What 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 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|
|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|
|Lima beans||Milk, regular fat||French fries|
|Milk, 1% or skim||Oatmeal||Honey|
|Poultry, white meat||Pork||Potato chips|
|Shellfish||Poultry, dark meat||Potatoes|
|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|
By Florin Olteanu, Certified Nutritionist/FitnessPTO