Saturday, August 1, 2009

Insulin "Friend' or "Foe" Part I

Insulin is one of something that we take for granted until we don't have it anymore. Insulin does two main things:

1) Makes glucose usable by your body

2) Removes glucose from your blood

Almost all carbohydrates get broken down in your body to the glucose level and then insulin transforms it to fuel your body can use.

If you eat white sugar (which is pretty much already glucose) your body immediately will output lots of insulin to help your body convert the sugar to energy. The "energy crash" you feel after a candy bar is usually from all the energy being used up quickly and the extra insulin outputed into your system.

If you eat the same amount of carbs but eat it in the form of broccoli then your body has to do lots of work to break down the food into glucose. THIS WILL SLOW INSULIN OUTPUT AND KEEP IT LOW.

TOO MUCH INSULIN OVER LONG PERIODS OF TIME can cause Type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes then you then have a new appreciation for insulin and how it affects your life.

As a Vegetarian you have to be careful not to take in too many carbohydrates (simple carbs like sugar, and complex carbs like broccoli) because it can cause you to produce too much insulin.


-Insulin is needed by your body to convert carbohydrates to energy

-The more complex the carb that you eat the slower and lower the output of insulin

-Too much insulin in your body over along time can lead to type 2 diabetes

-Next post: Insulin "Friend" or "Foe" Part II

Note: I'm going to update the blog on every Monday/Wednesday/Friday


The Monalisa said...

I'm on an endocrine rotation right now and the doctor that I'm working with is also Indian. She says diabetes is really big in India. There's a 2 year fellowship specializing in Diabetes following medical school.

After reading this, it made me wonder if there's more diabetes in Indians because more of us are vegetarians? Food for thought.

Ankit Patel said...

I want to preface by saying I'm not a doctor and my information comes from Dr. Barry Sears who wrote all the material on the Zone Diet. Judging by all the information that I have read I'd say its two fold 1) genetic disposition 2) diet 3) cultural aspects like not exercising. I think the combination of the three lead to hirer diabetes rates in India. The diet is probably a big part but being Indian I can tell you that not many people are athletic after the age of 30.