When we talk about insulin resistance and waist circumference, study has shown that waist circumference is one of the biggest risk factors for insulin resistance and explains more than 50% of the insulin sensitivity variation using the waist to hip ratio. The type of fat around the waist matters as well.
Another study found that independent of the body type, visceral fat was closely related to insulin resistance. The bond between insulin resistance and abdominal obesity helps us come to the conclusion that there is a biological link at the fat cell level.
Hyperinsulinemia, defined by higher than normal amounts of insulin in the bloody, activates the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in adipose fat, including visceral fat. Visceral fat is the kind between abdominal organs. Compared to subcutaneous fat, which sits between the skin and the abdominal wall, visceral fat is very active and with a greater potential to cause inflammation and diseases.
Hence, waist circumference has become a tool to identify people with a greater risk of insulin resistance or with insulin resistance.
So, if you haven’t done so, grab a tape, and let’s measure the belly. The ideal measurement is below 35 inches for women and below 40 inches for men.
We know that insulin regulates carb, protein, and fat metabolism. We also know that muscles, brain, liver, and fat cells can become insulin resistant.
Insulin when it’s working properly will tell fat cells to store fat. Insulin also reduces triglyceride levels by stimulating lipoprotein lipase which helps to breakdown triglycerides into free fatty acids which can be used as energy or stored in fatty tissue for future use.
An unbalanced diet, rich and excessive in simple carbs and sugars, will keep blood glucose and insulin levels up. Excessive glucose can also cause the body to synthesize new fatty acids and plasma triglycerides. You bet that when I see high triglycerides levels in someone’s blood test, there is chance the person is an unhealthy carb and/or sugar lover.
So, this whole thing can lead to a dangerous one. Hyperglycemia can lead to hyperinsulinemia that can lead to insulin resistance that can lead to prediabetes, leptin resistance, obesity, systemic inflammation, Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and so on.
Let me say one more thing about fat and insulin…
As we keeping gaining fat, fat tissues grow and when they grow beyond their borders, cells can become inflamed and leak inflammatory proteins into the blood. Hello inflammation!!! There is a way to figure out if your fat cells are insulin resistant but that discussion is for another day.
Good Lord, right?
Let’s all do our best to focus in consuming carbohydrates in real whole foods, rich in fiber, and with low glycemic load, shall we?
When it comes to insulin resistance and hypertension, there is plenty of evidence that they are related. Actually, there is more evidence that insulin resistance can cause high blood pressure.
There are a few mechanisms this can happen. Let’s talk about one of them in more detail today.
The hormone aldosterone, released by the adrenal glands that also make cortisol, regulates the balance of water and salt. Salt as we know is made of sodium and chloride. When adrenal glands are working well and aldosterone levels are under control, aldosterone will tell the kidneys to hold onto sodium and reabsorb it into the blood.
When more aldosterone is released, more sodium is retained so does water. We all know about the duet sodium and water retention, right? Well, more water in the blood increase volume. Higher blood pressure is needed to manage increased blood volume.
How does insulin impact this process? Our body naturally increases aldosterone levels in the body. A person with insulin resistance will have more insulin in the bloodstream, causing this aldosterone activity to happen more often.