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Blood sugar management : what is insulin?

We’ve teamed up with registered nutritionist Carolina Brooks on our latest blog series all around the importance of blood sugar management. Over the next couple of weeks Carolina will be looking into why blood sugar management is key for healthy hormone function, long-lasting weight loss & a healthy stress response. This week she looks into What is Insulin.

What is insulin?

We need insulin to metabolise carbohydrate, fat and protein. Fat has little impact on blood sugar levels and protein has no impact on blood sugar levels at all. We can convert protein to glucose but it’s a much slower process and if we use up our liver glycogen stores, we switch into fat burning mode.

Insulin is one of the key hormones involved in getting the body to store more fat around the middle of the body. High insulin can also raise triglycerides and reduce HDL or good cholesterol. It can also contribute to high blood pressure and reduces testosterone in men and causes hormonal disruption in women, which is one of the main factors of infertility.

Constant blood sugar swings not only damage our blood vessels but can lead to insulin resistance. This is where more and more insulin is released in response to a constant influx of sugar in an attempt to normalise the blood sugar.

In addition, when insulin spikes and blood sugar drops, it can cause cravings. Balancing blood sugar helps to suppress inappropriate hunger cravings for sugar and other addictive substances by improving dopamine response and reducing your dependence on sugar for a quick energy or mood fix.

Next week – blood sugar, hormones and sleep

Want some Top Tips for the Festive Season? Carolina is running a webinar on the 14th December on sharing her tips to stay motivated; foods, supplements and herbs to protect your liver; how to avoid feeling sluggish after eating and more.