There is one driving factor that contributes, above all else, to the epidemic of obesity, (or as Dr. Mark Hyman puts it diabesity), and other chronic illnesses we see today. By addressing this one problem you may reverse many of your health problems, even if you don’t do anything else. Conventional medicine isn’t monitoring this problem and now our population’s girth size has grown collectively over the last 30 years. We cannot continue to treat the symptoms of obesity, or diabesity, we must treat the underlying cause…which is insulin resistance.
Over the course of the next few blogs I will give detailed information about weight, how to lose it and the impact on your health it will have if you don’t lose it. However, you can be insulin resistant and not be overweight! Please have your medical provider check your hemoglobin A1C to make sure you are under 5. Insulin resistance leads to inflammatory diseases and a host of hormonal and other medical problems you can prevent just by keeping that magic number down.
Insulin resistance is only one warning sign from the body that the whole endocrine system, or hormone regulatory system, is out of balance. What are some ways to know if you have insulin resistance? Are you working out and not losing weight? Do you have mood swings and food cravings? Do you have thyroid issues or symptoms of estrogen dominance (refer to my other blogs on these subjects)? Is your waist size larger than it should be? Do you look down and see your belly? Do you or have you gotten hypoglycemic before meals? Do you have high blood pressure and or high cholesterol? If this problem goes unchecked, it can lead to diabetes.
What is insulin and why do we become resistant to it and consequently overweight?Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells, which are cells that are scattered throughout the pancreas. The insulin produced is released into the blood stream and travels throughout the body. Insulin is an important hormone that has many actions within the body. Most of the actions of insulin are directed at metabolism (control) of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), lipids (fats), and proteins. Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects. The pancreas can’t keep turning up the levels of insulin it puts out and eventually exhausts…leading to diabetes.
So how do you fix obesity or diabesity? Actually, the formula is fairly simple on paper, but requires life style modifications that many Americans do not consider easy ones to make.
The #1 dietary shift that leads to diabesity is sugar in all its forms. Our nutrient poor, calorie rich diets have led to a nation of over-fed but undernourished people. We must return to cooking our own food, eating whole foods that are high in fiber, organic and mainly plant based. We need clean sources of protein and less white substances like sugar, flour, pasta, rice, etc.
The average American today eats 150-180 pounds of sugar per year. That’s over half a pound of sugar a day. We have gone from eating 22 teaspoons of sugar per year. In the last 30 years our sugar calories increasingly come from high-fructose corn syrup. This mostly in the form of liquid calories from sodas, soft drinks, alcohol, sweetened beverages, breads, fruits, pastas, and crackers which are consumed in alarming quantities by our children.
We need to stop eating (and drinking) so much sugar. It’s killing us.