The total amount of glucose in our blood is less than two teaspoons of sugar. Glucose levels are tightly regulated by a normally functioning metabolic system, otherwise a person would experience hyperglycemia (too much glucose) or hypoglycemia (too little glucose). Here is a layman’s snapshot of how the process works:
- There are three macro categories of food: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
- Your digestive system converts all carbohydrates into blood glucose, so even something like “healthy” whole grain bread gets converted into blood glucose, just at a slower rate than a can of soda.
- When you consume carbohydrates your metabolic machine keenly senses the glucose entering the blood system. Tiggers of what’s coming down the pipe actually begin when food hits the tongue. This is one reason why some theorize that artificial sweeteners are bad; they trigger the tongue to send the incorrect hormone signals.
- The pancreas receives instructions to pump insulin (a hormone) into your blood to manage the glucose that has just entered. Insulin signals your cells to absorb glucose. Your cells cannot uptake glucose from the blood without the insulin signal.
- Muscle cells are the first ones to uptake glucose and store it for future use. Athletes refer to this as carb loading.
- Muscle cells quickly become saturated and cannot store anymore glucose, so very often there is still excess glucose in the blood, so insulin then signals to store the excess blood glucose into your fat cells.
Step (6.) is how people get fat when they eat too many carbohydrates. Insulin is sometimes referred to as the fat-storing hormone. Farmers have always known this and fatten livestock before sending them to market by feeding them grains & corn (carbohydrates).
So stop sweetening your blood!
Count carbs, not calories. Reducing daily carb intake to less than 50g/day induces weight-loss for most people.