The question is whether there’s stuff in our food which makes us even fatter than our calorie excess would suggest.
Let’s take a diabetic off the street, blood sugar is 300 – in Australian terms that would probably be something in the order of 15. We give them a shot of insulin, the blood sugar goes down to 100, that would be something like 4 or 5, the question is where did the sugar go? It went to the fat for storage. That’s insulin’s job, insulin’s job is to take sugar from the blood and put it into fat for storage, more insulin – more fat. Well all these kids who are walking around who are massively obese now have extraordinarily high insulins. The question is when your insulin is high and you’re storing energy you make another hormone, and that hormone is called leptin, and leptin is supposed to go to your brain and tell your brain that you’ve eaten enough.
So when you can’t see your leptin your brain thinks you’re starving, you feel crappy, you certainly don’t want to exercise and you’re going to eat more.
The question is why does exercise work in obesity? Because it burns calories? That’s ridiculous. Twenty minutes of jogging is one chocolate chip cookie, I mean you can’t do it. One Big Mac requires three hours of vigorous exercise to work that off, that’s not the reason that exercise is important, exercise is important for three reasons exclusive of the fact that it burns calories.
The first is it increases skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, in other words it makes your muscle more insulin sensitive, therefore your pancreas can make less, therefore your levels can drop, therefore there’s less insulin in your blood to shunt sugar to fat. That’s probably the main reason that exercise is important and I’m totally for it.
The second reason that exercise is important is because it’s the single best treatment to get your cortisol down. Cortisol is your stress hormone, it’s the hormone that goes up when you are mega-stressed, it’s the hormone that basically causes visceral fat deposition which is the bad fat and it has been tied to the metabolic syndrome. So by getting your cortisol down you’re actually reducing the amount of fat deposited and it also reduces food intake. People think that somehow exercise increases food intake, it does not, it reduces food intake.
And then the third reason that exercise is important, which is somewhat not well known, but I’m trying to evaluate this at the present time, is that it actually helps detoxify the sugar fructose. Fructose actually is a hepato-toxin; now fructose is fruit sugar but we were never designed to take in so much fructose. Our consumption of fructose has gone from less than half a pound per year in 1970 to 56 pounds per year in 2003.
Personally i’ve already know this since last year (read it at some national geographic magazine in the states), but it’s very very difficult to actually obtain products that don’t have high corn fructose syrup.