Fat needs to be considered like an endocrine organ. Fat is not something that just stores as fat droplets or triglycerides, fat also releases hormones. As fat cells get bigger, it releases hormones that stimulate inflammation and ends up driving insulin resistance. Fat is almost like a forgotten organ that we never really think about. Now, how do we get fat? Fat cells can grow two ways:
1. Hypertrophy=the fat cell actually grows in size
2. Hyperplasia=numerous small fat cells.
Insulin and fat have two primary roles:
1) Lipogenisis (Creates and stores fat)
2) Adipogensis (Creation of new fat cells)
With hypertrophic fat cells, these cells become so big they eventually smother all the components (nucleus, mitochondria) in the cell. So then they struggle to stay alive or active. The cells then have to try to add vascularity. This drives inflammation because more blood has to be pushed to the fatty area. Rememeber that fat cells can only do what insulin tells them. Insulin gets released and knocks on fat's door and says, "Hey we need to use you for energy or keep all the fat inside!" After the fat cell becomes so big, it becomes insulin resistant so no matter how much insulin is released, that fat cell continues to grow in size. Insulin must be elevated for fat to grow. Insulin must be elevated for long periods for fat to grow. Once the fat cell becomes insulin resistant, the fat cell starts to leak its fat (inflammatory proteins or free fatty acids). These two come together and make ceramides. These then gather in our brain, blood vessels, muscles and organs and form a new insulin resistant fat. This is how we get diabetes and how fat cells continue to increase to form obesity.
This is why we do everything to keep our insulin at a low level in the program. If the insulin is too high for long periods, we store all the fat. This is why exercising, fasting, walking before/after meals all prevents the insulin from getting too high.
Now what's the fix? Is it eat less and move more? Thats what doctors and the government tell us and have told us for the last 50+ years. The issue is, if that were true, our obesity rate wouldn't be almost 50% in America. So this is where the kinds of food were eating become the focus, in my opinion. We need to focus on the type of calories we're eating and not the number of calories we're eating. Control your insulin to control your inflammation to control your fat. Fat is directly related to health, therefore control your insulin and you can control your health!