What I think of Ozempic as a Health CoachJul 06, 2023
What I think of Ozempic as a Health Coach
There is this insane craze right now with Ozempic and other medications like it.
While this medication is great for people with Diabetes and pre-diabetes, we don’t know the long-term side effects for people who don’t necessarily need it. It’s also really important to think about the impact that this is having on women’s perceptions of their own bodies and what a natural and normal set point weight is.
So today, I want to dive in and give you guys all of the information that you may not yet know before you make a decision to go on medication.
First things first, let's talk about GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and what they are
Picture this: Semaglutide, the main ingredient, is like the synthetic cousin of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Ozempic, Wegovy, and Monjauro are fancy brand-name drugs that have semaglutide in them. These drugs are like superheroes that activate GLP-1 receptors in our bodies, just like the natural GLP-1 we make. Our bodies produce GLP-1 when we eat certain foods or even herbs, but these medications pack a stronger punch.
Why are they so powerful? Well, the synthetic semaglutide is like the Hulk version of GLP-1. It's designed to resist the usual enzymes that break things down in our body, so it sticks around for longer and has a more lasting effect on those GLP-1 receptors. Not to say that our own GLP-1 can't do the job, especially if we eat the right stuff and live a healthy lifestyle. But the reality is, these medications are like a turbo boost, giving faster and more significant results to the people who are taking them.
Now, let's talk about GLP-1 itself and what its job is. It's a hormone peptide that screams, "Hey, we're happy and satisfied!" when we eat. Our natural GLP-1 is released after a meal and does some important stuff like regulating glucose levels, insulin secretion, and our appetite. It ensures that our carbs get used for fuel instead of causing chaos with high blood sugar that gets stored as fat.
But here's the catch: some folks have lower levels of GLP-1 than others. Blame it on genetics, diet, exercise, or the rise of those mouthwatering, processed junk foods. Processed foods mess with our GLP-1 levels, leading to problems like impaired glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, and the risk of type 2 diabetes. That's why GLP-1 is such a big deal.
So, when GLP-1 levels rise (whether through Ozempic or natural methods, we'll discuss later), here's what happens: insulin secretion increases (carbs get metabolized, blood sugar gets tamed), glucagon secretion decreases (less glucose production by the liver), gastric emptying slows down (carbs absorb slower, blood sugar stays in check, and appetite is controlled), and our gut and brain feel content and happy. Plus, insulin resistance takes a hit, thanks to all the above benefits! These mechanisms improve blood sugar control and help with weight loss for those with type 2 diabetes or obesity.
Now, let's get to the question on everyone’s minds: CAN WE NATURALLY MIMIC DRUGS LIKE OZEMPIC?
Cue the magical foods and herbs that stimulate GLP-1 secretion. They might not be as strong as medications, but they can still make a big difference and help you on your journey to metabolic health.
—Fiber-rich foods. You know, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. They can tickle those GLP-1 receptors and get them going.
—Probiotics are the next superheroes. They're live bacteria found in fermented goodies like yogurt and kimchi. Certain strains of these good bacteria can give GLP-1 a boost.
—Berries with their polyphenols that stimulate GLP-1.
—Protein-rich meals increase GLP-1 secretion and regulate blood sugar.
—Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to stimulate the secretion of GLP-1.
—Cinnamon is a spice that has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and stimulate the secretion of GLP-1.
WHY IS PROTEIN SO IMPORTANT?
Think of protein as the superhero cape that can make GLP-1 go wild. When we devour protein-packed meals, it's like we're throwing a GLP-1 party in our bodies. GLP-1 gets all excited, starts dancing, and shouts, "Hey, let's regulate blood sugar and kick that appetite to the curb!"
Protein has this awesome power to slow down the digestion and absorption of carbs. It's like protein says to those carbs, "Hold up, buddy! You're not going anywhere too fast." And when carbs take their sweet time entering the bloodstream, GLP-1 gets all hyped up and starts pumping out insulin like there's no tomorrow. Insulin swoops in and grabs that glucose, making sure it's put to good use by our cells. High protein diets aren't just about GLP-1 and blood sugar control. They also help us build muscle and lean muscle fuels our metabolism!
When fiber meets our gut bacteria, they throw a fermentation party and create these incredible postbiotics called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs are like secret weapons that stimulate GLP-1 secretion. It's like they whisper in GLP-1's ear, "Hey, buddy, keep doing your thing!"Studies have shown that SCFAs, like propionate and acetate, can boost GLP-1 secretion and improve glucose tolerance.
AND WHICH HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS?
1. Ginseng: Studies have shown that ginseng can stimulate the secretion of GLP-1 and improve insulin sensitivity in both animal and human studies.
2. Fenugreek: Fenugreek is an herb commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has been shown to stimulate the secretion of GLP-1 and improve glucose metabolism in human studies.
3. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice that improves insulin sensitivity and stimulates the secretion of GLP-1.
4. Ginger: Ginger is a root commonly used in cooking and traditional medicine. Studies have shown that ginger can stimulate the secretion of GLP-1 and improve glucose metabolism in animal and human studies.
5. Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to stimulate the 1 secretion of GLP-1 and improve glucose metabolism in animal and human studies.
6. Gentian: Gentian is a bitter herb that has been shown to stimulate the secretion of GLP-1. One specific bitter compound found in gentian is called amelogenin, which has been shown to have a potent effect on stimulating the secretion of GLP-1. Studies suggest that amelogenin can activate specific signaling pathways in the gut cells, leading to the release of GLP-1 and improved glucose regulation. In addition to its effects on GLP-1 secretion, gentian has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to promote digestive health and stimulate appetite.
As a holistic practitioner, it's important to think about the long game and why you want to do this holistically with these foods and supplements outlined above rather than the medications if you don’t really need them …
Metabolism is a long game. These drugs can be a lifesaver for getting immediate improvements and reducing harm, but we can't rely on them forever. We need a solid long-term plan in place. And guess what? It's all about boosting our muscle power and eating right for metabolic health.
Muscle is like our superhero when it comes to insulin sensitivity. It keeps us going strong as we age, way beyond relying on Ozempic. So, we need to focus on more than just the medication. There are some diet changes and herbs that can naturally crank up the production of GLP-1. So it’s all about finding stuff we can stick to for the long haul to keep those hormone levels in check.
But here's the thing that's been bugging me. Some folks on GLP-1 meds are losing their appetite and eating fewer calories, but they might need to pay more attention to protein and resistance training. So, when they shed those pounds, they're not just losing fat, they're also saying goodbye to precious muscle tissue.
That's why it's important to take a balanced approach. Yeah, these meds exist but they’re not a solution or the forever fix for managing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO GET TO THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE INSULIN RESISTANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
With all the buzz around it lately, I'm starting to get a little worried. People seem to be forgetting that we actually have the power to make intentional changes and improve our metabolic health. Yeah, you heard me right! It's all about diet, exercise, and even some herbs that can kickstart that GLP-1 secretion.
Now, I gotta be real with you. These changes don't happen overnight. They take some serious time, dedication, and resources. I mean, we're talking about having the luxury of cooking up your own meals at home and finding time to hit the gym. But hey, it's not impossible. In fact, a good chunk of the population can totally achieve it if they put their minds to it.
So, let's not forget that we have the power to take control of our metabolic health. It's not about relying on medications alone. We can do this, friends! Let's get cooking, get moving, and get those supplements on our side. It's time to make some real changes.
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