X Games or X Gains: What’s More Dangerous?

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News


Chances are, you are likely more familiar with the extreme sports spectacle X GAMES than the other potentially deadly X factor: diet induced– METABOLIC SYNDROME X.

The Summer X Games just wrapped here in Los Angeles displaying some incredibly dangerous athletic feats like back flips on motorcycles and bicycles, or performing skateboard tricks jumping over 70 foot gaps and 40 foot verts. The events definitely  dished out plenty of bumps, bruises and few broken bones – but thankfully none of the competitors died.

Looking at the throngs of spectators gathered to watch the event, I couldn’t help but notice a significant portion of the audience may actually be at a much greater risk of shortening their life … because of a completely preventable disease known as Metabolic Syndrome X. A disease that afflicts a significant portion of the population with a visible symptom of a “spare tire”, the accumulation of excess fat around the midsection – a sure sign of a toxic and failing liver… a.k.a  “muffin top” that is directly resultant of inactivity and poor diet.

More than 50 million Americans of all ages have it and the numbers are rising. This is a new disease is growing so rapidly that by 1998 the World Health Organization decided they had to call it something… so the WHO clinically coined the term Metabolic Syndrome X.

Youth are not immune to this diet related disease. It’s sadly ironic the remarkable feats of the X games athletes are more likely being emulated today NOT outdoors  – but in a video game, sitting on a sofa  with a joystick controller in hand – likely surrounded by chips and soda.

Instead of actually experiencing sports, youth of today have invented active words instead of action… like “surfing” the net – that’s not surfing, it’s typing in your bedroom.

While inactivity contributes to the disease – Metabolic Syndrome is generally a clear sign of a toxic or fatty liver due primarily to poor nutrition… and it is not related to the ingestion of fat in our diet. Instead a liver becomes fatty and toxic due to exhaustion and the inability to handle excess amounts of processed carbohydrates.

If you ever wondered what happens to all that sugar in junk and processed foods when you eat it?

All nutrients pass through the liver – glucose …or the form of sugar carbohydrates are converted into through the process of digestion – traveling through the liver and being sent off to the muscles to be used or stored as energy.

Here is where the problem begins…its actually threefold:

1)    We have a very limited capacity to store carbs in muscle cells ( only 1-2% of our entire mass… the more muscle the more storage capacity)

2)    We aren’t moving as much as we use to, so the muscle cells are likely already full of glucose. With no place for additional glucose to go  just like a full gas tank in your car –the fuel spills over. The dangerous and toxic glucose floating around the bloodstream must be mopped up – so its sent back to the liver where it is converted into something we can store …fat (in the form of triglycerides).

3)    Excess glucose causes insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) and dangerously elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.

This is really the key issue in understanding the relationship of why consuming excess amounts carbohydrates is the real reason we get fat. From an evolutionary perspective, before the advent of agriculture just 10,000 years ago we ate small amounts of carbohydrates. Humans are simply not designed to consume the ridiculously high amount of carbohydrates recommended by the USDA(65% of our diet).

Why are carbohydrates a non essential nutrient we don’t actually need or are even capable of storing deemed so important by the USDA?

We just don’t have the capacity to store this amount of glucose, and the issue is exacerbated  by the fact most Americans just aren’t active enough to burn it or store it all, so the excess carbs get converted to and are stored as triglycerides…which is just a medical term for fat.

A person with high triglycerides has a lot of fat in the bloodstream…fat that is likely on its way to be stored as body fat.  A symptom of metabolic syndrome is fat accumulating around the liver… a hormone sensitive area. This signals the probable onset of hypoglycemia… a precursor to type 2 diabetes and other autoimmune system dangers including coronary heart disease which if not corrected will likely occur.

The math is pretty simple the more muscle you have or the more you use your muscles – the more carbohydrates you can consume. The human body has a limited capacity to store carbs – so the more “low fat” carbohydrates you consume in excess of your ability to store – the fatter you will get – followed  by a failing liver –causing fat to accumulate  around the midsection and you become a statistic – you will have metabolic syndrome.

A good rule of measure… think about your waist like an hour glass – the thinner the middle – the more time you may have!

© 2011 Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved


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Grant Roberts

Grant Roberts is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most successful trainers/nutritionists and lifestyle coaches. Roberts received international acclaim following his work with actress Hilary Swank who captured an Oscar® for her performance in the Clint Eastwood film - Million Dollar Baby. Grants clients include Academy Award® winning actors, leaders of industry, world champion athletes, he is a consultant to the US military.

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