Insulin Resistance Diet Plan
There is no specific diet plan for people who have insulin resistance. However, experts agree that healthy eating, exercise, and losing weight is essential for reversing insulin resistance. If you have insulin resistance, you are susceptible to developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. You have to consider insulin resistance as a warning that you should start making healthy lifestyle choices to prevent the onset of diabetes. Following an effective insulin resistance diet plan is a great way to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This diet plan is going to help you regulate your glucose and insulin levels, and makes you lose excess weight.
What is Insulin Resistance?
When the body is insulin resistant, it means that the body cannot respond to and use the insulin it produces. Different parts of the body, such as the muscles, liver cells, and fats loses its ability to respond to insulin, which means they are not able to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Usually, the primary cause of insulin resistance is being overweight or having too much excess fat, especially in the belly or around the waist. In order to compensate for this inability to respond to insulin, the body needs a higher level of insulin to allow the glucose to enter the cells. Insulin resistance results in a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream, which can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. People can have insulin resistance for many years without knowing it because it usually has no symptoms. Most doctors recommend taking insulin testing to evaluate your health condition and see if you are insulin resistant.
Insulin Resistance Diet
Your diet and food intake is a major factor in reversing insulin resistance. The goal of an insulin resistance diet is to lessen your calorie intake per day to help you lose weight safely. Since insulin resistance is closely associated with obesity and being overweight, your diet plan must consist of healthy meals that have very minimal calories. Losing all those excess fat can help your body respond better to insulin. By changing your diet, you can prevent insulin resistance from developing. If you already have insulin resistance, studies indicate that a good diet plan that makes you lose weight can delay and prevent the onset of diabetes. Here are the key points that you should consider when starting an insulin resistance diet plan.
Don’t Drink Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
The American Diabetes Association specifically advises people to refrain from consuming beverages that contain high levels of sugar sweeteners. These types of beverages include soft drinks, iced tea, fruit drinks, and even energy drinks that contain a lot of artificial sweeteners. Instead of drinking these beverages, you can just stick with water. Herbal tea or coffee is also a good substitute if you really want to add more variety to your drinks.
Minimize Intake of Carbohydrates
Monitoring your carbohydrate intake is necessary because it is a major factor to achieve complete glycemic control. You can try to minimize or avoid carbohydrate-rich foods that also contain a lot of fats, sodium, and sugars. Grain flour products should also be lessened, but if you can’t avoid them it’s better to use whole grains instead of the flour form. Flour is known to increase the level of insulin resistance. If you can’t avoid using flour, you can choose flours that are made from whole grains, or you can also try almond flour or coconut flour.
High Fiber Foods is a Must
If you are already familiar with other weight loss diet plan, then you already know that fiber is essential in shedding off those extra pounds. Studies discovered that more than 50 grams of fiber consumed every day can help improve glycemia in people suffering from diabetes. Some of the high-fiber foods that you should include in your diet are beans, legumes, peas, artichokes, flaxseeds, quinoa, and Brussel sprouts. Make sure to always eat a lot of vegetables because they are not only high in fiber, but they are also low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals.
Consume High Amounts of Protein
Recent studies have proven that consumption of protein-rich foods can have a positive effect on the treatment of obesity. Overweight people who started consuming high amounts of protein had greater success in losing weight. Protein is needed by people with insulin resistance because they maintain muscle and bone mass. Some of the best protein foods that you should include in your diet are free-range eggs, almonds, organic chicken, yogurt, and wild fish.
Consume More Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Healthy Fats
Trying to lose weight does not mean that you should also avoid all types of fats. There are healthy fats that are needed by your body. Patients who have insulin resistance are encouraged by their doctors to choose unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. Studies have shown that substituting monounsaturated fatty acids for saturated fats and carbohydrates can improve glycemic control. Some of the foods that contain healthy fats include nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended as a part of your insulin resistance diet. Some of the foods containing omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, walnut, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and egg yolks.
Limit Your Meal Portions
As mentioned earlier, the aim of insulin resistance diet is to control your weight. If you are overweight, it is critical that you lose those extra pounds without compromising your health and well being. You can eat low-calorie food and avoid sweetened beverages, but it is also important to cut back on your meal portions. It is better to eat meals with smaller portions throughout the day, which makes you lessen your chances of overeating. Learn how to be mindful of your appetite and portion sizes and always start a meal with small portions.
Top Insulin Resistance Foods
Here are the insulin resistance foods that you can add to your diet to create healthy and delicious dishes.
When choosing fruits for your insulin resistance diet, you should pick the fresh variety instead of the canned and processed fruits. Consume fruits that are high in fiber such as apples, bananas, berries, grapes, and peaches. Do not buy processed fruit juices because they usually contain sweeteners and can raise your blood sugar. It’s better to create your own fruit juice made from fresh fruits.
Vegetables are the perfect food to help reverse insulin resistance because they are high in fiber and low in calories. Vegetables are also great for managing your blood sugar. The best option is always the fresh and organic variety, but you can also choose the frozen and low-sodium canned vegetables in your local grocery and supermarket. Some of the ideal vegetables for your insulin resistance diet includes spinach, kale, collard, and other green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and peppers. You can also drink vegetable juices but they don’t contain as much fiber as the fresh vegetables.
Beans and Legumes
Your insulin resistance diet is incomplete without high-fiber foods such as beans and legumes. Fiber slowly raises blood sugar levels, which is great for people with insulin resistance. You can try black beans, lima beans, and pinto beans. You can also buy the canned beans, but make sure to drain and rinse them to minimize its sodium content.
As mentioned earlier, it is important for people with insulin resistance to limit their carbohydrate intake. But you can still opt for whole grains, which are unprocessed grains that are much healthier. You can mix whole grains with foods high in protein and healthy fats to help avoid any spike in blood sugar level.
The best varieties of fish for insulin resistance are the ones with omega-3 fatty acids. These are salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. You can enjoy shellfishes like scallops, lobsters, and shrimps, but they are also high in cholesterol. Avoid fishes that are breaded, fried, or cooked with flour.
Chicken and Other Poultry
It’s okay to eat poultry products like chicken and turkey, as long as you don’t eat the skin. Chicken skin contains a lot of fat, which is the main reason why you should peel the skin off before eating. You can still cook the chicken with the skin on to retain its moistness and just peel off when you are about to eat it.
When it comes to dairy products, always choose the nonfat and unsweetened varieties. Dairy products such as milk and yogurt contain high amounts of calcium that can strengthen your teeth and bones. Never choose whole milk or yogurt with lots of saturated fats.
Foods that contain healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil. These healthy fats can help slow down your digestion and provide fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in flaxseeds and walnuts. However, you have to be a little bit cautious when eating nuts because they are high in calories. Also, some nuts and seed snacks that can be bought in groceries contain high amounts of sodium and sugar.
Additional Tips for Insulin Resistance
- Regular exercise, along with your insulin resistance diet, is very important if you want to stay healthy and fit. Being active can lower your blood sugar level, trim down your body fat, and prevent diabetes.
- Obesity and being overweight greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes. You have to lose weight to avoid having so many health problems. Lessen your calorie intake and start burning those excess fats.
- For your vegetables, you can include these foods into your insulin resistance diet: cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, peas, celery, raw peppers, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
- For your fruits, you can choose apples, strawberries, orange, melon, watermelon, pear, blueberries, and peach.
- For your grains, you can have whole-grain bread, whole-grain bagel, cooked brown rice, cooked whole-wheat pasta, and oatmeal.
- For your dairy products, you can choose: low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, evaporated milk, low-fat cottage cheese.
- For your protein sources, you can have: eggs, skinless chicken, skinless turkey, unbreaded fish, nuts, seeds, nut butter, tofu, hummus, and lentils or dry beans.
- You can mix and match these foods to create your own healthy meals from breakfast to dinner. Read More – Vegan Protein: Top Vegan & Vegetarian Protein Sources
High Protein Foods: Top Meatless Protein Foods