5 Ways To Lower Insulin & Improve Sensitivity Naturally
Insulin resistance has become an epidemic and chances are, unless you have diabetes, you’ve likely never heard of it. It’s estimated that upwards of 50% of all US adults are insulin-resistant and that number is even higher in other countries. I talked about what it is here: Is Insulin Resistance Stalling Your Weight Loss? and today I’ll unpack tools that you can use to lower insulin and begin to heal insulin-resistance naturally.
Insulin Resistance goes far beyond impacting blood sugar levels and affects every cell in our bodies. Here are some associated conditions:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain
- HPA-axis dysfunction & adrenal fatigue
- PCOS & endometriosis
- Brain-related illness like Alzheimer’s
- Anxiety & depression
- Chronic infections
- Hypertension & heart disease
- Digestive issues
Ditch the Sugar
Refined sugars are the number one contributor to high blood sugar and insulin levels. If you’re trying to lower insulin and make your cells insulin-sensitive again, it only makes sense to remove the factor that’s causing insulin to ramp up! Sugars, including artificial ones, drive the inflammatory process and increase oxidative stress, damaging tissues and fuelling insulin resistance. Changing your diet can feel daunting, which is why we’re here to educate and empower you to make the necessary modifications for your health.
Go Low Carb
Cutting out sugar will exponentially improve your health! But even if you’ve removed added sugars, you can still be inhibiting healing by eating a high carb diet. Foods like whole wheat bread, white rice, grains, potatoes, high-starch flours like tapioca, or even eating too many natural sweeteners, such as dried fruit or honey, will still have a negative affect on blood sugar and insulin levels and should be avoided or significantly reduced while healing. Focus on quality proteins and fats and lower-sugar fruits like berries.
Incorporate Intermittent Fasting
You may have heard that eating more frequently will help keep blood sugar levels stable, but eating meals and snacks all day long can actually have negative affects, especially if they’re carb-heavy. Every time we eat, we’re asking our already exhausted pancreas to produce more insulin in order to lower our blood sugar, exacerbating the issue. Intermittent fasting on the other hand, has been shown to have many benefits, including significant reduction in insulin, improved insulin sensitivity and enhancing b-cells for immune function as an added bonus!
There are endless benefits to exercise and increasing insulin sensitivity is one of them! Studies have shown that being sedentary even just a few days impacted the insulin levels of otherwise healthy patients, leading to signs of insulin resistance. When we use our muscles and stay active, we’ll have better insulin response. Who would’ve thought that getting some simple exercise in everyday could have such a positive impact – get it in any way you can!
Not getting enough sleep has catastrophic affects on our hormones. Sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, weight-gain, mental health issues, decreased immunity and impaired cognitive function. Prioritizing sleep is essential.
Wondering if you have insulin resistance?
This is something we can test for in the blood, so be sure to reach out to us for more details! Remember that issues with insulin can be seen long before blood sugar levels even begin to show there’s a problem. Staying proactive with your health is the best way to prevent disease later on!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist™
Why We Get Sick by Dr. Benjamin Bikman, PhD
Horne BD, Muhlestein JB, Anderson JL. Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(2):464-470.