What if we eat more than we need? Along with the other types of cells we also have fat cells. Our cells never eat more than they need, so when there is extra glucose not consumed by the other cells the extra glucose is stored in our fat cells in the form of free fatty acids. Once the excess glucose is out of our blood stream, the insulin closes the door to our cells and leaves the body.
When our body needs more energy and we do not consume food the body turns to the fat cells. The stored free fatty acids leave our fat cells and enter the bloodstream to feed all our other cells. They do not need insulin to open the doors and this is why they are referred to as free fatty acids. This natural process of storing excess glucose and burning it when there is not enough available is how your body was designed to work. And in a perfect world, eating a perfect diet, everything works perfectly. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and most of us do not even come close to eating a perfect diet. As a result, we do not benefit from this natural process. Instead we suffer from it, by storing too much fat and rarely, if ever, burning it.
Let us take a look at an average person’s daily food consumption. Most of us start with a breakfast high in sugar and processed foods. The body converts this type of food to glucose quickly. Our pancreas senses this and responds by pumping out the insulin. The insulin does its job and the doors to the cells are opened and glucose is burned and excess stored in our fat cells. This process happens relatively quickly. Once insulin arrives, the glucose is removed from the equation fast, but the insulin in the bloodstream takes much longer to leave the body.
Why is this a problem you might ask? The issue is that free fatty acids, or the fat stored in our bodies, cannot be released for cell consumption until the insulin has left the bloodstream. So on come the cravings and irritability, and we eat. Thus our glucose levels spike right back up and even more insulin is released to combat the new levels. The doors to our cells are opened and they are fed and excess glucose again is stored in our fat cells. So with this consistent insulin bath going on we continue to add to our fat cells without taking anything out. Over time, this consistent insulin bath ages us faster and many of us develop type two diabetes.