Insulin Friendly Diet and Lifestyle

Insulin friendly diet and lifestyle....what does that mean?

We have been so locked in to the glucose driven model of diabetes and cardio-metabolic issues that it can be hard to think any other way. Glucose is toxic, that is why the body will stop in its tracks and burn it off when ever possible, to get it our of our system. Blood glucose levels are specifically relevant to our health depending on the metabolic state we are in. When we are a chronic sugar burner then the normal levels are 70-99 (but health deteriorates above 83). When we are fat adaptive and burning fat efficiently then that number can drop into the 50's making anything over 80 a problem. 

The true danger in high blood sugar is the correlative rise in insulin levels. The body can handle high blood glucose levels from time to time when there are times of very low levels, but chronically high exposure to glucose and its toxic effects eats away at the body from the inside out. The risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and heart disease come from the chronic exposure to high insulin levels long before the high blood sugar levels can do their damage. 

It is the chronic over exposure to insulin that literally frys our system and health. The answer, low insulin levels. How do we get these low insulin levels? A low insulin diet and lifestyle.....and here it is:

Low carb. Low over all carb diets beat low glycemic index diets when by a long shot. It is not about the glucose levels but the corresponding insulin levels and low carb overall keeps insulin low. Carbs trigger 23% of our insulin response. Protein is responsible for 10%. Fat has no effect. The rest of the 67% is from the incretin effect (think stomach hormones) and other cross hormonal reactions (think thyroid, cortisol, and brain chemistry).

SO, what does that mean? It means that there are foods and behaviors that are blood glucose friendly but terrorize insulin. For example:

Milk and yogurt...both are glucose mellow but insulin insulting

Red meat and white fish......again, no blood sugar rise but a very steep increase in insulin

Protein powders, grain products (bread), and processed foods....may not have a big glucose rush (initially) but will crank insulin

That said, sugars, grains and starches are the biggest offenders.....they should be avoided FIRST.

Meal timing and having gaps in between eating is the only thing that will allow insulin levels to come as important as what you it is when you eat....or don't.

A. Hyper stress response (cortisol) will throttle insulin
B. Poor night of poor sleep will increase insulin resistance
C. Anxiety...will immediately raise insulin levels
D. Slow and low cardio will promote sugar burning and free radical production....insulin and cortisol

- Medications...statins, anti-biotics, and thyroid meds all promote major insulin resistance
- Artificial sweeteners....mess up gut bacteria and cause metabolic issues
- Alcohol....sorry stresses our insulin/glucagon balance and decreases glutathione (a major anti-oxidant) and stops fat burning in its tracks

Ok, you still with me? Take the concepts above and put them into action as you can in your life and add these 3 modalities to help balance your neurological tone (the driving factor for this whole process):


Paces breathing

Body work....specifically chiropractic upper cervical adjustments

Now, mix this with the other concepts I post here and keep at it. Yes, there is a lot to learn, we are on this road together, let me know your insights and if mine are helping you.

Copyright © Dr. Don Clum


Aduro Population Health Director of Advanced Metabolic Programs