1. More than 40% of Americans over the age of 20 have Prediabetes or Diabetes, some with no symptoms, according to the 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Insulin resistance precedes the development of type 2 diabetes and is associated with fatty liver, clogged arteries, heart disease, skin tags and female reproductive abnormalities (PCOS). And many more of us are at high risk of developing these conditions if we don’t get real about making good food choices. Are you at risk?
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases insulin resistance is “a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When people have insulin resistance, glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.”
|CDC Obesity and Diabetes Maps over Time|
The path to diabetes starts with the body’s cells becoming resistant to the effects of insulin, the hormone that tells the cells to take in and burn or store glucose. When the body’s cells ignore insulin’s message, the pancreas makes the message louder by producing more and more insulin in order to have the intended effect of getting sugar out of the blood and into the cells where it can actually be used.
Eventually, the pancreas poops out and can no longer continue to over-produce insulin. That’s when high blood sugar shows up on lab tests. By the time your body gets to this point, it’s been dealing with insulin resistance for a long time, possibly decades. And, while you can still turn things around, it would have been easier to do so before your pancreas got overtaxed and started dying.
The good news is that you may be able to identify and completely prevent insulin resistance from becoming prediabetes or type 2 diabetes! Many people are able to normalize insulin and blood sugar by making specific changes in the way they eat, move and manage stress.
Figuring out what to eat, what not to eat, when and how to exercise, etc. can be so overwhelming that people put it off or start and stop repeatedly, trying every new diet that comes along.
I want to help you stop feeling overwhelmed and start taking control of your health. Stop chasing the newest fad diet and go for an eating plan that is guaranteed to improve your health.
To get you started, I have simplified things with “Food Guidelines & Meal Plan” - a free 1 page download that tells you exactly what to eat and what not to eat to reach normal insulin and glucose levels. And, it’s not your typical low carb, high protein diet. It is a very nutrient-rich eating plan that will support your body’s ability to heal and function at it’s best.
2. Causes of insulin resistance-related diseases include obesity or excess body fat, stress, genetics, inactivity, dietary saturated fat and certain medications such as steroids. Or a combination of any of these.
Insulin resistance is diagnosed when your fasting blood sugar is slightly higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed diabetic. However, if the doctor says you have insulin resistance or prediabetes, you are headed straight for diabetes unless you make real changes in what you eat, how much you move, and how much body fat you have. These three conditions are degrees of the same condition. It starts with insulin resistance, and as it worsens, it becomes prediabetes, then type 2 diabetes. Many people have no idea anything is wrong until a blood test shows blood sugar in the diabetic range.
Another way that insulin resistance can be detected is by doing a glucose tolerance test, which means drinking sugar water and having your blood sugar measured afterward. If your body is able to maintain normal blood sugar, then you are insulin sensitive and all seems well. If your blood sugar spikes up and doesn’t come right back down, you are insulin resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic – depending on how high the numbers are and how long it takes your blood sugar to return to normal. Again, if the diagnosis is insulin resistance or prediabetes, you are headed straight for type 2 diabetes unless you change your body. And, you CAN change your body!
Once you understand that there are 3 controllable risk factors that are causing or worsening your insulin resistance and high blood sugar, you can address them. They are: dietary saturated fat, excess body fat and inactivity. And, it’s not as difficult as you may think to improve your insulin sensitivity and adjust your food choices. I've created a free 1 page guide and meal plan to get you started.
3. You DO have some control over your health destiny. You do not have to resign yourself to a life of medications, frequent doctor visits, low energy from imbalanced blood sugar, and terrible complications of long term high insulin and blood sugar - like kidney failure, blindness, amputation and heart disease.
It may seem overwhelming to change the food you eat, move more and lose body fat. But, I assure you, doing these things now, with proper guidance, is a whole lot easier and cost effective than dealing with the medical interventions needed to deal with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and its complications.
My goal is to help you gain freedom from excessive medication and medical intervention. I want you to live your life on your terms, and I know how to help you create the eating plan that will have the biggest impact on not only insulin resistance, but also overall health.
Stay tuned for the next couple of blog posts. I’m going to explain more about how to eat for best results and share some of the nutrition science behind the recommendations. I’m going to tell you the truth about the ideal diet, I’m not just going to tell you to count carbs, eat less and exercise more. I’m going to give you the real story on how you can stop overworking your pancreas and support your body in healing.
Until then, download the cheat sheet to help you get started. It lists all of the guidelines plus gives you a sample meal plan. Go ahead and get your free copy now, and stick with me so you can learn to incorporate your food preferences into a customized meal plan to get your overall health, blood sugar and insulin resistance under control.