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Insulin Resistance Diet

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Insulin resistance is a biochemical condition that directly contributes to weight gain and obesity by slowing the body’s metabolism. How it works is that there is a small organ near the stomach called the pancreas that produces a natural hormone called insulin. Insulin regulates the amount of sugar in the blood and helps blood sugar to enter cells where it will be used for energy. Insulin resistance occurs when our bodies, for unknown reasons, stops recognizing its own insulin. The direct result is a rise in the amount of sugar in the blood. The pancreas then goes into overdrive pumping out more and more insulin to try and lower these climbing blood sugar levels and if the situation is not recognized and corrected will, sooner than later, actually wear out the pancreas. Not only that, but insulin resistance is only one step away from type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.


Causes of Insulin Resistance

The main causes of insulin resistance are; poor diet, physical inactivity and genetic disposition or in other words a family history of diabetes, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. You can’t very well do much about the inherited genes but you can address diet and exercise. As for exercise, that’s easy, get off your butt and get moving. Do something, anything at all, just get going.


Insulin Resistance Diet

For people with Insulin Resistance, dieticians and other medical professionals will recommend an eating program that is similar to the Diabetes Diet with some comparisons to the Atkins Diet. In an insulin resistance diet, sugars and carbohydrates are kept at minimum, proteins are plentiful, and healthy oils and fats are essential. The food group ratio is: fat at 20-30%, protein at 20-30% and carbohydrates at 40-60%. Dietary recommendations include limiting carbohydrates to no more that 2 servings at any time, including 2 servings of fruit daily and the good news is that you can eat all the vegetables that you want.


Foods to Avoid in an Insulin Resistance Diet

Potatoes and Simple Sugars – This includes foods such as common table sugar, fructose, artificial sweeteners, candy, honey, fruit juices, sodas, alcohol and all potatoes, pumpkins and parsnips. These foods rapidly increase insulin production in the body and aggravate insulin resistance.


Whole Grains – Whole grains, such as brown rice and barley should only be eaten on occasion, if at all.


Other Grain Products – Other grain products, including breads, pasta and corn should only be eaten in small amounts.


Hydrogenated Oils and Fried Foods – Avoiding these types of oils and foods is not only recommended for insulin resistance, but for all people wishing to eat a healthier diet.


Foods to Include in an Insulin Resistance Diet

Fruit – Although fruit is a recommended food to eat in an Insulin Resistance Diet, avoid really sweet fruits such as pineapple and dried fruit. Recommended fruits include berries, apples and melons.


Non-starchy Vegetables – Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables either raw or steamed. These include salad greens, kale, avocado, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, celery and peppers, only to name a few. Vegetables to eat only in moderation are carrots, beets, green beans, peas, squashes, new potatoes and yams.


Legumes – Legumes, including beans, peas and soy products, are also recommended foods for an Insulin Resistance Diet.


Proteins – Fish is by far the best protein source you could choose (cooked as is and not covered in batter and deep fried). Other excellent sources of protein include chicken, turkey, buffalo (bison) and pork. Legumes, mentioned above, are also great sources of protein.


Healthy Fats – Consume moderate amounts of healthy fats that are found in oils such as olive oil, fish oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil, canola oil, coconut oil and avocados. These oils are great for using in cooking and in salad dressings.


Recommended Insulin Resistance Diet Book

To make this all very easy try reading “The Insulin-Resistance Diet: How to Turn Off Your Body’s Fat Making Machine” published in 2001 by Cheryle R. Hart MD and Mary Kay Grossman RD. “The Insulin-Resistance Diet” can be downloaded from the Internet for free and the book version (also available on-line) costs around $20 for paperback or can be found for as low as $6 a used copy. The authors of this eating guide book promote lifelong, livable eating and it has been highly rated by its users.


How to Detect Insulin Resistance

There are usually no symptoms for insulin resistance. Because of this you will want to have your blood sugar levels taken (a simple blood test) annually along with your yearly medical checkups. If diet and exercise do not correct the imbalance of sugar in the blood, just like a diabetic you may require insulin injections for treatment.