Now that we’ve learned how to lessen our sugar cravings (in the previous post), here are some ideas to use that newly-found power to lower our blood sugar and insulin levels…
I think it’s pretty awesome how our bodies can take whatever abuse we dish out on them and then turn around and immediately forgive us by trying to heal itself. If we could learn the art of reciprocation, we could give our tired little (or big, whatever the case may be) bodies a break by maybe not cramming so much garbage in our faces and eating some real, wholesome food once in a while.
I’m not pointing any fingers, mind you….but I know I totally take for granted how my body takes care of me. One of the main ways (in my case) is by producing all those hormones to balance all the sugar I literally inhale. In this post I resolve to try and give back to my system and do some things that will lower my blood sugar so it doesn’t have to work so hard.
Here are some personal tips to consider before I share information from other fellow resolvers:
- Avoid eating refined & processed carbs or even fruit especially in the morning. (We tend to be more insulin resistant in the A,M,)
- Eat more foods that are high in protein and good fats so you will feel satisfied instead of deprived
- Eat lower glycemic carbs that don’t trigger your desire for more sugar
- Eat foods that support the liver (apple cider vinegar – coconut oil – etc.)
- Get adequate sleep and activity
Diabetes Info Center:
4 Foods That Naturally Lower Your Blood Sugar
It’s no exaggeration: Balancing your blood sugar could be a matter of life and death. Chronic high blood sugar levels can wreak havoc with our internal organs and blood vessels.
Diabetes and prediabetes pave the way to a heart attack, stroke, dialysis, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, and even blindness.
The good news is that out-of-control blood sugars can be reined in and regulated by eating the right foods. In fact, doing so may be as effective as medication for many people.
The next time you crave a snack choose these foods:
- Olive oil
14 Ways to Lower Your Insulin Levels
- Insulin is an extremely important hormone that’s produced by your pancreas.
- It has many functions, such as allowing your cells to take in sugar from your blood for energy.
- However, too much insulin can lead to serious health problems.
- Having high levels, also known as hyperinsulinemia, has been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer
- High blood insulin levels also cause your cells to become resistant to the hormone’s effects.
- When you become insulin resistant, your pancreas produces even more insulin, creating a vicious cycle
Here are 14 things you can do to lower your insulin levels.
1. Follow a Low-Carb Diet
Of the three macronutrients — carbs, protein and fat — carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels the most.
2. Take Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been credited with preventing insulin and blood sugar spikes after eating.
BOTTOM LINE: Vinegar may help prevent high insulin levels after you consume meals or foods high in carbs.
3. Watch Portion Sizes
Although the pancreas releases different amounts of insulin depending on the type of food you eat, eating too much of any food at one time can lead to hyperinsulinemia.
4. Avoid All Forms of Sugar
- Sugar may very well be the most important food to stay away from if you’re trying to lower your insulin levels.
- In one study where people overate either candy or peanuts, the candy group experienced a 31% increase in fasting insulin levels, compared to a 12% increase in the peanut group
- Fructose is found in table sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, agave and syrup. Consuming large quantities of it promotes insulin resistance, which ultimately drives insulin levels higher
- In another study, overweight people who added high-sugar foods to their usual diet experienced a 22% increase in fasting insulin levels.
18 Foods and Drinks That Are Surprisingly High in Sugar
- Eating too much sugar is really bad for your health.
- It’s been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer
- Many people are now trying to minimize their sugar intake, but it’s easy to underestimate how much you’re actually consuming.
Here are 18 foods and drinks that contain way more sugar than you would think.1. Low-Fat Yogurt
- Yogurt can be a highly nutritious food. However, not all yogurt is created equal. It’s best to choose full-fat, natural or Greek yogurt or make your own with raw milk whole milk. Avoid yogurt that has been sweetened with sugar.
- BBQ Sauce
- Fruit JuiceIt’s best to choose whole fruit and minimize your intake of fruit juices.
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Sports Drinks
- Sports drinks can often be mistaken as a healthy choice
- However, sports drinks are designed to hydrate and fuel trained athletes during prolonged, intense periods of exercise.
- For this reason, they contain high amounts of added sugars that can be quickly absorbed and used for energy.
- Unless you’re a marathon runner or an elite athlete, then you should probably just stick to water while exercising. This is by far the best choice for most of us
- Chocolate milk is milk that has been flavored with cocoa and sweetened with sugar.
- Granola is often marketed as a low-fat health food, despite being high in both calories and sugar.
- Flavored coffee is a popular trend, but the amount of hidden sugars in these drinks can be staggering.
- Iced Tea
- Protein Bars
- Vitaminwater is marketed as a healthy drink containing added vitamins and minerals. However, like many other so-called “health drinks,” Vitaminwater comes with a large amount of added sugar.
- Pre-Made SoupHowever, many commercially prepared soups have a lot of added ingredients, including sugar.
- Cereal Bars are a popular grab & go for breakfast, however, like other “health bars,” they are often just candy bars in disguise. Many contain very little fiber or protein and are loaded with added sugar.
- Canned FruitAll fruit contains natural sugars. However, some canned fruit is peeled and preserved in sugary syrup. This processing strips the fruit of its fiber and adds a lot of unnecessary sugar to what should be a healthy snack.
- Canned Baked Beans are another savory food that is often surprisingly high in sugar.
- Bottled SmoothiesBlending fruits with milk or yogurt or various veggies to make yourself a smoothie can seem like a great way to start your day. However, not all smoothies are healthy. Many commercially produced smoothies come in large sizes and can be sweetened with things like fruit juice, ice cream or syrup, which increases their sugar content.
- Breakfast cereals are a popular, quick and easy breakfast food.However, the cereal you choose could greatly affect your sugar consumption, especially if you eat it every day.
Added sugars aren’t a necessary nutrient in your diet. Although small amounts are fine, they can cause serious harm if eaten in large amounts on a regular basis.
The best way to avoid hidden sugars in your meals is to make them at home so you know exactly what’s in them.
BOTTOM LINE: A high intake of sugar in any form has been shown to increase insulin levels and promote insulin resistance.
5. Exercise Regularly
- Engaging in regular physical activity can have powerful insulin-lowering effects.
- Combining aerobic and resistance exercise seems to be the most effective and has been shown to most greatly affect insulin sensitivity and levels
- In a study of 101 breast cancer survivors, those who engaged in a combination of strength-training and endurance exercise for 16 weeks experienced a 27% reduction in insulin levels
6. Add Cinnamon to Foods and Beverages
Cinnamon is a delicious spice loaded with health-promoting antioxidants.
BOTTOM LINE: Some studies have found that adding cinnamon to foods or beverages lowers insulin levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
7. Stay Away From Refined Carbs
Refined carbs are a major part of many people’s diets that causes high insulin levels and weight gain
BOTTOM LINE: Replacing refined carbs, which are digested and absorbed quickly, with slower-digesting whole foods may help lower insulin levels.
8. Avoid Sedentary Behavior
In order to reduce insulin levels, it’s important to live an active lifestyle.
BOTTOM LINE: Avoiding prolonged sitting and increasing the amount of time you spend walking or doing other moderate activities can reduce insulin levels.
9. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has become very popular for weight loss.
BOTTOM LINE: Intermittent fasting may help reduce insulin levels. However, study results are mixed, and this way of eating may not suit everyone.
10. Increase Soluble Fiber Intake
BOTTOM LINE: Soluble fiber, especially from whole foods, has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and lower insulin levels, particularly in people with obesity or type 2 diabetes.
11. Lose Belly Fat
there are several things you can do to lose belly fat effectively, which should help lower your insulin levels.
BOTTOM LINE:Losing belly fat can increase insulin sensitivity and help reduce your insulin levels.
12. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains high amounts of an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
BOTTOM LINE: Several studies have found that green tea may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin levels.
13. Eat Fatty Fish
BOTTOM LINE: The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish may help reduce insulin resistance and insulin levels.
14. Get the Right Amount and Type of Protein
BOTTOM LINE: Consuming adequate protein at meals can be beneficial for controlling your weight and insulin levels.
Take Home Message
- High insulin levels can lead to many health problems.
- Taking steps to increase your insulin sensitivity and decrease your insulin levels may help you lose weight, lower your risk of disease and increase your quality of life.