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Heart Disease & Insulin Resistance

Heart disease is the leading cause of death throughout the globe. Because it's so deadly, we are all concerned about what's causing the rise in heart disease. This is not just a problem in the United States, but throughout the world we are struggling with this disease that once was very rare.



 

More Troubling Statistics.

Each year roughly 10 million people die from cancer, 20 million people die from heart disease. Around 50 million people globally have Alzheimer's disease and...

Almost a half a billion of us have diabetes.


  • 50% of men over 45 have less than optimal testosterone levels.

  • 10% of women experience menstrual issues or infertility.

  • Hypertension is present in nearly half of Americans - 122 million in fact in ages 20 years and up.

  • 50% of adults have elevated LDL levels, nearly 94 million qualify as needing statins.

  • Systemic inflammation has affected more than 35% of adults today.

Heart Health.

Today, I'd like to shine a light on the correlation between insulin resistance and heart disease. Along with these common considerations like; smoking, alcohol, elevated cholesterol, lack of exercise and too much belly fat, there is one major contributor that rarely gets talked about - insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance and cardiovascular disorders are almost inseparable.

When heart disease is present, so is insulin resistance and the many conditions that affect our heart and blood vessels. The heart relies on glucose as it's main fuel source and when insulin resistance is present, it comprises the heart's ability to take in and use glucose. Because of this, the heart begins to suffer from a lack of energy and nutrients.

Heart disease is indeed complicated and there's no single variable more relevant to heart disease than insulin resistance.

Any successful efforts to reduce our high risk of heart disease must begin with addressing insulin resistance.

So Many Conflicting Messages.

What we choose to eat can have the most powerful impact in addressing insulin resistance. This is totally within your control and you do not need any medications. But, it's also hard to change, especially with all the conflicting messages around what's healthy and what's harmful.

What we are told to eat is more about bending science to fit the current political climate.

Demonizing fat was popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s as the urgency to address heart disease shadowed the scientific process. Soon, some correlations became the causation and a theory became dogma. We are still digging out of this nightmare of fearing fat and embracing abundant carbohydrate consumption.

Calories in, calories out model is another example of not considering that we are far more complicated than a "furnace". Calorie expenditure as a math equation is very different than factoring in our humanity.

When we eat, the nutrients affect the body's hormones, particularly insulin, and it's this subsequent insulin effect that drives insulin resistance, fat gain, and eventually disease.

Meat is harmful to the enviornment and to us is a newer message that has caused a lot of confusion and sent us running to carbohydrates to fill our plates. This increases our blood glucose levels, which in turn signals more insulin delivery, and eventually makes us even more insulin resistant.

What Can I Do?

  • Begin your day with a savory breakfast that contains enough protein [25 gr.], quality fats and some complex carbohydrates found in leafy greens like spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, or your favorite low-carb veggie. Breakfast should sustain you at least 3-4 hours. If you find yourself hungry sooner, increase your protein.

  • Sit down and eat a real lunch. Stop grabbing crackers, nuts, a piece of cheese or something sweet to "tide" you over and if you're hungry, then make it a balanced meal that contains adequate protein - 25 gr., quality fats and complex carbohydrates.

  • Eat dinner early. Our body utilizes food best during daylight hours. We have better insulin sensitivity thus less chance of storing our food as fat. Schedule dinner 4 hours before bedtime because it will improve your sleep and allow your body to do the important clean-up throughout the night.

  • Hydrate well. Sometimes we think we need to eat when we are just thirsty. Aim to drink half your ideal body weight in ounces each day. Make sure your water is filtered with added electrolytes. You can add a small pinch of a quality sea salt to each glass of water or use an electrolyte supplement like LMNT.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night. Just like babies, we will flourish on a set schedule of waking and sleeping. When we sleep well our blood sugar is more stable. To improve your sleep, aim for bedtime before 11pm. Stable blood sugar reduces cortisol spikes throughout the night which help us to stay asleep and wake more rested.

  • Go outside early in the morning. This resets our clock and actually helps us to have a better night's sleep the following night. Just 10 minutes of sunshine on your face each morning can have dramatic results for better insulin sensitivity and sleep.

By now, I hope you understand that there's no single variable more relevant to heart disease than insulin resistance. In order to reduce our risk, we must address our insulin levels to begin resolving the fundamental causes of heart disease rather than just managing symptoms, which is all medications can do. As long as we overlook insulin resistance, heart disease will continue to be a huge problem.

Take Action - Your health depends on it!

I hope you'll consider signing up for Blood Sugar Boot Camp in April.

This 6-week class will give you all the tools you'll need to begin looking at your risk for disease through blood sugar and insulin levels.

We need to be informed and guided in how to live well.

Thanks for reading,

Jan





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