Reverse Insulin Resistance: A Lifestyle Adaptation

reverse insulin resistance

The diet culture has always been a concern for society. Sometimes seen in a negative light, going on a diet is more than trying to fit the unrealistic expectations of society. While not as toxic nowadays, a diet can be seen as trying to live out a healthier lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle and diet can help people who suffer from a health concern maintain their symptoms. For example, people with diabetes might be wondering if you could go as far as reverse insulin resistance. Let’s explore this a bit more through this article.

Let’s Talk About Insulin

Before we dive into the topic of reverse insulin resistance, let us understand insulin. You might already be aware, but insulin regulates your body’s blood sugar level. Insulin is a peptide hormone created by your pancreas and released into your bloodstream.

The primary purpose of this hormone is to allow for your body’s absorption of glucose. Glucose is produced once your digestion system breaks down the carbohydrates found in the foods you consume. This glucose enters your bloodstream and is absorbed by your cells, as a source of energy. This energy is what helps your cells to carry out their functions.

Without insulin, the cells in your body would not be able to function. Through this hormone, excess glucose is converted and stored as fat. Should the body experience low glucose levels, then this fat would be converted to glucose as a source of energy.

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Clearly, insulin plays two very important roles in our body. It helps the cells absorb the glucose in your bloodstream. It also helps to convert excess glucose into fat, to be saved in cases where your glucose levels are low.

If you have high levels of insulin this could lead to heart disease, obesity and other adverse health concerns. With low levels insulin, the body is unable to transfer the glucose from the blood to cells. This leads to high blood glucose levels, which also causes health concerns like diabetes.

If your body displays insulin resistance, this could be a cause for concern. However, what could cause your body to become insulin resistant? Is there a way to reverse insulin resistance?

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Insulin Resistance

To put it simply, insulin resistance means the cells in your body can’t take up glucose. Insulin is responsible for triggering the cells to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream. A resistance to insulin means the cells are ignoring the message to absorb glucose.

How this happens is related to the receptors on the cells. Normally, insulin would bind to these receptors and allow for the cells to accept the glucose molecules. Overconsumption of carbohydrates leads to an increase of glucose. This increases the amount of glucose that the cell must absorb from the bloodstream. An increase of glucose absorption leads to an increase in cell size. Eventually, the cell will reach a size at which it can longer grow. So now the cell must find a way to limit excess energy, in the form of glucose, from entering. It does this by changing the shape of the insulin receptor.

If the cell does not allow for glucose to enter, then glucose accumulates in the bloodstream. This leads to a high concentration of glucose. In turn, this triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin. Overtime, the pancreas is no longer able to continue to produce high levels of insulin. This may result in a lower production of insulin, and lead to other complications such as diabetes (R).

Now there are many factors that can cause insulin resistance like this. A poor diet, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity and chronic stress, are a few examples. Nevertheless, it is possible to reverse insulin resistance if you catch it in the early stages.

Reverse Insulin Resistance – Diet

A healthy diet can always help to reduce your risk of any health concern. Heart disease, digestive troubles, respiratory conditions, etc. Chances of these types of health concerns arising are limited with consumption of nutrient-rich foods.

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

First, find the diet that works for. There is no such thing as a fit-for-all diet approach. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are a few recommendations outlined to keep in mind when it comes to your diet (R).

  • Minimize your consumption of processed and refined sugars
  • Increase consumption of non-starchy vegetables
  • Select whole grain food products over high carbohydrate food products
  • Consume food products that are high in fiber and protein
  • Keep your body hydrated and avoid sweetened beverages as much as possible

Another thing to keep in mind is to maintain a healthy weight. This is possible when you have a set eating plan and abide to it as strictly as possible. Consult a nutritionist or your trusted physician to determine a healthy meal plan for you.

Culture impacts our eating habits greatly. However, that should not be a reason for why you opt for unhealthy options. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans outlines how you should opt for preparing our meals in a healthier manner. For example, instead of deep-frying our food, we could bake them. Another tip would be to increase your portion of vegetables, while reducing the portion of starchy side dishes.

Planning out your meals can also help to reduce stress eating or binge eating. It can make grocery shopping easier as well, and you don’t have to worry about what to make after a stressful day. Meal prepping is very common. A lot of people even go as far as preparing their meals ahead of time to take the pressure off of what to eat. This way you can stay organized and be certain the foods you are putting into your body are healthy.

How to Make a Meal Plan

Keeping track of your meals can be daunting or hard to manage. However, using apps to document our consumption can be effective in maintaining a healthy diet. For example, using a food diary. Try spending a few hours to plan out your meals to meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They offer a lot of resources such as recipes and meal plan strategies. Recording down these tips in your food diary could make it easy for you to access, so you don’t have to keep searching for them.

The diary could also be used for you record and analyze your food consumption. The CareClinic app has a health diary feature that allows you to document and report your daily consumption. You can describe the meal you ate and reflect back on your energy level. The nutrition feature allows you to record the nutrient content of the food you eat.

Since carbohydrates play an important role in glucose levels, be sure to track your carbohydrates. If you are curious about how to count your carbs, check out this article on the CareClinic webpage for some clarification and tips.

As important as your diet is in maintaining a healthier condition, physical activity is just as important. Don’t simply rely on eating well to manage insulin resistance. You also need to follow an active lifestyle to control the glucose levels in your body.

Affordability vs Accessibility

It is not common for you to opt for fast-food and processed foods. Not only are they relatively inexpensive, but they are also easier to find. Their shelf life is also longer than fresh fruits and vegetables.

However, you can still find healthier alternatives at grocery stores and ethnic stores. Investing in healthier alternatives will also cost you less in the long run. Besides there are plenty of affordable, nutrient-dense foods available that won’t necessarily cost you that much more than unhealthy foods. For example, brown rice, frozen vegetables, oats are relatively inexpensive and have good nutritious value.

If you find that it is hard to access healthier foods, try connecting with local grocers and your local government. The CDC has connected with food hubs and retail environments to improve accessibility to healthier alternatives. They have encouraged communities to use food guidelines in schools, workplaces and public spaces to spread awareness. They have also connected with local communities to establish convenient and affordable healthier products.

Approximately 70% of deaths in the United States result from chronic illness. Chronic illness stems from a poor diet which causes diabetes, heart disease, etc. (R).

By improving the supply and demand for healthier foods, it can power a healthier lifestyle. The CDC advises to also prepare and store your meals in a safe and healthy manner. A lot of times the preparation and storage can affect the nutrient value of the foods you consume.

Reverse Insulin Resistance – Physical Activity

You have probably heard about how important it is to getat least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. There is true power in maintaining an active lifestyle when it comes to managing symptoms, medication and overall well-being. When it comes to reverse insulin resistance, exercise can play an important role.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that if you haven’t started, start now. Start by making small changes like taking light strolls and work your way up. If you ever feel pain or discomfort, then you should listen to your body and move accordingly. You might be worried about your health or other concerns, then always consult your trusted physician to guide you.

Set goals and work towards meeting them. Do not feel discouraged or wary. The small changes you make to an active lifestyle can really work to improve your overall health. Find ways to make fitness exciting. The ADA suggests working out or signing up for classes. There are countless of online fitness videos you could refer to if you don’t feel comfortable stepping into the gym.

With so many resources available nowadays, you are certain to find a fitness routine that will suit your lifestyle. Try using tracking apps to keep you motivated and alert. The CareClinic app has an activity feature that allows you to track the calories burned and record notes about your workout. You can also browse through a list of activities to create a fitness routine yourself. If you are interested about improving your fitness journey, there is a great blog available for you to read through (R).

Is it Really Possible to Reverse Insulin Resistance?

It sounds doubtful doesn’t it? Can you really reverse insulin resistance? Well, as mentioned if identified in the early stages you can prevent health concerns such as diabetes. Following a healthy diet and active lifestyle can really improve your condition. What better way to track your progress than a health app. Take Alex as an example. Using the CareClinic app to plan out his day has proved to be a great tool in managing a healthy lifestyle with diabetes.

Scenario 1

Reverse Insulin-NutritionAlex found that using the health diary and nutrition feature in the CareClinic app is convenient for his health goals.  The nutrition feature allows him to record the food nutrient values of all his meals.

His morning meal consists of a rolled oat, with a tablespoon of peanut butter and some fresh berries. He records information such as the calories, carbohydrates and vitamins related to the oats. He also includes the information for the toppings. Alex also consumes a black coffee and records the nutrient information of his beverage. Following this, he takes metformin and documents it in the pill reminder feature available.

For lunch, Alex has packed a green salad with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, grilled chicken breast, ¼ cup of crotons, 2 tbsp of light home-made vinaigrette, 1 apple, ½ cup low fat yogurt. He documents his meal and the nutrient facts in the nutrition feature.

After a long day at work, Alex is hungry and wants something quick to make. Alex’s dinner consists of 1 cup cooked pasta, ½ cup favourite pasta sauce, grilled or baked chicken. He documents his meal, along with the nutrient facts. Following this, his takes his metformin medication for the second time as prescribed by the doctor.

Alex then proceeds to record in his health diary about how his day went. During his lunch break, after eating he had gone for a 15-minute walk around his building. He felt more energized when he returned back to his desk. Every two hours, he made an effort to stand up from his desk and take a mini stretch before going back to work. He found this to reduce soreness in his muscles and boost his productivity.

Health Apps for Reverse Insulin Resistance

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be hard. Managing weight loss or weight gain is not always easy. Setting up reminders for yourself can really help you to stay on track. The most important part of a healthy lifestyle is consistency.

Whether you are a busy student, a working person, or retired, health apps are convenient and excellent tools for keeping healthy.  A health app is not limited to those wanting to track their illness or treatment. Although there are apps that target specific concerns such as mood monitoring apps. The CareClinic app however offers a variety of features. In this app you can keep track medications, symptoms, fitness levels and so on. This app is so versatile and customizable that you can document all your health-related concerns in one app. There is no need for you to switch between a fitness app to a treatment app to a symptoms tracker. Keep it all in one place so it is easy for you remember to log and report your health progress.

Health apps have always been a trending tool. Created by fellow health enthusiasts to make it easier for you to use. Did you know though that the CareClinic app was created by a team of healthcare professionals? You don’t have to worry about whether the information you are reading is factual or not. A lot of time and planning as gone into the CareClinic app to make it user-friendly and full of helpful information.

A Summary of Relevant Features

You read that the CareClinic app has a variety of features. A nutrition log, a food diary, an activity monitor, medication reminder, treatment reminder etc. You can also track your measurements and weight to make sure you are maintaining a healthy weight. Weight gain and poor nutrition can lead to insulin resistance in your body. By being vigilant in your diet, incorporating healthy choices can reverse this risk.

Check out the “Care Plans” as well so some clarity and guidance. There are numerous types of guidelines for you to browse through and adapt. If you have any questions or concerns, you can also connect with a physicians assistant.

With so many available features you can really customize the plan according to your goals.This health app really allows you to take control and work towards living a healthier lifestyle. Try out CareClinic today. It is free for download and is available for android and iOS users.

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Viral Pandya