NutriSense Blog

Glucose Health and the Importance of the Big Four

April 9, 2021
Kyle Kingsbury NutriSense

Kyle Kingsbury is a retired professional mixed martial artist and previous Director of Human Optimization at Onnit. His podcast explores what it takes to achieve peak performance in everyday life. From mindset to supplementation, Kyle works to find the best ways to achieve optimal health by speaking to some of the most inspiring health innovators.

In this episode, Kyle interviewed Dan Zavorotny (Chief Operating Officer) and Kara Collier (Director of Nutrition) from NutriSense. They discussed the advancements of health monitoring technology and the importance of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) in achieving health goals.

In this episode

Kyle, Kara, and Dan touch on a range of topics related to glucose levels and the role they play when striving for optimal health. These include:

Discovering the path to peak metabolic health

Below are just a handful of insights Dan and Kara shared with Kyle about CGM technology and metabolic health.

What is metabolic flexibility?

Kara explains that metabolic flexibility is “the capacity for an organism or a single cell to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability. So, if you have glucose in your system that is available, you can utilize that for creating energy and then switch back to burning fat once the glucose is done. It requires a lot of cross-talk between body systems and hormones. 

Metabolic disorders are characterized by the inability to orchestrate this process. For example, insulin is a hormone. If the cells in the body no longer listen to the effects of the insulin, it becomes insulin resistant, leading to a whole host of problems. Insulin resistance is at the root of problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.”

What health problems can metabolic dysfunction lead to?

Metabolic dysfunction can cause a plethora of chronic diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Kara illustrates this fact by sharing some troublesome statistics.

“In the United States, over 80% of people have some signs of insulin resistance. In other countries like China, India, and European countries, one-third to 50% of people have insulin resistance symptoms. Glucose at the root of this problem.”

Why is it important now, more than ever, to be metabolically healthy?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health continues to be a constant topic. “Now is the time to get metabolically healthy,” states Kara. “It is a huge risk factor at this important time, especially obesity. Multiple studies state that obesity is only second to age as a risk factor of hospitalization and mortality of COVID-19. There are also research studies looking at glucose levels and COVID-19 (independent of diabetes). 

Any sort of rising in glucose levels outside of the normal homeostatic range is going to increase your risk of contracting COVID-19 and increase your mortality risk. One study showed an increase from 1% to 11% in death rate for those who had glucose values reaching above 180 - which a lot of people are reaching.”

What lifestyle influences do you need to understand and monitor to achieve metabolic health?

Dan points out that “you can make changes to your health today that are free. Things like intermittent fasting, eating less processed food, changing your calorie intake, and reducing your carb intake will cost you nothing, but immediately you will see improved effects. There is no supplement, exercise, or medicine that can overcome a poor diet.”

Kara expands on this, stating that people can alter four significant global values to get metabolically healthy: diet, exercise, stress, and sleep. 

Kara delves into great depths about these four pillars in the full episode, but here are a few top tips:

  • Eat whole foods, preferably as close to their original state as possible
  • Align your meals into the earlier daytime hours
  • Eat your final meal at least four hours before bedtime

Does gender make a difference when nutrition planning?

Most research studies in nutrition and glucose done in the past focused only on men. Fasting for women is a prime research topic that there is little information about. At first, the NutriSense team was unsure what results they would see in women who fasted for longer periods and made their mealtimes earlier, as the data has not been available. 

After analyzing data from a large sample of NutriSense clients who used the CGM, Kara states they’ve observed sticking to mealtimes earlier in the day positively affected everyone, women included. She notes, however, that intermittent fasting is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Yet, the team has seen a considerable discrepancy between men and women when using the OMAD (one meal a day) eating style. 

Men do not tend to respond poorly to this eating pattern. But, women have a different experience, with the diet plan at times initiating a stress response. A CGM makes gathering and analyzing this data possible for both men and women, generating actionable insights on how gender affects the body’s response to different dietary patterns.

How important is it to use individual data to make informed lifestyle decisions?

“We are a unique compilation of genetics, microbiome, and environment. All of these factors are strong influencers on how your body is going to react to food,” says Kara. Dan and Kara illustrate this fact through their own personal differences with eating white rice. Dan responds with a dramatic spike in glucose levels to eating white rice, whereas Kara has the opposite response. So, how you react to food as an individual does not necessarily align with the glycemic index. The only way to know how your body responds to diet, exercise, stress, and sleep is to use a CGM to track and record your glucose levels in real-time. A traditional glucose meter will likely miss the spikes, curves, and data points. But a CGM can track these 24/7, allowing you to personalize your health plan based on your results.

Hear the entirety of this captivating conversation by listening to the Kyle Kingsbury Podcast Episode #169 with Dan and Kara from NutriSense.

Key Takeaway

Using a CGM is the most efficient and effective way to monitor and control glucose levels. It is the only technology available that can track your glucose levels 24/7. This gives you a full insight into the effects diet, sleep, exercise, and stress have on your body’s glucose levels, allowing you to tailor your lifestyle to optimize your metabolic health.

Has this podcast sparked your interest in continuous glucose monitoring? Explore the NutriSense Continuous Glucose Monitoring Health Program and discover how to unlock your body’s data.

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