How to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

How to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

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Apply the following tips to help reduce your blood sugar levels and prevent/reverse related health risks.

 

DECREASE SUGAR

The first tip may be common knowledge to anyone diagnosed with blood sugar imbalances, however you may be shocked to learn just how prevalent added sugars are in the foods we eat everyday!

Excess sugar (especially from processed foods) leads to a rise in blood glucose levels within the body which raises insulin levels. Limit your intake to < 25 g of ADDED sugars/day. Added sugars do NOT include what is naturally occurring in fresh whole foods (i.e. – fruit, dairy, vegetables). Always check the nutrition label before purchasing!

  • High sugar containing foods: sugar sweetened beverages, protein/granola bars, canned/dried fruits, cereals/breads/pastries, condiments/dressings, desserts/candy

 

BALANCE CARBS WITH HEALTHY FATS & PROTEIN

The way you eat and how you combine your foods can either perpetuate a blood sugar roller-coaster, or balance them out. Pay attention to how you build your meals and snacks.

Practice smart food combinations. Consume your carbohydrates with protein and fat at all meals or snacks. Eating carbs with protein and fat slows the rate of digestion and uptake of glucose into the blood stream.

  • Healthy fats: eggs, avocado, grass-fed butter/ghee, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds, organic cheese (if tolerated)
  • Healthy proteins: grass-fed beef, pasture raised poultry, wild game, fish, eggs, protein powder, beans/legumes, jerky

 

INCREASE FRESH PRODUCE & FIBER

Nourish your body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber to support metabolic health!

Diets consisting of plant-based foods provide essential and protective vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that help to lower inflammation and promote hormone and blood sugar balance.

  • Nutrient dense produce: dark leafy greens, berries, avocado, cruciferous vegetables, asparagus, celery, cucumbers, green beans, peas, garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes, artichokes
  • Other fiber rich foods: chia seeds, ground flaxseed, beans/legumes, quinoa, oats, nuts/seeds

 

DECREASE SEDENTARY TIME

Everyone knows exercise is beneficial for overall health, but did you now that certain forms of exercise lower blood sugar levels more effectively and improve insulin sensitivity over time?

The best way to lessen sedentary time is to increase activity! Sitting for long periods of time is known to degrade our health. If you are new to exercise, begin with short walks and increase your exercise over time (it’s important to find activities you love!).  To aid with blood sugar regulation, exercise around meal time. Go for a 15-20 minute walk after any meal. Try and consume carbohydrates post workout for optimal glucose utilization. Strength training in particular supports muscle growth and increases insulin sensitivity.

 

REDUCE STRESS & IMPROVE SLEEP

Our modern way of living tends to result in poor quality sleep and loads of stress. Both have an impact on blood sugar metabolism and our hunger hormones. Make sure to focus on both to help your body function optimally!

The body’s natural response to stress (acute or chronic) is to raise blood cortisol, glucose and insulin levels. Identify stressors in your life and seek natural ways to reduce them. Examples of stress lowering activities include meditation, yoga, massages, deep breathing, aromatherapy, playing with pets, socializing with friends/family, being outdoors in nature, arts/crafts, music, cooking, etc. Proper sleep duration and quality also impact glucose regulation and hunger hormone balance. Aim for 7-9 hours/night and ideally go to bed around 10 pm each night. Stay consistent with your sleep schedule every day of the week, including weekends.

 

 

Still struggling to get your blood sugars under control or lose weight? Do you desire to reduce or get off your medications and feel well again?

Join Dr. Lisa Sullivan for a FREE wellness seminar to learn more about natural approaches to help the body heal. Call our office today and reserve your seat! (734) 716-5588.

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