Insulin resistance occurs when the body reacts less than normal to the hormone insulin. It is possible to manage insulin resistance by making some changes in lifestyle. These lifestyle changes include regular physical activity, weight control, a healthy and balanced diet (high-fiber foods, whole grains, vegetables, protein sources), avoiding sugary and processed foods, and, limiting alcohol consumption, stress management and attention to sleep patterns are included. In this list, we will try to answer questions such as what is insulin resistance and how to feed those with insulin resistance.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is when the body reacts less than normal to the insulin hormone it produces. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar. Normally, insulin helps in the removal of glucose (sugar) into cells in the body. But in individuals with insulin resistance, the cells become less sensitive to insulin and glucose cannot be adequately removed into the cells.
Insulin resistance can be caused by many reasons. These include genetic predisposition, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Insulin resistance increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar levels cause the pancreas to produce more insulin over time, and the pancreas may become tired. As a result, blood sugar levels can become uncontrollable and develop type 2 diabetes.
Healthy lifestyle changes are recommended to manage insulin resistance. These include regular physical activity, weight loss (if needed), a healthy and balanced diet (high-fiber foods, whole grains, vegetables, protein sources), avoiding sugary and processed foods, limiting alcohol consumption, etc, stress management and attention to sleep patterns are involved.
How is insulin resistance diagnosed?
Some tests are necessary to assess insulin resistance and can determine your treatment plan. These tests may include fasting blood sugar testing, oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT), and insulin level measurement. Treatment usually begins with lifestyle changes, but in some cases, medication may be needed.
Nutrition is an important factor that affects insulin resistance. Healthy eating can help control insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes. Here are the nutrition tips associated with insulin resistance:
How should people with insulin resistance be fed?
Because each individual’s metabolism and nutritional needs are different, it’s best to create a personalized eating plan to manage insulin resistance. Therefore, getting support from a nutritionist will be beneficial in terms of controlling insulin resistance and improving overall health. But in general, people with insulin resistance can regulate their eating habits as follows:
Weight control: Keeping your body weight within a healthy range can help increase insulin sensitivity. If you are overweight, losing weight with a balanced diet can be beneficial.Carbohydrates: It is important to carefully choose carbohydrates that directly affect blood sugar. Opting for complex carbohydrates instead of refined (refined) carbohydrates can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Complex sources of carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits may be preferred.Sugar and sugary foods: Consuming sweet and junk foods containing sugar can increase insulin resistance and lead to weight gain. It is important to limit or completely avoid such foods as much as possible.Protein consumption: Getting protein in a balanced way can help better control insulin release and blood sugar levels. Protein-rich foods include chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes.Healthy fats: Healthy fats can help regulate insulin resistance. Olive oil, olive oil, avocado, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, may be preferred.Fiber foods: Getting enough fiber can help your blood sugar rise and fall more steadily. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are rich sources of fiber.Portion control: Controlling portions can help with weight control by preventing excessive calorie intake.