Sugar and your Hormones

sugarseries

Estrogen: a generic term for estrus-producing compounds; the female sex hormone – formed in the ovary, adrenal cortex, testis, and fetoplacental unit.

Insulin: a protein hormone formed from proinsulin in the beta cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. The major fuel-regulating hormone, it is secreted into the blood in response to a rise in concentration of blood glucose or amino acids. Insulin promotes the storage of glucose and the uptake of amino acids, increases protein and lipid synthesis, and inhibits lipolysis and gluconeogenesis.

Both definitions provided by this medical dictionary.

Most of us know a little about insulin… we will go more into depth about in in a later post, however today we will be focusing on estrogen. For today’s information, all you need to know about insulin is that if it is elevated for long amounts of time it can not only lead to weight gain but also to many metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Back to estrogen… Did you catch that? Men have the hormone estrogen within their bodies… not just women. So this post really is for everyone 🙂

Did you know that estrogen and insulin play a huge part in your body as a team? Most women in their menopausal years would probably say they aren’t surprised, and most men would discard this information because they aren’t aware that they have estrogen working within their bodies.

Let’s talk about the insulin-estrogen relationship for a minute. Did you know that your insulin and estrogen have a relationship that mimics that of 12 year old best friends? If one goes shopping, so does the other, if estrogen takes a nap, so does insulin. If insulin gets mad, so does estrogen. And it is this useful information that can help us understand that if your insulin is up, your estrogen (the hormones that holds on to fat for dear life) will be up as well.

We don’t want our estrogen up, we don’t want the cells in our bodies to be receiving messages from our brain that say “Keep fat, don’t let it go”. Instead we want a nice calm and balanced amount of ALL hormones in our blood stream. We want our body to use the food we give it as nutrition for all of our cells and organelles and then we want the rest to fuel our activity and very little if any of it being turned into fat.

Where then does this leave us?

Well, some really cool science has recently surfaced and it’s been implemented into some diets lately. This cool new information is about something called lectins, and they are in our foods. Lectins are almost like a natural pesticides. Lectins and pests aren’t friends. In fact, for thousands of years, foods that have lectins in them were never really bothered much by insects.

The down fall about lectins is that we as humans sometimes have some trouble with lectins as well. So what are lectins? Well, lectins are proteins (not a macro-nutrient, proteins in terms of chemical structure) that are a bit concerning. You see, lectins can mimic insulin. They often make your blood sticky, lead to inflammation, poor immunity and eventually weight gain. But don’t worry, there is more good news. Of all the foods that contain lectins, only certain ones effect individuals negatively. And you can figure out which ones will affect you in a negative way based on your blood type. Pretty cool, huh? Below is a list of Blood Types, next to each blood type are a few foods and those are the foods that have the greatest effect on your blood type in terms of lectins.

Type A: beans, potatoes, cabbage, eggplant, bananas and tomatoes

Type B: chicken, corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds and tomatoes

Type AB: chicken, white fish, corn, buckwheat and beans

Type O: wheat, corn, beans, lentils, peanuts and potatoes

*** List Source ***

To make things a little easier, I have written down my food diary for today so you can see how this information translates to our nutrition.

Blood Type: (B-) my lectin foods are in bold
Breakfast: 1/2 Cup Chicken salad with cucumbers and celery in it.
Lunch: Celery with almond butter (no sugar added)
Snack: Green Juice with pulp added back into it (Pepper, Cucumber, Carrot, Celery, Apple, and Kale)
Dinner: Large Salad with Steak
*** please don’t judge my diet based on calories or food groups, I am currently on an elimination diet for health reasons***
Most people would look at my diet and think it was just weird, but for me it helps to eat my lectin foods, either early in the morning (when my insulin levels naturally should go up) or with other natural sugars that have fiber in them (the juice with its pulp added back in). Now there is a chance that I will have a sugar craving at dinner because of the apple (natural occurring sugar that will help produce insulin) for a snack, so I can either do one of two things; do a little exercising about an hour after having the juice ( a walk or some light calisthenics) or I can eat a piece of fruit after dinner. I will attempt to do go for the walk, but do you see how a few berries after dinner really isn’t the worst thing in the world? Also, when eating you lectin foods, add bulk to them so you are eating less of them… such as the added vegetables to my chicken salad.
The lectin information is more of direction than a fad diet… you don’t have to cut them out completely, it’s just a little more info to help you navigate removing sugar from your diet. Some diets suggest removing all lectin foods from your diet forever no matter what your blood type. Other diet’s recommend never eating fruit or vegetables so that there is no sugar in your body therefore lectins won’t harm you. But to me, there needs to be more of a balance than that.
Today’s assignment is to continue with your food logging/journaling. Start recognizing where and when you are consuming lectins and note how it makes you feel.
If you would like a personalized nutrition plan to help you cute out sugar, lectins or any other item you are concerned about, please contact me at the email address listed on my contact page.
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5 thoughts on “Sugar and your Hormones

  1. My question on this topic is that do lectins affect us heavily that if we were to have too much lectins or too little, how would that affect our bodies?

  2. Pingback: The Faces of Sugar | THE KITCHEN REVOLUTION

  3. Pingback: The Ins and Outs of Insulin | THE KITCHEN REVOLUTION

  4. Pingback: The Plan | THE KITCHEN REVOLUTION

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