THE SCIENCE OF EATING
When we consume too much food, we top up our liver and muscle glycogen from excess carbs and protein (which by this stage have converted to glucose). This glycogen is stored in our fat cells and muscles. Once these locations are at full capacity, our bodies start to look at other ways to handle the additional food.
With nowhere to put these substances, our blood sugar and blood lipid levels increase. Meanwhile, excess fat increases the inflammatory signalling in our body, which accelerates the cascade of problems related to elevated blood glucose. This leads to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the prestigious journal Cell saw researchers screen
800 people for the composition of their gut biome, in addition to looking at basic blood work (cholesterol levels, blood glucose and inflammatory markers). During the study, they ate daily meals including an equal amount of carbohydrates from either bread, bread plus butter, glucose or fructose. Using a continuous glucose-monitoring device placed beneath their skin, researchers tracked the response participants had to the meals they ate.
The most groundbreaking finding was that a person’s glycemic response (how much their blood glucose increased) was influenced by genetic factors, exercise, body fat levels and, most interesting of all, the gut microbiome.