Recently the media has been reporting about the latest mandate of adding calorie count to the menus of restaurants with more than 20 locations. If you read my latest blog in opposition to USA Todays Opinion that calories added to menus are a helpful solution to the obesity crisis, I suggest the periodical doesn’t know WHAT it is talking about. The generic counting of calories tells us nothing about healthful eating and as you will find out later in this article – all calories are not created equal, and I share a study that confirmed “weight” gain following a diet of 0nly 1000 calories daily*.
So I decided to surf the net in search of an article that actually talked about measuring specific macro nutrients role in the accumulation of excess fat. I found a somewhat confusing article that suggests Insulin Does Not Make You Fat – posted on musclegenes.com . Below is my response to the author and a request for the studies mentioned:
I would appreciate if you would kindly send a link or reference the name of the studies or the authors of the two papers you mentioned that you report suggest only 6 grams of sugar was converted to fat when consumed in excess of GDA. Frankly, I am not clear what it is you are suggesting in this post nor what the study suggests is a GDA for sugar since all carbohydrates are categorized as non-essential. Please explain to me were we differ in opinion?
Insulin is an anabolic hormone – meaning it builds or stores things i.e. fat and / or muscle – which one of the two depends on a number of additional factors (and yes we do store small amounts of glycogen in the cells and liver).
When we consume high glycemic load foods, sugar enters the liver and exits being transported as blood sugar (glycogen) to find a home or be consumed as energy. The more easily digestible sugar – the greater the insulin response. Insulin’s job is to build or store the excess glycogen in response to the present danger of the potentially toxic amount. The first stop are the cells (muscle) to be stored for future energy in excess of normal blood glucose levels. The problem: when the cells are full, the excess glycogen is sent back to the liver to be converted into triglycerides and ultimately stored as fat.
I agree with what I think you are saying … that when high glycemic carbs are ingested all fat burning slows or stops as the body prioritizes utilizing the excess sugar as energy to be stored into cells as glycogen … or ultimately excess glycogen will be sent back to the liver to be converted into triglyceride (fat) for future energy use.
This is where I fail to understand your explanation. What are you / the studies you refer to suggesting happens to the excess sugar if not being converted to / stored as fat. Metabolic syndrome supports the hypothesis that excess sugar results in a toxic and failing liver unable to process excessive carb intake beyond cellular capacity.
I refer you to a rudimentary but interesting experiment – the Middlesex Study that took place in London circa 1956 that demonstrated excessive carb intake beyond cell capacity equals “weight” gain despite a caloric restricted diet (1000 kcal) when the primary macro nutrient was carbohydrates due to the limited cellular capacity (between 2-4% of mass depending on total lean muscle mass).
In this study the subjects were divided into one of 3 macronutrient categories and consumed a daily allotment of 1000 calories consisting of either 90 % protein, 90% fat or 90% carbohydrates.
The allotted daily caloric value of 1000 calories was considered to represent an energy deficit required to support normal life functions. Accordingly the body would be required to access additional stored energy reserves to meet the energy needs required to sustain life from either breaking down lean muscle tissue or stored fat deposits. The amount of additional energy the body would consume was anticipated to provide measurable results in physical weight loss. Each patient would be measured at the beginning and end of each day and the results recorded.
If the calorie equilibrium theory was correct, in this case the calories IN being less than the calories OUTput to sustain life then the results for the subjects should be uniform in the amount of weight lost – that of course is not what happened.
As any intelligent fitness / nutrition professional knows – humans don’t actually burn calories – metals ovens do. Humans burn ATP derived from nutrients that can be measured either by weight or by calories. Therefore the educated fitness expert knows that all calories are not created equal and as the Middlesex study demonstrated.
The Middlesex Study demonstrated the group that ate 90% of the 1000 calories value from fat lost 0.9 pounds per day.
The protein group lost on average 0.6 pounds per day.
*And the group that ate 1000 calories of 90% carbohydrates gained weight – 0.25 pounds per day (presumably water and fat) since they did not have the capacity to measure body composition accurately at the time of the study.
Again, please provide a link or identify the studies you are referring to so I can better understand the inference of your article.
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