WHY WE GET FAT
Why we get fat and how we get thinner is often on our minds. Obesity is now an epidemic in the Western world and the problem is getting worse because of our lifestyles, as we tend to eat much more and exercise less.
- We are what we eat.
- Most of our body fat originates from glucose (sugar).
- All starch is simply glucose molecules attached to each other in branches/chains. Glucose from potato or wheat starch is also absorbed, just slower than from sugar in sweets and cakes. All alcohol is made from sugar and becomes sugar in the body.
- Every molecule of glucose not immediately needed for energy is stored in the body; a little as glucogen in the liver and the rest as fat.
- Dietary fat is not necessarily all stored if taken in excess, but, particularly saturated fats, will also clog the arteries and reduce utilisation of our own body fat for energy.
- Weight increase is rarely due to disorders such as hypothyroidism and much more commonly because of the imbalance between calorie intake and utilisation.
- ‘I eat the same as my friend who is thin but still cannot lose weight’- once a steady state is reached, that is, the energy intake balances the output, you will not put on or lose weight irrespective if you are thin or fat. You will only lose weight if your own calories utilisation is more than intake.
Just think if you eat a biscuit a day more than needed for energy, you could gain a stone in 6 months.
The high carbohydrate, that is, glucose intake and the high saturated fat intake lead to medical problems, the most important of which include:
- Increased levels of blood fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides and larger proportions of dangerous cholesterol complexes-this in turn increases the risk of vascular disease such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, impaired circulation in legs as well as occasionally acute pancreatitis.
- The metabolic syndrome which eventually leads to diabetes mellitus which can lead to further complications.
- Fatty liver which can lead to cirrhosis and eventually liver failure.
- Comfort eating
- Easy availability of relatively cheap ready meals and takeaways
- Not being able or wanting to cook!
- Preconceptions that cooking one’s own healthy food is difficult, time consuming, boring, expensive.