What I Learned: Week 4 (2/17-2/23) Part 1

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This week was really a continuing lesson in the fact that everything needs to be considered in context. I learned a lot in class but I also learned a lot outside of class too. I’d like to share both with you, so I will be posting two parts for What I Learned: Week 4. Part 1 is based on the things I learned in my classes.

1. The glycemic index is a good idea in theory, however it only looks at foods individually and we don’t eat that way. We eat foods in combination with other foods, which will always effect how that food is treated and absorbed by the body. Food context is extremely important.

2. Carbohydrates and fats are used TOGETHER to fuel the body. It is not a matter of the body preferencing one over the other; the body needs both. It’s a matter of the ratio that the body needs to perform different tasks – some things require a higher fat to carb ratio, others require a higher carb to fat ratio.

3. Ketones do not necessarily lead to ketoacidosis unless the body is already in a state of homeostatic imbalance. The body can clear ketones easily so long as it is functioning properly. This is why ketoacidosis is predominately a problem for type 1 diabetics; they do not have the insulin production needed to clear the ketones properly.

4. The body is really an amazing system that is capable of performing many complex functions at once. Everything is a system of checks, balances and counter-balances. It takes a lot to shift the system off-kilter, sometimes it’s an acute event but often it’s chronic, low level attacks to the system that eventually wear it down. It is exceptionally difficult to separate any given part from another.

5. Protein is preserved in the body unless it is absolutely necessary as a source for bodily fuel. The body will not start breaking down its own proteins (i.e. muscles) unless it is performing a long, endurance activity – depending on your fitness this can occur in the very final stages of a marathon, if you don’t refuel, but it is a very small amount and shouldn’t be a concern. This is really an issue of long-term starvation.   


Is any of this new to you? What did you learn this week?