How Your Body Processes Food

So, how does the body utilise the food and beverage products that you consume?? The process of digestion starts as soon as you chew the food in your mouth. The chewed food moves from your mouth into your stomach where it is further ground down into smaller particles. This allows the body to pass the food through the gastrointestinal tract efficiently, where it undergoes many processes to extract the different nutrients of Fat, Protein, Carbohydrate, Vitamins and Minerals in the foods consumed. 

Glucose is the most readily available source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates exist as either sugars or starches (includes soluble and insoluble fibre). Carbohydrates are digested into glucose molecules which are then released into the blood stream ready to be used immediately by the brain or the body. The pancreas is the organ that monitors our blood sugar levels and in turn, it manufactures a hormon called insulin. Insulin’s job is to triger liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells to remove and store the excess glucose from the blood stream, to keep our blood sugar levels stable. The excess glucose is stored in the cells of our liver, fat and skeletal muscles, and is converted to stored energy for later use as either glycogen or fat.  

Insulin Resistance is when the cells in your liver, fat or muscles begin to ignore the signals given from the insulin released. To keep the blood sugar levels stable, the pancrease has to produce higher levels of Insulin. High levels of glucose in your blood over a period of time can lead to a number of health inssues including type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is becoming more and more common and is found in people who have especially in people who are diabetic, overweight and who are physically inactive. 

Ketosis
Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body doesn’t have enough glucose available from carbohydrate sources to provide energy to the body and the brain. By restricting your carbohydrate intake your body switches over into breaking down the fats stored on your body into glucose instead. The body produces a by-product during this process called ketones. These ketones are a type of acid and they are released from the body through urine and the breath. These ketones can be measured by using keto strips or by monitoring certain signs which we will discuss in a later post. 

Ketogenic diets or low carbohydrate diets are used for weight loss and provide benefits for people with a range of health problems including Obesity, Epilepsy, ADHD and Diabetes. Depending on the individual, the level of carbohydrates consumed in low carbohydrate diets for weight loss can be between 20-50g per day. 

For more information on digestion and Ketosis, please see the following links –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digestion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_resistance

Copyright 2019 Food Facts for Healthy Eating

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