Is food the ultimate medicine?

The body. A living, breathing, working entity that pumps blood, distributes energy and moves us through the world. And in that way, the body is like a machine — using physiological systems and processes to make each internal function work properly. We call this homeostasis, i.e., the steady internal, physical and chemical conditions maintained by living systems. A lot of things can throw homeostasis on or off balance, but the biggest factor is the food we consume. Companies like Ideal Protein devise supervised, metabolic-based programs that restore the balance of homeostasis through the power of food. So, how do you fix an imbalance caused by food . . . with food?

As we eat, our body receives, digests and absorbs the macromolecules from food. These macromolecules in food — carbohydrates, lipids, proteins — are converted into energy for our bodies to use for growth, repair or to move. Each is absorbed at different rates while traveling through the digestive system.

While food is a necessary part of living, vital to maintaining homeostasis and all of the body’s internal functions, it’s the quality and the quantity of our diet that balances homeostasis. The excess sugar, fat and sodium in the typical North American diet can throw off the body’s homeostasis and possibly cause health issues for our organs, brains and heart.
Here’s how:

The excess sugar found in the typical diet may cause blood sugar levels to rise toward potentially unsafe levels in individual bodies. Fortunately, our body is equipped to regulate this situation and return blood sugar back to safe levels with the help of two powerful hormones: insulin and glucagon.

Insulin is secreted from the beta cells of our pancreas into our bloodstream in response to a rise in blood sugar after eating. Insulin then delivers that excess sugar from the bloodstream and into our cells where it can be used for energy or to be stored. Glucagon is secreted from the alpha cells of the pancreas to ensure there is enough glucose available in the bloodstream by pulling energy out of cells.

Insulin and glucagon roles are important parts of homeostasis. However when overworked by a diet high in processed food, this working relationship can fall out of balance. Insulin loses its efficiency in clearing sugar from the bloodstream into awaiting cells. This can trigger hunger, cravings, fatigue, irritability, potential weight gain and can possibly lead to diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The body doesoperate like a machine, but it needs the right fuel to do it.

While each body is different, has different backgrounds, lifestyles and options that impact their ability to balance homeostasis, consuming a diet with adequate amounts of lean protein, like chicken, eggs and fish, and low in sugar and higher in complex carbohydrates, including kale and mushrooms can help keep weight balanced for the individual and health risks at bay. Ideal Protein’s three-phase protocol is designed to rebalance, stabilize and maintain energy homeostasis using low-glycemic and high quality food choices.