November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Food will always be our best medicine, and this is particularly the case with diabetes. Early intervention can stop this potentially debilitating disease in its tracks by making only a few changes in an individual’s eating and lifestyle habits. It is important to note that diabetes is not, in fact, a disease of blood sugar, but it’s actually a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling.
Insulin regulation plays such as an integral role in your health and longevity, that elevated levels are not only symptoms of diabetes, but other diseases as well (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease, obesity, and cancer).
Foods to Avoid: Sweets, sodas, juices, breads, pasta, cereals, rice, potatoes, and corn. You may also want to avoid or restrict fruit consumption until your blood sugar gets under control.
Top Foods to Consume: Moderate amounts of protein (high-quality meats, poultry, fish); low-starch vegetables (especially onions), raw nuts and seeds, olive oil and cinnamon.
Exercise. Exercise is one of the most powerful ways to lower insulin and leptin resistance.
Get plenty of high-quality omega-3 fats, such as those found in fish or krill oil.
Monitor your fasting insulin level: Every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar, your fasting insulin level should be checked (optimal insulin level should be between 2 and 4). The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is. Insulin levels are not typically included in most requested blood work from your doctor. Ask to have it included. Another test to determine insulin resistance, which has been recommended by Dr. Mogul, author of the book, “Syndrome W”, is the IGF Binding Protein-1 (IGFBP-1).
Remember that insulin resistance is a pre-diabetic state. Don’t be caught off-guard. Know your insulin level!