In episode 25, Insulin Resistance Isn’t All About Carbs and Insulin, I explained why an individual cell would “decide” to stop taking up energy. Here in episode 26, I explain tissue-level energy overload, focusing on adipose tissue and liver.
At adipose tissue, the problem with fatness isn’t the amount of fat. It’s that we’ve reached the point where we can’t get any fatter. Well, we can, but we can no longer do so while maintaining a healthy organizational structure within adipose tissue that allows blood, oxygen, and nutrients to get to where they need to go. Surprisingly, some of the things that enable proper expansion, and thus protect our metabolic health, are things that we usually think of as “bad,” such as inflammation. In fact, the pro-inflammatory changes in the gut microbiome in response to an obesogenic diet provide information to adipose tissue that it needs to prepare for healthy expansion. And adipose expansion is most protective at the site of the “bad” body fat: visceral fat in the abdomen.
At liver, the problem is fat gets trapped in the liver, flattening out everything in the cell and hogging the space needed for glycogen storage, and this can happen even in a lean person.
I conclude with some practical recommendations about body composition and nutrient density.
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