menopause diet blog

Time for a Change

Day 88: 4 Surprising Things that Increase Insulin Levels

on September 2, 2013

Keeping insulin levels low is one of the main premises of this diet. It is why this diet (and many others) restricts carbs – put simply… because carbohydrates are digested into sugars whose presence in the bloodstream cause levels of insulin to rise… and insulin makes our fat burn/fat store gauge switch to ‘store’. – which we do not want!

Stress: This is not always an easy one to control but be aware that  when a person is stressed their adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. This tells the liver to release sugar into the blood stream in preparation for fighting or fleeing, which in turn results in the pancreas releasing insulin to bring blood sugar levels back down. When this happens on a constant basis, the elevated insulin stores fat from the food you take in.

Artificial Sweeteners and Zero Calorie Fizzy Drinks: People think that by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners they will prevent an insulin spike, however many studies have found the hormonal response to both sugar and artificial sweeteners to be the same. Notwithstanding the fact that most products containing artificial sweeteners are usually also chock full of other nasty fake chemical ingredients.

Chewing Gum: In addition to the artificial sweeteners present in most brands of chewing gum, the constant chewing may cause insulin levels to rise because the body is expecting to receive food and nutrients, so it releases insulin in anticipation of the digestive work it must perform. Even though no food enters the stomach, insulin levels stay up.

Caffeine: Caffeine results in an insulin spike, even black or unsweetened.   Try to completely avoid coffee, tea, fizzy drinks to keep insulin levels in check. Drink only herbal tea and water until weight loss is achieved.

Food Diary Day 88:

Breakfast: menopause muesli

Lunch: Smoked salmon and steamed broccoli – this is a version of one of my favourite Yo Sushi dishes. Simple and quick to make. Dress with soy sauce and mirin.

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Dinner: Felafels and ready made edamame bean salad, stewed apple and blackberries with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt

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Drinks & Snacks: herbal tea, 3 mini pittas and hummus, slice of cheese and parma ham, 5 squares dark chocolate

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