There are many hormones that regulate human metabolism but which one is the master hormone, the most important one for longevity and avoiding chronic diseases?
Insulin is one of the oldest molecules in biology of life and the most important one. Insulin is released by beta cells in the pancreas. Every time we eat carbohydrates and they reach upper intestines, there is a signal to release insulin. As insulin surges in the bloodstream, our cells are getting ready to absorb glucose from the bloodstream and at the same time, fat cells are getting ready for storage mode. When our diet is too high in processed carbs and high fructose syrup, there is an excessive production of insulin. When there is too much of insulin circulating around, our cells become less sensitive and they do not react effectively nor accept more glucose. As a result, fat storage gets overwhelmed, hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia occur and that leads to full blown diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart diseases and cancer.
RESPECT YOUR INSULIN.
Study released in 2015 revealed that ALMOST ALL ADULT AMERICANS ARE NOW DIABETICS. There is no difference between prediabetes and diabetes; both should be treated as CARB INTOLERANCE. A lot of people have some level of insulin resistance although blood glucose levels could stay normal for a long period before full-blown diabetes is developed. That is why it is crucial to change the way glucose control and insulin status are checked at routine doctor’s appointments.
Fasting blood glucose is the only parameter doctors order and that particular one does not say a lot about glucose control. It can stay in normal range even when your body is already experiencing metabolic havoc and insulin resistance.
The best tests to add to check your blood glucose control are A1C and fasting insulin measure, for starter. A1c is a diagnostic test that shows three months average of blood glucose. It measures amount of glycated form of hemoglobin since the extra glucose molecules tend to bind with erythrocytes in the blood. A1C shows how good or bad was your diet in the last 3-4 months. Maintaining A1C below 5 is a good starting point to minimize occurrence of diabetes Type 2, heart disease, cancer and to prolong your life.
Fasting insulin levels are measured after fasting for at least eight hours. Normal level should be below 5, optimal below 3. Anything between 3-5 raises a red flag and call for action to change one’s diet.
If any of these parameters are not in a good range, there are additional test that can examine your insulin status deeper. Next step would be to order Kraft insulin test which is a timed test that measures insulin response to a glucose challenge over baseline of 4 hours.
Unfortunately, not even A1C is included in standard lab testing, it is ordered only if there is any concern, history of diabetes or per patient request. And when there is anything to be concerned about, unfortunately there is already full-blown diabetes.
Good news is that insulin resistance, prediabetes and even Type 2 diabetes can be reversed and kept under control with a good diet without medications. There are few simple rules to follow diet wise to keep your insulin low:
Avoid consuming processed carbs and processed vegetable oils.
Avoid consuming too much carb, even complex carbohydrates since they are all mostly made of glucose
Fill up your plate with protein and healthy fats, absolutely avoid carbs with fatty food combo
Avoid anything that is high fructose corn syrup; it has 70% of fructose which is mostly metabolized in the liver and can lead to its overload
Try to space out your meals, avoid snacking in between meals. Try to eat every 4-5 hours, try intermittent fasting or fasting for 24 hours. All those strategies improve insulin signaling and cells sensitivity to insulin.
Well formulated keto diet is the best diet to keep your insulin low and your body healthy and happy without inflammation. Keto diet calls for eliminating carbs, protein rich meals and incorporating healthy fats and it’s perfect for maintenance low insulin status.