There can be different reasons why people gain weight. Sometimes it is a natural process, but sometimes it is a part of more serious processes. Nowadays more and more people develop insulin resistance that is a cause of diabetes and other health and metabolism problems. People should be aware of the seriousness of it and ways how to avoid it.

There can be different signs that can indicate that you might be insulin resistant. One of the most noticeable is additional fat around the waist. An obesity medicine physician specializing in the medical management of obesity and insulin resistance and other specialists might be helpful to determine and treat the cause. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. Its main function is to control the blood sugars and fat cell metabolism.[1]

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Insulin resistance itself is “a condition wherein cellular receptors become less sensitive to insulin, causing an inability for glucose to enter the cell and glucose buildup in the bloodstream.”[2] It can lead to prediabetic elevation of glucose that is in the blood and at the end to type 2 diabetes. In the US now it is the 7th leading cause of death.[3] The excess glucose is stored as fat. Fat tissue as endocrine organ promotes insulin resistance through releasing hormones and cytokines. This can also lead to different heart and intestinal problems. Lifestyle modifications primary focus on weight loss and reduction in serum lipids. To achieve that, one should avoid fat.

Previously in medicine and people’s opinions, there have been different myths like the one that dietary fat promotes weight gain and cardiovascular risk. Due to this reason, a lot of people choose to use “low-fat” diet with higher carbohydrate level and thus leading to blood sugar dysregulation and insulin resistance. And, of course, at the end to type 2 diabetes. Also, these problems have increased since the beginning of the trending of low-fat diets. This indicates that early tries to improve cardiovascular health and obesity have made an even worse result. Recent studies have proved that reduction of sugar consumption leads to insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and cardiovascular risk. As the medical information still tends to be contradictory, some might still get confused about changing their lifelong habits, natural and biochemical cravings and nutritional as well as some other guidelines.

What makes to gain weight?

Some might think it is fat itself, but it isn’t true. Insulin controls the glucose amount in cells are in use immediately. The presence of insulin indicates “a fed state, which facilitates the production of glycogen (stored glucose) in the liver and muscle as well as triglycerides in adipose cells.[4] It is clear that the storage of glycogen is limited. It is around 500 g (depending on the muscle mass). Excess glucose later is stored as triglycerides. Insulin also causes fat and prevents the breakdown of it. To be able to lose weight it is crucial to control insulin and its production. Glucose level in blood stimulates insulin production. There are numerous ways how to lower the glucose and insulin levels. It is not easy but worth treatment to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.

As one of the starting changes could be to reduce the use of carbohydrates by choosing to remove from eating added sugar. It is any sugar that doesn’t occur in food naturally. Nowadays a lot of things include added sweeteners and other and other things that increase the level of sugar. Especially high it is in fructose corn syrup. This product have proofs to be a contributor to insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.[5] Imagine taking a spoon of only sugar. It isn’t that tasty. If you eat 1 kg of it, you die. No wonder why some people call it “white death.”

One of the ways how physicians, diabetes specialist and other specialists try to deal with the insulin resistance issue is by informing about the low glycemic index and low glycemic load diet. It is characterized by “rate of digestion, protein, and fiber content of food cushion the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and attenuate the glucose and insulin spike.”[6][7][8] In simpler words, the glycemic index shows the food effect on blood sugar. Glucose value 100 is used for standardization. It has proved to be helpful in case of the most skeptic patients who doesn’t see many foods containing any sugar like grains, fruit juices, potatoes. Even baked goods can have a high level and even pure glucose.

Intense use of glycemic index foods has proved to have a connection to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  A low glycemic index is not more than 70.[9] The glycemic index and glycemic load diets cannot determine how big is the food consumption, but it can measure the average serving size. These diets can change how ingested carbohydrates affect levels of sugar in the blood.

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Insulin resistance is a serious issue that needs attention. It has links to higher weight and other health problems like obesity and diabetes. Some of the fat is for producing energy and the use is quite fast like glucose for the brain. It is an additional reason why diet and other special plans need monitoring from professionals.

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Reference:

[1] ONE IN THREE AMERICANS ARE PRE-DIABETICOR INSULIN RESISTANT! Accessed from: http://www.slideshare.net/philadelphiamedicalweightloss/insulin-resistancecrel=”nofollow”

[2] Insulin Resistance: The Unintended Consequence of Fat Phobia and the Case for Ketosis. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/June2015/insulin0615.html

[3]  National diabetes statistics report, 2014 [online document]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14.htm. Updated June 13, 2014. Accessed Dec. 3, 2014.

[4]  Cox DL, Nelson MM. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry5th Edition. New York: W. H. Freeman and Co.; 2008.

[5] Stanhope KL, Schwarz JM, Keim NL, et al. Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans. J Clin Invest. 2009 May;119(5):1322–1334.

[6] Glycemic index and diabetes [Web page]. American Diabetes Association.http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.htmlrel=”nofollow”
. Accessed December 3, 2014.

[7]  Ajala O, English P, Pinkney J. Systematic review and meta-analysis of different dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):505–516.

[8] Pawlak DB, Ebbeling CB, Ludwig DS: Should obese patients be counseled to follow a low-glycaemic index diet? Yes. Obesity reviews. 2002;3:235–243.

[9] Radulian G, Rusu E, Dragomir A, Posea M. Metabolic effects of low glycaemic index diets.Nutr J. 2009;8:5.