This Article is About
mastery series
blood brain barrier
insulin levels
right choices
type ii diabetes
proper nutrition
glucagon
Hormone Mastery Series: Insulin
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Hormone Mastery Series: Insulin

Insulin is the hormone that controls our blood sugar and fat storage processes. Insulin activity is largely affected by the contents of our diet, what we put into our bodies, the nutritional value of our food, and most importantly the sugar content and type of sugar.

If you or anyone you know is a diabetic, then you are at least familiar with insulin and how it works. With the out of control numbers of individuals that suffer from type II diabetes in this country it is evident that people are not as familiar as they should be with insulin and how to eat in order to maintain healthy insulin levels that serve you rather than work against you.

How does insulin work? Insulin and another hormone called glucagon, work as opposing forces. Insulin tells cells in the body to take sugar out of the blood stream and store it as glycogen and fat. It also inhibits the body's use of glucagon, which causes the body to stop using fat as an energy source. This is why a lot of people get frustrated when they are trying to lose fat, because they do not understand that no matter how much activity they do, if they have glycogen reserves to burn in the body and insulin levels that are high, then they will continue to burn glycogen rather than fat.

Insulin is also used in the brain. When insulin crosses the blood brain barrier, it affects neural processes related to food intake, memory, cognition, and verbal functions. This function contributes to the body's overall energy homeostasis (balance of 'normal' bodily processes).

How do you control your insulin levels, and why is that important? It is important to control the level of insulin in your body not only for the cognitive processes that it affects, but also the fat storage, optimal energy use, and vascular heath of your body. The number one way to control insulin in your body is proper nutrition, period. With that in mind, here are a few guidelines to help you make the right choices. First of all, sugar is the number one enemy of healthy insulin levels. Secondly, the ratio of carbohydrates, fats, and protein that you eat affect the balance of hormones that your body produces, including insulin. A good ratio for a healthy diet is 1 part carbs, 1 part fats, and 2 parts protein.

The types of super foods (carbs, proteins, fats) that you eat are also important. Carbohydrates should be chosen that are light on sugar, and more complex, like starches and vegetables. Fruit can be the enemy of someone trying to lose fat because of the high sugar content in it, so fruit should be eaten in moderation.

Fats should be chosen that include healthy fatty acids, such as omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts, saturated fats are an obvious no go. Proteins should be chosen that are lean and do not contain too much fat, and do not necessarily have to be meat. Dairy products are a healthy choice.

Once we begin to understand that food is indeed a drug, each type of food and its biochemical structure affects our overall well being just like any prescribed or over the counter drug, it is a lot easier to control our portions and make healthy choices.

The best way to control insulin is most definitely through our diet, and once we start to become aware of what we are eating, and make more conscious decisions we will see great results in how we look and feel.


Street Talk

Another great article Zenphitness. I'm enjoying hearing the explanation of what I already know and live by and the practical advice that pulls it all together. If there was more promotion of this type of information and less promotion of drug therapies society would be a lot healthier as a whole. Reminds me of the adage to shut the gate after the horse has bolted!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you for the wonderful comment. It is always reinforcing to know why we should do the things that we know are right; when we know the reasons it strengthens our faith and resolve in our actions.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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