3 Ways To Improve Insulin Function
It’s important to realize that insulin resistance is caused by constant high blood sugar and lack of exercise. Therefore, you need reduced blood sugar and increased exercise to reset sensitivity.
1. Reduce Refined Sugars
Another key point is that carbohydrates raise blood sugar significantly more than protein or fat. And the higher the glycemic index, the bigger the spike in blood sugar.
Therefore, it’s best to reduce carb intake to lower blood sugar. Especially high glycemic carbs from sweets and sugary drinks.
As a rule of thumb, aim to get less than 10% of your calories from sugar.
To find this number, drop a zero from the end of your calorie target. For example, if your goal is 2,000 calories per day, that’s 200 calories from sugar.
Then divide by 4 to get your target in grams. So 200 ÷ 4 = 50 grams of sugar per day (or less).
2. Eat a High Protein, Low Carb Diet
A high protein, low carb diet can significantly reduce 24-hour blood sugar levels according to a study by the University of Minnesota1.
For the first half of the study, men with type 2 diabetes consumed a diet of 15% protein and 50% carbs. Then they switched to a diet of 30% protein and 20% carbs.
After 5 weeks of the high protein, low carb diet their average 24-hour blood sugar levels dropped by 38%. Moving them from the diabetic range to a healthy level.
Adapted from Gannon, Mary C., and Frank Q. Nuttall
Not only did blood sugar remain lower after meals, but it was also lower first thing in the morning. That low fasted blood sugar is another sign of healthy insulin function.
As a result, this diet effectively reversed insulin resistance. And researches concluded it even has the potential to reverse mild to severe type 2 diabetes.
(This is one reason why Nutritioneering meal plans target 30% protein)
3. Include Regular Endurance & Resistance Training
Exercise also has a big impact on insulin function. Both endurance and resistance training significantly increase insulin sensitivity according to a randomized trial by the University of Vermont2.
Adapted from Poehlman, Eric T., et al.
It’s thought that endurance training improves insulin sensitivity by enhancing glucose disposal. While the effect of resistance training is probably due to increased lean mass over time.
In addition, training raises catabolic hormones that break down your body. Then prime your body to release anabolic hormones like insulin in order to start building back up.
Therein lies the key to body transformation.