3

votes

improving insulin sensitivity

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 07, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I decided to start testing my blood sugar. I am non-diabetic but overweight. 1) as a non-scale way of measuring my progress 2) I like to collect data anyway 3) I think seeing the stark numbers will reinforce dietary discipline. When I am good, I am very very good. When I am bad, I am horrid :)

After a month of sliding further and further away from clean-eating, I tested my fasting blood sugar this morning. I actually tested it after several hours of being awake as I need to replace the batteries in a borrowed meter. I had already gone to crossfit.

My result: 95. How long does it typically take to see improvement in this? I am waiting for my 1-hr post breakfast test. I figure I will test a LOT during this first week to establish a pattern, and then maybe once a week or so.

What is the most important number to keep track of, for overall health purposes? My fasting or my time it takes for blood sugar to return to fasting levels?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on December 27, 2012
at 01:40 AM

Sucrose is nothing more than fructose bonded to glucose. We have a very nice enzyme that cleaves that bond called sucrase. tl;dr if you eat sucrose, you are eating fructose. The same way as if you were to eat "complex carbs" they're broken down into glucose and you'd be effectively eating a bowl of sugar whenever you ate a bowl of pasta (plus gluten, gliadin, phytates and other toxins, etc.)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 22, 2012
at 02:48 PM

@ Mscott- Here's one article http://www.ergo-log.com/monounsaturatedfatboostsepoc.html

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on December 22, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I'm curious about you saying palm oil being very hard to burn at rest. Do you mean like it reduces fatty acid oxidation oxidation or something else...?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 21, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Oh, okay- physiologic. Thanks for the clarification and the other info.

489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 10:41 PM

The insulin resistance that is from low-carb is physiologic. It is similar to how people who eat high carb have issues when going low carb, the ketones initially spike because their body has a hard time using them. Then the machinery to use them ramps up and the ketones drop to a more consistent level. It is not pathological or permanent, it is just the body not producing stuff it does not need. There is some evidence that this "resting" of the insulin-glucose system can help reset it.

489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 10:35 PM

I have not found anything that is a 50/50 mix, but in the study I posted the people did eat ad-lib for a while, so they most likely had some glucose, in addition, they did not say the were low-carb otherwise, and most non-sugar carbs are glucose after digestion. So the high fructose group was not only fructose. And I doubt the glucose group had no fructose, so it was a difference in proportions, not just one or the other. It would be interesting to see if there is a tipping point. It might (most likely) be different for different people.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on December 21, 2012
at 10:16 PM

So fructose causes more insulin resistance than glucose, but does sucrose cause more insulin resistance than glucose? Not trying to play Devil's advocate, just curious if you know of any links similar to the one you posted above.

489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 09:04 PM

High morning blood sugar is a sign that the liver was making too much during the night. This is usually because the liver insulin resistance. Eating kicks in enough processes to lower the blood sugar to normal. It is quite common.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 07, 2012
at 09:30 PM

There's a few sites about "eating to the meter" but they are aimed at diabetics (I am not diabetic but have PCOS insulin resistance). There's a book "The Glucometer: A self Empowerment Tool to a Healthy and Lean Body", but it was not super helpful. She recommends testing 90 minutes after eating (on the theory that your BG should have returned to the pre-meal level by then), but that didn't catch my peaks. By 90 minutes my BG can drop significantly if I ate something that spiked it too much, so it looks like I'm fine when I'm not really tolerating that food too well.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 07, 2012
at 09:25 PM

Important question -- you said you had already been to Crossfit *before* you tested your fasting blood glucose. How much time had passed after your workout and before you tested? Intense workouts can raise cortisol levels, which would secondarily raise your blood glucose levels, *even in the absence of eating carbohydrate.* So your "normal" fasting levels might not be as high as you think.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:34 PM

^ The first of two studies I've found suggesting that calorie restriction alone restores beta cell function. Right, diabetes aren't that way because of "carbs"- they're that way because they eat too much.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:33 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168743/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Eating LCHF does not improve insulin sensitivity- it is a band aide (hence, your blood sugar swings when you eat carbs). Truly healing diabetes/pre diabetes would be being symptom free (normal blood sugar) upon aggravation (carb consumption). It is not being symptom free in the absence of aggravation. Calorie restricted diets with carbs making up 50%+ of calories have been shown clinically to restore beta cell function in T2 diabetes and allow them to come off of their medications in only 2 short months

5623f2e264246a497fce7c4a7e00f6d2

(218)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Good idea about testing every 15 minutes after a meal initially. I tested an hour-ish after eating and I am at 80. That's confusing. I thought one hour later it will be higher. (my meal had about 7.75g total carbs in it, 45 g of fat). Maybe my fasting glucose was taken way to late as, according to some sites, your body starts to manufacture glucose upon waking. Are there any website devoted to non-diabetic monitoring that are good?

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4 Answers

1
489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 09:14 PM

The things that I think help:

Cut back on fructose. If you must sweeten use a glucose syrup. I posted this article on another thread, fructose does cause more insulin resistance then glucose: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385

Fast sometimes. I like the article posted above.

No grains. Grains->gut damage->leaky gut->things in your blood stream that should not be there, and thus are given to your liver to handle->liver (and other) inflammation. Anything else that causes inflammation in you should also be avoided. Some things like grains are common though. Be nice to your liver.

Low carb, not no-carb. Don't stress the insulin-glucose system, but let it get a little work.

No artificial sweeteners. They cause an insulin response in many people, and you want to lower insulin. One of the things behind insulin resistance is that there is too much insulin around. Think of it like background noise, if you live near the train tracks, you stop hearing the train. If your cell always have lots of insulin around, they down-regulate their insulin receptors.

Exercise. Especially if you lift weights. This up-regulates the insulin receptors. Your cells use energy and get hungry.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on December 21, 2012
at 10:16 PM

So fructose causes more insulin resistance than glucose, but does sucrose cause more insulin resistance than glucose? Not trying to play Devil's advocate, just curious if you know of any links similar to the one you posted above.

489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 10:35 PM

I have not found anything that is a 50/50 mix, but in the study I posted the people did eat ad-lib for a while, so they most likely had some glucose, in addition, they did not say the were low-carb otherwise, and most non-sugar carbs are glucose after digestion. So the high fructose group was not only fructose. And I doubt the glucose group had no fructose, so it was a difference in proportions, not just one or the other. It would be interesting to see if there is a tipping point. It might (most likely) be different for different people.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on December 27, 2012
at 01:40 AM

Sucrose is nothing more than fructose bonded to glucose. We have a very nice enzyme that cleaves that bond called sucrase. tl;dr if you eat sucrose, you are eating fructose. The same way as if you were to eat "complex carbs" they're broken down into glucose and you'd be effectively eating a bowl of sugar whenever you ate a bowl of pasta (plus gluten, gliadin, phytates and other toxins, etc.)

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on December 21, 2012
at 08:02 PM

  1. exercise: yeah it sucks, but you HAVE to move in order to be healthy. If you really want the full effect, HIIT and resistance training (bodyweight or free weights, whatever) are best for improving insulin sensitivity within the muscle cells. Low intensity cardio (like long, brisk walks) is great for dropping fat, which further improves insulin function.
  2. eliminate ALL NADS: This means reducing omega-6 LA as much as possible (personally, I think reducing and possibly eliminating all nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil is a good idea too). Don't eat grains/beans/legumes, and eat fruit sparingly and only if you are already insulin sensitive and athletic. If you are currently insulin resistant, don't consume alcohol, even the supposedly healthy red wine. I'd eliminate it. If you are lean, athletic, and healthy- then it's your choice but use good judgement.
  3. eat carbs: But eat them wisely. If you go for too long in a very low carb diet, your body will decrease it's carbohydrate metabolism enzymatic activity, and it is generally accepted that the standard protocol high-fat VLC ketogenic diet produces pathologic (or is it physiologic? I get confused) insulin resistance. kind of like the "use it or lose it" thing, just don't abuse it. Ideally, carb back load or time your carbs within your workout time frame where you are most insulin sensitive. Ideally, do both. Also, favor starches over fruit, as they contain the most natural form of carbohydrate (glucose) that our bodies require (perhaps in significant amounts, depending on your metabolism and activities).
  4. consume r-ALA: I'm highly insulin sensitive and even I consume 150mg of r-ala with my post workout carbs. It helps with carbohydrate transport without requiring additional insulin production. If you weight train or do HIIT, this means getting glucose into the muscle cells.
  5. don't get fat AND don't get skinny with no muscle mass Strive to build a lean and athletic physique that is powerful. If you are concerned only with aesthetics, personally I believe aesthetics come secondary to athleticism. It's just athleticism with a good diet that creates a reasonably low body fat percentage.
  6. Get your beauty sleep Sleep is vital. Get it. I aim for 8-10 hours. And even then, I cat-nap anywhere and as often as possible, practically on command.

That's about all I can think of. That basically narrows it down to a true paleo diet- meat/fish (organs if you can get high quality ones), eggs, roots, vegetables (green ones and starchy roots/tubers), coconut milk/manna/oil. I guess palm oil and butter are fine too, but I don't use them. From what I understand palm oil is fairly low in o-6 and high in certain tocopherols. But palm oil is hard for our bodies to burn for energy at rest, at least, according to some studies. MCTs are very easy to use for energy, and apparently omega 3s from fish oil are as well...but I don't recommend supplementing. Rather, eat some seafood now and again.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 21, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Oh, okay- physiologic. Thanks for the clarification and the other info.

489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 10:41 PM

The insulin resistance that is from low-carb is physiologic. It is similar to how people who eat high carb have issues when going low carb, the ketones initially spike because their body has a hard time using them. Then the machinery to use them ramps up and the ketones drop to a more consistent level. It is not pathological or permanent, it is just the body not producing stuff it does not need. There is some evidence that this "resting" of the insulin-glucose system can help reset it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 22, 2012
at 02:48 PM

@ Mscott- Here's one article http://www.ergo-log.com/monounsaturatedfatboostsepoc.html

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on December 22, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I'm curious about you saying palm oil being very hard to burn at rest. Do you mean like it reduces fatty acid oxidation oxidation or something else...?

0
A5127d60bca783084f191f38ffa357a6

on December 21, 2012
at 09:03 PM

To answer your last question your number should be involved with time of day/time since last meal/what kind of meal.

Check this out http://www.foodloversdiet-s.com/blood-sugar-levels-chart.html

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 07, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Fasting is useful. My blood sugar climbs until I eat in the morning, which is kind of interesting. When my FBGs creep up either I'm not eating well or not getting enough sleep.

I tested in 15 minute increments after eating for a few days to identify when I typically peak--everyone is different. Now I know when to test to see if a particular food causes a spike in BG--that's what I'm looking for. Normally my post meal BG's run 90 to 110 or so. If higher, something I ate is too carby for me.

I follow a LCHF Paleo diet. So 98% of the time my BGs are boringly good--that means I only have to test if trying out something I don't usually eat, or I'm not feeling "right". Occasionally I'll have hypoglycemia, either waiting too long to eat (10+ hours) or because some carby thing spiked and then dropped my blood sugar. At that point the meter is useful to tell me that I messed up (eg, husband forgot to tell me he put wheat flour in zucchini fritters) and that my BG is low but not seriously low (I have symptoms around 70 mg/DL).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:33 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168743/

5623f2e264246a497fce7c4a7e00f6d2

(218)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Good idea about testing every 15 minutes after a meal initially. I tested an hour-ish after eating and I am at 80. That's confusing. I thought one hour later it will be higher. (my meal had about 7.75g total carbs in it, 45 g of fat). Maybe my fasting glucose was taken way to late as, according to some sites, your body starts to manufacture glucose upon waking. Are there any website devoted to non-diabetic monitoring that are good?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Eating LCHF does not improve insulin sensitivity- it is a band aide (hence, your blood sugar swings when you eat carbs). Truly healing diabetes/pre diabetes would be being symptom free (normal blood sugar) upon aggravation (carb consumption). It is not being symptom free in the absence of aggravation. Calorie restricted diets with carbs making up 50%+ of calories have been shown clinically to restore beta cell function in T2 diabetes and allow them to come off of their medications in only 2 short months

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:34 PM

^ The first of two studies I've found suggesting that calorie restriction alone restores beta cell function. Right, diabetes aren't that way because of "carbs"- they're that way because they eat too much.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 07, 2012
at 09:30 PM

There's a few sites about "eating to the meter" but they are aimed at diabetics (I am not diabetic but have PCOS insulin resistance). There's a book "The Glucometer: A self Empowerment Tool to a Healthy and Lean Body", but it was not super helpful. She recommends testing 90 minutes after eating (on the theory that your BG should have returned to the pre-meal level by then), but that didn't catch my peaks. By 90 minutes my BG can drop significantly if I ate something that spiked it too much, so it looks like I'm fine when I'm not really tolerating that food too well.

489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on December 21, 2012
at 09:04 PM

High morning blood sugar is a sign that the liver was making too much during the night. This is usually because the liver insulin resistance. Eating kicks in enough processes to lower the blood sugar to normal. It is quite common.

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