Get The Right Amount And Type Of Protein
Consuming adequate protein at meals can be beneficial for controlling your weight and insulin levels.
In a small study from 2015, premenopausal individuals living with obesity had lower insulin levels after consuming a high protein breakfast compared with a low protein breakfast. They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories at lunch .
However, protein stimulates insulin production so that your muscles can take up amino acids. Therefore, eating very high amounts over a prolonged period may lead to higher insulin levels in otherwise healthy individuals .
A larger study from 2018 sheds some light on these diverging results: When it comes to protein, dietary patterns are important.
For instance, researchers found that individuals who ate a majority of plant proteins were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while individuals who ate a lot of protein in the form of red meat had a greater likelihood of living with or developing type 2 diabetes .
So while protein is important, eating a variety of protein that isnt overly processed and is nutrient-dense is even more important.
Diet Tips For Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance increases your risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. A diagnosis of insulin resistance is also an early warning sign. You may be able to prevent diabetes with healthy lifestyle choices, including regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much
It depends on who you are, and what kind of sugar were talking about.
Eating sugar is a game of Russian rouletterisk varies from person to person. Theres no way to know for sure what the safe threshold is or which diseases you will get if you overdo it. However, we do know that some people can get away with more sugar than others.
There are two types of people in the world: insulin sensitive and insulin resistant. These exist on a spectrum.
There are two types of carbohydrates in the world: naturally-occurring sugars and starches and refined carbohydrates. These also exist on a spectrum.
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What Recent Studies Suggest About Diabetes And Diet:
There is evidence that eating high loads of animal products can lead to higher disease risk or;poorer diabetes management. Population groups that modify their traditional dietary habits, increasing the amount of animal products while reducing plant-based foods, experience a remarkable rise in the frequency of type 2 diabetes, says Mendez del Rio.
In fact, the study found, diets that push high protein intake and low carb eating can further intensify insulin resistance. On the other hand, plant-based foods enhance insulin sensitivity, which means you should be reaching for more greens to fill your plate.
Intermittent Fasting: The Best Insulin Resistance Diet
The best way to increase your insulin sensitivity is through fasting. In an episode of the Bulletproof Radio podcast . Dr. Jason Fung explains how intermittent fasting drops your insulin levels, which alters your bodys demand for insulin in a good way.
If you become very insulin resistant, then your insulin levels are up all the time, your body is always trying to shove the energy into the fat cells, and then you feel cold and tired and lousy. Thats the real problem. Resistance really depends on two things. Its not simply the high levels, but its the persistence of those levels. What people have realized is that the insulin resistance, because it depends on those two things, a period of time where you can get your insulin levels very low is going to break that resistance because it breaks that persistence. Not simply the levels, but the persistence of those levels.
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Intermittent fasting is the easiest, smartest, most consistent way to fast. In short, intermittent fasting means you eat all of the food youll eat in a day in a short window of time. People will fast anywhere from 12-20 hours per day, depending on goals. More on how to do it here.
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What And When To Eat To Reduce Insulin
Heres a startling truth. I can make you fat. Actually, I can make anybody fat. How? I simply prescribe insulin injections. Giving people extra insulin inevitably leads to weight gain. In type 1 diabetes, when insulin levels are extremely low, patients lose weight no matter how many calories they eat. Give insulin gain weight. No insulin lose weight . The implication is clear. Insulin causes weight gain. Knowing this is crucial, because if insulin causes weight gain, then lowering insulin should help with losing weight. But this very different than just counting calories.
So heres the situation. Medicine tells you that obesity is a caloric balance problem and that you should eat less and move more. Medicine tells you to eat a low-fat diet, and to eat six or more times a day. This advice doesnt work for most people. When it doesnt work, Medicine frequently assumes its your fault for not being able to stick with the advice. Our advice was good, Medicine tells you. You just didnt do it right.
Imagine, though we have a classroom of 100 pupils. One fails. Its likely his fault. Maybe he played too many video games. But if 99 students fail, then its not a problem with the students. The problem is with the teacher. In obesity, the problem of rampant obesity means that it is obviously not the fault of the people. The fault lies with the official dietary advice.
Perfect Breakfast Option : Fruit Bowl With Chia Or Flax
One of the best ways to start your morning off right is to eat a generous serving of fresh fruit because it provides your body with easily digestible carbohydrate energy that lasts for hours and provides your brain with exactly the fuel its designed to run on: glucose.
Carbohydrate-rich whole foods require large amounts of insulin only if the total amount of fat in your diet is high, and especially if the amount of saturated fat in your diet is high. When you eat fat-rich foods, your ability to metabolize carbohydrate-rich foods declines immediately. Eating a low-fat fruit-centric meal first thing in the morning substitutes for fat-rich and protein-rich foods. Fresh fruits contain a complex collection of macronutrients including carbohydrate, fat, and protein, as well as micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Its the presence of a vast array of behind-the-scenes micronutrients that increases the nutrient density of your fruit-centric meal and helps protect your blood glucose from rising rapidly.
Start constructing a fresh fruit bowl by combining the following ingredients:
1. Roughly 3 to 4 servings of fruit . A serving of fruit is one of the following:
* 1 whole fruit * 1 cup of berries * 1 cup of grapes* 1 cup of small fruits
2. One tablespoon freshly ground chia seeds or 1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseeds
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How Much Refined Carbohydrate Can You Eat
Everyone should avoid refined carbohydrates. There is broad agreement in the scientific community that refined carbohydrates are unhealthy for all of us, whether we are insulin-resistant or not, so the less you eat of these the better. Most public health authorities explicitly recommend keeping intake to a minimum.
The World Health Organization officially recommends in its new 2015 guideline1 that people of all ages should limit added sugar to less than 5% of total daily calories. So, if you eat 2,000 calories per day, the WHO says that no more than 100 calories should come from added sugars, including sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. That amounts to 26 grams of sugar per day, which is just over 2 tablespoons of sugar per day, maximum. Keep in mind that the WHO guidelines were created with healthy people in mind, not people with insulin resistance.
How To Get Started Tracking Macronutrients
If youre not already tracking your macros, I encourage you to get started. Go into it expecting that its going to take a while to appreciate and enjoy, but that the long-term benefits far outweigh the small amount of time it takes to track.;
Youre much more likely to be mindful of the food you’re putting in your mouth. It helps hold you accountable, and frankly just educates you about whats in your food.;
In the next 48 hours, I want you to go to www.weightlossforhealth.com/macros so you can get those free training videos. They only take a few minutes to watch and get started, but without the training videos the set-up can be a little tricky.;
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What Are Clinical Trials And Are They Right For You
Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out if clinical trials are right for you.
Cut Out Highly Glycemic Carbs
Shocker: the best way to reduce high insulin levels is to stop eating the crap that raises it!
The amount of times Ive seen someone with type 2 diabetes continue to eat carbohydrates is sickening. Youd think that this would be the obvious first step, but unfortunately it isnt because it can open doctors to lawsuits.
According to diabetes Dr. Bernstein, MDs prescribe a high-carb diet to their diabetic patients just so that they dont get sued.;Even though this leads to blindness & amputation, it prevents hypoglycemia, the 1 thing they can be sued for .
Carbohydrates are one of the main reasons why insulin exists. Most are highly insulinogenic. And theyre non essential .
Theyre providing nothing for you other than satisfying your carb addiction.;If youre insulin resistant you need to cut out carbs and fuel yourself from fat ASAP.
In this study, participants on Keto:
- Ate 30% fewer calories
- Lost 4 lbs in 14 days
- And most importantly.improved insulin sensitivity by 75%
This is in just 14 days!
The Ketogenic diet will reduce your insulin needs. It also will increase your metabolic rate, which frees up your fat cells to burn energy like theyre supposed to.
Subjects of this study burned more energy just by having lower insulin levels. Thats the magic of reducing insulin.
Lastly, carbohydrates cause oxidative stress, which worsen insulin resistance and inflame your entire body .
If you want to optimize your health, cut out these inflammatory, unnecessary carbs.
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Faqs Of Insulin Resistance Diets
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Focus On Smart Slow Burning Carbohydrates
We dont need to fear carbohydrates its the type of carbohydrate we want to focus on.Have you heard of the glycemic index? Its a scale that ranks a carb’s ability to raise blood sugar on a scale of 0-100. Low GI foods normalize blood sugars, balance insulin levels, and also balance our cravings .
How do you follow a low glycemic index diet? Choose high fiber carbs and always pair those carbs with protein or fat. Low GI foods include berries, apples, spinach, beans, quinoa, and oats. When consuming grain products, choose whole kernel or traditionally processed alternatives
As well, reduce refined grains, potato products, and added sugarshigh glycemic load carbohydrates with low overall nutritional quality.
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Ways To Combat Menopausal Weight Gain Due To Insulin Resistance
Many women find that they gain weight sometimes a significant amount during menopause.; And, to make matters worse, their old tried and true ways of getting the weight off simply dont work.
There are many theories regarding the causes of weight gain at menopause.; Its a complex issue that includes a combination of poor diet sedentary lifestyle, stress, and many other factors.; But, the truth is, whatever the underlying cause, insulin resistance is the primary driver of menopausal weight gain. And, the key to reversing it and achieving lasting weight loss is to keep insulin levels low.
Now, to be clear, menopause does not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the result of overall poor hormonal health. If you are struggling with post-menopausal insulin resistance and weight gain here are some additional recommendations:
Have you ever been diagnosed with insulin resistance?; What have you done to reverse it?
Additional Resources from Dr. Northrup
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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Foods To Eat To Improve Insulin Resistance
Diet plays a significant role in the reversal of insulin resistance. Research has shown that there are certain dietary approaches to improving insulin resistance, such as eating more lean proteins, fiber, and healthy fats. Knowing what food to include in your diet is just as important as knowing what to limit or avoid, such as ultra-processed foods and snacks, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars.
Learning how to eat healthier is one of the ways you can lower blood sugar naturally, but making healthy changes to your diet isnt always easy. Having a good support system, a solid plan, and tools to help and encourage you along the way can make it much more manageable.
If youre trying to reverse insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity, you may want to incorporate the following foods into your diet.
Working With Your Doctor
As noted previously, most doctors dont routinely test for insulin resistance. This may be appropriate when testing wont change the recommendations for lifestyle modifications and/or treatment. However, testing can be very helpful when the results would clearly inform ones choice of dietary modification or medical therapy.
If your waist-to-height ratio is larger than 0.50, you may want to talk with your doctor about ordering follow up tests to confirm that insulin resistance is present, and that you are at risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems.
You will likely have to ask for these tests. Dont be afraid to be proactive and educate your doctor about these tests if you request them, as they may be worth the effort. However, be aware that not all health systems provide coverage for insulin levels and you may have to pay the full cost yourself.
We recommend three tests, all of which can be done fasting: insulin, triglycerides, and glucose.
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Foods That Decrease Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a hot topic in PCOS. Its considered to be at the heart of PCOS for the majority of women. Studies estimate 75-95% of women with PCOS have some degree of insulin resistance. The good news is that diet and lifestyle can have a major effect on improving insulin resistance. Youre probably tired of reading about the foods you should supposedly avoid if you have insulin resistance.; I prefer to take a different approach . think about the foods you should ADD to your diet that can improve insulin resistance in PCOS.
Understanding The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index is an index that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by high, medium, and low glucose levels. Understanding where foods fall on the GI scale can help you make smart eating and food purchasing decisions to help support insulin resistance.;
Youll want to eat foods that generally fall low on the GI scale. Low GI foods include whole grains, sweet potatoes, and non-starchy veggies. If youre looking for sweet stuff, youll want to try low-GI, non-nutritive sweeteners, such as monk fruit and Stevia. ;A wise move: Download a GI app, such as Glycemic Index Load, for your phone to help you make healthy grocery-shopping decisions.;
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