Taking Control Of Insulin Levels
KEEPING BLOOD SUGAR STABLE
Insulin acts as a very important regulator for the body and several of its systems. It’s a hormone responsible for keeping blood sugar stable, but also has other important duties like making muscle and fat cells grow larger. Whenever food is being digested, insulin matches up with the amount of glucose, (sugar) that is entering the blood stream. As glucose comes in, insulin shuttles it to cells to be turned into energy. Certain foods can help or hinder this process.
Be Aware Of Insulin Spikes
The problem is that many people today have insulin spikes that must match rapid influx of glucose. Overtime this leads to chronically high insulin levels and eventually may cause a condition known as “Insulin Resistance”. This is where the body gets flooded with insulin repeatedly until the hormone begins to lose its effect altogether.
A key to prevent insulin resistance and promote healthy weight loss is to keep insulin levels as low as possible.
The foods that cause the greatest insulin responses are generally those with high amounts of carbohydrate and little nutrients or fiber.
Foods Which Can Create High Insulin Responses
- Potatoes, Cereal, Breads
- Pasta, White Rice and Sugar
- Sweetened Foods such as Sauces, Baked Goods, Yogurt, Ice Cream & Juice
One may be quick to think that all carbohydrates are bad because they require insulin, but this is not entirely true. More precisely, it is the “package” of other nutrients that carbohydrates come bundled with that determines if a food is health promoting or not.
Interestingly enough, some foods have been described as being “anti-diabetic” because they can help regulate blood sugar similar to give insulin a helping hand. In a recent study beans were found to effectively lower the blood sugar of diabetics when they eat them along with their meal (1). It was found that beans contained powerful nutrients that slowed down digestion, helped lower inflammation and fuel the metabolism of those whose own insulin system no longer controlled blood sugar. Now beans are just one example of foods that effectively help reverse conditions like diabetes.
Besides fiber and nutrients, protein can also provide this helping hand to insulin when it comes to managing blood sugar. Eating foods that provide protein help to slow down food digestion and prevent insulin spikes. Protein, like carbohydrates, must be “packaged” in the right way to have this beneficial effect on insulin.
Foods Which Can Help Lower Blood Sugar
- Foods Rich In Fiber
- Foods Rich in Antioxidants
- Protein Rich Foods
So when insulin is in balance, it will help to keep blood sugar in check as well as prevent dysfunction in other areas of the body. The way to help promote insulin balance is by reducing foods which cause rapid spikes in insulin, as well as incorporating foods that help to lower blood sugar by providing health promoting nutrients.
Over time, a diet that contains abundant nutrients will continually fuel metabolism and promote good health.
1. Thompson, Sharon V., Donna M. Winham, and Andrea M. Hutchins. "Bean and rice meals reduce postprandial glycemic response in adults with type 2 diabetes: a cross-over study." Nutr J 11 (2012): 23.
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