Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thin people

As a weight-conscious American woman, I often wonder, "Why are southeast Asians so thin? Why are eastern Europeans so often thinner young adults than western Europeans (except for the French)? Why is my third child downright skinny?"

I think that Dr. Jason Fung's theories on obesity resulting from insulin resistance--which can be acquired in the womb--help explain why some people seem programmed to be thinner.

In order to avoid developing insulin resistance, one needs to avoid subjecting one's body to chronic high levels of insulin, which insulin is stimulated by high glucose levels in the blood. With my third child, and only with her, I exercised a lot during pregnancy, often taking long walks that lasted into early evening and apparently resulted in me using up all my circulating glucose; I have a strong memory of getting weak and hungry on those walks but pushing through anyway. 

Southeast Asians regularly eat a plant we call water spinach (AKA kangkong, ong choy, Ipomoea aquatica) that is proven in rats to inhibit glucose absorption and decrease blood glucose levels. (,, Certainly, genetics also plays a role, but if you've seen southeast-Asian-Americans whose gestational development and childhood occurred in the USA, you've probably noticed that they tend not to be as skinny as their peers raised in Asia.

Eastern Europeans eat rye bread much more than western Europeans, and rye bread also slows down glucose absorption. ( However, some people in the rye-consuming countries, such as in Finland, also drink caffeinated coffee throughout the day, and caffeinated coffee appears to decrease insulin sensitivity and increase glucose (,,, so a rye bread effect in them might be counteracted by their constant coffee consumption.

If I could go back in time to my pregnant self, I'd have a lot to tell me.

No comments:

Post a Comment