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  • Janet Golownia

Only 1 in 8 Americans are metabolically healthy...

This is according to a recent study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. What does this mean? That 88% of Americans display metabolic dysfunction.



What does metabolic dysfunction look like?

  • Obesity (dysfunctional glucose processing).

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (liver is not able to manage and process glucose and fat well).

  • Cancer (cancer cells thrive on excess sugar in the blood).

  • Alzheimer’s disease (now being called type 3 diabetes with evidence of insulin resistance in the brain).

  • Cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke (damage to vessels from inflammation and excess glucose).

  • Chronic kidney disease (vessels of the kidney impaired by excess glucose).

Other more subtle signs of metabolic dysfunction…

  • Fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Lack of exercise endurance

  • Infertility

  • Balding

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Acne

  • Chronic pain

  • Increased appetite

Why is this topic of metabolic dysfunction so important? Because every cell in your body needs energy to function and any dysfunction affects how you feel day to day and results in disease long term.

How can you improve your metabolic health?

  • Timing of your food intake matters. Call it intermittent fasting or time restricted eating, it doesn’t matter. It’s been proven in studies that eating in a 6 or 8 hour window leads to lower fasting glucose and lower fasting insulin. Researchers have also found that eating food later in the evening causes an increase in both insulin and glucose because we are naturally more insulin resistant at night. They found that eating the same meal in the morning had much less of a glucose spike.

  • Incorporating 24 hour fasts into your routine. This could mean eating dinner and then not eating again until dinner the next day.

  • Do not eat refined foods and foods with added sugar. This is any food that comes in a package of any kind.

  • Eat fiber rich foods: beans, lentils, vegetable, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

  • Eat your protein and fat before your carbohydrates at your meals. This will minimize the absorption of glucose into the blood.

  • Consume vinegar before or with a meal as it will reduce your glucose spike afterwards. Vinegar also increases your feeling of fullness. For example having a salad at dinner with vinegar and oil as a salad dressing.

  • Exercise even at mild intensity helps to increase your cells ability to absorb glucose.

  • Sleep is critical to glucose regulation and metabolic health. Get 7-9 hours per night.

  • Manage stress as it raises glucose levels. Think yoga which includes meditation and deep breathing.

  • Don’t drink water with your meals. Drinking large amounts of water with your meal will increase the glucose and insulin peak after a meal because it speeds entry of food into the small intestine.


Sources:

https://www.unc.edu/posts/2018/11/28/only-12-percent-of-american-adults-are-metabolically-healthy-carolina-study-finds/


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17065334/


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