For decades we’ve been warned of the dangers of a diet high in fat, because of the risk of heart disease and clogged arteries and so on.
This came about from studies in the 1950s where they compared levels of fat consumption and death rates from 6 different countries. There is a striking difference between men in the US, who ate a lot of fats, and Men in Japan, who ate few fats.
But they missed something crucial
There was another strong correlation in the data that somehow got overlooked or ignored. The healthier Japanese diet contains a lot less sugar and processed food than the US diet.
The “low fat diet” industry was born, and here we are, decades later and obesity is a major pandemic of the Western world.
People who go on low fat diets gain weight.
Perhaps that needs to be said again, in bold.
People who eat a lot of “low-fat” products gain weight.
The food industry played a big part, because they suddenly started loading products with sugar to compensate for the lack of taste due to the lower fat content.
So the “low fat” foods consumed by millions are loaded with sugar, and are more likely to make people gain weight.
Simple sugars are broken down in the gut to release sugar into the bloodstream. Higher levels of sugar in the blood causes the pancreas to produce insulin.
The insulin can affect blood sugar levels in one of two ways.
Firstly it can cause sugar to be taken up by muscle cells, which need the energy to undertake physical activity. This is an effective and healthy way to remove sugar from the bloodstream.
Secondly, insulin can cause the energy from sugars to be stored in your fat cells. This mechanism is more likely in people who are not physically active. The body becomes less sensitive to insulin and you can become “insulin resistant”.
This second scenario is like a vicious circle where the fatter you get, the less active you become, the more insulin resistance your muscles become, and the more energy get stored as fat. And all the while, you’re stimulating the pancreas to produce higher and higher levels of insulin. Anyone can see that it’s not sustainable. Eventually the pancreas will cease to function and diabetes is upon you, with all its life shortening threats.
For the purposes of this course, we will assume the following mantra:
The more insulin there is in your system, the fatter you will get.
So our collective aim is to take steps to change our diet in such a way as to minimise the levels of insulin flowing around our bodies, and particularly to try to avoid those extreme highs and lows.
We need to get off the Carb Rollercoaster.