Insulin resistance is held reliable for more degenerative health diseases than any other metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is linked to obesity, pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertension, artery diseases, cancer, arthritis, pain, and other neurodegenerative diseases. The standard American diet puts grains and carbohydrates as the base of a meal, when in fact this is leading to a huge epidemic.
What Is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is when the human body does not respond normally to insulin. This leads to the inability of glucose to enter the cell, resulting in glucose building up in the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood directly correlates to your risk factor of developing chronic health conditions. In fact, for every 1% your hemoglobin A1C goes up, your risk for cancer goes up by 18%.
On top of insulin resistance being a factor that contributes to poor health, being insulin resistant increases fat cells. Lipoprotein lipase is a protein that “opens the door” to a fat cell. When this door opens, energy is being pushed into the cell, but at the same time insulin up-regulates another gene. This gene is referred to as hormone-sensitive lipase and is responsible for “closing the door”. Essentially, when you have high amounts of insulin being produced you are storing fat cells.
The cause of insulin resistance are:
- Refined Carbohydrates
- Foods containing a high glycemic index
- Trans Fatty Acids
- Decreased Omega 3s
For starters, balancing the ratio between omega 3s and omega 6s is critical. Great Plain Laboratories provides us with a Omega-3 Complex test that provides health care practitioners with your ratio. An example of the test can be seen below.
The best way to combat insulin resistance is to stop the sugar, stop the refined carbohydrates, and wheat. Additionally, there are all-natural supplements that have been proven to help increase glucose regulation. Cinnamon is an excellent addition to add to daily foods as it sharpens the sensitivity to an insulin receptor.
However, one diet that has been shown to quickly reduce insulin resistance and improve overall health is the ketogenic diet. This diet cuts out sugars and carbs, leaving your body to obtain energy from the fat cells that were created and stored during times of high insulin.
Lastly, drink water! Switching out all other liquids to water will improve total body health tremendously. It has been found that the average overweight American consumes up to 760 calories a day in sugary drinks. By ditching the energy drink, coffee with creams and sugars, sports drink, or whatever else you are consuming to water, the body will be able to detox and get rid of many unnecessary calories. Additionally, switching all your drinks to water will improve hydration and the functioning of your body’s metabolic pathways, down to the cellular level.
Insulin resistance is a HUGE problem. So many people are insulin resistant which leads to a variety of other chronic health conditions. Taking the steps now to reduce your risk of insulin resistance will improve your overall health and significantly decrease your chances of developing a chronic disease later down the road. Start taking action, even if it is just switching out all drinks for water. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
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Murphy, Dan. “FDMT531A: Insulin Resistance: Causes, Consequences and Solutions.” Functional Medicine University. 2020, www. Functionalmedicineuniversity. com/members/966.cfm.