|Many health challenges today are due to obesity – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc. So often the recommendation is a low-calorie, low-fat diet or even medications. The ‘patient’ goes home to apply the recommendations. Weeks later – – -no change and much frustration!
Anyone with insulin resistance will be greatly disappointed if they follow these recommendations. It is estimated that over 90,000,000 Americans are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance. If you are one of those millions, eating the refined sugars and carbs will only feed your weight regardless of calorie counting or exercise.
What is Insulin Resistance?
This condition can exist in ‘normal weight’ people as well the overweight. Don’t assume you have no issue based on your weight.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It is normally released in small amounts after each meal to transport glucose (needed for energy production) to the cells. Extra insulin is produced when we eat high sugar or simple carb foods. If the insulin spikes too often, then glucose doesn’t get to the cells, which results in high blood sugar. It also means the cells are missing energy, so the ‘craving cycle’ starts all over. Hunger – – sugar/carbs – – no energy/ blood sugar spike – repeat.
While this cycle is going on, the fat and muscle cells are robbed of their energy. These cells become compromised along with many liver functions. Simplified results: visceral fat around the organs increases, muscle cells weaken and the body becomes ‘fatter, tired and flabby.’
Common symptoms of insulin resistance includes:
Who is More Susceptible?
Different ethnic groups are more susceptible to insulin resistance. Those groups include:
African America, Hispanic, Native American, Asian America, Pacific Islander. People who are sedentary, under stress, smoke, drink caffeine and/or alcohol are more susceptible. Insulin resistance during pregnancy is also a higher risk
The first place to start is to clean up your diet. Eliminate all refined sugars and carbs.
Foods to avoid if you are insulin-resistant:
– Sugar – table sugar, honey, alcoholic beverages, fructose, sugar-laden juices, corn syrup, aspartame and saccharine
– Grains – popcorn, breads or products using white flour (i.e., pasta, tortillas, bread, bagels, white rice, etc.)
– White potatoes
– Milk (high in lactose/ milk sugar)
– Hydrogenated oils – margarine, vegetable oil (use coconut and/or olive oil), all products with trans fats
– Fried foods
– Processed foods
Second, increase your intake of protein and healthy carbs.
As you increase the following foods, consider adding a high quality protein shake to your routine. Increasing the protein with appropriate enzyme support helps in stabilizing blood sugar and balancing out the insulin/ glucose systems in your body.
Be sure to include Omega 3s in your diet. Adding a good source of flax and/or fish oil and Evening Primrose Oil for women and Pumpkin Seed Oil for men is vitally helpful in supporting the blood sugar balancing process.
Foods to include:
– Protein – (organic as much as possible) chicken, turkey, wild fish (not farm-raised), beef and/or bison (grass fed not grain fed), eggs, lamb, raw nuts (not roasted), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
– Vegetables – darker the color the better
– Fruit – during the first 21 days, no fruit. After that period of time slowly try adding low glycemic fruit (i.e., tart apples, berries, etc). Notice any changes in your body.
– Healthy fats – avocados, nuts, flax and /or fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil
– Water – lots of pure water
And third, Move! Walking on a daily basis will support the body in many ways.