Saturday, 31 December 2016

Why too much sugar in your bloodstream will cause diabetes, fatty liver and obesity?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Its job is to convert glucose from food (sugar, carbohydrates) just eaten into glycogen to be stored in the liver if it is not needed or to deliver the glucose to cells as energy.

If the food just eaten is simple sugar or food with high glycemic index (GI), the glucose content is very high, causing pancreas to release high amount of insulin (insulin spike) to transport glucose to cells as energy. Extra glucose will be delivered to the liver or muscles for storage. During the spike, you may feel tired or hungry as it uses a lot of energy.

Relation between insulin and obesity

But what happens if the liver is already full of glucose/glycogen? Well, the insulin will store the extra glucose in your cells as fats. You may call insulin as hoarders. They just keep storing your extra glucose, causing obesity.

The liver can store a limited amount of glycogen. If the liver is full, extra glucose can be forced to be stored here as fats. You will then have fatty liver.

If the extra glucose cannot be stored anywhere else, it will go into the bloodstream. When this amount of glucose is high, you will have diabetes.

Why glucose in bloodstream is dangerous

Trying to pump blood full of sugar is like pumping sledge through tiny opening. This causes your body to have high blood pressure, your organs (kidneys, brain, eyes, heart) may not be able to receive enough blood, causing failures.

*hormone - a substance produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids such as blood or sap to stimulate specific cells or tissues into action. A hormone is just like a policeman ordering the inmates/prisoner to do specific work.

So, how not to let insulin store glucose in the cells?

Simple, eat more good fats and protein food. Good fats are converted into energy first, hence they will not be stored in our body. Protein will use stored fats from cells as energy. If you are still short of glucose as energy, protein will be converted to energy. Eventually, you will use up all the fats stored in your body, resulting in loss of weight and less glucose in your bloodstream.


Food to reduce inflammation

The function of inflammation is to protect our body from foreign invaders when we are sick or injured ourselves.

But sometimes this may not be true as when our immune system over-reacts, it may attack healthy body tissues instead, causing chronic inflammation in otherwise healthy areas of the body like leaky gut, arthritis. This is known as autoimmune disorder. The reason for the attack is due to free radicals and oxidants may injure the tissues directly or indirectly when they interact with good cells. Chronic inflammation may eventually results in tumours and cancer.

Inflammation still plays a part in diseases that are not autoimmune, like asthma and insulin resistance.

To sum up, inflammation is the root of most diseases.

Anti-inflammation food

The following categories of food is most beneficial in reducing inflammation:
  • antioxidants - will remove free-radicals
  • minerals
  • essential fatty acids

These are some of anti-inflammation food:
  1. Green leafy vegetables and fruits - rich in antioxidants like chinese cabbage, celery, beets, broccoli, blueberries, pineapples, chillies, pepper
  2. Fatty fish - salmon, tuna, sardines full of omega3
  3. Nuts - walnuts, almonds
  4. Coconut oil, olive oil
  5. Seeds - chia seeds and flaxseeds - full of omega3 and omega6
  6. Spices and herbs - ginger, turmeric, garlic, basil, thyme, cinnamon
  7. Green tea
  8. Exercise

Inflammation food to avoid
  1. Trans fat in fried food
  2. Saturated fats from animals - margarine
  3. Sugar, carbohydrates, refined sugar and carbohydrates - as in sugary drinks, bread, pastries, etc.
  4. Processed food