UCSF researcher and nationally renowned obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig has theorized that the obesity epidemic is caused by a "poisoned" food supply that is actually altering the population's biochemistry.
The processed foods most readily available to Americans are causing them to eat more and move less. He has based his hypothesis on results culled from thousands of obesity studies.
Insulin and Leptin
Processed foods are loaded with sugars that make your body believe that it is hungry; this, in turn, drives people to consume more calories and conserve energy. Sugar causes the body to produce more insulin, which then blocks leptin, a hormone that normally tells the body when it is appropriate to stop eating.
A Grassroots EffortTwo-thirds of American adults are overweight, and one-third are obese, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If Dr. Lustig's ideas are correct, breaking the pattern of sugar consumption may take a grassroots effort of doctors, community leaders and consumers to force the government and the food industry to get sugary foods out of the mainstream American diet.
Conventional medicine may be finally getting a glimmer of a clue behind what really fuels the obesity epidemic currently devastating America's health. Dr. Lustig's comprehensive review of thousands of studies from 1994-2005 demonstrates that it is the poisoned Western diet that dooms kids to reap the harvest of a diet replete with processed foods and artificial preservatives.
Over 10 years ago Dr. Ron Rosedale convinced me that insulin excess was the cornerstone of the physical reason why most people develop chronic degenerative diseases. It is also one of the main reasons why people suffer accelerated aging. Insulin really is an anti-fountain of youth.
Dr. Lustig came up with a new term -- insulinogenic -- to describe the sorry state of the current Western diet, characterized by its high fat content, decreased fiber and increased energy density. At the heart of the problem: Sugar, contained in large quantities in processed foods, that spikes your body's insulin levels and distorts how the hormone leptin functions.
Of course, much of this hypothesis is pretty familiar to those of you who read my blog every day and understand how harmful processed foods, chock full of artificial ingredients and sugar, really are.
One of the central nutritional truths that most consumers and professionals fail to appreciate is that for the most part eating fat does not make you fat. It is the inability to burn fat that will make you fat, and that is what will be a fundamental factor in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
However, you still need to be VERY careful with your fat choices and:
The ability to burn fat is regulated by very powerful and influential hormones, the most significant of which is leptin. When your brain cannot properly understand the critical messages that leptin is trying to convey, your body does not know how to handle its energy resources, and that is a recipe for disaster.
If you want to regulate your insulin and leptin levels properly, you should follow a diet such as the one outlined in my nutrition plan. It will show you how to adapt your diet to your body's unique nutritional type, and eat the foods that are actually healthy.
By doing so, you will be taking a giant step toward reestablishing your body's ability to hear the vital messages that leptin is sending you about whether to store or burn fat and, indeed, how to use that energy to stay alive and healthy.