Sugar Fuels Insulin Resistance to Become Diabetes
From Bad to Worse
In the first clinical study featuring human subjects, researchers have found that sugary beverages cause insulin-resistant test subjects to overeat, which leads to the development of type 2 diabetes.
We’ve known for some time that eating too much sugar causes insulin resistance–a precursor to type 2 diabetes–but this new research may bridge the gap between the two.
“This study could help develop … lifestyle modification for early-stage insulin-resistant subjects to counteract the deterioration that leads to obesity and/or diabetes,” said Gene-Jack Wang, MD, lead author of the study and Professor of Radiology at Stony Brook University.
More simply: If sugar leads to insulin resistance and then also helps insulin resistance evolve into full-blown type 2 diabetes, then reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can significantly improve your ability to avoid a diabetes diagnosis.
The Brain-to-Plate Connection
Your brain’s reaction to food directly affects how you eat. High-quality foods (proteins, healthy fats, and foods high in fiber)make you feel fuller because they fulfill your body’s nutritional needs. This fulfillment then appropriately adjust your body’s production of satiety hormones like ghrelin and leptin. As a results, your stomach is full and your brain knows it. You put down your knife and fork.
Sugary foods and beverages, however, trigger the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. While this explains why sweet foods taste great, it also signals a steep downside. The more sugar we eat, the less dopamine produced by our brains. Our constant intake of sugar wears down the brain’s ability to produce dopamine. We develop a resistance.
At first, this may seem like a positive effect because the feel-good effects would no longer be associated with nutrient-lacking sugary foods. In reality, though, we continue searching for that great dopamine feeling. As a result, we just shovel in more sweet stuff.
“We suggest that insulin resistance and its association with less dopamine release in a central brain reward region might promote overeating to compensate for this deficit,” Wang said. This overeating typically does not insinuate the consumption of “health foods.”
Sugar negatively affects your brain as well as your body. It disrupts the body’s everyday processes and even interferes with the production of vital chemicals in our brains. As a result, damaging conditions like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are enabled to develop.
What You Can Do
Eating smarter can repair the damaged relationship among our brains, our bodies and food. According to researchers, dysfunction in our brain can make us more likely to overeat, so correcting that dysfunction with healthy food choices should reverse the process.
The Advanced Plan helps balance the body’s hormones and chemicals. By cutting refined carbohydrates for 30 days, you retrain your body to react properly to the foods you eat. The Core Plan supports the same healthy lifestyle by relying on complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and clean proteins to balance hormones, provide energy and keep you feeling full.
Science has linked sugar to heart disease, cancer, depression and type 2 diabetes. And though science will continue to search for a miracle cure, the safer, more immediate solution is to take an active role in your health. Your first step toward lifelong health should be to eliminate sugars and refined carbohydrates in your diet.