Yesterday we considered leptin resistance.
We looked at how a high sugar diet can trigger leptin resistance even if we’re only a touch overweight. This is because sugar triggers a rapid rise in insulin levels which block signals of fullness reaching the brain. Insulin spikes cause the kind of havoc that produces uncontrolled eating of high (poor quality) fat and high sugar food. Often we call that emotional eating. Consider the above and allow for the possibility that sugar is causing the overeating not emotions..and now read on.
As insulin levels rise and as we eat more of that high sugar food, a vicious cycle begins to take hold. Insulin levels rise higher and leptin resistance increases knocking out the brains ability to judge satiety, fullness and send signal to dull the appetite and quieten mind. High sugar diets cause over stimulated insulin production and what’s worse the more overweight we become, the more insulin resistant we become. Leptin resistance then becomes more of a problem as body size increases.
So here’s the problem, the processed food we eat is riddled with sugar. It's everywhere, even the meat in Marks and Spencer's is coated in sugar syrup (I know but check the packet ). And low fat foods compensate for the lack of taste with...sugar (check it out: it might not be called sugar, it might say glucose or fructose or syrup of high fructose corn syrup or any other name but believe us, it's still sugar). Eating this type of food stimulates the production of dopamine (the pleasure chemical) and whereas leptin is released when we begin to feel full quieting the release of dopamine without this trigger signal, we continue to crave for the high sugar food (the pleasure trip) and forget to stop eating. And please don't doubt the food industry knows the effect they are having.
It only takes three weeks or so for brain cells to become more tolerant of dopamine and guess what: resistance builds creating a desire for more junk. We start to eat more to feel then same level of high….hey presto, we are addicted.
In an ideal world, insulin will clear dopamine from the brain and dull the reward from high sugar food but not so if you are insulin resistant and so the dance goes on and that’s why, for some of us we can eat and eat and eat and still not feel full. Scary huh?
Don't panic. There are ways to change the cycle overeating and that's paleo but first up we have to consider why we want to change.