What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance means that the ability of your cells to respond to insulin is diminished. Your cells become resistant, desensitised to the effects of insulin. This means that insulin, your energy storage hormone, is unable to store energy properly or to control the level of glucose in your body.
So what happens?
Imagine insulin knocking at the door of your muscle cells. It needs to store energy. “ Let me in, I've got energy for you to store” In normal circumstances the door would be opened and the energy would be allowed in.
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When you become insulin resistant, the door remains closed. Your muscle can't hear the knock: it's ‘ resistant', deaf to the knocking. When there is no response to the knock, your pancreas responds by making more insulin to make the knock louder. But the door remains closed, and as a result your blood glucose levels rise.
However, your fat cells are different, they're not quite so deaf, they can hear the knocking. Unlike your muscle cells, your fat cells retain most of their sensitivity. As a result, insulin puts the energy in the only place it can find that will open its door. It stuffs it into your fat cells.
And the blame for all this lies with. Low-fibre processed food high in sugar and saturated fat – and those sugar laden drinks.
It's the type of food and how much of it you eat that's the problem.
If you are always eating an energy-dense, high-sugar, low-fibre processed food diet, and drinking sugary beverages, your liver will be constantly overwhelmed by an avalanche of nutrients, and your pancreas will be forever producing insulin. With so much insulin being produced you will eventually become insulin resistant. As a consequence you put on weight, lots of it.
Insulin resistance – this is when the evolutionary mismatch really hits home.