Glucose is in almost everything. It’s seemingly almost unavoidable, if you weren’t taking into consideration specific food choices. If you’ve ever really had a go at setting up an eating plan or researching healthy food options in general, I guarantee you would’ve run into a number of instances where glucose is typically branded as the devil. And these aren’t puff pieces either unfortunately, a number of reputable, trusted and respected nutritionists, dietitians, training coaches, you name it, have talked about the benefits of cutting glucose in its quick release form all together. This article is meant to be informative foremost and looks to cover the two different reasons excessive sugar intake typically leads to weight gain.
So I can spare myself potential hate mail, I’d like to add a few disclaimers before I jump into the bulk of the article. First of all, this is not an attempt at demonising sugar nor treating it like it’s this greater evil hell bent on destroying your diet. Our bodies break down glucose to use as energy so we can live. As a fast acting carbohydrate, the right sugar can help almost any athlete in a post workout situation. As stated in the title, the real concern is not with sugar itself, but how frequently and excessively it’s consumed. The availability of added sugar in foods is perhaps the most troubling when it comes to eating it in excess. I will identify and talk in detail on the two big factors which can be the cause which creates an inability to lose weight or could be the reason your body has seemed to store energy as fat.
How does glucose affect your body’s responses? Well there’s two things, and here’s the first..
Insulin, and your body’s resistance to insulin.
Insulin determines how your body handles blood sugar levels. You’ve most likely heard of the hormone insulin whenever you’ve heard anyone talk about the very common medical condition, diabetes. Insulin’s role in the human body involves stabilising and combating high blood sugar levels. The hormone insulin is secreted from the pancreas to help absorb nutrients from our foods. Much like when daily coffee drinkers find as they consume caffeine more regularly, it has weakened effect from when they first drank it, you can also develop a greater resistance to insulin. As it is constantly used, the body develops its own resistance to insulin. In more severe cases this can lead to an onset of Type 2 Diabetes. However, in much more standard cases, absorbing fast acting carbohydrates regularly will increase your body’s demand for insulin. In doing that, your body will find it more difficult to metabolise and the sugar can potentially store as fat.
Similar to insulin, another important hormone to factor in and recognise is Leptin.
Leptin has been the largely discussed subject when it comes to studies relating to obesity. In fact, many professionals attribute this hormone to being one of the main determinants of obesity. But, let’s not jump the gun. First of all, the hormone leptin is produced by fat cells and is responsible for regulating both the feelings of hunger and the feeling of being full.
How does this relate to sugar?
A study from the American Journal of Physiology has shown that when your body tries to store fast acting carbohydrates (like sugar) in fat cells, glucose has been shown to impair the ability of the fat cells to produce the hormone leptin to translate the message to your brain that you are full.
Do I stop eating sugar all together? How will I survive?
Cutting sugar completely isn’t the most educated decision. There are instances where sugar is in fact appropriate, like in small amounts after exercise. What should be of the biggest concern is where added sugar is included in food choices. Coffee, tea, protein powders, protein shakes, chocolate bars are just a few examples. These two crucial hormones are something to consider when it comes to weight loss, or just general health.
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