One in every three adults in the U.S. now has elevated blood sugar levels according to the American Diabetes Association. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of insulin resisance from prediabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome. In a culture where catchup has sugar in it, maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging.
The effects of insulin resistance range from fatigue to stroke, amputation, blindness and even death. That is the bad news; the good news is that insulin resistance is preventable and treatable. My AwesomeEight group (all of whom lost over 200 pounds) were able to ditch their insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure medications by following the following recommendations and you can too.
Blood sugar goes up because of glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating carbohydrates. But other things can also impact blood sugar. Stress plays a significant role as it raises cortisol, which interferes with how insulin is used. Even how often you eat and how much you eat at one time impacts blood sugar.
What to Do
In general, eating a clean low-processed diet, getting HitFit, getting sunshine and plenty of good rest are the keys.
- Eat Clean
- An anti-inflammatory diet is key. I’m talking about lots of good fats, healthy proteins, and good fiber from non-starchy vegies, a bit of fruit (especially berries)
- Protein: The bestproteins for managing blood sugar include: wild fish such as salmon, pastured eggs and poultry, 100% grass-fed beef or lamb, raw dairy products (including yogurt, kefir or raw cheeses)
- Fats: The best fats are extra virgin coconut oil, MCT oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds (like almonds, chia, hemp and flax), and avocado. These fats are delicious besides being very good for you.
- High fiber foods: fresh veggies, whole pieces of fruit (not juice), sprouted beans or peas, and hemp. The highest fiber foods are artichokes, green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, flaxseeds, apples, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and sweet potatoes.
- Blood-sugar stabilizers
- Cinammon – has been found to have 18 percent phenol content in dry weight. For type-2 diabetics or those who suffer from insulin resistance, studies have shown that improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control can be had for as little as 1 teaspoon per day. Improved insulin resistance helps in weight control and lessens the risk of heart disease.
- Cloves – contain 30 percent levels of the antioxidant phenol in dry weight. It also contains the antioxidants anthocyanins and quercetin. This herb has antiseptic as well as germicidal properties. It also offers anti-inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits. Clove oil can be used to for something as uncomplicated as toothaches, headaches, cough and even indigestion.
- Oregano – is popularly found in Spanish and Mediterranean cooking and is sometimes known as marjoram. It adds depth and flavor to any dish and goes well with tomatoes, eggplant and meat. It has been thought to treat bacteria and parasitic infection and its oil has been used to treat head lice. In a recent study, oregano was found to treat giardia – an infection of the intestines brought about by microscopic parasites – effectively. Herbalists even recommend it as a treatment for E-coli.
- Sage – contains phytosterols reputed to have a cooling action. Herbal medicine practitioners use it to treat uterine bleeding and cramps. A German study on this herb shows that diabetics who drank infusions of sage on an empty stomach reduced their blood sugar levels. It is popularly used to flavor meat and soup dishes and can even be drunk as tea.
- Garlic – Garlic contains sulfur compounds – specifically hydrogen sulfide gas – which dilate blood vessels. It is this effect that reduces blood pressure. This same compound helps in the metabolism of iron and protects against oxidative damage and even high cholesterol. Garlic can be found in different types of vegetable and meat recipes and adds a characteristic flavor in soups and sauces.
- Other blood sugar stabilizers are: apple cider vinegar, green tea, and herbal teas.
- Stay Away from Sweeteners
Use natural/unrefined, organic sugar sources such as coconut crystals, stevia, pure maple syrup, blackstrap molasses or raw honey. The really dangerous sugars contain high fructose corn syrup, fructose or dextrose.
- Avoid Grains
If you must use flour, choose those made with 100 percent whole grains, or else try coconut flour/meal, or almond flour for a healthier option.
Stick with water, seltzer, green, herbal tea or black tea, and coffee in moderation (1 or 2 cups early in the day). Limit alcoholic beverages as they can also raise blood sugar, especially if you consume sweetened alcoholic drinks. NO SOFT DRINKS! ESPECIALLY NO DIET DRINKS
- Get Regular Exercise
High Intensity Interval Training or Burst training is the best. Doing about 30–60 minutes of exercise 3 days of the week (such as running, cycling, swimming and lifting weights) and doing weight bearing on the opposite days is ideal. 4. Manage Stress
- Essential Oils For Stress
Lavender, rose and frankincense) are all helpful for diabetics and those with insulin resistance.
Yoga, massage and acupuncture are great. Other ways to wind down include spending more time outdoors, joining groups in your community, and connecting with family and friends more.
- Get Enough Rest
The best sleep you can get is the sleep you get before midnight. A lack of sleep raises stress and appetite hormones (like cortisol and ghrelin, which make you hungry), making it harder to avoid snacks that are high in sugar.
Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2017.
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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.
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