Your Best Frenemy, Insulin

For most of my life what I have known about insulin is that it is what diabetics inject it to lower their blood sugar and they need it to survive. That was about it.  Also I had heard in passing that having too much sugar was bad for me. My teeth getting cavities being the most clear possible consequence. Thus, when I started to learn about the numerous health problems caused by having elevated insulin, it both made sense to me and was surprising to me.

Excess insulin is causing most people in the westernized world to have major health problems. Insulin is a vital part of our biochemistry. It drives the storage of excess energy. Without it we would perish. However, the average diet in the westernized world leads to excess insulin. Meals that we consider completely acceptible are slowly killing us.

Surprised?!? I know I was.

Type 2 diabeties is the result of years of elevated insulin levels within the blood. Excess insulin causes elevated high density cholesterol, which can lead to heart problems. Excess insulin directly causes us to become fat. And now excess insulin has been correlated with Alzheimer’s diease (checkout this LA times article).

In short this vital horomone has a very very dark side.

However, by understanding the duality of insulin we can understand why it is important to avoid having elevated insulin levels within our blood. Insulin lowers blood sugar. In order for our body to function properly, blood sugar needs to be kept within a narrow range.  If our blood sugar is too high, we go into a coma and die. If our blood sugar is too low, we go into a coma and die. Thus, our bodies make it a priority to keep our blood sugar within the appropriate range.

In order to do this our bodies make the amount of insulin that is required to keep the blood sugar low enough. The problem comes in when the amount of insulin that our diets are requiring our bodies to produce creates an excess in the blood stream.

Learning to manage your diet such that you can avoid the health problems associated with excess insulin is a key piece of becoming a Happy Deviant.


~ by happydeviant on September 22, 2010.

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