Diet plays an important role in managing a lot of health issues. Understanding how insulin resistance works at a cellular level can help individuals choose their own health interventions effectively to prevent the onset of diabetes. Implementing an insulin resistance diet plan to lose weight goes a long way for those struggling with obesity and diabetes Studies show that insulin resistance diet plans along with regular physical activity can greatly improve health markers. Insulin resistance wreaks havoc on the balance of insulin and blood sugar levels causing the body to struggle with burning food for energy supply. When this happens, sugar in the blood increases which can lead to type 2 prediabetes.
Habits and lifestyle are major precursors of diabetes brought about by insulin resistance. Making better food choices and living an active life helps to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels just as much as it encourages weight loss. A combination of exercise and following an insulin resistance diet plan may just bring about the desired results even without medication.
Understanding Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a type of hormone in the body that helps absorb glucose and maintains the balance of sugar levels in the blood. When an individual develops insulin resistance, cells start to struggle with the processing of glucose. Insulin resistance basically means the body is not able to absorb insulin as it should be. If this condition is not dealt with, it can cause a wide range of health issues such as permanent high blood sugar level and eventual damage to organs, muscles, and eyesight. Once you have been diagnosed with insulin resistance, you may need constant regular check-ups to ensure that you do not develop type 2 diabetes. Dietary and lifestyle changes are most essential in managing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
The Insulin Resistance Diet
An insulin resistance diet is pretty similar to a diabetic diet that helps regulate insulin and blood sugar levels as well as induce weight loss. Studies have shown evidence that excess weight is the main cause of insulin resistance which means weight loss is definitely a requisite.
Diabetes prevention programs highly recommend an insulin resistance diet paired with a weight loss program. Here are several tips and strategies to follow :
Stay Away from Carbohydrates
Glycemic control can be achieved by limiting and monitoring carbohydrate consumption. You may do with carb counting or just by cutting down on the amount you regularly eat and start with educated estimates. Although you may include carbs in your diet it is best to stick with the type of carbs found in vegetables, legumes, dairy, and whole grains. Refined carbohydrates such as flour, sugar, and fruits high in sugar are best avoided as these increase insulin resistance. If you must use flour or have the need to eat food items — go with grains in their whole form such as whole wheat, rye, coconut flour, or almond flour.
1. Ditch Sweetened Drinks & Beverages
Any type of sugar will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends staying away from sugary beverages like soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, and frappuccinos which contain high fructose corn syrup or HFCS Energy drinks and vitamin water, concentrated fruit juice also contains sucrose, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners. Individuals who regularly drink sweetened bevies are at a greater risk of developing diabetes by at least 26 percent.
Good ole water is always the best thirst quencher. If you’re looking for a little fizz, go with seltzer or lemon-infused sparkling water, or green juice.
Go with natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia if you must use them in your coffee or tea.
2. Fill up with Fiber
Individuals with diabetes whose daily diet that contains more than 50 grams of fiber have been found to have improved glycemia. Whole-grain foods are a good source of fiber. However, this does not include whole grain products or food items that have been processed. Healthy food sources of fiber include legumes, Brussel sprouts, peas, flax seeds, and other vegetables. The best way to incorporate fiber in your daily meals is to fill half your plate with vegetables. These are filling but are low in calories and pack a good punch of anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals.
3. Eat Good Fats
Unsaturated fats are highly encouraged as part of the daily diet in individuals with insulin resistance. The type of fat you consume is what matters than the total amount of fat you eat. Consuming foods rich in fatty acids improve glycemic control and lipids. Foods loaded with monounsaturated and omega -3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, avocado, nuts, and olive oil have a great impact on cardiovascular health markers and diabetes. Individuals with diabetes should increase their consumption of monounsaturated fatty foods and decrease the intake of carbohydrates that come from baked goods or fatty meats that contain saturated fat.
4. Pack in Enough Protein
A high protein diet has been found to help in the treatment of obesity. Studies have shown significant weight loss in those who ate more protein compared to those who consumed less protein in their diet. It has been found that individuals with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes benefit much from a high protein diet as they maintain muscle and bone mass which usually decreases in people with insulin resistance. You can help regulate your blood sugar levels by loading up on lean meats, free-range poultry, eggs, wild-caught fish, yogurt, and lentils
5. Double up on Dairy
Scientific evidence and research have linked reduced risks of type 2 diabetes in people who regularly consume dairy in their diet. Dairy products that usually contain calcium, vitamin D, and trans-palmitoleic acid may significantly decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and increase insulin sensitivity. When choosing dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt — go with organic products made from sheep or goats milk instead of cow’s milk
6. Pay Attention to Your Portions
Weight loss is a key element in controlling insulin resistance. Following a diet that requires you to choose your foods wisely also comes with controlling the portions you eat in each meal. This equates to decreasing your calorie intake to achieve maximum results. Consuming big portions of your daily meals will certainly lead to obesity as this encourages overeating. If you get hungry often during the day, eat small meals spread out to about 6 meals so as to keep yourself from getting too hungry. Hunger pangs cause you to binge eat in the next meal. Chew your food slowly and never eat in a rush. Fill up your plate with fiber-rich food, lean protein, and healthy fats to keep you satiated and help curb cravings.
7. Keep Moving
Having an exercise routine is a great way to maintain good cardiovascular health as well as lowering blood sugar levels and helps your body cells to be sensitive to insulin. Another great benefit of exercise is weight loss. Although not many people live an active lifestyle, this does not mean you have to become a gym rat. Staying fit doesn’t mean training like an athlete every day. But sticking to some form of physical activity that gets you to move and enjoy what you’re doing is enough to get your heart pumping and burning calories. A walk around the park or even the mall, dancing, and swimming are just as good as any exercise routine as long as you do it regularly. If you’re short on time, taking the stairs at work or walking home from work still gets your heart pumping. Sneak in 10 minutes of exercise three times throughout the day adds up to 30 minutes of burning calories.