On the surface, plenty of people appear to be the picture of health.
Sure, it’s often a good indication too but weight is not the only measure of good health. Don’t be fooled by the tip of the iceberg that can bely a range of health issues just beneath the surface, which will eventually cause the tip to crack.
If you allow your insulin levels to creep up, there will be damage to your body.
When your insulin level is high, it causes your fat cells to suck too much energy out of your system, depleting other cells, sending out a panic alarm to your brain to start craving more energy foods (usually sugar) and replenish those starving cells.
This sets off a cycle of compulsive eating behaviour and the food addiction process kicks in. When the insulin levels are way too high – known as insulin resistance – your system starts to malfunction. Your body becomes deprived of adequate energy even though you’re over consuming.
It’s odd to think that although someone can be obese, they’re in effect starving their body of energy.
But this is not only a problem of overweight and obesity.
Apart from not eating processed foods, you also need sufficient lean muscle for your body to be able to dispose of glucose effectively. If you allow your body to waste away, your health will suffer, just as it does with too much weight. The right body composition is key to a well-functioning body.
And, of course, providing it with the right type of fuel is essential.
In a study with students, half were fed quick oats for breakfast and the others were fed an omelette. Those who ate the oats had a higher insulin response two hours after consuming them and then had a significant crash that was much lower than their starting point. The hunger panic hit soon followed whereas the omelette group stayed stable and didn’t experience any of those highs and lows.
Our bodies just aren’t designed to cope with those extremes. When the fat cells become full, there’s no capacity to take any more energy, they spill over and fat is then deposited in other parts of the body such as the arteries, liver and muscle. The amount of fat being stored in this way, known as ectopic fat, determines risk factors for diseases.
So, the tip of the iceberg is only telling part of the story and we always must go deeper.