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Controlling Insulin Resistance Through Diet

written by: Bobby Mathew • edited by: lrohner • updated: 9/19/2010

Insulin resistance is a condition where the body is unable to process insulin effectively, resulting in elevated glucose levels in the bloodstream. This can lead to a variety of other complications and illness. If you have poor insulin sensitivity, you may need an insulin resistance diet

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    What is Insulin Resistance?

    Insulin resistance is a condition where the body is unable to effectively process insulin, resulting in elevated levels of glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream. Several factors may be responsible for this condition, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, lifestyle habits and weight gain, although some people are genetically predisposed to developing the condition. Insulin resistance can lead to a host of medical problems, including:

    • Obesity
    • Abnormal Cholesterol Levels
    • Diabetes (Type 2)
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Heart Disease
    • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

    Furthermore, insulin resistance may be linked to diet-related cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate cancer. Emerging research shows that it is increasingly important for people to implement an insulin resistance diet plan that could reverse the condition in people who have it.

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    What Type of Diet Should I Follow to Control It?

    Insulin resistance can be reversed through dietary intervention. The Diabetes Prevention Program and other studies have concluded that insulin resistance can be reversed when fat and caloric intake is limited.

    When blood sugars are above normal levels, the pancreas produced additional insulin levels to counteract the blood sugar, so you must avoid foods that raise blood sugar levels when following an insulin resistance diet. Learn about foods that raise your blood sugar and learn to eat to eat them in limited quantities.

    The glycemic index was developed to rate the potential for carbohydrates to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. A person with insulin resistance should base their diet on low glycemic foods, or foods with a GI rating of 55 or lower. Foods like most fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain products have low GI ratings. Foods to avoid include white potatoes, sugary foods and white flour found in many bakery products. Learning the glycemic index of foods helps you to plan a meal wisely to help keep blood sugar levels in check.

    Despite a food's GI rating, portion control plays a large part of an insulin resistance diet. The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal.

    Lowering blood glucose levels is necessary when you are insulin resistant, and it helps to eat limited amount of carbohydrates in a meal. This is also why it's good to eat several small meals throughout the day, instead of a few larger meals.

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    With All Of This Talking, What Has Been Said?

    The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has shown that lifestyle changes, including changes to one's diet, reversed insulin resistance and other related conditions better than the drug metformin in tested subjects. An insulin resistance diet protects you from the progression of insulin of resistance into a more serious illness of condition, or even reverses the condition altogether. However, it is wise to approach this problem with a variety of interventions, as the people in the above mentioned study did for better results. Exercise combined with dieting has a better effect of reversing insulin resistance than only one or the other. For more information, find out if you could be suffering from insulin resistance.

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