Increasing Insulin Sensitivity

As a Type-2, I need to do all I can to help my body work as efficiently as possible with the limited insulin my pancreas makes. Through experience, trial and error and research these are the strategies I use.

Supplements

I have written about some of the following supplements. The others will get their own posts in due course:

  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Bitter Melon
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Resveratrol
  • Evening Primrose
  • Gymnema Sylvestre
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics
  • Apple cider vinegar

Diet

Obviously, the keto diet minimises the need for insulin. However, there are some foods I eat that supposedly help with insulin resistance. One of the argument seems to be that these foods have anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory properties that, in turn, promote insulin sensitivity. Still, I cannot eat these foods with reckless abandon or my blood sugar will go up:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts

In contrast, there are many foods that I avoid beyond the obvious ones because they likely promote insulin resistance with me.

Carrying Fat

Being overweight increases insulin resistance. Fortunately, since adopting the paleo-lifestyle my weight has dropped massively. I’m guessing I’m somewhere around seven percent body fat today. My weight is just below 12 stone (168 lbs). I used to be over 15 stone (210 lbs).

Exercise

This is one of the most important “planks” in my lifestyle and key to reducing insulin resistance. My regimen is a mix of walking, jogging, sprinting and resistance training. When I first started paleo, I followed Mark Sisson’s programme of lifting heavy things once a week. I’ve upped that to three to five days per week now. Why? Because I have found that resistance training has a very powerful and positive effect on my blood glucose. The jury is in and resistance training is key to improving insulin sensitivity.

Fasting

I’ve written tons on fasting, and its benefits for me. There many advocates out there who argue fasting improves insulin sensitivity. This is a regular part of my lifestyle through meal skipping and multi-day fasts.

Sleep

I wrote about this one the other day. Suffice to say, getting a good night’s sleep every night improves insulin sensitivity.

Conclusion

You can see from the above that I have to juggle a lot of balls to maximise my insulin sensitivity and overall health. Is it hard? Not really. One minor difficulty is the fact that I’m taking so many supplements that occasionally one or two fall through the cracks. For instance, I haven’t been taking apple cider vinegar as much as I should lately. The reason? It’s in a different cupboard than the rest of my supplements, and I simply fell out of the habit of drinking it. Shame on me.

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