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Insulin Overload... Heads Up!

Apr 13, 2008
Insulin is a hormone produced by the body. It's essential for good health. But too much insulin is harmful to your health...and to your fitness goals. Insulin's function is to lower your blood sugar levels when it gets too high. Without proper insulin levels you could develop hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus.

But too much insulin has negative effects, it:

* Promotes fat storage
* Inhibits fat burning
* Increases your appetite and hunger

Each of these side effects ruins your effort to get healthy and toned.

Avoid excess insulin by monitoring the amount of carbohydrates you consume. In the body, high carbohydrate foods convert glucose and rapidly enter the bloodstream. Glucose in the bloodstream prompts the secretion of insulin...and glucose can cause excess insulin. Insulin shuttles glucose out of your bloodstream. This shuttling action of insulin cuts off the release of fat for energy. Stored fat becomes unavailable for energy (fat burning). Insulin promotes fat storage.

Excess insulin also cuts off the release of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon promotes fat burning by inhibiting fat-storing enzymes. Instead it mobilizes fatty acids from fat stores to be burned for energy.

It is important to know that insulin and glucagon are paired hormones. That means that when insulin is elevated, glucagon is suppressed. When insulin levels fall, glucagon is elevated. So even if you include protein in a high carbohydrate meal, the insulin produced by the carbohydrates will not allow your body to produce a sufficient amount of glucagon.

Eating pure protein only raises glucose a little. This happens whether you're following a low carbohydrate diet or a typical high carbohydrate diet. However, while on a low carbohydrate diet the protein meal produces a very little rise in insulin, but a significant rise in glucagon...the perfect conditions for fat burning!

On the other hand, the protein meal on a high carbohydrate diet produces a large rise in insulin and only a slight rise in glucagon.

Startling Facts About Carbohydrates

There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Haphazard carbohydrate consumption can wreak havoc on the best of intentions. But this doesn't mean carbs should...or can...be avoided all together. The brain prefers carbohydrates for fuel because they convert so easily into glucose. They can be used for immediate energy. But know this...there are smart carbs and dumb carbs.

All Carbohydrates Are Not Alike

There are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Both have very different effects on your blood sugar level and the secretion of insulin. And, remember the dangers of excess insulin release in the body! "So...What's the difference?" You ask. Well...

* Simple Carbohydrates are sugars. Like yogurt, honey and fat-free cookies. Simple carbs are digested easily and enter the bloodstream rapidly signaling insulin release...thus inhibiting fat burning. Grab a banana before running out the door to the gym? The banana will be in your bloodstream before you can climb two flights on the stairmaster. Now you're getting stairmaster energy from the banana...and not from fat storage.

* Complex Carbohydrates are starches, like bread, potatoes, and rice. Some complex carbs are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream slowly--keeping your blood sugar at a constant level...which is the goal! But keep in mind...there are complex carbs that react in the same way as simple carbs. Complex carbohydrates, like potatoes and regular wheat bread, enter the bloodstream rapidly because the body doesn't have to do much to digest these foods. It' s safest to choose carbohydrates that enter the bloodstream slowly...that is, how they place on the Glycemic Index (GI).

What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?

Ask any diabetic about the glycemic index and you're sure to get a detailed and concise explanation. The glycemic index (GI) is important to diabetics because it indicates the rise in blood sugar level caused by eating specific carbs. The glycemic index calculates the rate at which a consumed carbohydrate will break down in the body and enter the bloodstream. Carbohydrates lower on the index are better because they don't produce a blood sugar rush. They digest and enter slowly, keeping blood sugar level. This allows your body to absorb all the nutrients smoothly. These are smart carbohydrates.

The higher a food is on the glycemic index, the faster it enters the bloodstream, and the faster it inhibits your fat-burning ability. These are dumb carbohydrates. Remember, just because a carbohydrate is complex doesn't mean it will have a low glycemic index. Some complex carbs are high glycemic, like rice cakes, white bread, oats, and carrots. So choose carbohydrates by their glycemic score, not by whether or not they're complex or simple. Achieving and maintaining proper blood sugar metabolism is essential for a lifetime of excellent health. Don't put off another day of lowering or eliminating your risk of serious diseases!
About the Author
JD Reilly is an expert on natural health solutions. How To Effortlessly Control Your Glycemic Index For the Rest of Your Life! Get free, useful info on blood sugar symptoms, diet, management & more. Go NOW to http://www.glycemicindexexplained.com
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