Treating Insulin Resistance Beyond Diet
As I mentioned previously dietary intervention is certainly important in the treatment of insulin resistance but you can take it several steps further by adding in other therapies.
Specifically, the use of medications, supplements, exercise and lifestyle interventions can add a multiplicative effect to treating your insulin resistance.
This means that weight loss will be more profound and the lowering of your insulin levels will occur much more quickly when all of these therapies are added together.
The best part about the interventions I’m going to mention below is that they all have literary sources backing them up.
That means they have been shown in studies to help lower insulin levels, augment weight loss or balance hormones.
I will provide relevant links when appropriate below.
Insulin Resistance Medications:
This is where things can get tricky.
Most diabetic medications are targeted at reducing blood sugar levels instead of focusing on reducing insulin levels themselves.
In fact, many diabetic medications cause an INCREASE in insulin in an effort to reduce blood sugar.
Does it make sense to increase insulin levels further if high insulin levels lead to insulin resistance in the first place?
Not really – but this is how many medications work.
If you remember what we discussed above you will recall that reducing blood sugar levels makes us feel good, but it doesn’t always reduce adverse events or help patients live longer.
1. GLP-1 Agonists
Insulin Resistance Diet: Foods To Avoid And Sample Menu
We include products that we think our readers will find useful. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Learn about our process.
Insulin resistance occurs when your bodys cells dont respond well to insulin and cant efficiently absorb glucose or blood sugar from your blood.
Consequently, your body produces more insulin, which can increase your risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver over time.
Fortunately, you can reverse insulin resistance and decrease your risk of these complications with your diet.
This article explains what to eat and avoid to reverse insulin resistance and lose fat and provides a sample insulin resistance diet menu.
Foods And Beverages Containing Artificial Sweeteners
According to a 2020 study, artificial sweeteners can directly impact insulin resistance among people with type 2 diabetes.
Prolonged exposure to beverages containing maltodextrin and sweetened with sucralose may also decrease sensitivity to insulin.
More research is needed into the relationship between insulin resistance and specific artificial sweeteners.
Some healthcare professionals recommend artificially sweetened foods and beverages as alternatives to sugar sweetened options. Contact your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet or if you have concerns about artificial sweeteners.
Recommended Reading: Diet Shot To Lose Weight
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.
What Are The Complications Of Insulin Resistance
The majority of the complications that can result from insulin resistance are related to the development of vascular complications due to elevated blood sugar levels and elevated insulin levels .
Not everyone who has insulin resistance will have complications. If youve been diagnosed with insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, its important to see your healthcare provider regularly and follow your treatment plan to try to prevent these complications.
Don’t Miss: Pcos Diet Plan To Lose Weight
Saturated And Trans Fats
Foods high in these fatshave been found tonegatively impact insulin sensitivity. Saturated fats are found in butter, cakes, and processed meatslike sausages and baconwhile trans fats are often hiding in frozen foods, microwave popcorn, shortening, and store-bought baked foods, like cakes, pies, and cookies. Instead of cutting out sweet treats altogether, you may want to try your hand at making homemade, healthier alternatives.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Insulin Resistance
If youve been diagnosed with insulin resistance or conditions related to insulin resistance, its important to see your healthcare provider regularly to make sure your blood sugar levels are in a healthy range and that your treatment is working.
If youre experiencing symptoms of high blood sugar or prediabetes, contact your healthcare provider. They can run simple tests to check your blood sugar levels.
If you have a family history of diabetes or conditions that can cause insulin resistance, talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of developing insulin resistance.
Don’t Miss: Low Fodmap Diet Food List
Five Quick Swaps To Support Insulin Sensitivity
- Look for heart-healthy fat sources, such as fish, olive and vegetable oils, avocados, and nuts, instead of fried foods and fatty meats.
- Select whole grains and whole-grain products instead of refined ones, such as bread, flour, rice, cereal, pasta, and crackers.
- Choose fish and plant-based proteins instead of red or processed meat.
- Drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, fruit drinks, and flavored/sweetened tea and coffee.
- Snack on fruits and vegetables instead of chips, cookies, or French fries.
How To Increase Insulin Sensitivity And Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally
The most powerful ways to increase your insulin sensitivity and reverse insulin resistance naturally are through lifestyle changes. Some factors like getting more sleep and reducing stress are supplementary, while others can lead to drastic positive changes.
There are three key tools to reversing insulin resistance:
- Adopting a diet designed to reduce insulin resistance
- Periodic intermittent fasting
All of which result in other follow-on benefits like weight loss and reduction in belly fat.
Also Check: Low Calorie Diet Plan For Weight Loss
Eating For Insulin Resistance
Many Australians live with insulin resistance for years before its diagnosed it generally starts silently and can progress with very few symptoms. If left unchecked, insulin resistance can develop into pre-diabetes, and eventually type two diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, insulin resistance is reversible and does not automatically mean a person will develop prediabetes or type two diabetes. In fact, it can be a very timely warning sign and a great time to reflect on your diet and lifestyle and make some improvements. With even just a few lifestyle changes, its possible to reverse insulin resistance, regain your energy, get a hold of your sugar cravings and lower your risk of many lifestyle related diseases.
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 .
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 , 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.
Don’t Miss: 3 Month Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet
How Is Insulin Resistance Diagnosed
Insulin resistance is difficult to diagnose because there isnt routine testing for it, and as long as your pancreas is producing enough insulin to overcome the resistance, you wont have any symptoms.
As theres no single test that can directly diagnose insulin resistance, your healthcare provider will consider several factors when assessing insulin resistance, including your:
- Medical history.
Number 5 Broccoli Sprouts
This nutritious green vegetable is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and important nutrients that do wonders for managing your blood sugar levels.
A study published in the International Journal of Food Science Nutrition found that broccoli sprouts were able to improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
On top of that, a team of researchers found that sulforaphanes, which is a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli sprouts, can help protect blood vessels from damage caused by high blood sugar levels.
You May Like: Best Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight
Number 3 Black And Green Tea
Tea is rich in polyphenols, which are natural compounds that have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer.
Many studies have found that polyphenols in black and green tea encourage healthy insulin secretion, while also reducing blood sugar levels.
This is because these teas contain a natural compound called epigallocatechin gallate , which has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
Drink a cup of tea after your meal to help prevent your blood sugar from spiking.
Lean Protein And Poultry
Fans of chicken and turkey neednt go hungry at Thanksgiving. Lean white meat is a good source of protein.
However, be sure to avoid eating the skin if youre looking to manage your insulin resistance even if youve cooked the bird skin-on, which is fine. This is because the skin is high in poor quality fat, which isnt good for heart health.
Other lean sources of protein include:
pork: center loin or tenderloin*
veal: roast or loin chop*
lamb: roast or lean chop*
beef: lean, with the fat removed*
vegetarian protein: beans, legumes, tofu, soy, and tempeh
*Limit to 1-2 times per week
Don’t Miss: Cabbage Soup 7 Day Diet
What Symptoms Can You Have With Insulin Resistance
While the best way to confirm a diagnosis is by lab markers, there are a few signs and symptoms that you might have insulin resistance. These include:
- Having difficulty losing weight
- Having fatty liver
- Having skin tags or Acanthosis nigricans
If youre wondering about your own symptoms, I recommend reaching out to your doctor to schedule lab testing.
Intermittent Fasting And The Insulin Resistance Diet
Another tool to help reverse insulin resistance quickly is intermittent fasting, a dietary strategy in which eating periods are interspersed with regular fasts .
The main reason that this works is due to a biological process called autophagy. During extended periods without food, your body uses this natural adaptation to burn excess fat, proteins, and recycled cells for energy.
Combined with an insulin resistance diet, the results are powerful. However, its important to be aware that without a change to your underlying diet, intermittent fasting will not be very effective.
Don’t Miss: Benefits Of Plant Based Diets
Food Items You Can Easily Consume
Choose The Right Proteins
Choose The Right Proteins
Eating adequate proteins will help keep you full as proteins digest slower than carbohydrates and dont cause a spike in blood sugar levels. A diet that includes enough proteins will also help promote weight loss and prevent cravings. The best proteins are lean cuts of meat like poultry without skin and lean cuts of red meats. Fish is another great source of proteins as are eggs. If you are vegetarian or vegan, plant-based proteins like soy, beans, legumes, tempeh, and nuts are all good options.
Don’t Miss: Keto Diet For Belly Fat
Insulin Resistance Diet For Diabetes What To Eat & What To Avoid
If you lived with diabetes for a while, youve probably noticed that sometimes you may struggle with insulin resistance.
People with all types of diabetes can suffer from insulin resistance, and the longer youve had diabetes, the more likely you are to experience this.
There are many ways to manage insulin resistance, but one of the best and easiest modifications to make is what you eat every day.
This article will explore the insulin resistance diet for diabetes, what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid, and how you can better manage insulin resistance in your life.
Key Takeaways: Best Diet For Insulin Resistance
The best diet and lifestyle for managing your insulin resistance is one that should help you to feel empowered to manage your diagnosis with confidence. It should fit into your lifestyle, not make you feel left out or defeated.
Many risk factors increase your risk of developing insulin resistance or prediabetes and so that gives you many different routes to improve your health, too.There is even the potential for your lifestyle changes to reverse your insulin resistance or prediabetes diagnosis .
Working with a registered dietitian helps you to find your best plan faster and with less frustration. And when your registered dietitian is a culinary expert to boot , you will be confident and satisfied with your recommended meal plans and recipes. Being satisfied with your meals and snacks is so important to have a plan that feels good for the long run.
As a registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist, I can say with certainty that I am not your average prediabetes dietitian. You benefit from both my extensive nutrition training and experience but also the kitchen skills to translate those health goals into satisfying meals that youll truly enjoy eating...all while losing weight and lowering your blood sugar.
Ready to take charge of your health? Your first step is to book your free consultation so that we can feel certain that were a good fit to work together. Email me to request your free 20-minute consultation!
Don’t Miss: Keto Diet Rules For Beginners
Life After The Meal Plan
Find more recipes on our site
Your journey doesnt end after 7 days of Mediterranean-style recipes that help with insulin resistance. Its about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.
Weve got plenty of recipes online already. Just use the search function on our home page if youre looking for a specific ingredient or check out our recipe page.
You can also sign up to our 28 day plan for over 100+ recipes and 4 weeks of meal plans.
We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.
Benefits Of Following An Insulin Resistance Diet
How can following an insulin resistance diet improve your insulin resistance and your overall health?
Being that one of the main risk factors for developing insulin resistance is thought to be excess weight following a diet may help manage your risk.
It is worth noting that achieving sustainable weight loss is not easy. Achieving a consistent calorie deficit may be enough to make weight loss initially, but this does not account for the physiological responses for long term weight loss.
As you lose weight and your body adapts to fewer calories, you also may begin to expend fewer calories than you did when you weighed more.
In essence, energy expenditure can decline as you lose weight. Also, your body weight is regulated by something called a negative feedback circuit. This influences food intake, and when you lose weight, it is accompanied by endocrine adaptations.
These adaptations can increase your appetite and decrease your satiety, so the same amount of food wont fill you up in the way it used to. These are just some of the mechanisms that highlight the complexities of the human body and losing weight.
While it is possible to lose weight and keep it off, it is more challenging than many standard diet plans would have you believe. Calorie restriction is essential, but more so, are long-term sustainable dietary changes and a gradual approach, all supported by behavior change and professional support.
Don’t Miss: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Ha Hydrolyzed
Foods That Can Increase Insulin Resistance
There are a few foods that can increase insulin resistance or risk factors or risk for developing prediabetes or diabetes. These are some foods to consider limiting or eating only occasionally.
- Red meat, processed, and cured meats, such as ribs, steaks, ham, pepperoni, bologna, salami, hot dogs, ground beef, and luncheon meats.
- White potatoes, such as chips, French fries, hash browns, and mashed potatoes.
- White bread and other products made with white flour, such as bagels, pita, English muffins, croissants, muffins, and other baked goods.
- Other refined grains and grain products, such as white rice, pasta, and crackers, and refined cereal.
- Sugar-sweetened foods, such as cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, candy, jam, and certain flavored foods, such as flavored oatmeal and many flavored yogurts.
- Fried and battered foods, such as fried chicken, fried fish, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, zucchini sticks, and fried shrimp.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Solid fats, such as butter, lard, and shortening.
Lark DPP can help you keep track of when you choose these foods, and offer suggestions for healthier alternatives.