Insulin evolved to help store nutrients for times of need. It sends sugar into cells where it can be burned for energy, it sends magnesium and other nutrients into cells to be stored for future use, and it keeps fat in storage and blocks it from being burned for energy. Insulin evolved in a time when humans had very different life conditions. Our early ancestors survived on whatever food they could find, and they did not typically have food that raised their blood sugar. They often had to go for days or weeks without much food.
Our diet today is completely different than the diet of our early ancestors. Food is plentiful, and starch and sugar are the norm, not the exception. For example, the average person in the United States consumes 175 pounds of sugar per year, and most people consume a high amount of starch. Modern diets lead to higher levels of blood sugar than primitive diets, and this causes an increased release of insulin.
One of the best single markers of how long a person or animal will live is their insulin level. Low insulin levels correlate with a long healthy life. High levels of insulin are a problem for two reasons. A high level of insulin is toxic to cells, and when insulin is high, the cells stop listening to the insulin. They become resistant to insulin and insulin can’t do its job. The job of insulin is to lower blood sugar levels and to build storages of carbs, sugars, proteins and fats. When insulin cannot do its job this is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance promotes a wide variety of diseases.
In this video below, Dr. Skolnikoff discusses a variety of aspects of sugar burning vs. fat burning as well as Dr. Phillip Maffetone’s book, “In Fitness and in Health.” Remember that when we burn fat for energy we are burning Ketones that allow us to have several times more energy that also curb our appetite and allow us to think more clearly and have better metabolic function overall. When we burn sugar for energy the energy runs out very quickly and can then cause the body to break down ligamentous and joint tissue and even muscle tissue in order to get more sugar to burn for fuel. “Ketosis” or, “burning fat for energy” is definitely the way to go. I hope you find this detailed video helpful and even entertaining.