A guest post from Dr. Brett Baxter.
For many years there has only been one proven way to extend your life nutritionally. Researchers were confident that the only true life extending measure that could be taken was caloric restriction. Humans who consistently experience a slight caloric deficit live a longer and more disease-free life.
However, in recent years researchers have been able to identify one other life preserving factor. This factor is insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone in the blood that helps regulate sugar concentrations in the blood. Other functions of insulin include: storage of fat, stimulation of other hormones, and pro- inflammation. There is a direct relationship between lower blood insulin levels and living a longer life. As a healthcare provider, I strongly encourage every patient to have their insulin levels checked.
Insulin can be effectively managed with the following three methods:
- Eating a diet lower in simple sugars, starches, and grains will suppress inflammation and keep blood sugar more stable, preventing large spikes and crashes of blood sugar and subsequently reducing fasting insulin levels. TIP: the average American can get all the “sugar” they need from vegetables and a serving or two of low sugar fruit per day.
- Intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way to make your cells more sensitive to insulin. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a 12-14 hour period of time during the night and early morning where you are not consuming foods. This has restorative effects on the gastrointestinal tract, liver cells, brain/mitochondrial function, and fasting insulin levels.
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT training will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to exercise. Rapidly elevating and depressing the heart rate through exercise has the following benefits: lowering insulin levels, increasing blood vessel elasticity, improving brain function, improving mood stability, promoting muscle retention/growth, modulating the immune system, and decreasing inflammation.
The synergistic effect of the guidelines listed above will go a long way towards increasing the longevity and vitality of your life!
Dr. Brett Baxter
Nichols Chiropractic, PA