Insulin's Role in the Body
Insulin is produced in the body in response to ingested sugar or complex and simple carbohydrates. Insulin is like a "key" which opens "doors" to your cells. When these "doors" are open, the broken down sugar, protein, carbohydrates or fats in your blood stream after a meal can enter the cells and be used for energy or be stored and used later.
Carbohydrates are classified as either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are things like fruit and candy that can be quickly broken down into sugar and enter the blood stream swiftly. Complex carbohydrates are foods such as vegetables and grains. These are broken down slowly and, therefore, take longer to enter the blood stream.
in 1900, the average American consumed 4 ounces of sugar per year. In 1950, the average rose to 5 pounds per person, per year. In 1970 it was 132 pounds, and in 1998 the average American got 152 pounds of added sugar per year.
Teh human body was not designed to continually handle this type of chronic high sugar consumption, and consequently, high insulin pouring into the blood stream. After years and years in this condition, on can develop "insulin resistance," with the next stage being Type 2 Diabetes. In the 1990's, the presence of Type 2 Diabetes jumped 76 percent among people in their 30s. In the past, Type 2 Diabetes was seen mainly in people 45 or older. Teenagers are now being diagnosed with the disease as obesity and inactivity rise.
Chronic High Levels of Insulin Cause:
- Excessive weight gain
- Heart Disease
- High cholesterol and triglycerides
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Depression and mood swings
- Insulin resistance which leads to Type 2 Diabetes
Nutrition and Lifestyle Habits That Increase Insulin Levels
- Caffeine (soft drinks, coffee, tea)
- Diet pills
- Excessive or unnecessary thyroid replacement therapy
- Lack of exercise
- Stimulant and other recreational drugs
- Eating when not hungry