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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vertex Count

Health is more than a number like a weight or clothing size, and such numbers are formless when it is form that is beautiful. If you starve the body you will lose weight as it eats its self but you will miss out on the fabulous forms of your body. You may lose muscle mass and lower your metabolism. You may find your self with not enough energy to do activities which would condition form in your body.
Glucose (blood sugar) is the primary fuel of the body. Our body can make it from other things and use other things for energy, but such metabolism creates more free radicals inside the body than using glucose straight. The muscles store glucose as glycogen, but the brain cannot store it and needs a continuous supply. That means it should stay above a certain concentration in the blood. Symptoms of low blood sugar include impaired cognition, fatigue and irritability - low blood sugar stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline which causes the liver to release emergency stores of blood sugar but also triggers the fight-or-flight mode in every organ of the body including the brain. High blood sugar is problematic too - it engenders free radicals called A(dvanced)G(lycation)E(ndproduct)'s. Free radicals are molecules which chemically react with cellular components in a way that harms the body, so when blood sugar levels are high enough the body secretes insulin into the bloodstream - insulin drives glucose into cells.
To get glucose in the veins, you must put carbs other than fiber in the gut. Sucrose (cane sugar) is just about the worst one to eat because the whole dose has such an immediate effect on blood sugar. Sugar causes a spike in blood sugar, so any substantial amount of it causes high blood sugar and a release of insulin which lowers the amount of sugar circulating in the blood by facilitating its storage - when blood sugar goes up so much at a time it can even make the body over-compensate by secreting insulin so as to cause low blood sugar. The best way to go is to eat starch like beans, brown rice, bread and pasta and fruits because it takes the gut longer to turn it into sugar; so it provides continuous energy by supplying blood sugar gradually as the body burns it for energy. In 1982 Schoenthaler did a study in which he replaced inmates' sources of sucrose with an equivalent rib of striated carbohydrates - there was a turn in the listless twists of prisoners' prattling on rougher meals.

The Glycemic Index of a food is a measure of how dramatically that food affects blood sugar. The ones that cause spikes in blood sugar have a high Glycemic Index. There are some tricks to lower the Glycemic Index of a food when eating it:
1. Fiber gets inbetween sugar and the intestinal walls (which will absorb it into the bloodstream) and inbetween starch and the digestive enzymes that turn it into sugar
2. Protein slows the rate at which the contents of the stomach are emptied into the intestines, slowing the rate at which carbs are delivered to the intestines. Fat does this too but also triggers the release of insulin; you can use this fact to time your consumption of nutritionally necessary fats.
3. Acidic foods such as vinegar and grapefruit also slow the rate at which the contents of the stomach are emptied into the intestines

And there's more to it: endogenous hormones also play a part in how much energy you have and how lean you are. Adequate sleep is crucial probably at least in part because the pituitary gland secretes HumanGrowthHormone during sleep (and note that dietary fat and high blood sugar antagonize the secretion of HumanGrowthHormone)

Another important factor in health is bodily pH. pH is a measure of how acid or alkaline a thing is. A healthy bodily pH is between 7.3 and 7.5; the pH 7 is neutral - anything lower than that is acidic and anything higher is alkaline. Urinary pH reflects venous pH (the pH in the veins). Some people urinate on pH test strips; the same people get different results depending on what they have recently been eating. In general protein is acidifying because it is broken down into amino acids before being absorbed into the bloodstream. And minerals like those found in fruits, vegetables and dairy are alkalizing. A low bodily pH can cause hypertension, anxiety/irritability and impaired anabolism/regeneration. The body's response to a too-low pH is to release alkalizing minerals such as sodium and calcium from the bones - this can decrease bone density over time. The body will also retain water to dilute a too-low pH. It is also believed that halogens such as chlorine are acidifying, so go easy on the salt.

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