On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing tips on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance.
At the end of this post, I also share 5 simple tips to prevent blood sugar spikes and slow insulin production.
So I’ll first share a quick clip of my answer from 2012, then I’ll answer it again, with my more detailed thoughts today.
Viewer question: I’ve been reading about insulin spikes and ways to slow and prevent them. I’m looking for tips on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and slow the release of insulin. Should you drink apple cider vinegar with water before meals, especially if it’s a cheat meal? How do you reduce significant spikes in insulin? What tactics do you use?
First of all, I try to minimize insulin spikes by not eating the foods that cause it.
However, spikes in blood sugar and insulin can be beneficial after your workout.
So to do that, I use real whole foods such as maple syrup.
But if you’re having a cheat meal, and you earned it, I basically just say enjoy your cheat meal.
I don’t worry about it since it’s only happening on a rare occasion.
However, there are a few tricks that may help reduce blood sugar spikes, such as apple cider vinegar and cinnamon.
But again, I really don’t focus on it because if you’re only having a cheat meal once a week, enjoy your cheat meal.
For some people, cheat meals can actually be healthy for you because it can help replace the leptin hormone, and really help fire up your metabolism.
If you’re worried about preventing blood sugar spikes, apple cider vinegar and cinnamon may help.
Improving insulin resistance and preventing blood sugar spikes are two of the most important ways to improve your physique and overall health.
You can accomplish this by eating the right types of food, in the right quantities, at the right times, while also moving your body.
So before I share the tips to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance, let me briefly clarify what insulin is.
Insulin is a storing hormone that is produced by the pancreas primarily after eating carbohydrate rich foods.
I’ve often called insulin the fat storing hormone, but insulin can also help build muscle.
After eating carbohydrates, they get absorbed into the bloodstream, which elevates your blood sugar.
This increase in blood sugar creates a signal to your pancreas to produce insulin, which then helps process the blood sugar.
When you’re healthy, the insulin helps the cells in your body absorb the blood sugar.
This is then used for immediate energy or stored as short-term energy, in the form of glycogen, in the muscle cells.
Problems occur when your cells become less receptive to insulin.
This is often referred to as insulin resistance.
Think of it as if there was a lock on the door to your cells.
When you are insulin sensitive, which is the opposite of insulin resistant, the insulin unlocks the door to the cells so the blood sugar can be burned for energy.
However, when you are insulin resistant, the blood sugar doesn’t enter the cells, so the pancreas keeps producing more insulin to help remove the blood sugar.
If you’re wondering if you are suffering from insulin resistance, you can get a blood glucose test at most pharmacies.
Blood glucose test levels:
The cells in your body are made up of two layers of fat.
Depending on your diet, these layers will be comprised of healthy fat and unhealthy fat.
When your diet is rich in healthy fat, like omega 3 fatty acids, the locks on the cells doors become easier to open as they are more sensitive to insulin.
This is good.
However, if your diet is high in unhealthy trans fats or refined vegetable oils, your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is out of whack, the cells may become more resistant to insulin.
Now that you know what insulin is, let’s get to the tips on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance.
Foods higher in carbohydrates tend to have a higher glycemic index rating, thus causing spikes in blood sugar.
Eating foods primarily higher in protein and fat do not cause these blood sugar spikes.
If you are eating higher glycemic carbohydrates, one tip is to pair it with a food high in protein or fat, as it can help minimize the spike in blood sugar and insulin.
Plus, adding cinnamon to your oatmeal can help manage the blood sugar spikes.
When you burn more energy in the day, your glycogen levels can replenish with more sugar.
If glycogen levels are already full, excess sugar can be stored in the fat cells.
Although any type of movement, including walking 10,000 steps a day helps, lifting weights and HIIT workouts are optimal for improving insulin sensitivity, since they require a lot of energy.
Just move more.
Go take our quick Live Lean Body Quiz to find the best program for you, based on your goals, fitness level, and access to equipment.
Today’s standard American diet, known as the SAD diet, is low in omega 3 fats.
As mentioned, omega 3 fats help your cells become more receptive to the blood sugar, thus requiring less insulin.
When eating higher glycemic carbohydrates, combine them with these foods to help improve insulin sensitivity.
For example, drink some lemon water or take a shot of apple cider vinegar before eating a high carbohydrate meal.
The blood sugar spikes in carbohydrates high in resistant starch are decreased.
You can increase the resistant starch in carbohydrates by cooking them, then re-heating them.
For example, cook a potato, then let it cool down.
Then when you’re ready to eat, re-heat it.
The resistant starch is also good for the healthy bacteria in your stomach.
I get it.
This may all seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.
This is why we created our TeamLiveLean.com platform.
We provide you with access to the right workouts and weekly meal plans containing delicious recipes, cooking videos, and grocery lists.
Following a proven, step-by-step plan, along with others who are just like you is key.
As your coaches, we invite you to join our TeamLiveLean.com community.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.