Blood Sugar & Fat Loss
As discussed above, many people managing type 2 diabetes also need to lose weight, so the blood sugar & fat loss book is designed to maintain stable blood sugars while also promoting fat loss to truly reverse insulin resistance .
Tip For Reversal #: Increase Your Soluble Fiber Intake
Many people dont eat the recommended amount of fiber – about 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. If you think youre one of those people, heres a reason for you to up your fiber intake: it can help reverse insulin resistance naturally. A 2019 study found that increasing low fiber intake to the recommended amounts led to reduced fasting blood sugars, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance. Soluble fiber slows down digestion by dissolving in water and forming a gel. This helps stabilize blood sugars and improves insulin sensitivity. To benefit from these blood sugar-friendly effects, eat more soluble fiber-rich foods like oats, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, beans, and barley.
Testing For Insulin Resistance
Blood test: The best clinical test for insulin resistance is a Glucose Tolerance with Insulin Assay or Glucose Tolerance Insulin Response . With this test, both glucose and insulin are measured fasting and then at one and two hour intervals after a glucose drink.
A healthy fasting insulin should be less than 10 mIU/L . One and two hours after a sugar challenge, a healthy insulin reading should be less than 60 mIU/L . High insulin indicates insulin resistance.
Measure your waist: Insulin resistance causes apple-shaped obesity, so the larger your waist circumference, the more likely you are to have insulin resistance. For women, the risk starts at a waist circumference of greater than 32 inches .
Tip: You dont have to be overweight to have insulin resistance. You can have a normal BMI and still have elevated insulin.
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Insulin Takes Sugar Out Of Your Blood And Sends It Into Your Cells To Be Used For Energy
When you eat a meal with carbohydrates , you often get a burst of energy. Well, your cells get energy from sugar too, but how does the sugar get into the cells? Thats where insulin comes in.
Most of the cells in your body contain insulin receptors. Think of an insulin receptor like a lock and the insulin hormone like a key. When the key opens the lockor when insulin binds to the insulin receptorthe cell opens to let sugar in. By attaching to insulin receptors, insulin helps take sugar out of the blood and sends it into cells to be put to good use. As a result, your blood sugar levels should return to normal.
What Is Insulin And How Does It Work
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Its main job is to manage how your body uses glucose for energy. When blood sugar levels rise after a meal, your pancreas releases insulin to help your bodys cells especially cells in the liver and muscles absorb glucose. Your liver converts stored glucose to glycogen for future use.
When blood sugar levels are too low, your pancreas releases a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon forces the liver to convert glycogen back to glucose, which causes your blood sugar to rise.
You always have low levels of insulin circulating in your body. When insulin is out of balance, the result is abnormal blood sugar levels. High insulin levels can make you feel tired, bloated and cause sugar cravings. And, the more insulin you have circulating in your body, the harder it becomes to lose weight and burn fat.
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Visceral Fat Vs Subcutaneous Fat
Visceral fat is deposited inside and around the intra-abdominal organs. These include, most notably, the liver, intestines, and kidneys.
Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is directly accumulating under the skin.
Furthermore, visceral fat can be divided into the more dangerous intra-organic fat and omental fat accumulated on the outside of organs, such as the pancreas.
Fat deposits inside the liver are most crucial to the development of insulin resistance. They are called intrahepatic fat .
Additionally, intra-organic fat is a major contributor to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease .
Conversely, omental fats effects are rather insignificant, since its surgical removal doesnt result in metabolic improvements .
Increased waist circumference is a significant sign of visceral fat deposits. Therefore, the occurrence of obesity, where most of the fat accumulates around the abdomen, is known as central adiposity or central obesity.
Notably, it correlates very well with intrahepatic fat deposits .
Moreover, central obesity is an accurate predictor for metabolic issues, insulin resistance, and its progression towards type 2 diabetes independent of total weight .
Hence, visceral fat reduction significantly lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes .
Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, doesnt significantly contribute to the development of insulin resistance and diabetes.
So how can we easily test for insulin resistance?
How Can I Prevent Or Reverse Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Physical activity and losing weight if you need to may help your body respond better to insulin. Taking small steps, such as eating healthier foods and moving more to lose weight, can help reverse insulin resistance and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
The National Institutes of Health-funded research study, the Diabetes Prevention Program , showed that for people at high risk of developing diabetes, losing 5 to 7 percent of their starting weight helped reduce their chance of developing the disease.3 Thats 10 to 14 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds. People in the study lost weight by changing their diet and being more physically active.
The DPP also showed that taking metformin, a medicine used to treat diabetes, could delay diabetes. Metformin worked best for women with a history of gestational diabetes, younger adults, and people with obesity. Ask your doctor if metformin might be right for you.
Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your health care professional, family, and friends can help you make lifestyle changes that may prevent or reverse insulin resistance and prediabetes. You may be able to take part in a lifestyle change program as part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
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Is High Blood Sugar Bad
It most certainly is. Now, the American Diabetes Association has, what I feel to be, absolutely ludicrous ranges that they deem as acceptable.
Many studies show that anything above 140 does damage. In my own research, fasting levels above 85, yes 85, and post prandial numbers above 125 actually do damage. Im going to do an entire post on this shortly, so stay tuned for the research that Im referring to!
How Does Insulin Resistance Affect My Body
The development of insulin resistance typically increases insulin production so your body can maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Elevated levels of insulin can result in weight gain, which, in turn, makes insulin resistance worse.
Hyperinsulinemia is also associated with the following conditions:
You dont have to have all four of these features to have metabolic syndrome.
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Cut Out Vegetable Antinutrients
Vegetables arent here for human survival. They dont want to be eaten.
Turns out those innocent and healthy veggies are quite devious after all. To prevent predators from eating them, vegetables all have chemical weapons and booby traps set.
Theyre all like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone. Innocent looking, but destructive. Dont judge a book by its cover
One of those groups of anti nutrients are lectins. Theyre found primarily in grains, nuts, legumes and nightshades.
And they wreak absolute havoc on your body, especially in high doses. This study found that when lectins they reach the bloodstream, they can bind insulin receptors and thereby interfere with insulins action
Just one more reason to cut out vegetables and eat meat like were made to.
Ketogenic Diet Vs The Insulin Resistance Diet
As we mentioned above, the ketogenic diet and other high-fat, low-carb diets are actually very bad for your health in the long term, especially if you have diabetes.
The main reason for these misleading ketogenic recommendations is the positive short-term results of a ketogenic diet. By limiting/removing carbohydrates, the most immediate source of blood glucose spikes, you see quick results.
However, in the long term, this high-fat diet only increases your insulin resistance to dangerous levels, which can have very negative effects if you ever reintroduce glucose to your diet.
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Treatment Goals To Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally
Tip For Reversal #: Avoid Added Sugars
One step you can take to improve insulin resistance is to reduce your intake of added sugars. When comparing the difference between natural sugars vs added sugars, natural sugars are found naturally in foods, such as in fruits, vegetables, and milk. Whereas foods with added sugars have had sugar or sweetener added to them. Foods that can contain added sugars include sodas, juice, candy, bread, flavored yogurts, pastries, cereals, and sauces. Added sugars are often found in the form of table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. These both contain a large amount of fructose, and research has shown that high intakes of fructose can lead to increased insulin resistance. To become more aware of your added sugar intake, start reading nutrition labels – all packaged foods now include added sugar amounts in the labels.
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How To Reverse Insulin Resistance And Improve Your Hormonal Health
An imbalance in insulin and glucose levels can be easily managed with diet and lifestyle changes. If you are diagnosed with insulin resistance, heres what you can do to reverse its course, reduce the symptoms of estrogen dominance, and stave off the hormonal cascade that causes inflammation and disease:
Causes Of Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance can result from lifestyle choices, specific disorders, and steroid use, including:
Chronic stress: Chronic oxidative stress results in weakened insulin response. High glucose can lead to increased production of reactive oxygen species . This can make it harder for your cells to convert the glucose stored in your muscles and fat tissue into energy. You donât want this for aesthetic reasons, but worse, over time, this can lead to B-cell failure in the pancreas, glucose intolerance, and diabetes< sup> 3< /sup> .
Being overweight or obese, particularly apple-shaped bodies: The relationship between obesity and insulin resistance4sup> 4< /sup> is seen across all ethnic groups and a wide range of body weights, as this research review notes. Carry excess fat around your waistline compared to your bum and you could be at higher risk for insulin resistance< sup> 5< /sup> , type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Too much sitting, not enough movement: A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity aside from walking from your car to a building and back is associated with insulin resistance, increased blood pressure, high HDL cholesterol levels< sup> 6< /sup> , and impaired function of the walls of blood vessels.
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Choose Foods Rich In Antioxidants
Colorful fruits, like berries, artichokes, and kale, are especially rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants bind to substances that can cause inflammation in the body and have healing properties which are critical to reversing insulin resistance. The Breakfast recipe Collection is full of foods that are rich in antioxidants to start your day off right!
Keto And Insulin Resistance
Im sure youve probably heard in passing that keto causes insulin resistance. But does it really? Im here to challenge you to dig deeper into that before believing that outright. Because, if you look at the data, it actually IS how to reverse insulin resistance rather than what causes it.
Yall know I love science so Im going to take you through the main argument for why people say keto causes insulin resistance and then take you through the science to explain why, in fact, it might not be the case.
There definitely are studies and trains of thought that found that keto causes insulin resistance. Now, if you are unfamiliar with insulin resistance, then lets take a quick tangent and talk about the basics.
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Get Off Your Ass And Exercise
If you want to be healthy, you need to get off of your ass. You need to try to mimic your hunter gatherer ancestors as much as possible. But still continue to follow me on Twitter, even though they didnt
Unfortunately, most people today are sitting down and eating all day. Most people are cramped in a cubicle surrounded by snacks. You want to do the exact opposite. Move around as much as possible throughout the day.
And most importantly for insulin resistance, conduct high intensity exercise.
Other than consuming red meat, exercise is the fastest way to reduce insulin resistance. Just one single bout of high intensity training can increase insulin sensitivity 40%
This study below showed that just 6 weeks of training, with one set of 8 exercises improved insulin sensitivity. You dont need to go out and run a marathon.
Just lift heavy weights.
Steak + deadlifts are a magical combination.
Obesity is also highly correlated to insulin resistance, which rises linearly with BMI . If youre insulin resistant and obese, you need to cut your BMI.
Lastly, lean muscle mass is associated with better insulin sensitivity . Lean muscle is like a glucose sink. It sucks up any and all glucose available in your blood stream.
What New Research Is Being Conducted On Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance has gained awareness and significance, in its own right, as a contributor to the metabolic syndrome. Timely intervention can delay the onset of overt type 2 diabetes. Future studies must assess longer intervals than existing research to determine the duration for treatment to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and related complications.
Lifestyle changes are clearly important to delay the development of type 2 diabetes in individuals with insulin resistance. Lifestyle changes are the primary recommendation for prevention of diabetes in high-risk individuals. Metformin is the only drug recommended by guidelines for patients at highest risk. Education about these changes must be directed to all groups at risk for type 2 diabetes. Childhood obesity is epidemic and on the rise in developed countries. Changes must be made in homes and school cafeterias to ensure healthier nutrition.
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Can I Reverse Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance has several causes and contributing factors. While lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and losing excess weight, can increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance, not all causes are reversible.
Talk you your healthcare provider about what you can do to best manage insulin resistance.
What Is The Prognosis For Insulin Resistance
The prognosis of insulin resistance depends on several factors, including:
- The cause of insulin resistance.
- The severity of insulin resistance.
- How well your insulin-producing cells are working.
- How susceptible you are to developing complications from insulin resistance.
- Adherence to treatment and your bodys response to treatment.
People can have mild insulin resistance that never turns into prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. People can also have insulin resistance thats reversible or very manageable with lifestyle changes. For some people who have inherited conditions that cause severe insulin resistance, it can be life-threatening or lead to death.
If you have insulin resistance, ask your healthcare provider about what you can expect and how best to manage it.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. Some people with prediabetes may have darkened skin in the armpit or on the back and sides of the neck, a condition called acanthosis nigricans. Many small skin growths called skin tags often appear in these same areas.
Even though blood glucose levels are not high enough to cause symptoms for most people, a few research studies have shown that some people with prediabetes may already have early changes in their eyes that can lead to retinopathy. This problem more often occurs in people with diabetes.
Your Pancreas Does Not Produce More Insulin Than You Require
The image below from Optimising Nutrition advisor Dr Ted Naiman explains how your insulin works like a dam wall holding back the stored energy .
Once your fat cells become full any excess energy from your diet starts to overflow into your bloodstream as elevated blood glucose, ketones and free fatty acids.
When you stop eating, your pancreas dials back insulin secretion and glucagon kicks in to release stored energy into your bloodstream. Unless you have an insulinoma , your pancreas will not produce more than it needs in order to balance your stored body fat and the energy from your diet.
Reducing carbohydrates in your diet is helpful to stabilise insulin and blood glucose. However, if you have excessive body fat, both your fasting insulin and your total insulin levels across the day will be elevated . As shown in the chart below, rather than your carbohydrate intake, your insulin levels across the day are highly correlated with your BMI.
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