Insulin is triggered by sugar. By knowing that, we can control its production through good eating habits. Avoiding peaks of sugar is essential, and that can be achieved by staying away from sugary foods, such as candy, soda, juice, high-sugar yogurt, etc.
Also be aware of the carbohydrates you include in your diet . The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and stores it as glucagon, in the liver and muscles, so that the body can get extra energy. This will cause blood sugar levels to rise, further inducing the production of insulin and creating a vicious cycle of trigger mechanisms. That means we need to find other sources of energy, other than sugar and carbohydrates. A suitable alternative is fat. It does not increase insulin levels in the bloodstream and it still provides the energy our body needs.
“So fueling our body for a long period of time, with more fat and less carbohydrates, switches our metabolism to a state called ketosis. When the body can not turn to glucose to obtain energy, it produces ketones from the ingested and stored fat, as a substitute for glucose. ”
You can test if your body is in ketosis by taking urine or blood samples. You can achieve this by restricting your carbohydrates up to 100 grams per day. Or, for an ultimate ketosis state, you can lower your intake into 25-30 grams per day. Some people, especially those who are already obese or those who almost completely cut out on their carbs, often feel disabled when switching to a low carbohydrate diet . Therefore, it’s recommended to lower the amount of carbs gradually, because, if you go from extremely high intakes of carbohydrates to extremely low, you may feel really bad. That is a result of the body switching to another enzyme, to be able to burn fat. It takes time for the body to get used to this change, so it’s extremely important that you gradually prepare your body to this change and not go directly to cutting carbs, at once. Also remember to not cut out on your carbs completely, at any stage of a diet . This is crucial to make sure you get all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs, to work properly. Vegetables and berries contain high levels of those nutrients, so they are a good source you can turn to.
Even though it’s necessary to combine fat levels, we can not survive on exclusively eating fat . We also need proteins, which are rich in B vitamins and composed by building blocks, called amino acids. Your body needs amino acids to build muscle fibers and other essential molecules. We can also use proteins as an energy source, but it is not by far, as effective as fat. Some proteins can, as a matter of fact, trigger insulin production. However, if you mix proteins with fat, insulin levels will decrease. Therefore, mixing fat with proteins is the ideal solution to reduce insulin peaks. It is also important to mention, that bad and processed fats, take a major part in starting inflammatory processes in our body, so you need to choose wisely the fats you eat.
Here are some examples of fat sources I recommend:
- Coconut fat;
- Olive oil;
- Oily fish;
- Chia seeds;
“Make sure not to limit your fat intake to only one source of fat, even though it might be healthy for you. Finding balance in your fat intake is important when consuming a high fat diet. We need to eat good fats, that do not get stored as fat in the liver, as visceral fat. We also need to eat a lot of greens, to get potassium, which helps to clean the fat from our body, as well as essential vitamins and minerals we need, to function in the best way possible. ”
Furthermore, we need to remove small snacks from our daily eating plan, even healthy ones. In order to decrease the number of insulin peaks during the day and stabilize blood sugar levels, we need to reduce the number of meals per day . As a bonus, this will also help intestinal bacteria, to live in a more balanced environment. I recommend 2-3 meals a day . If you are a very active person, 3 meals a day is the ideal for you. These meals should be consumed within a 6-10 hour period, during the day. Then you should not eat in 14-18 hours (clean coffee or tea are ok). By doing so, you will help intestinal bacteria recover, making sure to keep a high metabolism, in order to more effectively burn calories. This will be the subject in the next post. Stay tuned.
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