Updated: Sep 14
THE METABOLISM AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH INSULIN RESISTANCE AND OBESITY.
Western diet and physical inactivity along with chronic stress periods are the reason for alteration of our metabolism related to a chronic inflammation process causing the onset of insulin resistance. This impacts negatively your metabolism responses altering its flexibility, it means, the different ways in how our body uses the different energy sources to burn calories, what we call, metabolic flexibility.
Metabolic flexibility has been defined as “a clear capacity to utilize either fat or carbs optimally in order to produce a positive metabolic response”. This fact depends on different factors, like caloric intake and physical activity. An impairment of this optimal metabolic response after any food intake, may lead not only to obesity, but to the metabolic consequences like insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is identified as an impaired biologic response to insulin stimulation of target tissues, primarily the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. Insulin resistance impairs glucose metabolism, resulting in a compensatory increase and abnormal insulin levels production. The progression of insulin resistance could lead to metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), type 2 diabetes mellitus, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or obesity.
Having an optimal metabolic flexibility, (the optimization of your body to use different nutrients sources either fat or carbs) will improve the hormonal and metabolic capacity.
The potential mechanisms under the effect of the food intake on insulin resistance may include altered fat or carbs burning, in which western diets and the current sedentary lifestyle are contributing to altered metabolic responses to different diets, directly linked to obesity, and metabolic disorders.
(Freese J et al, 2017)
TYPE OF FOOD, INSULIN LEVELS AND BODY COMPOSITION. IS THERE ANY RELATIONSHIP?
There is evidence that insulin resistance and insulin secretion play an important role in body weight fluctuation, therefore, glycemic load from different type of food, could influence insulin levels and the body’s response according to the individual’s metabolic health.
The question is how to improve and optimize the use of different nutrient sources in order to improve our metabolism and have an optimal health.
They are two main pillars, an optimal diet along with exercises. These two factors will maintain an optimal metabolism avoiding the onset of insulin resistance.
The intake of processed carbohydrates is related to elevated insulin secretion, which, in turn, reduces the capability of fat burning, promoting the increase of fat deposition, while at the same time, leading to insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress. In some studies, a decrease in carbohydrates intake, leads to insulin resistance improvement and weight loss, especially in people with diabetes type 2. For more health support, visit wellness and health clinic in Dubai.
High– glycemic load diets (pastas, cookies, pastries, ice creams…) increase insulin levels after food intake, which favors fats uptake, inhibition of fat burning, and the increase of energy storage leading to weight gain.
Another reason is that High–glycemic load diets also lead to other metabolic changes after the food intake, including a lower glucose tolerance and increase specific hormones that might explain the increased hunger and increased energy intake after the meal, this fact could lead to weight gain over time.
So, dietary macronutrient composition could be a main factor depending on insulin resistance levels, otherwise, more than focusing on dietary composition, the type of food based on unprocessed carbs coming from starches, vegetables, fruits would be essential, as there is evidence that refined carbs cause an inflammatory effect linked directly to insulin resistance, and obesity.
Following a Mediterranean diet pattern based on real food, unprocessed carbs, good quality of carbs, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, root vegetables combined with sources of protein and healthy fats (olives, fish, nuts…) will regulate the metabolic homeostasis.
Calorie restriction is an additional way to decongest the human cell (autophagy, like self-recycling system). At the cellular level fasting elicits evolutionarily conserved adaptive responses to include increased expression of antioxidant defenses, autophagy, DNA repair, and decreased inflammation levels. These are some of the reasons why intermittent fasting leads to greater decreases in insulin resistance and large reduction in waist circumference, beyond weight loss per se. Better to start with overnight fasting periods, with a duration of 10-12h between dinner and breakfast.
In short, over-eating high caloric food can be a precursor to a lack of an optimal metabolism response, and dysregulation of your overall metabolic health. At the end, a good optimal diet and an optimal training is the key. Knowing which type of food is adequate to your lifestyle with professional advise will help you to prevent an altered metabolic response. Our team is always with you for the best preventive medicine in Dubai services.
A good diet is not sufficient without optimum exercise, which will be explained in part 2 of our blog.
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