One of the first concepts in understanding our body’s hormonal responses to the food we eat is to learn the functions of two critical hormones: insulin and glucagon. Insulin is released to stop blood sugar levels from rising too high while glucagon is released to stop blood sugar levels from dropping too low. Ultimately, a balance in the blood sugar levels keeps your energy stable and your brain functions clear. Insulin is a protection and storage hormone; glucagon is a glucose gate-keeper and fat-burning hormone.
Too Much Sugar
Insulin protects the body from having too much sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream which is toxic to the body. It is secreted by the pancreas in levels determined by how much is necessary to capture and store glucose to lower the level. The amount and type of carbohydrates consumed at one time impacts how much insulin is required to get the job done.
Too Much Amino Acid
Insulin also protects the body from having too much amino acids (amino acids come from protein that is consumed) in the bloodstream which is toxic to the body. It is secreted by the pancreas in levels determined by how much is necessary to capture and store to lower the level. The amount and type of protein consumed at one time impacts how much insulin is required to get the job done.
Acts Like a Gatekeeper
Glucagon is the glucose gatekeeper. It controls the release of stored glucose and decreases carbohydrate cravings. Glucagon depresses insulin secretion to control blood sugar levels and keeps them within set levels. It will release and convert stored carbohydrates (glycogen) in the liver back into glucose (sugar) to feed your brain and keep it satisfied. This makes it easier to control your carbohydrate intake.
Activates Fat-burning Metabolism
Lastly, glucagon is the fat-burning hormone. It can cause the release of stored body fat to be used as energy which will boost the body’s metabolism. This use of stored body fat is a much more efficient source of energy as it supplies 2 1/2 times the energy efficiency than carbohydrates alone. The huge benefit is that your stored body fat is being USED rather than ACCUMULATING and causing weight gain.