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  • Giulianni Giraldo

Is Insulin To Blame?

*(if you suffer from diabetes, insulin resistance or any related condition, consult your physician for matters relating to his/her health) After eating any normal meal, the release of insulin from the pancreas signals the shutdown of the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue (body fat) and the increase of fatty acid uptake. The most common explanation to this is that elevated insulin is to be blamed for weight gain or fat storage, and thats why you should cut carbs. The logic goes that carbs through their stimulation of insulin are fattening beyond their contribution of energy as calories. It doesn't matter how much you eat, so long as you avoid carbs to lose weight.

So where does all the extra energy from excess protein and fat go when over consumed? And what about proteins own effects in stimulating insulin or insulins role in promoting satiety?

"The insulin response to a meal will never supersede the weight loss effects of a calorie deficit"

Insulin is a critical coordinator of dynamic fatty acid flux on a meal-to-meal basis. Through coordination, insulin is the main hormone that, essentially, tells the body what to do with the food energy just eaten. For example, when carbohydrate or protein is eaten, insulin directs the body to burn the carbohydrate or protein instead of using fat. And when mostly fat is eaten, the lack of an insulin response directs the body to burn the fat just eaten. Either way, you burn what you eat, and when that runs out, you go back to burning stored fat. This process is easily misinterpreted because one of insulin’s main functions following a meal is to shut down fat release from fat cells while the body burns carbohydrate and protein. Overall, however, insulin does not promote fat accumulation in the long run. Keep in mind that insulin also promotes the transport of glucose and amino acid into muscle for synthesis of glycogen and proteins after meals.

At the end of the day, the total 24-hour ‘flux’ of fat in and out of fat cells does not appear to depend on these insulin spikes.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

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