This is a fantastic article that exposes the sugar industry and brings understanding to the delicate and divine "ecosystem" of the body . To understand and respect how our body works feels like the bare minimum we as human beings should be committed to but instead we see the ignorance and arrogance of irresponsible choices that leads to ill health and disease. It's a great read!
We have been indoctrinated to believe that sugar and refined sugar (bread, pasta, alcohol and the like) are foods. They are not, and our clever body cells know that well.
Our daily living is often way out of rhythm; for many, perpetually and chronically out of rhythm.
When we stress, when we lack quality sleep, when we eat the wrong foods, we end up in a cycle of exhaustion and joylessness so that ill health becomes the new low bar. We turn to ‘pick me up’ foods to get us through the day. We become addicted to those ill foods. We succumb to corrupt marketing practices and become indoctrinated by a food industry that knows no boundaries in its errant ways.
What we do, no other animal does – we take in food that quite simply devastates the perfect ecosystem that is the human body. We then believe that the abnormal is normal because everyone around us is doing the same thing and our (ill) state of mind believes that this reduced state is about as good as it gets. As do lemmings, we march to the beat of a perverse way of living that destroys our bodily ecosystems with devastating consequences. Ill health of all sorts follows and a life of medication, low energy, un-fulfilment and joylessness becomes that new norm.
Insulin is a bellwether for change. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas: its purpose is to lower blood sugar.
For the normal, healthy person, there is only about one teaspoon of sugar for about 5.5 litres of blood in the entire body; that is a highly diluted minimalist sugar state that represents our optimal state of mental being. When the sugar level exceeds this optimal state then insulin goes to work to get that excess (and damaging) sugar out of the bloodstream, pronto!
But the average person consumes anything from 15 to 40 teaspoons of sugar a day! The statistics of sugar consumption largely depend what country you are in, but one thing is for sure – the consumption of sugar is out of control, on a global scale.
Insulin is like the gatekeeper of cells – it has the key to unlock the cell, allowing the glucose (sugar) to enter the cell. Insulin is the marshal that arranges the storage of sugar in the muscle and liver. If sugar levels exceed storage capacity, the excess goes to fat (insulin is a fat making hormone).
Insulin stores sugar as fat.
Insulin performs other important functions too; it absorbs amino acids, absorbs potassium and retains sodium. It also blocks fat burning. Insulin is a clever gatekeeper/field marshal in our human ecosystem.
When sugar overloads, more and more insulin gets released by the pancreas. The cells recognise the dysfunctionality of the oversupply of insulin and those clever cells shut down against insulin (resist). Eventually these shut down cells are starved of sugar, including memory cells in the brain. We lose memory, we lose muscle strength, we feel tired and are stimulated to eat more, all of which combine to create a vicious cycle that leads to diabetes.
Sugar excesses lead to massive strains on the pancreas organ, which often lead to other pancreatic-based illnesses.
There are multiple factors that create a dysfunctional insulin behaviour. Factors like high carbohydrate diets (think all forms of sugar, breads, alcohol, snack bars, juices, soft drinks, fruit juices/ sodas, pasta etc.), processed foods, excessive caffeine and stressed living all bring out the insulin army in droves, causing adverse reactions. We also need to consider that each ecosystem (i.e. each individual) has a slightly different response to various food types; we need to calibrate person to person rather than throw a blanket over all food types for everyone. It very much depends where each body is in the process of evolution and each person should be aware of the impulses and needs of their very own ecosystem.
The question is this: if our tiny cells know that too much sugar or too little sugar is a significant problem and those tiny cells know how to counter this sugar poison, why do humans serially live in considerable (often chronic) disregard of this finely tuned ecosystem?
How is it that those cells can become insulin resistant yet we cannot resist massively overdosing on sugar and carbs (in different forms of foods and beverages)?
It is because we need the stimulation, the raciness and the opioid-like effects to take us away from our dysfunctional, sometimes purposeless living ways. The body is clearly smarter than the indoctrinated mind.
Our relationship with food is always about behaviour and always much more than just food.
But the battle is being lost as humans break all manner of ill-health records, with diabetes (just one of those major illnesses) now out of control.
So, the next time you are tempted by sugary drinks or the ubiquitous confectionary and processed foods, stop and consider the immediate imbalance you will create in your very own ecosystem, when the pancreas launches its insulin armies, so much so that our cells start to shut down against the tsunami of insulin that arises to meet the ever-repeating challenges of sugar overwhelm in the body.
But also consider what is really going on psychologically that causes us to dishonour our serving purpose in life by consuming foods that create raciness, dull our senses and distract us. There is always a bigger agenda at play than just food.