Metabolism, Blood Sugar and Insulin

We like to think it’s the culprit for weight gain, but is it?  The Mayo Clinic website has a great article on metabolism that you can read up on click here.

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.  Although your metabolism influences your body’s basic energy needs, it’s your food and beverage intake and your physical activity that ultimately determine how much you weigh. Metabolic balance or “glycemic” balance means keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in proper balance.  Insulin is the hormone who’s job it is to keep the blood sugar level in a healthy range.  Weight management answers lie in blood sugar and insulin.  Our bodies convert food into glucose.  This illustration depicts the importance of eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet containing carbohydrates from whole foods.  It also depicts what goes on with an unhealthy diet containing simple, refined carbohydrates.

When we consume simple and refined carbohdrate foods they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, our blood sugar rises quickly and insulin is released.  Our cells are not able to intake the insulin properly and the excess “energy” is stored as fat.  This rapid rise causes a drop in blood sugar signaling our body that we need more therefore we eat more and the cycle continues.  When we consume more complex carbohydrate foods, they are broken down slower and absorbed properly leading to fewer food cravings and better weight management.

Have you heard of the glycemic index?  All foods have a glycmic index.  Foods that cause a rapid rise in blood sugar are “high glycemic” foods.  Eating foods low on the glycemic index help maintain healthy levels of blood sugar or metabolic balance.

Click here to learn more and to find the glycemic index of any food.

Next Week: Balancing Your Plate and Exercise

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