Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Curbing Insulin Overproduction

My last post addressed insulin, a hormone that when over produced, causes obesity and numerous other diseases. Today I want to share how you can combat the over production of insulin, which many of us over produce daily by age 30 or so. With the current culture of processed foods, junk foods and sweets – I suspect insulin is over produced in many grade school students as well.
Insulin production can be reduced with two primary resources: an obvious one, is food choice. A not so obvious resource that can help in the “battle of the bulge”, is natural, or bio-identical progesterone cream. Progesterone is the only hormone produced by the body that can help reduce the production of insulin, per Dr. Michael E. Platt. Platt, in his book, “The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones”, states that progesterone is the only natural hormone that is harmless while being substantially beneficially. (Do not confuse natural progesterone with synthetic, harmful progestin. The media is very misleading and confused by the two.) Platt has helped 1000s of people, who come to him for weight loss, by balancing their hormones and putting them on his low-carb, or carb-free diet (catering to each individuals needs).
Personally, when I began incorporating Prolief natural progesterone cream into my daily journey to regain health, the pounds came off effortlessly. I have said this before, but I lost 80 lbs. without exercise. Now that the weight is off, a bit of exertion feels great instead of painful!
In addition to reducing insulin, a huge benefit of progesterone is that it counters the estrogen. Estrogen LOVES fat cells and not only wants to store itself and retain fat, when over proliferated it can mutate and become cancerous. It all causes inflammation throughout the body - which can manifest into a host of problems. I am a huge advocate for the use of natural progesterone supplementation, for both men and women. As I read Platt's book and chapter on prostrate cancer while on our recent vacation, my husband is interested in using progesterone, even though he has no belly to speak of. Since all men who live past age 70 are bound to have prostrate cancer cells – he figures why even give estrogen the chance to produce those cells when you can combat it early on with progesterone and stay ahead of cancer. It makes sense – we all have cancer cells within us; but it is what we do to and how we counter those cells that will affect how cancer affects us. At age 50 men start to produce less and less progesterone, about 10-15 years later they start to produce less testosterone, and estrogen reaches an all time high. That is not good news! When my husband hits that 50 mark, adding progesterone to his daily routine makes sense.
But I digress – I definitely want to address prostrate cancer as a wholly devoted post in the near future.
Returning to insulin – food choices also control the production of insulin. Carbohydrates are the culprit – so if you want to either lose weight or get off your diabetes and cholesterol meds – cut the carbs! When I changed my food choices I did not turn my life upside down overnight. Again, it is not willpower, but education, that will lead to successful weight loss, or I should say, permanent weight loss, and healthful living.
Start with the obvious – processed foods and junk food. I actually just learned that two of my favorite low-fat snacks, pretzels and popcorn, are actually two of the highest carbohydrate foods! I am not sure what to do about this new found knowledge yet, as I love hot air popped corn. We may have to start snacking on steak bites! (LOL)
Shop around the outer edges of the grocery, but again, watch the frozen foods for breading, read the labels for MSG, and beware of soy additives, which also have estrogenic properties.
Next, limit sweets. Assess how often you enjoy sweets each week…and gradually cut back so it is only once a week, as a reward for making good choices the rest of the week. Keep in mind that fruits high in sugar are also high in carbs. Choose berries as much as possible, which offer a host of other health benefits. Choose Braeburn apples instead of Red Delicious, and choose Granny Smith instead of Braeburn…wean yourself gradually off the sugar. Grapes are extremely high in sugar, but I admit I enjoy red grapes in my salad now and then. I am not telling you to cut sweets 100%, but be aware and reduce. Eating strawberries or grapes is a whole lot more beneficial than a cookie or a muffin, or a candy bar for a mid-afternoon pick up!
Checking off processed foods, junk foods, deep fried an sweets…now comes the one that is most difficult for many – white breads!! When I hear, “I can’t give up my white bread” that tells me the person is more interested in immediate satisfaction than living a healthier life. Quality of life is up to you – and it IS based on the foods you choose, don’t be fooled into thinking it is not. If you don't care enough about yourself to change, consider your family members and what a severe illness would put them through. After seeing a dear friend in the end stages of prostrate cancer last year, it gave me resolve to not put my family through such trials if it can possibly be avoided.
Beyond bread…simple carbs include white potatoes, rice, PASTA and a multitude of breads such as bagels, English muffins. All carbs produce insulin, but simple carbs produce more than complex carbs, such as brown rice, quinoa, and other vegetables. Complex carbs take longer to digest and process within the body, and therefore the insulin release is more graduall than a spike you get with simple carbs. Reducing breads is often the most challenging – ease in to it. Substitute. The “brown” or multi-grain varieties that you “abhorred” previously will actually grow on your tastebuds, as soon as your brain, programmed to crave the simple carbs and sugars, weans itself off the chemicals that trigger the cravings for unhealthful, past choices. Nowadays, if I indulge in a pastry or such, it is distasteful as my brain no longer craves it. Often it tastes like lard - yuck!
Want a taste of how delicious eating to lower insulin can be? Check out this recipe for grilled kabobs!
Bon appetite!
Rita S.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for your interesting article!

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  2. Thought I would comment on my own article, a year later....and continuing to maintain that 80 lb weight loss. Gettng ready to do a detox cleanse in the new year with my husband and friends. Following a 30 day elimination plan since I have been indulging a bit in holiday treats. ;-)

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  3. Life is a journey, right? Addng another comment. If you have taken any of the above steps since this article first published - another adjustment is in order for long term health. The brown grains, as in wheat bread, are not a real healthy choice either. Yes, better than white, but if still made with refined processed flours, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, GMO grains - it is bad news. Since this orignal posting I have written about these specifics, but for anyone landing here out of the blue - stick to ancient grains. We make/buy breads made with almond flour, teff, brown rice, coconut, spelt. And we really scrutinize whole grain bread labels - look for 4-5 ingredents tops. Rudy's at your local health co op is a good brand.

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