Insulin is essential to staying alive, unfortunately the vast majority of people have resistance to this essential hormone. Resistance to this hormone speeds up the aging process and contributes to the development of degenerative diseases. Any foods high in grain and sugar typically generates a rapid rise in blood glucose.
To compensate, your pancreas secretes more insulin into your bloodstream to lower your blood sugar. Insulin, however, is also very efficient at lowering blood sugar by turning it into fat. The more insulin you secrete, the more fat your body will accumulate.
If you consistently consume a high-sugar, high-grain diet, your blood glucose level will be correspondingly high and over time your body will become desensitised to insulin, requiring more and more of it to get the job done. Eventually, you become insulin resistant and prone to weight gain, and then full-blown diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is the elevation in fasting blood glucose where you can quickly become insulin resistant and develop type 2 Diabetes.
Absence of insulin
In the absence of insulin, the body is not able to utilise glucose as energy in the cells. As a result, the glucose remains in the bloodstream and can lead to hyperglycaemia. Chronic hyperglycaemia is characteristic of diabetes mellitus and, if untreated, is associated with severe complications, such as damage to the nervous system, eyes, kidneys, and extremities. In severe cases, lack of insulin and a reduced ability to use glucose as a source of energy can lead to a reliance on fat stores as the sole source of energy. The breakdown of these fats can release ketones into the bloodstream, which can lead to a serious condition called ketoacidosis.
Other functions of insulin
In addition to the regulation of glucose, insulin also plays a role in other areas of the body. To this end, insulin may be involved in:
Modifying the activity of enzymes and the resulting reactions in the body.
Building muscle following sickness or injury via the transportation of amino acids to the muscle tissue, which is required to repair muscular damage and increase size and strength. It helps to regulate the uptake of amino acids, DNA replication, and the synthesis of proteins.
Managing the synthesis of lipids by uptake into fat cells, which are converted to triglycerides.
Managing breakdown of protein and lipids due to changes in fat cells.
Uptake of amino acids and potassium into the cells that cannot take place in the absence of insulin.
Managing the excretion of sodium and fluid volume in the urine.
Enhancing the memory and learning capabilities of the brain.
Insulin resistance occurs when insulin is produced by the body but not used effectively by the cells. Insulin is a hormone that allows cells throughout the body, particularly in the liver and in the muscles, to absorb glucose and use it to create energy. Insulin resistance interferes with that absorption and can lead to the development of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. The good news is that insulin resistance is one of the easiest health problems to correct. To maintain healthy blood sugar levels try the following:
Intermittent Fasting - promotes insulin sensitivity and improves blood sugar management. Simply eat all of your meals within a nine-hour timeframe. Focus on healthy protein in moderate amounts and minimise net carbs like pasta and bread, exchanging them for healthy fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and raw nuts. This will help shift you into fat burning mode.
Stress free - When you become stressed your body secretes cortisol and glucagon, both of which affect your blood sugar levels.
Eat healthy fats - For cooking, healthy alternatives include coconut oil, grass fed raw organic butter, organic ghee, lard, tallow and olive oil. For general eating, foods high in healthy fats include avocado, olives, coconut, raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans, seeds such as black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds, raw cacao butter and organic pastured egg yolks. Dairy fats found in butter, cheese and yogurt have been shown to lower your diabetes risk specifically.
Drink water - Drink plenty of clean, purified water. Organic black coffee and tea without milk or sugar are other healthy choices. Steer clear of all sweetened beverages, including “diet” drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners and fruit juices. Drink 1 – 2 litres a day and check the colour of your urine. If your urine is a deep, dark yellow, then you are likely not drinking enough water. Light straw-coloured urine is typically a sign of sufficient water intake. If your urine is scant or if you haven’t urinated in many hours, that too is an indication that you’re not drinking enough. Based on the results from a few different studies, a healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day.
Eat nuts and seeds - In addition to being a good source of healthy fats, nuts and seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium, which many are deficient in. Lack of magnesium may raise your risk of insulin resistance as it plays an important role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism. Magnesium helps your body metabolise carbs and glucose properly. Best seed sources include sunflower, black sesame, black cumin, pumpkin and chia seeds. Among these, black cumin (nigella sativa). Black cumin can help prevent both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Best nut sources include macadamias, pecans and walnuts which are high in fat whilst being lower in protein.
Exercise - Focus more on strength/resistance training than cardio. Even a single session of moderate exercise can improve the way your body regulates glucose. By using insulin more efficiently, your body also ends up using more glucose, leaving less to circulate in your bloodstream — hence the improvements in glucose control.