How to resist insulin resistance… be sensitive to insulin sensitivity

meditationDemonstrating how easy it is to increase insulin sensitivity by de-stressing

Last week we talked about the main cause of insulin resistance (consuming too much sugar) ,and some of the health risks associated with it. If you missed it, here’s the link.

 

What I failed to touch on last week is just how insane this problem is. As of 2011, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, that’s 8.3%... and 79 million have prediabetes, which is over 25% of us! These numbers are rising quickly and are guaranteed to be worse today. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of the problem, which means that the vast majority of diabetes is within our control.

 

Below we will look at several things that have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity (decrease insulin resistance). Going into a lot of detail on each of the following points would have made this article too long to digest in one sitting.

 

Sugar / Fructose

We covered a lot of this in the first article. One of the best things...

Insulin, an 1825% Increase in Sugar, and You

factory
A basic understanding of the role insulin plays in the body will demystify and change your relationship with the foods you eat, especially sugar. Everyone knows they should eat fewer carbs and most have some idea about things like insulin, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes… yet there’s a disconnect.  

While there is an amazingly elegant cascade of chemical and cellular reactions that allows insulin to do what it does, we will benefit much more from understanding what it does rather than how it does it.

 

I like to think of the body as a massive factory. The blood vessels are the hallways, the organs are departments, the cells are the rooms within the departments where all the real work gets done, and insulin are the workers responsible for managing the fuel supply. Insulin has several responsibilities, but for the sake of this discussion, we are going to focus on three of them.

 
  1. Keep the glucose fuel at the right level in the hallways

  2. Maintain a steady supply of...

13 Ways To Support Your Heart (only unlucky if you don’t read this)

heart

Unlucky 13?  Nope, the folks that ignore this list are the unlucky ones.  Even if you just pick one or two of these to focus on right now, your heart will thank you.

 

Dark Chocolate

Flavanols in cocoa have been shown to decrease blood pressure, make our blood platelets less sticky, and increase blood flow to the heart and brain.  (enjoy some real dark chocolate… no, not the stuff in your kids Halloween bag)

 

Magnesium

A major study that looked at 7,664 people over 10.5 years found that those with the lowest levels of urinary magnesium were 70% more like to die from heart disease.  Good food sources include: spinich, kale, kelp, almonds, brown rice, flaxseeds, beens, avocado, walnuts, salmon, yogurt, bananas, and dark chocolate.  (get at least 400mg per day)

 

Stress

The mind-body connection is not just some treehugger talk.  Stress has very real effects on our body and body chemistry.  Stress can increase cortisol levels, raise blood pressure, disrupt sleep, and increase insulin resistance.  Did you know that...

Skin: Take Control of Premature Aging

aging skin
Let’s get right to the nitty gritty. There are several very well documented causes of premature aging and good science beyond what we all can do to stop, or even reverse those effects. You’ll notice that a lot of these overlap. I’m not going into detail, but tobacco use and excess alcohol can both be major contributors to premature aging of the skin.  

Too Much Sun

A little sun is great and allows our bodies to produce much needed Vitamin D. Over time, too much sun exposure can lead to premature aging in several ways. The primary way is by damaging collagen (firmness) and elastin (elasticity). It does this by increasing an enzyme responsible for degrading collagen called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). If that’s not enough, it can increase inflammation, damage DNA, damage keratinocytes, and increase oxidative stress by decreasing antioxidant levels in the skin.

 

Too Much Sugar

Ok, so you already knew about the sun, but have you ever heard of glycation? Diets high in sugar can cause problems that...

Vitamin D and Aging

This study looked at 2 age groups; 55 to 65 (725 people) and 65 to 88 (1237 people). The idea was that since vitamin D is directly connected to muscle health, would the resulting decrease in muscle affect people’s ability to do normal things like; dressing, walking up or down stairs, cutting their toenails, standing from a sitting position, driving their car, or walking for 5 minutes.

 

After factoring for things like age, physical activity, and chronic disease, they looked at two vitamin D subgroups… those with vitamin D blood serum levels <20 ng/ml (deficient) and >30 ng/ml. The vitamin D deficient folks from both age groups had significantly greater number of physical limitations after the follow-up period (3 years for the older group and 6 years for the younger group).

 

It’s very common for people, especially the further north you live, to be under 20 ng/ml. Even if you are taking a vitamin D supplement, you should be tested.

...

The Quest for Optimal Health…

taichi

 

The goal of this article is to explain the purpose behind what I write for you.

 

Nearly all of the topics I write about are aligned with the goal of Optimal Health.  I define Optimal Health simply as the best state of body and mind possible, with respect to factors that are truly within our control.

 

Optimal Health is a personal quest that has nothing do with how much you can bench press or how fast you can run a 5K.  The Optimal Health for the 18 year old athlete is different than the Optimal Health of a 76 year old person diagnosed with cancer.  It changes as we change, but there’s always an Optimal Health level at each stage of our lives.

 

We live, we die, and our level of health effects every aspect of our lives in between. If it’s so obviously important, why are so many people living in health poverty?  That’s an extremely complicated question, but here are some big factors:

 

1. Information -...

What the Heck is the ALCAT Food Sensitivity Test and Why Should I Care?

VeggiesMasahiro Ihara

This is a universal issue that we all need to be aware of.  Sensitivities to foods and other substances cause a reaction by our immune system and over time, this can result in a host of problems.  

Even though we sell the Alcat test, please don’t dismiss this as a sales letter... you never have to take the test to benefit from this article!  Below, I will cover:

  1. What is a food sensitivity and how can it affect me?

  2. How does the Alcat test work?

  3. What can I do today, even if I don’t take the test?

 

What is a food sensitivity and how can it affect me?

If you learn just one thing from this article, then let it be this... you can be sensitive to anything you put in or on your body.  The results of that sensitivity can be subtle and delayed, making it very tricky to figure out.  However, just being aware to the fact that you could be sensitive...

2 Minute Look at the Mediterranean Diet – Can it Lower Cardiovascular Risk?

Mediterranean dietnitdoggx

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of a clinical trial that asked the question; Does eating a Mediterranean diet reduce the likelihood of having a cardiovascular event in people with high risk factor?

 

The trial included 7447 people age 55 to 80 (57% women) and spanned 4.8 years. None of the participants had known heart problems before the trial began, but all of them were at risk. This meant that everyone in the study had either Type II Diabetes or at least 3 cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, high LDL, low HDL, overweight, family history, or smoking).

 

Everyone was split into one of three groups: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control diet (just advised to reduce dietary fat).

 

When the dust settled and they excluded the ones that didn’t stick to the diet, they found that the folks eating a Mediterranean diet had a 29% lower risk...

CoQ10 – Ubiquitous Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone… say that 3 times fast!

Just one of the two amazing jobs this supplement does is enough to land it on the Fab Five list.
First, let’s talk about energy... on a cellular level. Your computer runs on electricity, your car runs on gas and your cells (therefore your body) run on ATP. Much like the other fuel sources, ATP needs to be processed and is consumed. But instead of one power plant producing enough electricity to power millions of computers, your body is equipped with a power plant in each cell to produce ATP. Yep, we have trillions of little power plants using the calories we eat to produce the ATP we need.

 photo by paraflyer

There are a number of processes the body uses to produce ATP, but the main one by far is called the Krebs Cycle and CoQ10 is required. The Krebs Cycle is an amazingly elegant and complex system that creates about 30 units of ATP from just 1 glucose molecule. If CoQ10 is not...

Powerful Pills Of Resveratrol

It has been stated that red wine contains resveratrol which may extend life span. This chemical is naturally produced in plants and serves to help a stressed plant combat pathogens and return it to a normal state by acting like an antibiotic. Many plants and plant parts contain it including roots, vines, and stocks, but it is predominant in the skin of grapes. Because grape skins spend longer amounts of time during the making of red wine, it is considered to have more beneficial effects than its white counterpart. Due to its effects on free radicals, fats, and lipoproteins, red wine components have been touted as superior anti-oxidants. As an extension of these anti-oxidant properties, wine components are being examined for their anti-cancer capabilities. The plant antibiotic may be prevent blood platelets from clumping which in turn could prevent the blood clots that can cause heart attacks. It has properties that prevent extended damage of heart tissue following catastrophic events such as heart attacks. A lot of buzz has been generated about the chemical's benefit and now scientist, doctors, and consumers are looking...