What is insulin?
Insulin is a super important hormone which acts as a transporter for sugar (glucose) released in our blood from eating food. Whenever we eat carbs and a little bit when we eat protein the amount of sugar in our blood increases. Our pancreas releases insulin to help take the sugar out of the bloodstream and into our organs (mostly the liver and muscle cells) where it can be used for energy.
What happens when our insulin sensitivity decreases?
We then need to produce more insulin than we should need to in order to keep our blood sugar stable. On a side note, Diabetes is all about insulin or the lack of it too. Type 1 diabetes means your pancreas is not producing insulin, type 2 diabetes is when insulin is produced, but the body doesn’t respond to it. Decreased insulin sensitivity can lead to type 2 diabetes and thyroid problems so that’s another couple of great reason to increase our insulin sensitivity.
What decreases insulin sensitivity?
Eating carbs too often especially simple ones, like sugars, white bread and chips can make us less sensitive to insulin. I guess just like drinking alcohol all the time gives you a higher threshold before you get drunk.
What benefits do you get from increased insulin sensitivity?
Improved athletic performance, better sleep, faster recovery from exercise, more effective metabolism of sugar and better weight loss results. Look there is a lot more than this but I think you get the gist.
What can we do to increase insulin sensitivity?
Cut down the excessive simple carbs in your diet like white bread, dried fruit, lollies, pasta and noodles. This doesn’t mean you should never eat carbs again! Carbs are great at the right time! I eat carbs before and after training but the rest of the day I keep it pretty light.
Another great way to increase your insulin sensitivity is to add vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar) to what you eat. You may not be fond of its sour taste, but here’s quick information that may change your mind. Recent studies say that vinegar (acetic acid) helps boost insulin sensitivity by increasing the response of glucose and insulin following a carbohydrate-rich meal. Another research concludes that vinegar increases insulin sensitivity by up to 34 percent. Acetic acid inhibits the action of disaccharidase, mimicking the action of metformin or acarbose, drugs used in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.
Meanwhile, a study involving 29 participants had the following groupings: Group 1 for persons with Type II Diabetes, group 2 for pre-diabetics and the last group of healthy individuals. Apple cider vinegar was given to each participant prior to eating his meal. Here’s what the study found:
1. Improved blood sugar levels were found in all three groups who took vinegar.
2. The group with diabetics had better blood sugar by up to 25 percent.
3. Compared to the healthy individuals, those with pre-diabetic symptoms had even lower blood sugar levels.
4. The group with pre-diabetic symptoms had reduced their blood sugar level to almost half.
Researchers conducted a follow-up study and they found that consistent intake of vinegar led to losing about two pounds in a span of four weeks. Meanwhile, another study revealed that Type II Diabetics taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar prior to sleeping had lowered their blood sugar readings by a significant four to six percent.