Less frequent glucose and insulin spikes means we: reduce cravings throughout the day, are less hungry between meals, reduce inflammation, slow down the aging process and improve mood and energy. Who doesn't want all of those incredible benefits? There are easy ways to "flatten the glucose curve" after every snack and meal throughout the day. I hope you enjoy these 5 hacks on how to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose spikes as much as I do.
1. Drink a Tall Glass of Water with a Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one of those ingredients that health gurus say you can use for basically everything from curing a sore throat to removing age spots, losing weight and even lowering blood sugar. While much more research needs to be done on the health benefits of this amazing drink, there have been a few studies that show some really promising results of regularly consuming ACV. Apple Cider Vinegar has acetic acid, which reduces cravings and lowers glucose spikes by up to 30%. Apple Cider Vinegar has also been shown to reduce appetite and if comsumed regularly, aid in weightless. A study of 175 people with obesity showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss.
2. Eat a Veggie Starter
Before every main dish, eat a small veggie starter. A side salad with a sugar free dressing or a few carrots sticks or marinated artichoke hearts will do the trick! The fiber in the veggies lines our intestines and thus lowers the amount of glucose that enters the body when we eat the rest of our meal. The more fiber we have in our food, the better - so avoid juicing, even fresh juices and smoothies because that breaks down or removes the much needed fiber. Nature created fruits and vegetables perfectly so eat them whole and enjoy!
3. Eat Your Food in the Correct Order
The order in which you eat your food matters! Recent studies have shown that eating our foods in a certain order can reduce the glucose spoke of the meal by up to 73% and the insulin spike by up to 48%. This is the order in which we should eat our food:
2. Fat and protein
3. Carbs and Sugars
The worst thing you can do is drink a fruit juice or sugary soda at the start of a meal because pure fructose like "high fructose corn syrup" found in most sodas, is the worst kind of sweetener for the body. Drinking sugar is especially damaging because it floods the system at such a high quantity and speed that our body is unable to process it properly and this can be very harmful to our liver and lead to rapid weight gain.
4. Move Your Body
Using your muscles at any point during the day is beneficial for lowering glucose levels but studies have shown that being active for as little as 10 minutes sometime between 20-60 minutes after finishing your meal can have a significant effect on your glucose levels. This is because our muscles actually absorb glucose!
5. Avoid Sweet Snacks!
Whatever you do, don't eat simple carbs or sweets as a snack! If you have to eat something sweet, save it for the dessert after eating your veggies, fats and proteins. Having sweets alone is the worst thing you can do as far as spiking your insulin goes. If you can't resist a sweet snack, combine it with another food high in healthy fats or proteins. For example, have a piece of chocolate with some nuts or a couple of spoons of plain 5% Greek Yogurt.
That's it! I promise if you start to incorporate any or all of these glucose lowering hacks into your daily routine, you will start to have more energy, less body fat, less cravings and a general feeling of wellbeing and positivity!
Until next time,
Dr. Alexes Hazen