How You Can Reverse Insulin Resistance With The Help Of Ketogenic Diet And Other Activities
If you have diabetes, it is imperative that you become knowledgeable about your condition. One of the most important things you want to learn is how to reverse insulin resistance.
Have you begun modifying your diet or wonder what are foods that lower insulin resistance?
You may be familiar with some medical terms related to diabetes, if you are not it is important that you start now.
For type 2 diabetics, one of the main concerns with the disorder is what is known as insulin resistance.
In layman's terms, insulin resistance simply means that our cells are not able to use the glucose in our blood as energy anymore. Thus our pancreas has to make more insulin and over time our blood sugar level goes up.
Over a period, insulin resistance only becomes worse if you don't do anything about it. If you want to reverse insulin resistance you have to make an active effort to correct the situation.
One Major Tool In Your Arsenal To Reverse Insulin Resistance Is The Ketogenic Diet
Have you ever heard of the ketogenic diet? Some people may not have but that’s ok cause I had no idea what it was too before I saw it on the Dr Oz show.
It is basically a very low-carb, high-fat approach to consuming food. The standard ketogenic diet comprises of roughly 75% fats, 20% protein, and just about 5% carbohydrates.
With that in mind, you are probably curious to know how the ketogenic diet can reverse insulin resistance and help you get your diabetes under control. So let’s take a look!
The Ketogenic Diet Makes Your Body Extremely Efficient At Burning Fat
For most normal individuals, the body’s preferred source of energy comes from the carbohydrates we eat. However, we should view carbs as the modern-day interpretation of using “fossil fuels.”
Over a short period, carbs are an extremely efficient fuel. However, it poses a significant risk of adverse effects on our bodies.
When our intake of carb is restricted, our bodies are forced to utilize fat and secondarily protein as fuel.
During the process when fat is converted into fuel, compounds known as ketones are produced, that's where the name ketogenic comes from.
Ketones are actually excellent sources of energy for the brain, it can be used to replace carb as a primary fuel source.
When our bodies use fats as fuel, the body's fat store is used up quickly, helping you to burn fat as well as controlling your insulin sensitivity over time.
Insulin Responds Best If Not Overused
An easy way of understanding how insulin works is to think of it as a transporter. Every time we eat carb and when the carb circulates in our bloodstream, insulin is called upon to shuttle carbs to their places which are our cells.
After a prolonged series of using insulin over and over, fatigue sets in, and efficiency drops.
Soon you will find that more insulin will be needed to do the same job. And that is the beginning of insulin resistance, also likely the pre-diabetic stage.
In the case of full-blown diabetes, you have tons of insulin but still unable to do the job of insulin of years past.
What is a proven way to reverse this? The remedy is a period of “rest.”
That is why the ketogenic diet works so well for reversing insulin resistance. Because you are eating extremely low amount of carb your body gets the “resting” periods.
By only calling on insulin a few times daily or less than that, efficiency will improve, thus raising our insulin sensitivity.
The Ketogenic Diet Is Also Great For Weight Loss
People with type 2 diabetics and poorly controlled blood sugar levels are normally not physically active.
Obesity and diabetes have a very strong connection, with one improving another or worsening another.
For example, if you gained 25 pounds, chances are you will lose control of your blood sugar level too.
As a matter of fact, obesity is a major determining factor for developing metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome. When this happens, not only will you have poor blood sugar control but also various ailments of the heart and circulatory system.
On the other hand, if you make an effort to lose some weight you can significantly reduce insulin resistance. This can be achieved by following the standard ketogenic diet.
Reduce Your Stress Level To Reverse Insulin Resistance
As mentioned above, stress affects our body’s metabolic rate. It also affects our ability to regulate blood sugar.
It puts our bodies into a survival mode, the fight-or-flight mode, which will stimulate the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and glucagon.
In turn, these stress hormones break down glycogen, which is a form of stored sugar, into glucose. Then the glucose enters our bloodstream as a form of quick energy source.
If you are always under stress your stress hormone levels will be high, which in turn stimulates nutrients breakdown and also increases blood sugar.
Stress hormones also make the body more insulin resistant. This prevents nutrients from being stored, which also makes them more available in the bloodstream to be used for energy.
To our ancestors who needed the extra energy to perform many life-sustaining activities, the excess energy in our body would have served a purpose.
However, for modern-today people who are normally under constant, chronic stress, reduced insulin sensitivity can be very harmful.
Lose Some Weight
Any excess weight is never good for the body especially those around the belly area. It reduces insulin sensitivity and also raises the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Belly fat does that by producing hormones that promote insulin resistance in the muscles and liver.
There are studies that showed that there is a link between a higher amount of belly fat and lower insulin sensitivity.
But you don't have to live with reduced insulin sensitivity. By losing weight you can reverse insulin resistance. Also, it may reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Consume More Roughage
There are basically two different kinds of fiber — soluble and insoluble. They are both essential to keep us healthy and in preventing diseases.
Soluble fiber gels up when comes in contact with water, it slows down digestion. It is found in nuts, seeds, oat bran, beans, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables.
Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, whole grain, and vegetables. It acts as a bulking agent to help stool pass through the bowels quickly.
Studies have shown that there is a connection between high soluble fiber intake and increased insulin sensitivity.
On top of that, soluble fiber helps to feed the friendly bacteria in our gut, and the friendly bacteria have been linked to increased insulin sensitivity.
Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include oat bran, rice bran, barley, oat, apple, strawberry, flaxseeds, and citrus fruits like orange.
Add More Color To Your Diet
Colorful fruits and vegetables are not only nutritious, but they are also very effective health-boosting foods.
The vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants neutralize free radicals which are molecules that cause inflammation to our bodies.
Studies have shown that having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (rich in plant compounds) is linked to higher insulin sensitivity.
Include Spices In Your Meals
Not only do spices make our food taste better but they are also known to be beneficial to our health.
One of the health benefits is that they can increase insulin sensitivity, thus helping us reverse insulin resistance.
Some spices good for reversing insulin resistance are garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, and fennel.
Add Green Tea To Your Diet
Green tea is a great alternative beverage to coffee for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetics. There are studies that shown drinking green tea can help with insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar.
The beneficial effects of green tea could be attributed to its powerful antioxidant property called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been shown by many studies to increase insulin sensitivity.
Combine green tea with regular exercise you will have much better results when it comes to reversing insulin resistance.
Apple Cider Vinegar To Reverse Insulin Resistance
It is no secret that vinegar is a multi-purpose liquid, you can use it for cleaning as well as consume it, and many more uses.
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent one when it comes to promoting good health. It has many health benefits ranging from reduced bloating to lowering blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can delay the stomach from releasing food into the intestines. Thus it gives insulin more time to work increasing its effectiveness. It can also prevent blood sugar levels from spiking after a meal.
Cut Down Your Carb Intake To Reverse Insulin Resistance
Carb is one of the main culprits for spiking blood sugar levels.
When we consume carbs our bodies break down the carbs into sugar and release it into the bloodstream. Then the pancreas produces insulin to bring the sugar from the blood into cells.
If we eat too much carb that will lead to spikes in our blood sugar levels, and the pancreas will have to work harder to remove sugar from the blood.
By reducing our carb consumption our pancreas doesn't have to work so hard to produce insulin. With less insulin circulating in our bodies we can reduce insulin resistance.
You can also spread your carb intake throughout the day in order to increase insulin sensitivity.
By consuming a small portion of carbs throughout the day our bodies will have less sugar to deal with at each meal, thus less demand for insulin.
It is also important what kind of carbs you consume.
Try to eat low-glycemic index carbs as they slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, thus giving insulin more time to work.
Carb sources that are low-glycemic index include green vegetables, brown rice, chickpea, lentils, kidney bean, and some varieties of oatmeal.
Keep Your Intake Of Added Sugar Low
A lot of people don't know that there is a huge difference between added sugars and natural sugars.
Fruits and vegetables provide us with natural sugars and also a variety of nutrients. On the other hand, added sugars are mostly found in processed foods.
The two main types of added sugars are high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener derived from corn syrup, and table sugar which is also known as sucrose. These two types of sugars contain roughly 50% fructose.
There are studies that showed a higher intake of fructose can increase insulin resistance among people with diabetes.
Fructose's negative effect on insulin sensitivity does not only affect people with diabetes but also people without diabetes.
Try to avoid foods that contain lots of added sugar as they are also high in fructose. These kinds of food are cakes, cookies, pastries, candy, soft drinks, fruit juice, and honey.
Try A High-Protein, Low-Sugar Diet
By adopting a high-protein, low-sugar diet you can keep your body’s blood sugar levels stable.
A typical American's diet is normally high in sugar which can cause spikes in blood sugar. And that only makes insulin resistance worse.
Even if you don't have diabetes, it is good to follow a meal plan recommended by the American Diabetes Association that can help improve insulin sensitivity.
Make Mindfulness A Part Of Your Life
People that tend to overeat normally don’t know what it feels like to be full. The end result is that they eat past the point of satiety to a state that they are actually uncomfortable.
Take some time to relax when you eat, chew your food slowly, and be aware of how much food you put in your mouth.
Make an attempt to regularly check with your body to assess whether you feel full. You can also eat smaller meals throughout the day.
Try to prevent yourself from getting too hungry, which will inevitably increase your chance of overeating during your next meal.
Try Intermittent Fasting To Reverse Insulin Resistance
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a fairly new dietary trend in the health community and especially popular in the weight loss community.
What is intermittent fasting? It is eating plans that alternate between eating and fasting periods.
One of the goals of IF is to starve the body long enough to trigger fat burning, that is why it is so popular among people trying to lose weight.
Besides being effective at fat burning, studies have shown that intermittent fasting can actually improve insulin sensitivity.
How it improves insulin sensitivity? When we are not eating, especially carbs, there is no blood sugar entering into the bloodstream at the same rate as when we are eating. And insulin is not released to transport the glucose to the cells.
This in turn is a good break for the cells and also becomes more insulin sensitive. Just like low-carb diets, fasting plans give our pancreas a break.
Intermittent fasting is a little different from regular fasting. There are a few kinds of intermittent fasting, one is time-restricted eating which involves eating meals in a set time frame each day, such as within 11 am to 7 pm.
Eating fewer meals within a shorter feeding window can result in better glucose and insulin levels.
Engage In More Physical Activity
You may already know that muscles burn glucose (from the food we eat) for energy. The more physical activities you engage in, the more glucose your muscles uses for energy.
This in turn would help to lower your blood sugar levels. This will result in a reduction in insulin secretion, reducing the burden on your pancreas.
On the other hand, if you don't move your muscles won't use up blood sugar, so your insulin levels can rise to process any excess sugar.
Any kind of regular physical activity will help with insulin resistance. There are studies that show that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), cardiovascular exercises, and resistance training all will help with glucose utilization.
It doesn't matter what kind of physical exercise you get involved in, it is obvious that being physically active is an excellent way to prevent insulin resistance.
So if you want to prevent or reverse insulin resistance you have to get active and be consistent with it. If you stop exercising regularly insulin resistance may come back.
Besides being physically active you got to eat a healthy diet too. If you exercise regularly but follow a high-carb and high-sugar diet will make it harder for you to prevent insulin resistance.
So start moving and adopt a low-carb diet! Most likely you will be able to put insulin resistance at bay.
Get Enough Sleep To Reverse Insulin Resistance
I'm sure you already know that sleep is really important for your health. It turns out that sleep is very important for improving insulin sensitivity too.
Studies have shown that short-term sleep deprivation can raise glucose levels and impair glucose metabolism worsening insulin resistance. Sleep problem such as sleep apnea is also a contributing factor of insulin resistance.
There is no clear answer to how much sleep is enough or too little. There is also no definite answer to how many nights of disturbed sleep will trigger insulin resistance.
However, one thing that is clear is that there is a link between insulin resistance and sleep. And be sure to treat any sleep problem that you have cause it may reverse insulin resistance.
Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to ensure that you don't risk having reduced insulin sensitivity.
Luckily you can catch up on lost sleep to reverse the negative effect poor sleep has on insulin sensitivity.
Conclusion For Reversing Insulin Resistance
As you can see there are many things you can do if you struggle to control your blood sugar levels as a result of poor insulin tolerance.
By modestly improving the way your body reacts to insulin again, you can see marked changes in metabolism and overall health. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and you can reverse insulin resistance!
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How You Can Reverse Insulin Resistance With The Help Of Ketogenic Diet