I recently discussed how important it is for diabetics to be told the truth about their condition and how to manage it. In fact, the list of healthy foods for diabetics in that article is useful for anyone concerned about insulin resistance too. Let’s further discuss the condition that is a precursor to diabetes…
Could Insulin Resistance Threaten Your Health?
Insulin is a vital hormone, produced by clusters of pancreatic cells called islets which release it into the bloodstream. These insulin molecules enable your body cells to absorb glucose, retain their energy levels and regulate the level of glucose in blood. They also store excess glucose in the form of glycogen in your liver and muscle cells.
As a consequence of certain pathological conditions, your body cells might not naturally respond to insulin. As a result, the glucose present in the bloodstream does not get absorbed into the body cells, eventually causing the blood sugar levels to rise. The high blood sugar level triggers the beta pancreatic cells to produce more insulin. These extra surges of insulin trigger the absorption of glucose, lower blood sugar and bring it back to the normal range.
If this insulin resistance occurs frequently and prevails for a long period of time, the pancreas gradually loses its capacity to keep up with your body’s increasing demands for insulin.
The actual and prime reason behind a person’s resistance to insulin is still unknown. However, certain factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, nicotine, steroids, medications, aging, and sleep disorders have been experimentally proven to be triggers for insulin resistance.
Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Prediabetes
Prolonged and more frequent instances of insulin resistance might eventually transform into metabolic syndrome or prediabetes. Metabolic syndrome (also known as insulin resistance syndrome) and prediabetes mainly occur in people suffering from insulin resistance. Metabolic syndrome is a pathological condition caused by abnormal levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and glucose level in blood, large (apple-shaped) waistlines, and high blood pressure.
Since insulin resistance is directly proportional to an increase in body weight, the patient might also suffer from incessant inflammation, and blood clotting. Metabolic disorders and prediabetes are the prime reasons that trigger the onset of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other physiological disorders.
Dietary Tips to Improve Insulin Sensitivity
According to the statistics of the International Diabetes Federation, around 582,500 cases of diabetes were reported in Hong Kong in 2015. The figures and statistics from around the globe depict a similar trend, and it is estimated that the population of diabetic patients will reach around 325 million, at the end of the first quarter of the 21st century.
These alarming figures call for essential preventive measures in our lifestyle and some dietary controls to maintain a healthy and balanced body metabolism. Here are some dietary tips to overcome and prevent insulin resistance:
- Limit your intake of carbohydrates
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, excessive sugar, and fizzy drinks
- Increase your regular consumption of fiber
- Avoid unhealthy fats
- Include more protein in your regular diet
- Consume organic dairy products
- Follow a periodic meal plan. Rather than consuming large portions once or twice, distribute your regular consumption into smaller portions and consume throughout the day.
In order to prevent metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and their adverse consequences, it is essential to get yourself tested to know if your body is developing a resistance to insulin. Aside from following healthy dietary controls, consult your physician and stay informed about your metabolism and health status, and take timely measures against metabolic dysfunction.