Why Sugar (and Insulin) is not good for Fat levels!
February 6, 2012
When you eat a meal, the presence of sugars, amino acids or fatty acids in the intestine stimulates the pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin.
Insulin tells the cells to do the following:
- Absorb glucose, fatty acids and amino acids.
- Stop breaking down: glucose, fatty acids and amino acids; glycogen into glucose; fats into fatty acids and glycerol; and proteins into amino acids.
- Start building glycogen from glucose; fats (triglycerides) from glycerol and fatty acids; and proteins from amino acids.
The activity of lipoprotein lipases depends upon the levels of insulin in the body.
- If insulin is high, then the lipases (enzymes that build up fats from its constituent parts i.e. Fatty Acids) are highly active;
- if insulin is low, the lipases are inactive.
The fatty acids are then absorbed from the blood into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells. In these cells, under stimulation by insulin, fatty acids are made into fat molecules and stored as fat droplets.
Fat cells can absorb glucose and amino acids from the bloodstream after a meal, and convert those into fat molecules.
This means that Fat will potentially build up!
The conversion of carbohydrates or protein into fat is 10 times less efficient than simply storing fat in a fat cell, but the body can do it. If you have just 100 extra calories in fat (about 11 grams) floating in your bloodstream, fat cells can store it using only 2.5 calories of energy. On the other hand, if you have 100 extra calories in glucose (about 25 grams) floating in your bloodstream, it takes 23 calories of energy to convert the glucose into fat and then store it. Given a choice, a fat cell will grab the fat and store it rather than the carbohydrates because fat is so much easier to store.