The science of fat (I)
You might be asking yourself ”What is insulin and why should we care about it?”
Insulin is a hormone mainly known for its role in fat uptake. The levels of this hormone when we aren’t eating are low, and it is only when we eat something that the levels of this hormone increase.
The increase in the levels of insulin isn’t the same for all kinds of food, this is due to the fact that depending on the macronutrient the levels of insulin increase more or less.
The macronutrients that produces the highest increase in the levels of this hormone are carbohydrates, soon we will explain why this would be an expected outcome, followed by proteins and fats being last. Now that we know that insulin is important lets see how it affects fats.
Insulin and its role in fat metabolism.
The usage of fats as a source of energy also depends on the levels of insulin. The reason for this comes from the fact that insulin is one of the main actors in the intake of glucose and its transformation into fats. Meaning that insulin has a role in producing more fats and as such could logically be expected to reduce fats usage.
For example, if in the same exact situation the levels of insulin in one person are lower, then that person would have more ease using the fats stored as a source of energy than if they had higher levels of this hormone.
The meaning behind the role of insulin in burning fat can be intuitively understood from the fact that if you just ate a meal it wouldn’t make much sense to burn the energy you have stored as fats instead of using the energy from the food you just consumed.
If instead you burned the energy from the fats the only thing you would get would be more fat obtained instead from the food you just ate. This is due to the fact that excess energy that isn’t used as heat or stored as glycogen has to be stored as fats, which would make the use of the fats we have stored instead of the food we just ate a little bit of a nonsensical act.
The gatekeeper to the fat treasury
Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash
And not only does it have a role in preventing the usage of fats, by inhibiting lypolisis (aka fat burning), but it also favours the usage of carbohydrates as a source of energy. The implications of this will be further explored in articles about the modern diet and its disadvantages.
The body is constantly using different sources of energy in order to keep itself active and we have to understand that the only thing that changes is the percentage of energy derived from each source.
The role of insulin in this case is to ensure that so long as we have, glucose obtained from a meal or enough glycogen, we use these as the principal source of energy. And it is only once their levels are below a certain threshold that we start to use more fats for energy.
In this sense we could think of insulin as a sort of gatekeeper with many individuals doing rotation to fill the position in a way such that whenever one gets tired the next one in line has already arrived and is ready to assume the role and control the access to the fat stored.
These gatekeepers are pretty good at their job and so long as we have enough glucose the treasury will always be guarded by at least one person. But once we start fasting the gatekeepers start taking longer to fill in the gaps during rotations, until we are completely free to access the fat stores.
Diabetes type I could be thought of as a situation in which the gatekeepers are completely unable to cope up with the job and so we have a lot of time in which there is no one to protect the door.
This means we are unable to keep watch of the treasury and most of our treasure gets stolen and lost. A way to stop this from happening is to contract mercenaries to stand guard to protect our treasury and keep thieves out of it so that we can keep building up treasure.
In diabetes type I there is a problem in the cells that produce insulin or in the insulin produced in a way such that the person is unable to store glucose as fats and the way to surmount this problem is to inject insulin that works so that we can start using glucose as a source of energy and store the excess glucose as fats.
Consult a doctor before doing anything in this article.The material in this article is for informational purposes only. As each individual situation is unique, you should use proper discretion, in consultation with a health care practitioner, before undertaking the diet in this article. The author expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained in this article.
Jason Fung, Jimmy Moore ”The Complete Guide To Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting”.2016. Victory Belt Pub.