I want to talk about how to eat to improve your insulin sensitivity. Why 'slow' burning carbs are going to be one of your best sources of energy for weight loss and what types of low GI foods you should be including in your diet.
"You two, that muscle needs a little help, go top up his glycogen stores"
"You guys, stop hanging around, if you don't have anything to do go find some adipose tissue to hang out in"
With type 2 diabetes it's like blood sugar has decided to ignore the sergeants commands. Rather than listening to orders they just stay in the blood and eventually get peed out.
So sugar has been on my mind because my Dad has been introduced into a new reality of controlling blood sugar, adjusting his diet and making some lifestyle changes to try and reduce the impacts of diabetes. Diabetes has a very strong genetic link and so it's got me thinking both about ways I can reduce my risks and things I can suggest to my Dad to improve his overall health.
- Risk of Diabetes (healthline):
- one in seven, if one of your parents was diagnosed before the age of 50
- one in 13, if one of your parents was diagnosed after the age of 50
- one in two, if both your parents have diabetes
Glycemic index, as mentioned before, describes how big and how fast a blood sugar response you get from food. It's directly related to the carbohydrate content in a food and also related to fiber content (more fiber - less glycemic). GI is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 with 100 being the blood sugar response to pure
For example, popcorn has a very high glycemic index (72), but because there are relatively few grams of carbs per serving size (2 cups), it's glycemic load is relatively low. On the other hand a potato chip has a moderate GI (54) but in a serving you have quite a few carbs and so it's load is quite high (30).
There are tons of tables you can find on the internet. Here is one that I liked:
It's why most nutritionists will recommend you get at least 25 grams of fiber today. So if you're really feeling the hankering for one of those 'fast' acting food sources try and pair it with a good source of fiber.
The other consideration to make is that your body will be more insulin sensitive immediately following a workout. That means it's often best to save your high GI foods (rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes) for after a workout -- especially if you're trying to lose weight.
Choosing 'slow' burning carb sources can be very beneficial to long term health and it can also help your waistline. Keep a list of low GI foods taped on the inside of your pantry door, append it to your grocery list for the next time you go shopping. Make it a habit and you'll find yourself reaping the benefits today and in the future.
Live your best life