Nutrition is confusing because it is complex. Because it is so complex, there are also many fallacies about specific dietary ingredients that lead to constant confusion as to what we should be eating and why. This is why it is best to view nutrition as a systems-based approach to better understand on how the foods we eat affects a wide variety of outcomes that we term as metabolism.
Metabolism is defined as the chemical processes that occur within a living organism necessary to maintain life and this includes the healing of injuries. Metabolism may be best understood as a mysterious biological black box that controls your life. Within this black box inflammation is generated in response to an injury as well the Resolution Response being generated in response to inflammation. If inflammation and Resolution Response remained balance, you remain well. However, the Resolution Response is generated “on demand” so you must ensure the “fuel tanks” necessary for each stage of the Resolution Response to work most effectively are always full. The best way you can ensure that outcome is to be in the Zone. If for some reason these separate mechanisms of inflammation and the Resolution Response are not continually balanced, their mismatch generates cellular inflammation that can be amplified to a higher level by diet-induced inflammation. As the levels of unresolved cellular inflammation increases, this only accelerates your progression toward developing a chronic disease and a shorter healthspan. It’s often not the initial injury that causes the chronic disease, but the relentless increase of unresolved cellular inflammation that is the real underlying cause of development of any eventual chronic disease.
One of the primary jobs of metabolism is to convert incoming dietary calories into energy (primarily the chemical adenosine tri-phosphate or ATP), to repair and build tissue, to maintain your immune system to fight off infections and heal physical injuries, keep your body warm, etc. However, most of the excess incoming dietary calories beyond those needed for your immediate metabolic needs will be stored as fat.