What Foods Are Good For Insulin Resistance
Eating foods with a low glycemic load can help you maintain stable blood sugars and prevent blood sugar spikes. Here are several food options that can help improve insulin resistance:
- Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
- Non-starchy vegetables, such as green leafy vegetables and tomatoes
- Citrus fruits
- Fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, herring, and trout
- Unsweetened yogurt
How Do I Break My Weight Loss Plateau On Intermittent Fasting
Hitting the weight loss plateau has got to be one of the most frustrating things that can happen to someone who has been trying to lose weight, especially when you are doing intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting tips that are guaranteed to break your weight loss plateau on intermittent fasting are:
Putting butter or MCT oil in your coffee is not bad for you. It can help you even get fat-adapted faster. Consuming some fat during your fasting window is helpful for people who are new to this. Pure fat does not have a lot of effect on insulin levels, and you can still get most of the benefits of intermittent fasting.But if youve hit a weight-loss plateau, then keep in mind that butter and MCT oil still contain calories. A standard bulletproof coffee contains approximately 500 calories. So if you are consuming it, you are potentially stopping yourself from losing an extra pound of fat every week.
Increase Your Overall Activity Level
Living an active lifestyle can help reduce insulin levels.
A 2005 study of more than 1,600 people found that the most sedentary people were nearly twice as likely to have metabolic syndrome as those who did at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week .
Other studies have shown that getting up and walking around, rather than sitting for prolonged periods, can help keep insulin levels from spiking after a meal .
One study looked at the effect of physical activity on insulin levels in men with extra weight who were at risk for type 2 diabetes. Those who took the most steps per day had the greatest reduction in insulin levels and belly fat compared with those who took the fewest steps .
Avoiding sitting for prolonged periods and increasing the amount of time you spend walking or doing other moderate activities may help reduce insulin levels.
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Foods That Help Balance Blood Sugar
With Kara Landau RD and Beatriz Mendez del Rio, FDN-P
Fill your kitchen with vegetables, legumes, and resistant starches to have on hand.
Your pancreas produces insulin, an all-powerful hormone that enables your cells to absorb glucose from the foods you eat. When you have insulin resistance however, your cells arent able to effectively utilize the insulin that your pancreas makes. Or, your pancreas may make no insulin at all, which is the case in type 1 diabetes.
When your cells cant actually use the glucose for energy, this leads to high levels of sugar in the blood. When these levels are higher than they should be with the pancreas working over time to release enough insulin this is considered pre-diabetes , a serious condition that occurs in one in three people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . When the pancreas chronically overworks to make enough insulin, you eventually end up with diabetes. Long-term insulin resistance can cause major health issues, such as damage to your organs, eyes, limbs, and muscles.
According to Beatriz Mendez del Rio, FDN-P and health coach, people with insulin resistance should aim to regulate their blood sugar each day, with every single meal. Its not about cutting out a particular food group. Its choosing the right foods from each group that matters.
Prevention Of Insulin Resistance
Making lifestyle changes can help reverse insulin resistance so that your body can respond properly to insulin.
Lose weight.Eat a .
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Make Acv A Part Of Your Daily Routine
Apple cider vinegar might really be as great as Pinterest makes it seem.
Its been shown to prevent spikes in insulin, especially if you eat it along with a high carb meal. While the research on this is older, ACV might also delay stomach emptying so the sugar from the carbs is better absorbed into your bloodstream.
So the next time you nosh on some carb-heavy food, find a way to add some ACV to the equation.
Tip For Reversal #: Incorporate More Protein Into Your Diet
You might not be surprised to hear that eating more protein can help reverse insulin resistance.
A 2020 analysis of multiple studies found that a high-protein diet can lower insulin resistance levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as lowering triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels. Incorporating more protein with your meals can help keep your blood sugars stable, avoiding any blood sugar spikes that can contribute to insulin resistance. If youre looking for some inspiration for a healthy protein-rich meal, dont hesitate to try this chicken chimichurri or salmon en papillote with roasted fennel.
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Is There An Insulin Resistance Test
Unfortunately, there is no insulin resistance test that is commonly used in medicine. Your doctor can use a blood glucose test or hemoglobin A1C test to evaluate your blood sugar levels. But remember that in the early stages of insulin resistance, your blood sugar levels may still appear normal, so a blood glucose or A1C test is not always a reliable test of insulin resistance.
Insulin Index Of Food
The insulin index measures the effects of foods on the blood insulin level during a period of two hours after ingestion.
Therefore, its a better measure when fighting insulin resistance than the glycemic load or index
It was unknown for quite a while and is still often neglected, but protein and fat can stimulate insulin secretion too .
On the contrary, pure fats like extra virgin olive oil arent causing an insulin or blood glucose response.
But seldom they are ingested exclusively. Nevertheless, the effect of fatty acids on insulin is mild.
Amino acids, on the other hand, can have a medium impact on blood insulin. For this reason, many low-carb diets dont work for weight loss.
So, how do fat and protein increase insulin levels without affecting blood glucose?
The stomach secretes two hormones that increase insulin production glucagon-like peptide one and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide , the incretin hormones.
The incretin effect is triggered by oral intake of glucose, too, where it is responsible for 50 to 70 percent of its overall insulin response.
Moreover, the insulin index considers all foods. Hence, even non-caloric sweeteners like sucralose are significantly raising insulin levels through the incretin effect
But there are various glucose-independent pathways to increase insulin. For example, the artificial sweetener saccharin around your mouth raises insulin even if you spit it out
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Living With Insulin Resistance
Living with insulin resistance requires lifestyle changes as well as regular use of prescription medicine. You will have to be more careful in making meal and snack choices, reading labels, and maintaining a lower weight. You also will have to commit to regular exercise and take your medicines as prescribed.
Physical Activity And Exercise
Muscles burn glucose for energy. The more you move, the more glucose your muscles take out of the blood for energy use, which helps to lower your blood sugar levels. This allows for a reduction in insulin secretion, lessening the burden on your pancreas.
Likewise, muscles that dont move dont use up blood sugar, so insulin levels can rise to process any excess. Studies show that a mere five days of bed rest induces a state of insulin resistance in completely healthy volunteers.27 Multiple studies show that long-term inactivity is strongly associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes.28
Any type of regular movement can help. Studies suggest that high-intensity interval training , resistance training, and cardio training all improve glucose utilization and thereby improve insulin sensitivity.29
No matter what your preferred form of movement or exercise, it is clear: inactivity can lead to insulin resistance. And movement increases insulin sensitivity as long as the exercise continues.30 So if you stop moving regularly, insulin resistance may come back.
One more thing on exercise: you likely cannot outrun a bad diet. Exercising regularly but still eating a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar diet will likely partially, if not completely, counteract many of the benefits derived from exercise.31
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What Does Insulin Do In The Body
Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar and is made by an organ known as the pancreas that sits behind your stomach. Your pancreas sends insulin into your bloodstream after you eat or if it detects that your blood sugar levels are high.
Once insulin enters your blood, it has 2 major jobs:
How Common Is Insulin Resistance
Since there arent any common tests to check for insulin resistance and there arent any symptoms until it turns into prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, the best way to measure the prevalence of insulin resistance is through the number of prediabetes cases. More than 84 million adults in the United States have prediabetes. Thats about 1 out of every 3 adults.
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Myth: Estrogen Blockers Can Get Rid Of Moobs
The exact role of estrogen in the development of gynecomastia is often misrepresented. Its true that men with gynecomastia tend to have high levels of estrogen. Thats a simple correlation to establish that high estrogen levels and gynecomastia may occur in the same time and space as one another. However, its not direct proof of causation the simple correlation between moobs and high estrogen doesnt prove that one causes the other.
This issue of correlation vs. causation can be compared to football. Its accurate to state, The Dallas Cowboys havent won a Super Bowl since Bill Clinton was re-elected president, because that statement establishes a true fact. However, nobody could claim causation by saying, The Dallas Cowboys havent won a Super Bowl because Bill Clinton was re-elected president.
Given that estrogen isnt a direct cause of man boobs, estrogen blockers cannot get rid of them.
The Real Connection Between Estrogen and Moobs
Men produce estrogen in two ways. First, an excess of testosterone can trigger the production of excess estrogen. Second, excess fat tissue can produce estrogen. Any man with gynecomastia is highly unlikely to have excess testosterone, since high testosterone causes insulin sensitivity that prevents fat deposits building within breast tissue and helps increase a mans lean mass. This indicates that the only logical source of estrogen comes from existing fatty tissues.
Ways To Combat Menopausal Weight Gain Due To Insulin Resistance
Many women find that they gain weight sometimes a significant amount during menopause. And, to make matters worse, their old tried and true ways of getting the weight off simply dont work.
There are many theories regarding the causes of weight gain at menopause. Its a complex issue that includes a combination of poor diet sedentary lifestyle, stress, and many other factors. But, the truth is, whatever the underlying cause, insulin resistance is the primary driver of menopausal weight gain. And, the key to reversing it and achieving lasting weight loss is to keep insulin levels low.
Now, to be clear, menopause does not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the result of overall poor hormonal health. If you are struggling with post-menopausal insulin resistance and weight gain here are some additional recommendations:
Have you ever been diagnosed with insulin resistance? What have you done to reverse it?
Additional Resources from Dr. Northrup
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Say Hello To Cinnamon
Still need a little sweetness in your life? Cinnamon can help with that, and it can also lower your insulin.
Research has shown that the spice may lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity in both people who have type 2 diabetes and people who dont.
Sound too good to be true? The truth is that the effects of cinnamon vary from person to person. So while its certainly worth a shot, just know it may not be a miracle worker.
In Less Than Two Months I Dropped My Hba1c From 82% To 58% And Lost 24 Pounds By Making Targeted Habit Changes
The title sounds like a bold claim, right? Itd be hard to believe it if I hadnt done it myself. Heres the story of how I did it and how you can too.
On August 17, my doctor said one sentence that rocked my world: You are a Type 2 diabetic. Naturally, she prescribed diabetes-management drugs.
I was like, No, thanks. Diabetes is a lifestyle condition. Ill make lifestyle changes to reverse it.
With the experience of someone whos probably had this discussion more than a few times previously, she said, Thats not likely.
Hold my beer.
Less than a month later, on September 12, I had dropped 14 pounds and 1.5 inches of waistline. A second blood panel showed my triglycerides and LDL cholesterol had dropped to normal levels for the first time in my life and my HbA1c level had dropped but still indicated diabetes.
On October 15, I had dropped another 10 pounds and two more inches of belly fat. My third blood panel showed that my HbA1c level had moved to 5.8% within the normal range.
I had started at 194 pounds and was at 170 at that point. My target weight is 155, and so my journey continues. But heres how I achieved these remarkable results within just 60 days.
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Build Up Those Muscles
You already know cardio exercise can lower your insulin levels, but you shouldnt neglect weight training. Resistance training improves muscle mass, which increases the amount of glucose your body uses and, in turn, helps insulin work more efficiently.
Research suggests that a combination of cardio and strength training is the best physical activity option to have a significant effect on insulin levels and sensitivity.
What Is The Difference Between Insulin Resistance And Diabetes
Anyone can develop insulin resistance temporarily or chronically. Over time, chronic insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes and then Type 2 diabetes if its not treated or able to be treated.
Prediabetes happens when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes usually occurs in people who already have some insulin resistance.
Prediabetes can lead to Type 2 diabetes , the most common type of diabetes. T2D happens when your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or your body doesnt use insulin well , resulting in high blood glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes happens when your bodys immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas for an unknown reason. T1D is an autoimmune and chronic disease, and people with T1D have to inject synthetic insulin to live and be healthy. While T1D is not caused by insulin resistance, people with T1D can experience levels of insulin resistance in which their cells dont respond well to the insulin they inject.
Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that can happen during pregnancy. Its caused by insulin resistance thats due to the hormones the placenta makes. Gestational diabetes goes away once you deliver your baby. Approximately 3% to 8% of all people who are pregnant people in the United States are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
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Insulin Resistance Can Be Reversed With Diet And Exercise But How Long Does It Usually Take
So how long should it take to reverse your insulin resistance? I asked Dr. David Edelson, MD, board certified in internal and bariatric medicine, one of the top obesity experts in the U.S., and founder and medical director HealthBridge and thin-site.com.
Insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes, which of course can morph into type 2 diabetes.
Thus, its extremely important to reverse insulin resistance, even though the time it takes will not occur overnight.
How long it took to acquire insulin resistance didnt happen overnight, either.
Dr. Edelson explains, Ive seen our patients with early stage insulin resistance able to reverse it and normalize their fasting insulin levels in 6-12 weeks.
Signs Of Insulin Resistance
As wediscussed the functioning of the hypothalamus and hormones to regulate body setweight, we concluded that overeating and lack of exercise are rather symptomsthan causes of obesity.
As early as 1990, Dr. Walter Willett observed a significant connection between type 2 diabetes and obesity.
But the scientist, who is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvards School of Public Health until now, had a hard time spreading his word.
His research explained that weight gain after the age of 18 is the primary symptom of type 2 diabetes. Likewise, a weight gain of 35 kilograms yielded a 17,200 percent higher probability of diabetes .
But Willet also pointed out that even slightly being overweight increases diabetes risk by a factor of five .
Although its in the healthy weight range, a body mass index of 23 can already be a symptom of insulin resistance in females .
In timeswhere the public didnt consider obesity and diabetes a primary health concernand governmental guidelines declared some weight gain as still healthy, nobodybelieved him.
That Willet also correctly identified a high-fat diet as an effective treatment of type 2 diabetes, didnt help to challenge conventional thinking either .
Since insulin resistance develops 13 years before type 2 diabetes, on average, obesity is a primary sign of insulin resistance.
Its the same disorder as type 2 diabetes, but only on an earlier evolutionary stage .
Moreover, visceral fat is a major factor in high insulin resistance.
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