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THE INSULIN MYTH

Posted On 2021-08-12

INSULIN MAKES YOU FAT? WE DON’T THINK SO.

 

THE INSULIN MYTH

 

The internet abounds with advice about how to live a healthy lifestyle, from what you should eat and drink, what exercise to take, how much sleep you need, and everything in between. And with so much content out there, it’s difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction. Some people seem to get a high from believing myths. One of these is the insulin myth. The insulin myth brazenly claims that insulin makes you gain weight. It doesn’t.

 

INSULIN IS A HORMONE

 

Discovered by 2 Canadian medical scientists, Frederick Banting and Charles Herbert Best in 1921, insulin is a molecular protein that acts in the body as a hormone. Our endocrine system is a collection of glands that produces hormones to regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, mood, and much more. Put simply, hormones are the chemical messengers that travel throughout your body to help control how cells and organs do their jobs.

 

THE FUNCTIONS OF INSULIN

 

And why is insulin important as a hormone? When you eat carbohydrates, the food is broken down into glucose, a compound critical in providing your body with energy.  Produced by your pancreas, the primary role of insulin is to facilitate the transport of glucose in your blood into your cells, thereby providing them with energy to function. As a chemical messenger, insulin also tells your liver to absorb glucose when your body has sufficient energy. In the liver, glucose is converted into glycogen, a complex carbohydrate molecule. Your entire body is only capable of storing 600 grams of glycogen and excess gets stored as fat in tissue. This truth is probably the origin of the insulin myth.

 

THE KETO DIET SOLUTION

 

The ketogenic diet – keto diet for short – is a low carb and high-fat diet that allegedly offers many health benefits. Some say that keto diets will help to keep diseases such as diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s at bay. How does a keto diet work? By drastically reducing your intake of carbs and replacing the nutrient with fat, your body enters a metabolic state known as ketosis. In this state, your body efficiently burns fat as an alternative energy source. Fat stored in the liver is also converted into ketones which directly supply the brain with energy. All those insulin myth advocates will tell you that the keto diet is a solution to reducing blood sugar levels and insulin, and by extension suppressing your appetite, lowering calorie intake, and promoting weight loss. Their assumptions bear questioning…

 

KETO IS NOT A SOLUTION

When you consider that the short-term effects of a keto diet, the so-called ‘keto flu’, include fatigue, headaches, a foggy brain, and an upset stomach, is this dietary strategy a solution to weight loss? We think not. Here are 3 more reasons why you should avoid a keto diet

 

  • cutting out whole grains, beans, fruits and many veggies can cause micronutrient deficiencies of vitamins and essential minerals
  • long term risks associated with keto diets include kidney stones, osteoporosis and liver disease
  • the restrictive nature of a keto diet can easily lead to dietary disorders and obsessive-compulsive eating

 

Remember that a keto diet is extreme. It involves cutting your carb intake from the recommended 55% to only 5% while increasing your daily fat consumption from 25% to 75%.

 

INSULIN VERSUS CALORIES AND CARBS

 

Remember the insulin myth? It’s nothing more than that. In our post ‘Stop Cutting Carbs for Weight Loss’, you read about the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis. It suggests that eating carbs makes insulin levels in the blood rise. Conversely, this means if you cut out carbs, you’ll lower your insulin levels and burn more fat. This is not true. There is no correlation between weight gain, insulin levels and fat in your body. Insulin cannot make you put on weight. It’s those calories you have to watch – both the quantity and quality. Portion control is vital for healthy living and weight maintenance or loss.

 

AVOID KETO - EAT SUPER SHRED

 

You don’t need to go down the keto diet route to lose weight. Our Super Shred range is a low carb alternative that offers clean eating with a no junk promise. Each Super Shred meal is weighed and measured to 30g protein, 5g carbs, less than 10g fat with only 230 calories. Choose from Egg Omelette with Smoked Salmon, Roasted Coconut Hake, Sun-dried Tomato Beef Fillet, and many more delicious options. Forget the insulin myth. Eat Super Shred to knock off those pounds.

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