By Joshua McDaniel, Vice President – Student Veteran Association University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
It’s NETFLIX time and you’re hit with “Are you still watching”? So, you grab a snack. There’s your Chocolate Haupia Cream Ted’s pie. Is it possible to have your cake and eat it, too? Yes! You can enjoy sweets while keeping your weight and insulin under control. You just need to prevent insulin resistance.
Insulin is an essential hormone released by your body around meals to control blood sugar. Insulin resistance is when your body is unable to remove sugar from the blood properly, which can be dangerous. Causes of insulin resistance would be increased fat in the body, inactive lifestyles, and constant high blood sugar levels.1,2 Don’t feel doomed, there are “loopholes” to prevent this problem.
1- Shorter bouts of high-intensity exercise temporarily improves insulin sensitivity.3 Take advantage of free Youtube videos with a cute instructor to help you through a quick workout. This is also the perfect time to increase bedroom workouts with your partner.
2- Take advantage of nutrient timing by fueling or refueling your body.4 Eat your sweets right before or after physical activity. This includes cleaning your house, walking, and participating in exercise or sports.
3- Restricting the type and amount of carbohydrates may improve insulin sensitivity.5 Opt for smaller servings or replace simple carbohydrates like sugar, white flour, rice, and syrup with healthier fats, high-fiber flours, and low-calorie natural or artificial sweeteners.
- Healthy fats: olive oil, almonds, fish oil, and flaxseed.
- High-fiber flours: Coconut, almond, and whole wheat.
- Low-calorie sweeteners: Stevia, Splenda and erythritol
- Burhans MS, Hagman DK, Kuzma JN, Schmidt KA, Kratz M. Contribution of adipose tissue inflammation to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Compr. Physiol. 2018;9(1), 1-58. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557583/. Published December 13, 2018. Accessed March 31, 2020.
- Choe SS, Huh JY, Hwang IJ, Kim JI, Kim JB. Adipose tissue remodeling: its role in energy metabolism and metabolic disorders. Front Endocrinol. 2016;7, 30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4829583/. Published April 13, 2016. Accessed March 31, 2020.
- Malin SK, Rynders CA, Weltman JY, Barrett EJ, Weltman A. Exercise intensity modulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion when adjusted for adipose, liver and skeletal muscle insulin resistance. PloS one. 2016;11(4). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4844153/. Published April 25, 2016. Accessed March 31, 2020.
- Kerksick CM, Arent S, Schoenfeld BJ, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14(33). doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4.
- Koloverou E, Panagiotakos DB. Macronutrient composition and management of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM): a new paradigm for individualized nutritional therapy in diabetes patients. Rev Diabet Stud. 2016;13(1), 6-16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291179/. Published May 2016. Accessed March 31, 2020.