Insulin is a hormone that most people identify with managing blood sugar. Insulin has a key role in keeping blood sugar balanced, but it is also responsible for converting food into cellular energy. Without insulin, we could not create energy. If insulin gets thrown off, health problems can occur… the most common one being diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is insulin dependent and it is auto-immune in nature. Type 2 is a result of lifestyle choices, and many times can be reversed with better nutrition and consistent exercise.
Fast Facts on Diabetes According to the CDC
- Total: 34.2 million people have diabetes (10.5% of the US population)
- Diagnosed: 26.9 million people, including 26.8 million adults
- Undiagnosed: 7.3 million people (21.3% are undiagnosed)
- Total: 88 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (34.5% of the adult US population)
- 65 years or older: 24.2 million people aged 65 years or older have prediabetes
Diabetes is inflammatory in nature, and the gateway for more chronic diseases, such as heart disease. Diabetes costs Americans billions of dollars a year. It is one of the leading revenue streams in the healthcare business. This not only can cripple us financially as individuals, but collectively as a society. It is difficult as a nutritionist to see all the devastation and needless medical interventions for diabetes that could have been remedied by lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle IS medicine!
Diabetes and Covid-19
This pandemic is more dangerous for people who already have a health condition, diabetes included.
A Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology study looking at 61 million medical records in the U.K. says 30% of Covid-19 deaths occurred in people with diabetes. The risk of dying from Covid-19 was almost three times higher for people with type 1 diabetes and almost twice as high for type 2 patients, versus those without diabetes.
I have been warning people for years about super bugs, and how important it is to keep your health in order. Now it is here, and it’s time for Americans to take their health more seriously.
Insulin Resistance Is Where It All Begins
Insulin resistance is a condition where insulin becomes overworked and gets lazy. When you eat too many carbohydrates and over-consume calories, this can wear out insulin. Over time, you become insulin resistant and you can’t convert glucose into energy efficiently. Signs of insulin resistance include low energy, craving sweets, and brain fog. Weight gain is a sign as well.
In terms of fat accumulation, when you are insulin resistant, it causes an excess amount of blood sugar to be left in the bloodstream. This is bad news, after a long period of time of high blood sugar the body has to find something to do with it. The body has no choice but to convert the sugars into triglycerides and send them to fat cells.
Insulin Sensitive Is A Good Thing
Insulin sensitivity is commonly associated with carbohydrate “tolerance”. The more insulin sensitive someone is, the more efficient they will be at utilizing carbohydrates.
In the case of healthy individuals or athletes, these nutrients are directed to the muscle for energy, glycogen (stored carbs) replenishment, recovery, and growth.
So, while carbohydrates alone don’t cause you to gain fat, when you eat an excess amount and are insulin resistant, it can lead to extra fat gain, which is one reason people think ‘carbs make you fat’. Hopefully, you can now see that it’s not the fault of the carbs themselves but your body’s (in)ability to utilize them, based on your insulin function.
For fat loss, having greater insulin sensitivity may allow you to easily and effectively lose weight while allowing for greater flexibility when it comes to the variety of foods you want to enjoy.
No Need to Fear Carbs
You do not have to completely cut out carbs to lose weight, period. I don’t care how overweight or unhealthy you are, you still can have some carbs. I am NOT saying you can eat as many carbs as you want. You still need to be on a budget and know how to balance your carb intake throughout the day. I recommend no more than 25 g. of carbs per meal if you have issues with insulin or blood sugar.
Now that you have a better understanding of how insulin works, let’s learn how to make you more insulin sensitive, and turn you into a fat burning machine that has ENERGY.
5 Ways to Improve Insulin
- Lose Weight
Weight loss is easier said than done. It requires extraordinary effort, consistency, and discipline. It is WELL worth the effort. Being at a healthy weight is imperative for healthy insulin levels. I recommend doing an INBody scan that will give an accurate assessment of weight, bodyfat, and metabolism. From there you can have an idea where your weight should be to optimize insulin.
- Balance Carb Intake
Keep a balance and choose good sources. Keep carbs at 25 g. per meal or less, and stay away from white flour, sugar, and processed foods most of the time.
- Pump Iron Consistently
Weight training has been shown to be one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity. In doing so, glucose more readily enters muscle cells rather than being stored and converted to fat. I recommend at least 2 hours a week of lifting weights to build muscle and create more insulin sensitivity.
- Supplements that Improve Insulin
Supplements are just that, supplements. There isn’t a supplement that can fix insulin issues without a focus on good nutrition and consistent exercise. There are a few great supplements that can speed up the process while implementing healthy lifestyle changes.
-3 g of Fish Oil
-30-50 g Zinc
-5-10,000 IU Vitamin D
-MedCaps IS by Xymogen, a comprehensive insulin sensitivity supplement
- Deep, Healing Sleep
Everyone should know about the importance of sleep. Regular and sufficient sleep has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, whereas poor sleep can make you insulin resistant. I like CBD oil and products like Cortisolv by Xymogen to improve sleep quality and duration.
There you go. Now you understand more about insulin and more importantly what you can do to fix it. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones to take care of our health. People that live a healthy lifestyle invest time into themselves. The return on investment is well worth the reward! However, the lifestyle changes are the TRUE long-term solution. Start today, don’t wait!
If you want information on exactly how to take action on all of this information and are ready to take control of your life and begin your health journey, watch my free webinar.