14 Surprising Ways to Lower Your Insulin Levels
Insulin is a critical hormone produced by your pancreas that plays a significant role in metabolism. It plays multiple roles in your body, but its primary function is to facilitate the transfer of sugar from your blood into the cells that need it for energy. However, too much of a good thing can still be bad for you, and having too much insulin can cause serious health complications. Which is why it is important to understand how too lower your insulin levels.
Having abnormally high levels of insulin, also known as hyperinsulinemia, has been directly linked to heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
If insulin levels remain elevated for extended periods, your body's cells can start to become resistant to its effects. When this happens, you develop what is called insulin resistance, which triggers your pancreas to produce more insulin, creating a vicious cycle.
Some things can be done to help lower your insulin levels. Here is a list of 14 ways to lower your insulin levels.
1. Portion size matters
In a healthy person, the pancreas will release different amounts of insulin depending on what type of food and how much food was consumed, overeating of any food can eventually lead to hyperinsulinemia.
This is a large area of concern for people who have insulin resistance.
In a recent study, obese people with insulin resistance consumed a 1,300 calorie meal had over double the amount of insulin in their system as a lean person who ate the same meal.
These individuals with insulin resistance also had nearly twice the insulin levels of other obese people who did not have metabolism problems.
Research has shown that consuming fewer calories consistently can help to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin levels in overweight and obese people. This happens no matter what their diet is; since it is primarily tied to the caloric intake level.
In one study of 157 people with metabolic issues, they tried different weight loss methods. Researchers discovered that fasting insulin levels dropped by up to 16% in the group that was practicing calorie restriction. The next highest result was a 12% reduction in insulin levels that were from the group practicing portion control. Both of these groups did not change the foods they were eating, and they only changed the amounts that were being consumed.
2. Low-Carb Diets
Out of the three macronutrients; carbs, protein, and fat. Carbs are well know to be the ones that insulin levels and blood sugar the most.
For many reasons, low-carb diets can be beneficial for losing weight and controlling diabetes.
Many studies have showed their ability to lower insulin levels and help increase insulin sensitivity, compared to other diets.
People with health conditions characterized by insulin resistance, such as metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may see a drastic reduction in insulin levels.
In one study, individuals with metabolic syndrome were randomized to receive either a low-fat or low-carb diet containing 1,500 calories.
Insulin levels dropped by an average of 50% in the low-carb group, compared to 19% in the low-fat group.
In another study, when women with PCOS ate a lower-carb diet containing enough calories to maintain their weight, they experienced more significant reductions in insulin levels than when they ate a higher-carb diet.
3. Take Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has shown promise in preventing insulin and blood sugar spikes after meals.
This mainly occurs when the vinegar is consumed in combination with a meal of high carb, high Glycemic index foods.
A recent study showed that individuals who consumed about two tablespoons of vinegar with a high carb meal had lower insulin levels and greater fullness levels after 30 minutes of eating.
Researchers think that this is partly due to vinegar's ability to slow the speed in which the stomach empties. This process then leads to a slower absorption rate of the sugars into the bloodstream.
4. Get up! Don't Be Lazy.
If you want to lower insulin levels, then it is importation that you are active every day.
In a study of over 1,600 people, it was shown that those where the most sedentary were twice as likely to have metabolic syndrome as those who were more active and performed moderate activity at least 150 minutes a week.
It has been proven that something as simple as getting up and walking around instead of sitting can lower insulin after eating a meal. It is as simple as taking a short walk.
In a study of sedentary women, it was shown that those who walked for 20 minutes after eating a meal had must better insulin sensitivity and much lower insulin levels than those who didn't walk after eating. The walking group also was in better overall shape and had a reduced level of body fat.
A different study looked at men who were at risk for type 2 diabetes. The group that took the most step, though out the day also had the most significant decrease in insulin levels and lost the most stomach fat.
5. Exercise is Key!
Working out or engaging in physical activity daily can have drastic insulin lowering effects.
Cardio and Aerobic exercise can be extremely effective at increasing insulin sensitivity for people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
In a study that compared two groups, one had to perform aerobic exercise while the other performed (HIIT) High-Intensity Interval Training. The study showed that both groups had improvements in fitness, but the group that had to perform aerobics had much lower insulin levels.
Some research has shown that resistance training can also help to improve insulin levels in people who are older or more sedentary.
The most efficient method to use exercise as a way to lower insulin levels is to combine aerobic and resistance training. This method has proven results in positively affecting insulin sensitivity and insulin levels.
6. Cinnamon is Your Best Friend
Cinnamon is a flavorful spice that is loaded with fantastic health-promoting antioxidants that can help with insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity.
Healthy people have been given cinnamon as a method to enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce even healthy persons insulin resistance levels.
In one study, people were given 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon in a rice pudding, Their insulin levels were then tested, and the people who had cinnamon with their pudding had much lower insulin responses compared to those that did not have any cinnamon.
It's critical to remember that not every study has found that cinnamon can help people with insulin problems, and cinnamon effects will vary from person to person.
Even so, supplementing 2 grams of cinnamon per day can provide many different health benefits outside of just insulin resistance.
7. Increase Your Fiber Consumption
Soluble fiber has several health benefits, including weight loss and reducing blood sugar levels.
It functions by absorbing water and forming a gel-like substance, which slows down movement through the deserve tract — keeping you feeling fuller for longer and allowing your body to slowly absorb nutrients to decrease blood sugar spikes that are followed by an increase in insulin levels.
Soluble fiber can also feed the bacteria in your gut that help your body to function efficiently, which can improve your gut health and help to reduce your insulin resistance.
Fiber from whole foods has shown to be much more efficient at reducing insulin levels and helping with insulin sensitivity than fiber from supplements, but the research is not conclusive yet.
8. Get Rid Of Sugar
Sugar might just be the most important thing to steer clear of if you are trying to lower your insulin levels.
In a recent study where people ate either candy or peanuts, the group that consumed the candy had 31% higher levels of fasting insulin compared to only 12% in the peanut group.
Fructose is commonly found in table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, agave, and honey. People who consume large amounts of this fructose show elevated levels of insulin resistance, which causes insulin levels to remain higher than average.
In a study that had people consume 50 grams of table sugar, honey, or high fructose corn syrup for 14 days showed that there were similar insulin responses across the entire study.
9. Intermittent Fasting
It has to become a recent trend in the fitness world to fast intermittently and is very popular among weight loss enthusiasts.
The research that exists shows that it has promise in reducing insulin levels as affectively as setting sailing calorie restrictions.
Research has shown that obese women lost significant amounts of weight and had other health improvements when eating on calorie-restricted intermittent fasting or fasting on a liquid diet only. But only the liquid diet significantly reduced fasting insulin levels.
Another method of fasting involves only eating on alternating days. This means you have to fast or dramatically reduce your calories one day, and then you can typically eat the next day. There have been some studies that have shown this to be effective in lowering insulin.
Some people find intermittent fasting beneficial and something that can positively affect their health, but it doesn't work for everyone, and in some people, it can cause problems with low blood sugars.
10. Get Rid of Those Refined Carbs
Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced society, Refined and processed carbs are a staple of everyone's daily diet.
Even with research showing that in animals and humans, this dietary lifestyle can lead to some severe health complications. Two of these happen to increase insulin and weight gain. These refined carbs also have very high glycemic indexes.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement scale that defines the capacity of a specific food to increase blood sugar. The glycemic load of food accounts for the foods index score and the number of digestible carbs that are contained in a single serving.
Numerous studies have compared foods that have different glycemic loads to see how they affected insulin levels.
It was discovered that eating a diet of high glycemic foods will raise your insulin more than eating a similar-sized portion of lower glycemic load food. This is true even if the carb level is the same.
11. Lose That Stubborn Belly Fat
The fat around your belly, otherwise known as visceral or abdominal fat, has been linked to many different health problems.
Having too much fat around your abdomen can promote inflammation and insulin resistance, which in turn causes hyperinsulinemia.
There has been research about decreasing belly fat, and it has shown that having higher levels of this belly fat can make a stark difference in insulin sensitivity and your available insulin levels.
Interestingly enough, one study showed that people who managed to lose this abdominal fat retained the benefits of insulin sensitivity even after gaining some of the fatback, which shows that only the smallest changes can make vast differences.
The downside is that people with his insulin levels often find it very difficult to use this weight. Those with the highest levels not only lose weight slower but also were more susceptible to gaining it back over time. But there are things you can do to lose belly fat, and if you can manage to keep it off or only gain a small amount of it back, you will be in much better shape with insulin levels.
12. Drink Green Tea
It is a well-known fact around the world that green tea is a remarkably healthy beverage.
It has incredibly high levels of an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
There have been several studies that have suggested it can help fight insulin resistance and can increase insulin sensitivity.
In a different study, people with high insulin levels consumed green tea supplements had and showed a small decrease in insulin levels over 12 months. While the people who took a placebo had increased levels of insulin.
13. Fatty Fish Is Healthy
There are numerous reasons to consume fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and anchovies. P.S. Its not because of the taste or smell.
These fish are full of protein and are the best source of long-chain omega-3 fats that are needed by the human body and provide numerous benefits.
There have been studies that have shown that omega-3's can also help to reduce insulin resistance in people with obesity, PCOS, and gestational diabetes.
In a study of obese children and adolescents showed that fish oil supplements had a significant role to play in reducing insulin resistance and triglyceride levels.
14. Get the Right Amount and Type of Protein
Consuming adequate protein at meals can be beneficial for controlling your weight and insulin levels.
In one study, overweight older women had lower insulin after consuming a high-protein breakfast compared to a low-protein breakfast. They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories at lunch.
However, protein does stimulate insulin production so that your muscles can take up amino acids. Therefore, eating very high amounts will lead to higher levels of insulin.
Besides, some types of protein appear to cause more significant insulin responses than others. One study found that whey and casein protein in dairy products raised insulin levels even higher than bread in healthy people.
However, the insulin response to dairy proteins may be somewhat individual.
One recent study found that insulin increased similarly in obese men and women after meals containing beef or dairy.
Another study in obese adults showed a high-dairy diet led to higher fasting insulin levels than a high-beef diet.
The Stark Truth
No matter what you might think about blood sugar control. Having elevated 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 improve your quality of life.
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