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5 Top Tips to Help Improve Insulin Sensitivity & Glucose Management (Part 1)

Do You Want To Know The Secret To:

Stabilising your moods, boosting energy, cutting carb cravings and a better sleep?!  Read on for 5 life changing glucose hacks!


AUTHOR: Tonia Willson, Naturopath & Medical Herbalist

Have you been told you need to improve your blood glucose management or have been given a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes, PCOS, Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? 

Often those with the above diagnoses are treated with medications. Whilst these can be helpful for some people, they also come with some common side effects such as tummy upset, and diarrhoeaAlthough rare, lactic acidosis, hypoglycaemia, and vitamin B12 deficiency can also occur.

Below are some helpful tips that just might help you to get your blood glucose management under control and reduce your symptoms of high insulin.

Obviously the healthiest and most effective way to regulate blood sugar levels is to avoid refined carbohydrates such as breads, cakes, biscuits, rice, cereals, and sugar altogether i.e. foods made with white flour and white / brown sugar.


A Little-Known Herb Called Berberine

  1.  Berberine contains a biochemical substance that when prescribed in the right dose, can provide numerous health benefits. It is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels. Berberine is able to produce these effects via multiple mechanisms, particularly by reducing glucose production in your liver and therefore improving insulin sensitivity. Studies have also shown that berberine can lower blood sugar levels to a similar extent as the popular diabetes drug metformin.

    We like to share knowledge about the plants we use to aid health, however please note Berberine requires the correct dose, form and monitoring while supplementing with it. It's VERY important to speak with your trained Naturopath about how to use.

A Savoury Breakfast

  1. Starting the day with a savoury breakfast will prevent you from having that high sugary cereal hit first thing in the morning (yes cereals are loaded with sugars and grains that break down in the body to glucose which is sugar)!  These are usually topped with yoghurts which can also be high in sugar plus fruits (banana = high sugar) and an orange juice… you guessed it more sugar!!

    Instead opt for a good source of protein for breakfast that also incorporates good fats that will keep you full until lunchtime. A good old egg omelette with spinach plus a sprinkle of nuts and seeds and some extra virgin olive oil is a great start to the day. If you can’t stomach too much that early in the morning, then a good quality plant protein shake is a great alternative.

    Ask us (email/phone call) for some excellent quality protein powders that don’t contain all the added preservatives and additives!

Include Protein With Every Meal

  1. I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial it is to incorporate proteins with every meal. This is a game changer when trying to manage you blood sugars and sugar cravings!  Protein allows you to feel fuller for longer and prevents you from reaching for the cookie jar at morning and afternoon teatime.

    See Tonia for more protein meal ideas.

Stop The Snacking!

  1. If you are eating a high protein meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner then you shouldn’t need to dip into the snack tin.

    If you feel like you are having a blood sugar dip then snack on lower sugar snacks like nuts and seeds, vegetable sticks and hummus or beetroot dips, peanut butter and apple, chia puddings or blueberries – these are all low sugar alternatives that can keep you going until your next meal.

    NOTE: Fruit smoothies are not a good option for a ‘healthy snack’ as most of them contain high levels of high fructose sugar fruits and honey to make them taste good.

    Similarly with sushi, white rice is basically a spoon full of sugar – it breaks down in the body very quickly into glucose, causing a massive spike in blood sugar. Sushi also contains rice wine vinegar and other additives that contain sugar. 

    If you are having difficulty getting on top of your cravings then get in touch with me as I have a great herbal trick up my sleeve that is “the sugar destroyer”, and other tips to help you to get those sugar cravings under control.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

  1. When ACV is added to olive oil as a dressing and poured over a salad and consumed with your meal, it can help reduce the spike in blood sugar from the carbohydrates consumed in that meal.  

    Studies suggests that vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity by 19–34% during a high carb meal and can significantly lower blood sugar and the insulin response.

    NOTE: Fermented apple cider vinegar (Braggs or Ceres) is recommended as it contains the fermented ‘mother’ in the base. A standard apple cider vinegar in the supermarket does not contain the same health qualities.

Where To Next:


Part 2 coming soon for more blood sugar management tips!

Click here to book an appointment with Tonia @ The Good Health Room if you are having any blood sugar management issues or have been diagnosed with PCOS, pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes, or other metabolic concerns.

As a Type 1 diabetic, she is intimately aware of how high blood sugars can affect your life and well-being.



Medsafe (2015). Metformin - Renal Impairment and Risk of Lactic Acidosis Prescriber Update Prescriber Update 36(4): 56-57
December 2015. Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), Dunedin.

Dong, H., Wang, N., Zhao, L., & Lu, F. (2012). Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2012, 591654.

Xia, X., Yan, J., Shen, Y., Tang, K., Yin, J., Zhang, Y., Yang, D., Liang, H., Ye, J., & Weng, J. (2011). Berberine improves glucose metabolism in diabetic rats by inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis. PloS one6(2), e16556.

Zhang, H., Wei, J., Xue, R., Wu, J. D., Zhao, W., Wang, Z. Z., Wang, S. K., Zhou, Z. X., Song, D. Q., Wang, Y. M., Pan, H. N., Kong, W. J., & Jiang, J. D. (2010). Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression. Metabolism: clinical and experimental59(2), 285–292.

Dong, H., Wang, N., Zhao, L., & Lu, F. (2012). Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2012, 591654.

Park, M., Heden, t., Liu, L.,  Nyhoff, N., Thyfault, J., Leidy, H., Kanaley, J. (2014) A High-Protein Breakfast Induces Greater Insulin and Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Peptide Responses to a Subsequent Lunch Meal in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Nutrition, 2014; 145 (3): 452 DOI: 10.3945/jn.114.202549

Carol S. Johnston, Cindy M. Kim, Amanda J. Buller; Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 1 January 2004; 27 (1): 281–282.


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