Standard American Diet for Health
Glucose Based Metabolism (Normal for most of us.)
Your Brain is Glucose Dependent
Even when your energy supply is glucose heavy, about half of your energy still comes from free fatty acids. But your brain probably runs on glucose 100% of the time.
This is why Diabetes Associations, even though they know how excess carbohydrate raise blood sugar, and causes metabolic problems for their members, still recommend that every meal contains about 60gm of carbohydrate. If your sugars get too low, you will probably pass out, they believe.
Glucose can readily be transformed into acetyl-Coenzyme A, but the reverse is not true. Once glucose becomes acetyl-CoA, it can't reverse itself.
Remember the blood MUST retrain a constant level of glucose. Excess glucose must be eliminated quickly. Insulin will remain in control until that's accomplished. That's a very important fact, because the fat around your waist can only come from glucose. The building of triglycerides, a process called lipogenesis (making fat), cannot occur inside the mitochondria (The fatty acids from dietary fats go there).
Most of the cells in your body will also easily accept free fatty acids as fuel, if insulin is low and not preventing that from happening. However, because free fatty acids are too big to cross the blood brain barrier, free fatty acids cannot fuel the brain.
Fat burning turns on overnight.
If you are healthy, in the morning after a long overnight fast, you may be in a mild state of ketosis. Take a 10k run before eating and you will almost certainly produce ketosis. Your body will mostly be using fats, unless you try to sprint. There is glycogen in your cells, but the body tries to conserve that. You have enough fuel to run for about three hours before the supply of glycogen becomes compromised.
Most of us, get up and eat breakfast. We tend to have muesli and fruit with low-fat yoghurt, and green-top milk. Two slices of toast, with margarine and honey or jam, plus a cup of black coffee with one sugar. Eating this "healthy" breakfast turns fat burning "off", and turns insulin "on."
Or we skip breakfast.
Continuous Carbohydrate Recharging
Morning tea is a challenge. A muffin and coffee, would be normal.
Lunch for most of us involves sandwiches or some other bread, bun, pasta or rice based food. We frequently finish with a muffin or cookie as we have tea or coffee. Lunch will often increase your blood sugars to more than ten times normal.
So the day continues, eating more carbohydrates every 2.5 hours, boosting our blood sugars AGAIN, and turning on insulin to clear up the damage we've done.
This behaviour continues after the evening meal, finishing with supper about 10pm.
The point is; that the way we eat, and the food we choose to eat, keeps insulin "on" all day. Over many years your body reacts to that, by changing your homeostasis set point. You adapt to all the carbohydrate you are eating, first of all by using insulin to help you cope with the carbohydrate overload. But eventually the continuous excess of insulin in your system begins to cause a problem, by creating carbohydrate resistance. (That's why Open Future Health recommends a long daily fast, 10-12 hours every day. Give insulin a chance to clear from your system completely.)
Young people cope quite well with this diet, but that changes as they age, and they begin to get fat. They develop metabolic syndrome, beginning in mid-life. This leads to a series of late life health problems that reduce one's enjoyment of life, and may mean 10 or more years of disability. Diabetes, heart problems, strokes, arthritis, gout and dementia are all connected to metabolic syndrome.
Authorities tell us that the solution is for middle aged people to exercise more. That comes back to the belief that the key is energy in v energy out. But other sources tell us that while exercise has many health benefits, but it's rather ineffective in helping us reduce our weight.
So we know what happens. The question is, can there be a practical alternative?
There certainly is. You might not need to change paradigms either, that depends on how much damage you've already done to your body. Forget about diets. Don't count calories. If you weigh too much DON'T exercise, either, you'll only damage yourself. Get an education, read this web site and the blog. Buy yourself some sensible books. (Harder that it looks.) Try Hugh Butler's "Take Out Diet." Think about how you CONTROL the hormone insulin, by your eating pattern. Eventually that's the secret people don't know. Read the sidebar to the right.