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Insulin Resistance Diet

Insulin resistance as its name suggests is a condition where the body’s responses to the effects of insulin are reduced. The body starts resisting insulin and therefore the hormone insulin whose primary role is to lower the blood sugar level is unable to work effectively. Insulin Is very important for the body’s metabolism, more so the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It also plays a key role in cell growth and regulation in the body. When the body suffers from this condition, it requires an increased amount of insulin because the normal level insulin is not sufficient for normal functioning.

The body resists its own insulin as well as externally administered insulin. Fatigue, lethargy, high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, hypoglycemia and flatulence are symptoms to look out for. Although these symptoms are not exclusive to persons suffering from insulin resistance, they should be reported to the doctor immediately.

An insulin resistance diet is advised to individuals with this condition. This diet is similar to the diet recommended for diabetic. The main aim is to normalize the blood sugar level. The carbohydrate and sugar intake is limited. Proteins and good fats are added to the insulin resistance diet. Complex carbs and sugars are advised instead of simple ones, since they are absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream. It is important to limit the rapid rise in the blood glucose level. Insulin resistance diet plan will include 40-60% of carbohydrates, 20-30% of proteins and 20-30% of fat.

An insulin resistance diet menu should be devoid of refined sugars and carbohydrates, starchy carbohydrates. The insulin resistance food plan should be such that it helps reversing insulin resistance. It must also avoid the rapid increase in the blood glucose level in order to maintain a low level of insulin. The main Insulin resistance diet foods are fruits, steamed and raw vegetables such as cabbage, tomato, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli and avocado, legumes such as soya bean, beans and peas, fish and poultry and oils with essential fatty acids such as olive oil, canola oil and flaxseed oil. Insulin resistance foods to avoid are potatoes, pumpkins, bread, pasta, corn, red meat, fruits with a high sugar content and fried food. These foods worsen the condition by causing a rapid rise in the insulin level in the body. Insulin resistance diet foods must also be rich in fiber. Therefore around 25 grams of fiber must be consumed on a daily basis. Apples, Pears, lentils and almonds are rich sources of fiber. It is easy to find insulin resistance food lists which give a good idea about the number of calories, the glycemic index, etc that each food contains.

Insulin resistance diet recipes can be made interesting by following the exchange system. In this system there is no painstaking calorie counting. In this system similar foods fall under one category and foods in one group will have more or the less the same quantity if fat, protein, carbohydrates and a similar calorie content. Therefore one serving of a certain food can be switched for a serving of another “similar” food. However, it is important to adhere to the insulin resistance diet food list when following such exchange systems.

It is often observed that insulin resistance foods that help reversing the condition of insulin resistance are also beneficial for people with weight problems. Very often high levels of insulin increase the fat production in the body. To add to the problem, insulin resistance and food cravings are also directly related. Since this condition causes inconsistency in blood glucose levels, the brain gets signals that the organism requires food even if it is not the case. Hence the insulin resistance diet and weight loss go hand in hand. Healthy dietary habits combined with regular exercise are useful in combating the problem of IR and obesity.
Insulin Resistance can be caused due to various reasons. The causes can be dietary, molecular cellular, hereditary and disease-related. Moreover it is often observed in people who are obese, pregnant women, people suffering from an infection, stress and metabolic syndrome and in those who consume steroids. Insulin resistance and food allergies are also have strong links. If a person suffering from insulin resistance is allergic to certain those very same foods will aggravate insulin resistance. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS and Insulin Resistance are also correlated. PCOS is a common endocrine disorder affecting quite a few women in their reproductive years. If PCOS is untreated, it can cause infertility. Research has found that insulin has a major role to play in PCOS and therefore treatment includes treating the underlying condition of insulin resistance. A PCOS Insulin resistance diet mainly aims at weight loss since most women suffering from this condition are also obese. Therefore calorie control is the main goal of this diet. At the same time, a typical weight loss diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat may not work for women with PCOS since carbohydrates up the blood sugar level and therefore also leads to increased insulin levels which in turn adds to the problem. Therefore, an insulin resistance diet for PCOS with a low glycemic index, that is, a diet that does not shoot up the blood glucose level. Insulin resistance diet for men is not very different from those prescribed for women. Men are also advised similar appropriate insulin resistance foods. A typical insulin resistance diet meal plan may include fruits, citrus juice, egg whites for breakfast, chicken or turkey breasts, salad and an apple or pear for lunch and salmon and beans for dinner. Almonds, apples, pears, etc are advised as healthy snacks in between meals. Insulin resistance diet plans can be easily found. It can be formulated with the help of your dietician and doctor based on the nature of your condition and the other concerns you may have. It is very important to consult your doctor immediately if one observed irregularities. Moreover, regular medical check-ups and visits to the healthcare provider are advised for those individuals with insulin resistance.

Submitted on January 16, 2014