March 31, 2017

Tips to Improve Insulin Resistance – Part 1

Insulin resistance makes it harder for glucose to be absorbed. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and is a hormone that helps the body absorb glucose, keeping blood sugar levels in balance.

Insulin resistance causes problems for muscles, fat, and the liver, as they need glucose (sugar). Over time, insulin resistance can cause high blood sugar levels and damage cells.

Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. People with insulin resistance are often diagnosed with prediabetes. They may need extra checks to make sure they don't develop diabetes.

Diet and other lifestyle choices can increase the risks related to insulin resistance. Making diet changes can reduce insulin insensitivity. This reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and the health problems that go with it.

Glucose is a vital source of energy for the body. However, many of the body's cells can't absorb glucose on their own. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. It joins up with glucose, and travels to the body's cells, where it attaches to insulin receptors. Insulin allows the cells to absorb glucose, making sure that:
  • blood sugar levels remain at a safe level
  • muscle, fat, liver, and other cells are able to get energy

Insulin resistance makes cells less sensitive to insulin. This means the body has to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar levels healthy.

If the pancreas is unable to keep up with the increased demand for insulin, blood sugar levels go up. When this happens, cells can't use all of the excess glucose in the blood. This leads to type 2 diabetes.

The pancreas releases insulin to help the body absorb glucose and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Following a healthful diet plan, such as the Mediterranean Diet, can improve insulin sensitivity.

This diet recommends eating lots of seasonal plant-based foods, having fruit as a dessert, and olive oil as the main source of fat. Fish, poultry, and dairy products should be eaten in moderation. It also advises people to have a very small amount of red meat and a little wine during meals.

How many calories you have each day should be based on weight loss goals and body size. Larger people need more calories, while smaller people need fewer calories. Generally, 2,000 calories per day is a healthy average to maintain weight.

The Mediterranean Diet is just one option for healthful eating. Other diet plans offer more specific ways to improve symptoms of insulin resistance.

One of the simplest ways to tackle insulin resistance is to eat foods with a low glycemic index (GI).

Low GI foods are digested slowly and don't produce as many blood sugar spikes. The difference between low GI and other foods is particularly noticeable when it comes to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that have a high GI can cause blood sugar spikes and put more demand on the pancreas to make insulin.

As such, eating low GI foods is a good way to maintain balanced blood sugar levels.

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