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We Are What We Eat

Posted by on Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 12:22
This news item was posted in News category and has 1 Comment so far.

We are what we eat” is an old adage familiar to almost everyone, but today this is becoming especially more important as we better understand our various organ systems, especially the cardiovascular system.

What we eat may no longer be as important as what happens to it and what metabolic effects it ultimately imparts. Although fats and meats, especially red meats, have fallen into disfavor, and carbohydrates are definitely “in” has anyone stopped to think about what happens to excess sugar that is the end product of carbohydrate metabolism?

Some sugar is used in our blood glucose level, and some will replenish glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. But what happens to the rest? It is converted to fat. Yes, most of our body fat comes from ingested sugar, not ingested fat. This conversion is facilitate by the hormone insulin.

In addition, insulin tends to block lipolysis, the conversion of fat back to glucose. So, individuals with elevated insulin levels have a more difficult time burning fat for energy. Simply, stated, they have a hard time losing weight!

Dietary sugar is nor recognized as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This is caused by sugar’s effect on insulin secretion. Insulin is now recognized as being atherogenic, that is, it causes the development of arteriosclerosis plaques in or on the walls of blood vessels. In addition, insulin is now known to cause cardiac enlargement, more specifically left ventricular hypertrophy. The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber of the heart and the chamber involved in 99 percent of heart attacks.

Insulin plays a very important role by influencing many of the other factors we have been discussing. An increased insulin level also promotes fat deposition and growth of smooth muscle cells in the arteries and thus increases the tendency for clot formation. Two factors, estrogen and exercise, both decrease insulin resistance and are known to have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system in retarding the arteriosclerosis process.

However, one group of individuals, regardless of ho well they positively influence most of the significant risk factors, appear to develop an early, diffuse type of arteriosclerosis cardiovascular disease that often leas to premature heart attacks, stroke, and complications of insulin resistant diabetics in whom the only primary measurable abnormality is elevated insulin levels.

It has become readily apparent to us, as well as others, that insulin has many influences on the recognized processes responsible for the development of cardiovascular disease through arteriosclerosis. Therefore, the key to improving performance and health thought nutrition involves insulin.

Modulating insulin secretion through diet may just be the most important bearable influencing the developmentĀ  of cardiovascular disease.

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1 Response to “We Are What We Eat”

  1. Ben
    25 December, 2009, 18:09

    That is a great post and i agree with you 100% , we are what we eat.

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