We could not function properly—or at all actually—without the life-sustaining and life-saving actions of insulin, inflammation, and cortisol. They are the fix when things go awry–insulin manages high blood sugar, inflammation responds to bodily insults, cortisol redistributes resources during a crisis. Even when we eat poorly, this “rescue team” swoops in to protect us from cellular havoc.
Insulin, inflammation, and cortisol are meant to save-the-day and then go-on-their-way; but when our food choices are consistently poor, we require consistent rescue efforts. Unfortunately this process of “saving us from ourselves” encourages fat storage (especially in the midsection). Overtime, our cells become weary of this heightened–higher and more chronic–response setting the stage for chronic disease.
Insulin rises in response to the amount of sugar in the blood. A diet high in processed carbohydrates keeps blood sugar elevated.
Inflammation rises in response to high insulin, an unhealthy omega fat ratio, poor gut health, food sensitivities, and the consumption of unstable and altered fats.
Cortisol rises in response to high insulin, inflammation, and actual or perceived famine.
To lower insulin and improve insulin sensitivity: eat natural carbohydrates that are low sugar, nutrient dense, and high fiber. Avoid processed carbohydrates.
To lower inflammation: keep insulin down, increase intake of omega 3 foods (or supplement), avoid excessive intake of oils high in omega 6 fatty acids (many vegetable and seed oils), eat more fermented foods (and/or supplement with probiotics), avoid reactive foods (gluten, wheat, and dairy for those with intolerances), and eliminate altered fats (trans, hydrogenated–think convenience foods).
To lower cortisol: lessen insulin demand, decrease inflammation, and spread calorie intake evenly throughout the day (eat smaller more frequent meals).
The reduction of one—insulin, inflammation, or cortisol–has a positive impact on the others!
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