Tag: obesity

Understanding Obesity

Back when I was much younger it seemed the reason behind obesity was quite obvious – people ate too much. Now days, it seems with the ever growing epidemic of obesity, many people either do not understand how it is caused, or have just accepted it as a normal part of life and do not even consider doing anything about it. As a result, our cost for health care and the burden placed on the system is growing daily too. By one estimate, the U.S. spent $190 billion on obesity-related health care expenses in 2005-double previous estimates. Just think, that was fifteen years ago. Obesity greatly increases our risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers, to name just a few. Yet few understand or do not care that their obesity can and will reduce their life span. Treating obesity and obesity-related conditions costs billions of dollars a year, yet far too many do not care to do anything about it. Sadly, obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Over two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one in three Americans is obese. The prevalence of obesity in children has increased markedly as well. Can we continue to kick this can down the road?

What is obesity?

Depending on what you read, you might find a variety of definitions. In general, overweight and obesity indicate a weight greater than what is healthy. Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. Of course we all need a certain amount of body fat for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions. But, this is not a license to believe there is anything healthy about being a body fat hoarder.

What are the health risks associated with obesity?

Forget all the vanity reasons why obesity is not desirable. The concern for obesity needs to go far beyond the cosmetic considerations, it is harmful to one’s health as it is a risk factor for many conditions. In the United States, roughly 112,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and most of these deaths are in patients with a BMI over 30. Patients with a BMI over 40 have a reduced life expectancy. Just think, we have had the entire nation in a panic over the Covid-19 Corona virus because it may kill an equal number of people as obesity actually does each year. Yet no one blinks an eye when it comes to the many problem associated with being fat.It is perfectly acceptable for me to load a grocery cart with sugary sweet treats and unhealthy foods, so long as I am wearing a face mask while doing so…

Obesity increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, including the following:

  • Insulin resistance. The hormone Insulin is required for the transport of blood glucose (sugar) into the cells of muscle and fat (which your body uses for energy). By transporting glucose into cells, insulin keeps the blood glucose levels in the normal range. But, you cannot keep hammering the pancreas for more by eating large carbohydrate meals and snacks before you develop Insulin resistance (IR) which is the condition where your body now has a diminished effectiveness of your insulin transporting glucose into your cells. Fat cells are more insulin resistant than muscle cells; therefore, one important cause of insulin resistance is obesity. The pancreas initially responds to insulin resistance by producing more insulin. As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. This insulin resistance state (characterized by normal blood glucose levels and high insulin levels) can last for years. Once the pancreas can no longer keep up with producing high levels of insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise, resulting in type 2 diabetes, thus insulin resistance is a pre-diabetes condition. A couple good analogies for how too many carbohydrates affect your pancreas is to think about how many cigarettes can one smoke before they have developed COPD and can no longer breath. How much alcohol can one consume before they have trashed their liver with cirrhosis? Just the same, the damage to your pancreas is most often also self inflicted!
  • Type 2 diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of obesity. Type 2 diabetes is associated with central obesity; a person with central obesity has excess fat around their waist. Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, the development of type 2 diabetes and its complications can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage. In recent years, it has been discovered that many people with type 2 diabetes are actually able to reverse their diabetes through methods including low-carb diets, medically supervised very-low-calorie diets and exercise. Yet, you will find a great many who will go on about their nutritional habits as they always have, the habits that lead them to having type 2 diabetes in the first place. Seriously, I find this to be utterly stupid when one does not even attempt to manage their disease through a change of lifestyle. It is pure selfishness when one with type 2 diabetes does nothing about making a positive change for the better – these types will eventually become a burden for their loved ones when they have to become caretakers or to plan a funeral and disposition of an estate.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is common among obese adults. Ladies, you need to know that weight gain also tends to increase blood pressure in women more significantly than in men.
  • High Cholesterol.
  • Stroke risk rises with obesity.
  • Heart attack. A prospective study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased three to four times in women who had a BMI greater than 29. A Finnish study showed that for every 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight, the risk of death from coronary artery disease increased by 1%.  In patients who have already had a heart attack, obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of a second heart attack. Think about the implications for one who is 50 to 100 plus pounds over weight.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer. Obesity is a risk factor for cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women. Obesity may also be associated with breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Gallstones
  • Gout and gouty arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back
  • Sleep apnea

9 Most common causes of obesity

The balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines a person’s weight. If a person eats more calories than he or she burns (metabolizes), the person gains weight (the body will store the excess energy as fat). If a person eats fewer calories than he or she metabolizes, he or she will lose weight. Therefore, the most common causes of obesity are overeating and physical inactivity. However, we do recognize that body weight can also be a result of genetics, metabolism, environment, and culture.

  • Physical inactivity. It is not rocket science that lazy, sedentary people burn fewer calories than people who are physically active. This is a truth for both men and women.
  • Overeating. Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in simple carbs and bad fats. Foods high in sugar and  bad fats such as fast foods, fried food, and sweets) have high energy density (foods that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food). With these poor food choices you can easily consume your daily needs of calories in just one sitting.
  • Genetics. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For example, one genetic cause of obesity is leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells and in the placenta. Leptin controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high. If, for some reason, the body cannot produce enough leptin or leptin cannot signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost, and obesity occurs. The role of leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is under exploration. However, you cannot just assume you are leptin deficient when you are quite possibly just carb addicted. Your parents and everyone in your family might actually be carb addicted instead of being leptin deficient.
  •  A diet high in simple carbohydrates. The role of simple carbohydrates in weight gain is quite clear. Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels, which in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas, and insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue and can cause weight gain. Simple carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, beer, wine, etc.) contribute to weight gain because they are more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates (pasta, brown rice, grains, vegetables, raw fruits, etc.) and thus cause a more pronounced insulin release after meals than complex carbohydrates. This higher insulin release contributes to weight gain. Weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers who tell their carb addicted patrons they can continue to eat simple carbs know this, these people are an easy source for a perpetual income stream. By telling their carb addicted patrons they can still eat sugary foods as long as they track it is no different than if Alcoholics Anonymous told their members they could still have the occasional drink.
  • Frequency of eating. The relationship between frequency of eating (how often you eat) and weight is somewhat controversial. There are many reports of overweight people eating less often than people with normal weight. Scientists have observed that people who eat small meals four or five times daily, have lower cholesterol levels and lower and/or more stable blood sugar levels than people who eat less frequently (two or three large meals daily). One possible explanation is that small frequent meals produce stable insulin levels, whereas large meals cause large spikes of insulin after meals. One huge problem that cannot be ignored is those who eat less frequently are also more prone to eat excessively when they do. Binge eating is a common issue with the obese.
  • Medications. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants, anticonvulsants used in controlling seizures such as Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Depacon, and Depakene. Other medications such as for  diabetes used for lowering blood sugar such as insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones along with certain hormones such as oral contraceptives, and most corticosteroids such as prednisone can cause weight gain. Weight gain can also come from some high blood pressure medications and antihistamines. The cause of weight gain from medications are multiple and differ for each medication. If this is a concern for you, you should discuss your medications with your physician rather than discontinuing the medication, as this could have serious effects. You may have little control over the effect of medicines on your body, but you do have control over what you put in your mouth. If you are on medicines that might cause weight gain, it is paramount that you remain disciplined with your dietary habits.
  • Psychological factors. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress, or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.
  • Diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome are also contributors to obesity. Some diseases, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, can lead to obesity.
  • Social issues: There is a link between social issues and obesity. Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity.

Childhood obesity.

A person’s weight during childhood, the teenage years, and early adulthood can and will influence the development of adult obesity. With each passing year we see more and more children with weight issues and the ailments associated with them. Therefore, decreasing the prevalence of childhood obesity is one of the areas Brenda Sue and I try to focus on in the fight against obesity. For example,

  • being mildly overweight in the early 20’s was linked to a substantial incidence of obesity by age 35.
  • being overweight during older childhood is highly predictive of adult obesity, especially if a parent is also obese.
  • being overweight during the teenage years is even a greater predictor of adult obesity.

While we obviously want to give our children and grandchildren the best lives we can, pampering them with poor nutritional choices and not encouraging them to be physically active only serves to hurt them in the long term while we make them only feel a little better in the very short term.

As a society and a culture, we must do better by our children.

Their future health depends on us to do them right, not what is comfortable in the moment..

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Obesity and Insulin

We are often asked the question by people professing to want to lose weight how they can best go about it. It seems at times, that most are looking for some type of hack, or gimmick, which comes as no surprise when it appears that weight loss hacks and gimmicks are more prevalent than legitimate weight loss plans.

Hacks and gimmicks may work in the short term, but they will always lead you to failure in maintaining weight loss. They fail you because they are not nutritionally sound. They fail you exactly because hacks and gimmicks are for the short term fix, when what you need is a life long solution! There are no short cuts to having a fit and trim body with a healthy percentage of body fat. Nutritional habits need to be a permanent lifestyle, and not something you just want to get through. It is a sad state of affairs when so many people either do not care what is making them fat, or simply just do not know the cause of their obesity. I blame this largely on our education system where nutrition and health are not subjects taught as they used to be when I was in school. This ignorance of basic nutrition is causing a significant rise not only in obesity, but Type 2 Diabetes too. Sadly, we now have children with Type 2 Diabetes when it used to be that you only heard of adults getting it.  More and more people are developing type 2 diabetes during youth. This trend is growing across all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes.

88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes.

Nearly 20 percent of children and adolescents are obese, a percentage than has more than tripled since the 1970’s. The recent rise in type 2 diabetes is directly related to the rise in obesity rates in the United States.

Our message is SIMPLE!

Quit eating refined sugar, foods with added sugars, and simple carbohydrates except for fruit.  Cut out processed foods as much as you can, and when you cannot avoid a processed food, be sure to make choices that do not have added sugars, unhealthy fats and preservatives. By doing this and only eating whole foods that are nutritionally dense, you will manage to lose weight down to a healthy level of body fat as long as you are not consuming in excess of your daily needs in calories.

The main obstacle we encounter when telling people to quit eating sugar and simple carbs is society’s ignorance of sugar’s effects and their tendency to ignore what it is they do not want to hear. It is not rare that a person who is obese will also be addicted to sugar and simple carbohydrates. They do not want to hear they need to give up that which is making them fat. The addiction to sugar is really no different than the alcoholics addiction to alcohol. Putting it bluntly, if you are not in the frame of mind to give up sugar in order to improve your weight and health, a half hearted effort at weight loss will only result in failure, more obesity, and at some point a poor nutrition related ailment such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome to name a few.

Insulin

Insulin is created and secreted by the pancreas which stores about 200 units of the hormone. People of a healthy weight and good dietary habits will secrete about 25 to 30 units of insulin per day. You might think of insulin as being like a broom, as it sweeps glucose, amino acids and free fatty acids into cells where they are stored as fat and glucose to be used later.

For those at a healthy body fat percentage, blood sugar levels  do not vary much because of the harmonious and compensating actions of insulin and glucagon which is also created by the pancreas. Insulin keeps blood sugar from rising too high, while glucagon prevents blood sugar from falling too low. A healthy and nutritious diet keeps these hormones in harmony with each other. Humans can actually survive without glucagon, but must have insulin on order to survive. For the diabetic, what they need to know and understand is insulin given by injections is not nearly as efficient as the pancreas in supplying a steady stream of insulin for your body’s needs. When you become obese, you stand the risk of becoming insulin deficient or your body becomes insulin resistant. Either way, you are jeopardizing your health and well being. I want to emphasize,

“YOU ARE JEOPARDIZING YOUR HEALTH”.

No one is doing it to you!

After you have consumed carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks down the food. The blood in your intestines will absorb the digested food and as a result your blood sugar will rise. This action stimulates the release of insulin from you pancreas which causes glucose to be stored as fat. Once the blood sugar, or glucose has dropped too low, glucagon is secreted which converts the stored fat into glucose and restores your blood sugar to a normal level. When these two hormones get out of balance, people tend to become obese. Obesity causes increased insulin production as a result of excessive stimulation of the pancreas through over eating. Over eating most often occurs through an over consumption of sugar and simple carbs which only serve to make foods calorie dense and low in nutrition.

Increased insulin levels promote the storage of sugar as glycogen in both the liver and muscle. After proteins and fats are ingested, insulin promotes the storage of protein in muscle and fat in fat cells as triglycerides. Because insulin also prevents the breakdown of glycogen and triglycerides, it becomes almost impossible to lose body fat when your insulin levels are elevated.

Insulin also activates the enzyme, lipoprotein lipase that promotes the removal of triglycerides from the bloodstream and their position in fat cells. Insulin also inhibits hormone sensitive lipase that breaks down stored fats. The net result of these two activities is an increase in stored fat that results in your increased weight and obesity. Insulin is a major hindrance to fat breakdown and is a major facilitator of fat storage. When you are munching away on those cupcakes with icing piled sky high, you are causing your pancreas to pump excessive amounts of insulin. Over time, you may quit producing insulin, or you may become insulin resistant which is a condition where your body has a decreased response to insulin and your fat cells, liver cells, and muscle cells are now insensitive to the circulating insulin in your system.

Obesity is the most common cause of insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Whether you want to admit it or not, the power is in your control to not be afflicted with either condition. Yet many refuse to give up their sweet treats in exchange for good health. Obese people without diabetes usually have elevated insulin levels with normal blood sugar levels. However, the obese person with high insulin levels may be well on their way to becoming diabetic. What occurs is their pancreas becomes exhausted from constant stimulation by glucose and will eventually fail which results in diabetes. Obese individuals will also often have elevated insulin levels in both the fasting and fed states. These people will also often have elevated lipoprotein lipase levels which is important in the storage of fat. The result of which is the obese individuals are metabolically ready at all times to store fat from everything they consume. It is not rocket science why an obese individual with an elevated insulin level can not lose weight. But, there is something that can be done about this through first making the personal choice to stand with a strong resolve to do so.

What can be done?

  1.  Get more sleep. A good night’s sleep is important for your health. Several studies have also linked poor sleep to reduced insulin sensitivity. For example, one study in nine healthy volunteers found that getting just four hours of sleep in one night reduced insulin sensitivity and the ability to regulate blood sugar, compared to getting eight and a half hours of sleep.
  2. Exercise more. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to increase insulin sensitivity. It helps move sugar into the muscles for storage and promotes an immediate increase in insulin sensitivity, which lasts 2–48 hours, depending on the exercise. A study of overweight men with and without diabetes found that when participants performed resistance training over a three-month period, their insulin sensitivity increased, independent of other factors like weight loss.
  3. Reduce stress. Stress affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. It encourages the body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode, which stimulates the production of stress hormones like cortisol and glucagon. These hormones break down glycogen into glucose, which enters your bloodstream for your body to use as a quick source of energy. Unfortunately, ongoing stress keeps your stress hormone levels high, stimulating nutrient breakdown while increasing blood sugar. Stress hormones make the body more insulin resistant.
  4. Lose weight. Excess weight, especially in the belly area, reduces insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes who lost 5–7% of their total weight over six months reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 54% for the next three years.
  5. Eat more fiber. Fiber can be divided into two broad categories — soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber mostly acts as a bulking agent to help stool move through the bowels. Meanwhile, soluble fiber is responsible for many of fiber’s associated benefits, like lowering cholesterol and reducing appetite. Several studies have found a link between high soluble fiber intake and increased insulin sensitivity. For example, a study in 264 women found that those who ate more soluble fiber had significantly lower levels of insulin resistance. Soluble fiber also helps feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which have been linked to increased insulin sensitivity. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include legumes, oatmeal, flax seeds, vegetables like Brussels sprouts and fruits like oranges.
  6. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in plant compounds that help increase insulin sensitivity. But be careful not to eat too much fruit in a single sitting, as some types are high in sugar.
  7. Watch your intake of carbohydrates. Carbs are the main stimulus that causes insulin blood levels to rise. Reducing your carb intake will help increase insulin sensitivity. That’s because high-carb diets tend to lead to spikes in blood sugar, which put more pressure on the pancreas to remove sugar from the blood. Spreading your carb intake evenly throughout the day is another way to increase insulin sensitivity. Eating smaller portions of carbs regularly throughout the day provides the body with less sugar at each meal, making insulin’s job easier. This is also supported with research showing that eating regularly benefits insulin sensitivity. The type of carbs you choose is also important. Low-glycemic index (GI) carbs are best, since they slow the release of sugar into the blood, giving insulin more time to work efficiently. Carb sources that are low-GI include sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa and some varieties of oatmeal.
  8. Quit eating sugar and or foods with added sugars! There’s a big difference between added sugars and natural sugars. Natural sugars are found in sources like plants and vegetables, both of which provide lots of other nutrients. Conversely, added sugars are found in more highly processed foods. The two main types of sugar added during the production process are high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar, also known as sucrose. Both contain approximately 50% fructose. Many studies have found that higher intakes of fructose can increase insulin resistance among people with diabetes. The effects of fructose on insulin resistance also appear to affect people who don’t have diabetes, as reported in an analysis of 29 studies including a total of 1,005 normal and overweight or obese participants. The findings showed that consuming a lot of fructose over less than 60 days increased liver insulin resistance, independent of total calorie intake. Foods that contain lots of added sugar are also high in fructose. This includes candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, cakes, cookies and pastries.

Obesity and insulin levels are within your control if you make the choice to do something about both. We know that insulin is an important hormone that has many roles in the body, and that when your insulin sensitivity is low, it puts pressure on your pancreas to increase insulin production to clear sugar from your blood. Low insulin sensitivity will result in chronically high blood sugar levels, which are known to increase your risk of many diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to naturally increase your insulin sensitivity.

You just have to decide which is more important, a cupcake or your health and well being.

Choose wisely!

Dudes, Moobs and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer in men is not too common, and only comprises one percent of total breast cancers. While the number of cases is small, they are rising as men keep getting fatter and fatter. Guys, we are not immune to it just because we have male genitalia that produces testosterone. In case you didn’t know it, our bodies also produce estrogen. The fatter you are, the more it produces. Men with naturally high levels of the female hormone estrogen have a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Men with the high levels of estrogen are two and a half times more likely to develop breast cancer than men with low levels of the hormone. Fella’s, as you are  sitting on your duff and feeding your face with unhealthy food and drink while getting  fatter by the day, think about this implication for your body; Increased estrogen can cause more breast tissue to develop than normal. High levels can lead to the development of a condition called gynecomastia. This happens when the amount of breast fat tissue is abnormally high. Yes, there are some medical reasons why you might not be able to control your estrogen levels, but there is one crucial component that is entirely within your control.

That component is your total body fat percentage.

Keep Yourself In Balance

As so many are now days, there is a strong possibility that you are addicted to carbohydrates. You may or may not even know this, but either way, there are a few things you really need to understand about your blood sugar levels and how it can be directly affected by the kinds of food you consume each and every day, and how often during each day you might eat them. You might even think this does not apply to you since you eat a wide variety of foods during the course of your day, but have you ever spent any time reading food labels to know that your variety is indeed a variety? There is a strong possibility that all you consume has the same base ingredients of sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and preservatives.

Every day we do different acts which really require little to no thought. We brush our teeth, shower, dress ourselves and eat our meals while never considering all the combinations of simple thoughts and motor skills which go into these daily tasks. We often just go through our days on auto-pilot and hope that we can make it through to sundown without any calamities. We go through our day without ever thinking about our vital life functions including our control and regulation of our blood sugar. We have numerous basic functions of life that are all on automatic. That is, until we make poor life choices and thereby throw a wrench into the cogs of the precious life we have been blessed with. Then we are seeking medical attention for medicines and treatments which could have been avoided simply through better life choices. You are responsible for your health, your doctor is not.

When life is grand, and we do not have a care in the world, our body still needs to be properly taken care of through good nutrition and exercise in order to keep all of our working parts in fine order. The most basic elements of day to day living depend on this. There are actions happening in our body’s that require no conscious thought, such as what happens when we eat. As we chew our food, saliva is released to help break it down into simple absorbable elements. When we eat sugar laden foods or any type of high carbohydrate foods that tastes sweet our body releases insulin into the blood stream in anticipation of the coming food energy. This energy is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) which is then absorbed into our blood. The more sugary the foods, the more rapidly the sugar is absorbed into our blood. Our blood sugar, insulin and glucagon must be kept in balance, but unfortunately, too many of us never even attempt to maintain any semblance of balance. For this, we have the current obesity epidemic. When you do not maintain a balance with these basic elements, as your blood sugar continues to rise, you will feel weaker, hungrier, moodier, and less motivated unless the motivation involves eating more crap food. This is why we say to only eat complex carbs and zero sugar. Complex carbohydrates (starches and soluble fiber) take longer to be broken down into sugar in your body. The fiber element acts as a braking mechanism to keep your blood sugar and insulin under control.

When you consume a high carbohydrate diet, especially one of simple carbs, your insulin helps to move the blood sugar to different parts of your body, where it is used or stored away. As our blood sugar rises, our insulin opens our individual cells up in order for the blood sugar to bring them energy for growth, repair, and to allow them to accomplish the work they are designed for such as the contraction of our muscles. Our insulin then signals our liver and muscles to store away a small portion of the remaining blood sugar for future use. This remaining blood sugar is converted to first, blood fat, and then it is stored into our body as the fat in our fat cells. Because of the lack of balance which comes from undisciplined eating, we are a now a nation predominately populated by over weight or obese individuals. We must keep our body in balance in order to function as healthy beings. You might believe your gut is posing no problems for you, but aesthetics aside, you and I both know this is a bullshit way of thinking.

You should know there are functions within your body that take place without your control, except for you being able to control what it is you put into your mouth. You have control over the balancing act that must be maintained.

When your blood sugar levels begin to drop over time or from activity, your liver makes a small reserve available for your body’s use. As the liver’s stores begin to be depleted, rising levels of the hormone glucagon begin to signal fat cells to open and contribute to your energy needs. This action is what burns off your body fat. If your blood sugar level seems to never drop because of the sweet treats you eat continuously during the day, your glucagon never gets the opportunity to open your fat cells for energy, therefore you will continue to remain obese. It matters not who or what you are, this is very basic human biology that you cannot ignore without health consequences at some point in your life. Sadly, these consequences that used to only be seen in adults, such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are now being seen in children.

When you eat an excess of simple carbs and sugar laden foods you will continuously have high insulin levels which lead to intense cravings for more sweet foods. The more you give in to this, the more imbalanced your body will be. If you continue to give in to the cravings, you will likely find yourself with type 2 diabetes.

While we recommend you to still consume complex carbohydrates, we are adamant that you should quit eating sugar and simple carbs all together. The only caveat to this is fruit. Fruit is a simple carb, but as there is a fiber component to it, fruit does not pose the same problems as simple carbs without fiber. Know that as with any type addiction, an addiction to carbohydrates will take about ten days, give or take a few, to get past. Once you get past the cravings which come from simple carbohydrates, it becomes much easier to control your appetite. If you maintain a diet during weight loss that is higher in protein while still consuming complex carbohydrate foods, you will find yourself staying satiated much longer through out the day than you would when eating sugary foods. While you will still get hungry, the hunger will be more of a mild annoyance than a bothersome craving.

Suffering obesity and all the ailments which accompany it are a matter of your personal life choices. You, and you alone are responsible to maintain the balance that your body requires for optimal health. It is not anyone else’s fault when you contract type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome. It is all on you and the responsibility to get well if you have fallen to these conditions are not your doctors responsibility to repair. It will only be your own blood on your own hands when your health goes south on you.

Live well, keep yourself in balance.

Diabetes, Obesity and Life Choices

In America, in this modern world where we have all the information in the world contained within the phone held in our hand, we as a nation have become nutritionally ignorant. It is now the norm for American citizens to be overweight and almost all adults will eventually have to take prescribed medications for heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure. Today, the number of obese Americans actually outnumber those who smoke, use illegal drugs, or suffer from other ailments.

Here is a hard truth for you, obesity is a personal choice made by the individual. We choose what we consume. We choose to eat high carbohydrate foods full of sugar and preservatives. We choose fast foods of convenience rather than preparing a healthy meal at home. We choose to mindlessly eat in front of the television over sitting as a family at the dining room table. The choices we make with food creates diseases and fuels out of control medical costs. This is a scientific fact that can not be argued with any intelligence. Are you aware that even just being five extra pounds of body fat on a normal size body frame can lead to type 2 diabetes? Sadly, diabetes is now beginning to explode worldwide as populations in all corners of the globe are now being exposed to processed foods in the worlds food supply,

Around the world, most physicians are attempting to solve obesity related ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood pressure with medications and invasive medical procedures. The absurdity of this is, these maladies come from the choices we make with food. It is a fact that people who choose to eat healthy and exercise in order to keep their body fat down to healthy levels almost never get diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or the related ailments that come from these conditions. If you make the choice to eat healthy and exercise your body, you are much more likely to live a healthy life, physically, mentally and financially. Diabetes and obesity is taking a huge financial toll on America. Our choices to eat food products that are high in calories and low in nutrition may eventually bankrupt us as a nation. The average type 2 diabetic incurs about $6,650 a year in health care expenses directly related to diabetes. More than half of Americans can expect to be diabetic or prediabetic by the year 2020 which is soon to be here. Oddly, a lot of folks, despite their poor nutrition habits and obesity are totally unaware that they are either prediabetic or have it fully.

With our poor choices of nutrition, eating what is quick, cheap and makes us feel good, we as a nation are eating ourselves into premature graves. Our lack of good nutritional habits are at the core of our health care crisis If you or someone you love is obese and or diabetic these medical complications can and should be expected if you never take the initiative to clean up your diet and to begin exercising your body:

  • Heart disease-Death from heart disease and risk for stroke is three times higher for diabetics.
  • High blood pressure-75% of diabetics have high blood pressure (130/180 or higher)
  • Blindness-Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults.
  • Kidney disease-Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Nervous system disease-The majority of diabetics develop nervous system impairment such as reduced feeling in the feet, impaired digestion, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Amputations-Diabetes is the leading cause of limb amputations.
  • Cancer-Diabetes increases the risk of cancer, including a 30% increase in colorectal cancer.

If you are obese and are neither diabetic or prediabetic, do not get a false sense of confidence that you can continue to live with an unhealthy diet. You really are not any safer from health risks than the diabetic and here is why. If you are significantly overweight, with an excess of fifty pounds of body fat, your body is going to require huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, up to ten times more that of people of a healthy body fat percentage. Some folks have a large pancreas beta cell capacity, so they can produce insulin levels high enough to not become diabetic. These people have insulin levels high enough to be a strong predictor of heart attack risk and a shorter life span. Whether obese folks are diabetic or not, their high insulin levels are dangerous. You physician can better predict a heart attack from your insulin levels than they can from your cholesterol levels. It is not uncommon for people to end up on a gurney in a hospital emergency room fighting for their very life as a result of a heart attack when they learn their blood sugar levels are elevated. These heart attack victims never had any idea they were diabetic as their first indication came from a heart attack as a result of having high insulin levels for far too many years.

Every day you can begin the day by making the personal choice to live healthy by consuming a diet that is conducive to low body fat levels and by beginning some form of exercise with your doctor’s approval. You can make this choice. Choosing a healthy life may seem difficult at first, but it will become easier as you develop a new and improved lifestyle.

You can also wake up and make the choice to eat poorly and to not move your body except to get your butt up off the couch to waddle into the kitchen for another jelly donut. You can make the choice to live easy in the moment, but here is a dose of reality for you. This choice to live easy in the moment is going to cost you dearly later in life when you suffer the hardships which arise from unhealthy life habits.

It is your life and your choice to make in how you are going to live it. Choose your path intelligently. If you choose to take the path of least resistance, be prepared for the hardships which are sure to come. Choose wisely.