but you can’t hide from America’s self destructive diet

Firstly don’t shoot the messenger. I love my Aunt Mary’s pasta more than you know and that bowl of M&Ms she keeps stocked is worth the drive to Bristol Connecticut. However, the truth is, all the bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, rice (stop me when you’ve had enough), fruit, dessert, candy, and sodas you eat and drink eventually wind up as glucose. YUM! does that come in a caramel flavor?? mmm. While glucose is a fuel, it is actually quite toxic in excess amounts unless it is being burned inside your cells, so the body has evolved an elegant way of getting it out of the bloodstream quickly and storing it in those cells. The pancreas steps in and secretes insulin which then sends the excess glucose to be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, which is the energy fuel used for hard anaerobic exercise.

But here’s the catch: once those cells are full, as they are almost all the time with inactive people, the rest of the glucose is converted to fat. Saturated fat. How ironic, though, that it’s not fat that gets stored as fat – it’s sugar. And that’s where insulin insensitivity and this whole type 2 diabetes issue gets scary. So as insulin keeps trying to store more glycogen in our cells and extra storage systems, which are already full, our system becomes resistant to insulin. The insulin “receptor sites” on the surface of those cells start to decrease in number, sensitivity and efficiency. Since the glucose can’t get into the now full muscle or liver cells, it remains in the bloodstream. Now the pancreas senses there’s still too much toxic glucose in the blood, so it frantically pumps out even more insulin, which causes the insulin receptors on the surface of those cells to become even more resistant, because excess insulin is also toxic!

Eventually, the insulin helps the glucose finds it way into your fat cells, where it is stored as fat. Again – because it bears repeating – it’s not fat that gets stored in your fat cells – it’s sugar. Over time, as we continue to eat high carbohydrate diets and exercise less, the degree of insulin insensitivity increases. Unless we take dramatic steps to reduce carbohydrate intake and increase exercise, we develop several problems that only get worse over time – and the drugs don’t fix it.

Don’t Diss Insulin!! Insulin’s original function was to store excess nutrients, which makes perfect sense in a world when food was often scarce or non-existent for long periods of time. In fact, there was so little carbohydrate/glucose in our ancestor’s diet that we evolved four ways of making extra glucose ourselves and only one way of getting rid of the excess we consume! Jumping forward to our current times of fast food frenzies and sugar madness when insulin functionality runs amuck, the results of this self destructive process can include the abundance of toxic glucose which is like sludge in the bloodstream clogging arteries, binding with proteins to form harmful AGEs (advanced glycated end-products) and causing systemic inflammation. More and more sugar gets stored as fat, which doesn’t get burned easily because the muscles are getting less glycogen (because they have grown resistant to insulin) and because insulin inhibits the fat-burning enzyme lipase. You continue to get fatter until eventually those fat cells become resistant themselves.

Levels of insulin increase because the pancreas thinks “if a little is not working, more would be better.” Wrong. Insulin is itself very toxic at high levels, causing, among many other maladies, plaque build-up in the arteries and therefore heart disease and increasing cellular proliferation in cancers. Your insulin resistant muscles also resist amino acids, so now you can’t build or maintain your muscles. To make matters worse, other parts of your body think there’s not enough stored sugar in the cells, so they send signals to start cannibalizing your precious muscle tissue to make more – you guessed it – sugar!

You get fatter and you lose muscle. Woo hoo!

Your energy level drops, which makes you hungry for more carbohydrates and less willing to exercise. You actually crave more of the poison that is killing you. An insulin-resistant liver can’t convert certain thyroid hormones which leads to thyroid problems, which further slows down your metabolism. You can develop nerve damage and pain in the extremities, as the damage from the excess glucose sugars destroys nerve tissue, and you can develop retinopathy and begin to lose your eyesight. Out of sight! Eventually, the pancreas is so darn exhausted, it can’t produce any more insulin and you wind up having to inject insulin to stay alive. Lots of it, since you are resistant. Congratulations, you have graduated to insulin-dependent diabetes.

Solutions. First off, exercise does have a major impact on improving insulin sensitivity since muscles burn your stored glycogen as fuel during and after your workout. Muscles that have been exercised desperately want that glucose inside and will “up regulate” insulin receptors to speed the process. Second, cutting back on carbohydrates, especially the obvious sugars and refined stuff is absolutely essential. Make fresh vegetables the base of your food pyramid. Once you become aware of these essential step, you will notice how CW (Conventional Wisdom) has saturated and smothered our food and marketing with unhealthy persuasive options. Whew what a nightmare! Will we ever be able to enjoy our M&Ms the same way?? Perhaps we simply won’t want to because as we make better choices our choices will become.. better.

Important Awesome Videos that you MUST watch!

Why You Got Fat
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 1): An Epidemic for Every Body
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 2): Sickeningly Sweet
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 3): Hunger and Hormones- A Vicious Cycle
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 4): Sugar – A Sweet Addiction
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 5): Generation XL
The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 6): A Fast-Paced Fast Food Life