How To Promote Optimal Insulin Response In Your Body

Posted February 2022
Goats Cheese, blackberry, pistachio on Corn Thins slices

Insulin is a hormone which allows sugar from your blood to be taken from your blood into the cells of your body. Including a balanced diet which is rich in whole foods like whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, fruit and dairy or dairy alternatives all play an important role in keeping your body and insulin working at its best. Other important lifestyle factors include maintaining a healthy weight and exercising to allow insulin to work at its best.

To keep your insulin working at its best having the sometimes foods like cakes and lollies as a sometimes treat rather than a daily staple is important in keeping your inulin working well. These types of foods spike your blood sugar more than foods which release sugar into your blood more slowly like fibre rich foods like whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Over time, if this over secretion of insulin occurs too frequently is a factor which can cause type two diabetes.

If you have diabetes, your requirements for micronutrients are increased due to altered protein metabolism, increased fluid loss and sweating. While there is no one nutrient which promotes optimal insulin response, below are three minerals which are important in helping insulin work at its best:


  1. Magnesium

Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions. One of these being helping your insulin work at its best. When you do not have enough magnesium in your diet it can lead to reduced insulin sensitivity. This means more insulin is needed to take the sugar out of your blood and over time if this continues to reduce can lead to type two diabetes. Not achieving your needed magnesium needs each day is also an important factor for those with type two diabetes as can cause poor blood sugar levels control.

Good sources of magnesium are:

  • Whole grain containing foods e.g. Corn Thins slices
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Green leafy vegetables e.g., spinach


  1. Chromium

Chromium is a cofactor which works with insulin to be able to take sugar out of your blood into the cells of your body.

Good sources of chromium are:

  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Oats
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Corn


  1. Zinc

Zinc is needed to make insulin and release it when needed to perform its important role. Zinc also protects the cells of your body and promotes an optimal immune system function.

Good sources of zinc are:

  • Seafood
  • Lean meat
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grain containing foods e.g. Corn Thins slices
  • Eggs


Take home message: No one nutrient can make insulin work at its best, it is a combination of a well-balanced diet which provides your body with everything it needs to function optimally. These three nutrients show the importance of including a varied diet which meets all your food group needs to prevent missing out on important factors essential for insulin to function. If you are not sure if you are achieving this, see an Accredited Practising Dietitian who can provide you with tailored individualized support to achieve your goals.


Ashleigh Felth…
Accredited Practising Dietitian
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    • Ashleigh Felth…