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How And Why We Get Fat

Have you wondered what exactly the process of gaining fat is? If "yes", then keep reading.

There are two main reasons for getting fat:

* Consuming calories in excess

* Consuming high-glycemic carbohydrates

Calories in excess can come from fats, carbohydrates and proteins. The human body has two ways of getting fats into the blood stream. Here is how that happens and how the actual process of storing fat occurs.

The first way: Dietary fats pass through the lining of the intestines in the form of chylomicrons (long chain fatty acids) and are subsequently converted to triglycerides. This is the main form, in which they travel in the blood stream.

If the fats are in excess they are readily stored in the fat cells. The process is called lipogenesis.

The second way: Fats are also manufactured in the liver in the form of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and again are converted to triglycerides.

The liver has the ability to convert carbohydrates and proteins to fats as well, if they are eaten in excess and the body doesn't need so much of them for recovery and tissue repair.

The chylomicrons (fats, coming from the intestines) and the lipoproteins (the fats, made in the liver) have the ability to stimulate the synthesis of Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL). LPL is an enzyme, manufactured in the fat cells, for the conversion of the triglycerides to free fatty acids and glycerol.

Fats can enter the adipocites (fat cells) only in the form of free fatty acids.

Once inside the fat cell the free fatty acids need glycerol to be converted back into triglycerides (re-esterification), in which state they are stored.

Here is where insulin comes to play. Insulin, other than lowering the blood sugar levels, acts also as a stimulus for the fat cells to produce more LPL. It also decreases the ability of the fat cells to give out the fat, stored in them.

Another property of insulin is to carry glucose over to the fat cells. This glucose is the main source of glycerol for the conversion of the free fatty acids to triglycerides.

And yet another role of insulin in the body is to facilitate the conversion of carbohydrates to fat in the liver through the activation of enzymes, needed for this process.

In other words insulin is a main contributor for the process of storing adipose tissue (fat).

Why the consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates makes us fat? Because it stimulates the release of larger quantities of insulin for a short period of time.

Conclusion: In order to prevent all of the above from happening we must:

1. Ingest total daily calories at or below maintenance level in order to avoid the conversion of carbohydrates and proteins to fat, as well as the introduction of large amounts of triglycerides from dietary fats in the blood stream.

2. Eat lower-glycemic carbohydrates and eat them in moderation in order to avoid spiking the insulin levels.

About the Author: Resource Box:

Ivan Nikolov, a top five natural bodybuilder, shares with you his extensive knowledge about nutrition, supplements, training routines and exercises. Visit his web site to learn more about what you need to know if you want to be a natural bodybuilder or simply look like one.

Ivan is also the creator of the unique Fitness Nutrition Advisor tool (FitNA), designed to assist enthusiasts and athletes in the pursuit of their fitness goals.

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