Insulin is a hormone in the body that functions by ensuring the movement of glucose in the blood to enter the cells, and this provides the body with energy. Its essentiality can’t be overemphasized as it is needed to stay alive.
In other words, insulin could also be referred to as a chemical messenger, which allows for the cellular absorption of glucose. In the body, the pancreas is the organ responsible for the secretion of insulin, and it is involved in the regulation of blood glucose levels.
Moreover, if insulin isn’t secreted enough, it could lead to severe health complications such as diabetes. Adequate insulin production is necessary as it ensures every consumed sugar is converted to glucose before it enters the bloodstream.
WHAT IS INSULIN RESISTANCE?
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in the muscles, liver, and some other organs in the body don’t respond well to insulin and unable to draw glucose from the blood. As a result, the pancreas is strained to produce more insulin to overcome the cell’s weak response.
Insulin resistance could cause myriads of severe health challenges such as prediabetes, type-2 diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and many others. It is a state that exposes the body to a plethora of health risks.
HOW DOES INSULIN RESISTANCE DEVELOP?
As much as age, genetics, and ethnicity play a somewhat significant role in how sensitive the body is to insulin, essential factors that spur insulin resistance are excessive body weight, physical inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and not getting enough sleep.
With the development of insulin resistance, the body tries to fight back by secreting more insulin. After an extended period, the cells in the pancreas which have been struggling to produce more insulin get exhausted and unable to secrete any at all.
Consequentially, the blood sugar would begin to scale up, and eventually, prediabetes or type-2 diabetes may develop. More so, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is a health challenge associated with insulin resistance, could also begin.
INSULIN RESISTANCE AND WEIGHT LOSS
When insulin resistance begins, there are no signs of diabetes at all, and even blood sugar levels are normal.
Studies have proven that excessive body weight has a high tendency to increase the risk of developing insulin resistance. Thus, losing weight is ideal in ensuring the risk of having this health defect is lessened.
Yes, weight-related problems such as obesity, sedentary living, extra fat in some areas of the body, and too much consumption of diets that contains a high level of unprocessed carbohydrates could result in the development of insulin resistance.
Therefore, you must put preventive measures in place to avoid this health problem. One such measure is weight loss. As earlier implied, research has discovered that a weight loss of 5-7 percent is quite enough to lessen the risk of developing diabetes by over 58 percent in someone close to developing it.
So, losing and maintaining a healthy weight can aid in the reduction of the risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes, diabetes, and other severe health challenges that could develop.
Your insulin levels must always be kept in check. Other preventive measures for insulin resistance include regular exercising, abstinence from sugar, and low-carb dieting.
DIETARY TIPS TO CONTROL INSULIN LEVELS
When it comes to diets to take for insulin resistance, you must go for foods that are unprocessed and avoid processed foods.
Highly processed foods such as soda, rice, pasta, white bread, sweets, and dried fruits contain high glycerin. Thus, they can raise your blood sugar levels faster than unprocessed foods and put extra stress on the pancreas, an organ that produces the hormone insulin.
However, foods high in saturated fat also tend to worsen insulin resistance. Also, the consumption of high fat and energy-dense diets can make one overweight, which could, in turn, deteriorate insulin sensitivity.
Furthermore, eating healthy fats as well as mixed meals and food high in fiber could slow digestion. This, in turn, can help to take the pressure off the pancreas and reverse insulin resistance.
Here are some foods that you can mix and match to reverse insulin resistance and create satisfying, healthy dishes.
Fruits contain enough vitamins that could help to not only reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome but also insulin resistance. They also provide the body with enough minerals and fiber.
However, you must avoid fruit juices because they are capable of raising blood sugar. Instead, concentrate on citrus fruits like limes and lemons as well as oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, pears, berries, grapes, bananas, plums, and apple.
Subsequently, you should note the consumption of more than the recommended allowance of fruits may add too much sugar to your diet. Thus, it may not work for insulin resistance.
Therefore, you must take them in the recommended serving portion, which provides just fifteen grams of carbohydrates.
Vegetables contain very low calories and are high in fiber. They provide a lot of health benefits that could aid in the reduction of insulin resistance. Veggies can also help you manage your blood sugar.
Some examples of vegetables you can take are greens like cabbage, kale, beets, okra, mushrooms, pea pods, summer squash, and collards. You can also take tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, colorful peppers as well as cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Moreover, make sure you choose non-starchy veggies over starchy veggies like corn, peas, and potatoes. Also, if you intend to choose vegetables that are canned or frozen, be sure that it is not contained with sugar, fat, or salt.
However, vegetable juices may be healthy, but they are not as fibrous or filling as fresh vegetables.
Apart from being proteinous, beans are also an excellent fiber source. Unlike foods with glycerin, they slowly raise the blood sugar level, which is a benefit for people suffering from insulin resistance.
Good options for beans include lima, pinto, or red and black beans.
More so, the soluble fiber contained in beans can also improve your gut health and aid easy digestion of food.
However, in case you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to cook, canned beans are preferable to dried beans. All you need to do is make sure you rinse and drain it properly. Asides from that, it is safer to go with the one without added salt.
Dairy provides the body with enough calcium and protein to stay strong and healthy.
With low fat-milk and non-fat yogurts that are plain, you get protein, fewer calories, and calcium. Several studies have shown these dairy products help to lower insulin resistance.
However, it is essential to keep away from full-fat and whole milk yogurt because they contain a high level of saturated fat that could worsen insulin resistance.
Moreover, if you are lactose intolerant, you should try taking unsweetened alternative milk like lactose-free cow milk or fortified soy milk.
Dietary intake of oily fish helps to improve insulin sensitivity in the body. Fishes also contain lean protein, which is very beneficial to your overall health.
However, fishes are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Some fishes that could prove beneficial to the body include rainbow trout, salmon, sardines, tilapia, haddock, mackerel, herring, and tuna. People that prefer shellfishes can also try crabs, oysters, clams, scallops, lobsters, and shrimps.
Make an effort to limit fishes that are deep-fried or breaded. If you intend eating fried fish, ensure its cooked in zero cholesterol oil or preferably grilled.
Whole-grain foods are essential for people suffering from insulin resistance. They are rich minerals, fiber, and vitamins.
A lot of people believe that avoiding carbs is essential to prevent a high blood sugar level. But, healthy whole, unprocessed carbohydrate sources could serve as an excellent fuel source for your body.
However, it is also important to focus on foods as a mixed meal with fat and protein. These can also help to lower your blood sugar level.
Some whole grain products you can eat include millet, brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat, wild rice, quinoa, cornmeal, and bulgur.
INSULIN RESISTANCE AND THE KETO DIET
Research has proven that the ketogenic diet is effective in eliminating insulin resistance. The Keto diet is an approach that involves a low-carb and high-fat feeding system.
It ensures your carb intake is massively reduced, and a much better substitute replaces the excessive consumption of it. This ensures less sugar in the body, which means the pancreas won’t need to secrete more insulin in the conversion of sugar to glucose.
This is another crucial measure that you can try to prevent insulin resistance, beat down your blood sugar levels, and also avoid any diabetic-related ailment.
In summary, insulin resistance could lead to numerous health risks. The measures, as mentioned above, could prove useful in the prevention of it. So, take the necessary measures and be circumspective about your insulin levels.