Insulin, major factor for weight gain


InsulinWhat is insulin? Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Insulin balances the blood sugar.

But how does insulin effect weight gain in the form of fat? As we learned before, carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel. When you eat carbohydrates, they break down into glucose, causing your blood sugar to rise. Insulin is then produced to balance the blood sugar by carrying the glucose to the cells where it will be burned off for energy. When the cells are saturated with stored sugar, the remaining sugar in the bloodstream is converted to fat and stored for later use. Cells become saturated when a high number of calories from carbohydrates are consumed and there is not enough physical activity to burn them.

In order to maintain a low body fat we need to keep insulin at a low level by taking in less sugar or foods that increase the sugar in your bloodstream. This all comes down to the glycemic index of foods.

Glycemic Index

Glycemic index is a standard scale used to measure the ability of carbohydrate-containing foods to elevate blood sugar and insulin levels. Sugar and starches are two of the most powerful carbohydrates. These are coded at a high level on glycemic index. In the other side fats have no effect on the blood sugar and insulin levels, and proteins very little.

AlwaysEveryday ModerationFew times per week AvoidNever
Black beans Banana Alcohol
Chick peas Beef Bacon
Cottage cheese 1% Brown rice Baked potato
Egg whites Cheese, low-fat/fat-free Beets
Fish Eggs Cheese, regular fat
Fresh fruits Fruit juice, fresh Corn
Green vegetables Grapes Corn chips
Kidney beans Lamb Cornflakes
Lentils Mango Dried fruits
Lima beans Milk, regular fat French fries
Milk, 1% or skim Oatmeal Honey
Nuts Organ meats Jam
Octopus Peanut butter Popcorn
Poultry, white meat Pork Potato chips
Shellfish Poultry, dark meat Potatoes
Soy Rye bread Pretzels
Tofu Sweet potato/yam Soda drinks
Wild rice White beans Sugar
Yogurt, low-fat/fat-free Whole-grain bread White bread
Whole-grain cereals White pasta
White rice

By Florin Olteanu, Certified Nutritionist/FitnessPTO

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3 thoughts on “Insulin, major factor for weight gain

  1. Very informative yet surprising to me in regard to the “avoid/never list” including baked potato! I thought they were healthy.

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