If you want to do yourself any favour, you may well start off by engaging with the process to learn about how to reverse insulin resistance and of course reverse metabolic syndrome too whilst you are it.
It is not enough to learn about how to reverse insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome though. I want you to start indulging in the practical steps on offer here today.
Insulin resistance is one of the deadliest ailments around. Insulin resistance is a soft, creepy disease that does your body organs silent damage.
You remember in 2010 when the movie, Inception was released. It was a fascinating movie. Inception was a science fiction movie where Leonardo Dicaprio was the star man. Leonardo was enshrined with powers of invading people’s dreams and in turn invade their minds with a view to planting ideas.
Leo and his team were also expected to extract information from their victims’ minds and pass on the information to their paymasters.
Purists will call the movie unethical as there would be an element of mind control. But let’s get real and put things in perspective. It is a movie. It’s not real, folks.
For Leo and his team to succeed in this venture, they will have to be given time to allow this “mind seed” to sprout.
This is what happens with insulin resistance and its sister ailment metabolic syndrome. They need time to “grow”.
The problem is these two conditions do have plenty of time to develop because for the most part, they invade your body and quietly establish themselves over years without you knowing it. There are at least 300 million people worldwide who at the moment are currently unaware their bodies have been “invaded” by insulin resistance.
For me I believe every adult over 45 should adopt measures to reverse insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome regardless.
For a more in-depth information regarding insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, go to this page. Over there, I have gone into great details about the relationship between blood glucose, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
The crux of the matter regarding insulin resistance is high levels of insulin in circulation. Insulin resistance leads to high insulin levels (hyperinsulinaemia). That’s the starting point.
> If you have difficulty losing weight despite your best efforts, there’s a strong likelihood you have insulin resistance.
If we know what the starting point is – high insulin levels that is, then reversing insulin resistance means we take steps to lower the level of insulin in our blood. Simple, right?
Well, sort of.
How to reverse insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome?
I keep lumping both conditions together because, when you fix insulin resistance, you actually fix metabolic syndrome as well.
Strategies to reverse insulin resistance would involve:
- Anything we do to reduce body fat
- Anything we do to encourage our body cells to take up glucose from the circulation
Why should we use these strategies to reverse insulin resistance? Because, excess body fat leads to insulin resistance and insulin resistance leads to high blood glucose levels. More importantly, high insulin level encourages fat preservation which worsens insulin resistance even more. It is a vicious circle.
Here are 4 practical ways to reverse insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Eat more vegetables
A lot of nutritional guidelines have advised us to eat more vegetables but we tend to overlook this advice. This is probably because it does sound simplistic. What we tend to forget is that vegetables constitute the haven of foods.
> Vegetables are nutritionally dense but calorie light at the same time. You can eat bucket loads of vegetables and you will feel full without allowing your calorie intake to spiral out of control.
A meta-analysis review showed that if you ate at least one serving of leafy green vegetables a day, you could cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14%. In case you are not aware, type 2 diabetes is the end point for insulin resistance.
What that means is if you do not reverse insulin resistance, you will ultimately end up with type 2 diabetes. So a 14% reduction in type 2 diabetes could be extrapolated to an even higher reduction in insulin resistance and in that study we are talking about just 1 serving of vegetables.
Another study from Down Under (Australia) looked at 120 overweight adults with an average BMI of 29.98 randomised them to different servings of vegetables over a 12-month period. In that study there was a strong correlation between fat loss and vegetable intake.
That Australian study concluded “Advice to consume a healthy low-energy diet including five servings of vegetables per day can lead to sustained weight loss, with associated reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors. In the short term, consuming a higher proportion of the dietary energy as vegetables may support a greater weight loss and the dietary pattern appears sustainable”.
The cardiovascular risk factors looked at in the study were fasting glucose, insulin and triglycerides all of which were reduced along with a higher high density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol).
You get a lot more benefits beyond reversing your insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, the more vegetables you consume.
Reduce Saturated Fats
This is not a campaign against fat. In essence fats are good and indeed our body needs fats to actually survive believe it or not. However, when you have insulin resistance, the last thing your body needs is to have it bombarded by yet more fat.
In particular, saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are fine. But saturated fats will make your insulin resistance worse. Research has demonstrated that if you expose muscle cells to excess saturated fat, you can experimentally induce insulin resistance. Wierdly unsaturated fats seem to have an opposite effect.
> Saturated fats interfere with the usual insulin signalling pathway that triggers cells to respond to levels of blood sugar in the blood. There may be several mechanisms involved some of it being inflammatory response. You can check out that link if you want to get geeky about it.
Studies involving how muscle cells behave when exposed to free fatty acids, (the products of fat digestion) are important in our understanding of insulin resistance. The main reason being that skeletal muscle is a predominant target for getting rid of glucose from the blood stream.
When this mechanism of glucose disposal from the blood into skeletal muscle cells fails, given the widespread availability of skeletal muscle cells in our body, a direct risk for development of insulin resistance occurs as result.
Yep, the door to the biggest reservoir for glucose uptake is locked. That spells trouble!
Not all fats are created equal. Whilst fatty acids from saturated fats exhibit cell toxicity mainly via inflammatory pathways, monounsaturated fatty acids however are protective to cells.
This literature confirms the unhealthy role played by saturated fatty acids stating “High saturated fatty acid intake, the typical dietary pattern of western populations, favors a proinflammatory status that contributes to development of insulin resistance”
In essence, no one is saying, don’t eat fats at all, but that you may want to concentrate your eating efforts on monounsaturated fats and possibly reduce your consumption of saturated fat. Saturated fats by the way are mainly sourced from animals for example cheese, margarines, butter. You want to reduce how much of these fats you eat.
Monounsaturated fats on the other hand can be part of your diet. Monounsaturated fats are mainly plant-derived like olive oil.
Eat More Flaxseed
Flaxseed plant is a crop with many purposes. Indeed, every part of the plant has been used for one purpose or the other. Either for food or industrial use.
What we are interested in however is the seed. The seed has oil. The oil is very rich in Omega 3 fats which springs from my last tip on healthy fats. The fat you get from flaxseed are healthy alpha-linolenic acid. The seed also has lignans with potential for anti-carcinogenic activity.
This is along with having plenty of protein to boot and phenolic compounds. Let’s not forget the flaxseeds are fiber-rich too.
Now you are beginning to see the multi-purpose healthy nature of flaxseeds, but how can it be useful for insulin resistance?
Well, this research has actually gone a step further by testing the effectiveness of flaxseed on blood glucose control in people with full-blown type 2 diabetes.
The researchers placed an experimental group of diabetics on 10gm of flaxseed powder daily to supplement their food. 10 grams of flaxseed powder is about tablespoon full. The control had no flaxseed supplementation.
Over a 1-month period, the study participants had their blood glucose profile monitored. There was clear improvement in fasting blood glucose and HbA1C in the group that had the flaxseed daily supplementation. Not only that the flaxseed group had improvement in their blood lipid profile as well reducing risk factors for heart disease.
Another study looked at the same flaxseed effect on blood glucose in 120 diabetic patients over a 3-month period. The patients were divided into 2 groups of intervention group, fed wheat flour supplemented with flaxseed and a control group fed the same wheat flour daily without flaxseed supplementation.
Blood glucose and lipid profiles were monitored before the study commenced and at monthly intervals. The results were similar. Fasting blood glucose showed significant improvement along with the blood lipid profiles.
Now if you imagine that the study participants were actually type 2 diabetics and we are getting results like this, don’t you think we will get even better insulin resistance reversal results?
With this kind of result, you can’t do worse by introducing flaxseed to reverse your insulin resistance. Remember that introducing flaxseed to your diet has lots more benefits beyond reversing your insulin resistance – fiber, protein, omega 3 fatty acid, lignans, anti-oxidant phenolic compounds etc.
> Flaxseed is thought to exhibit its insulin resistance reversal via its anti-oxidant effect from the lignans and phenolic compounds.
By the way if you are worried about possible weight gain eating flaxseed, be reassured that research has disproved that. Participants in studies of flaxseed intervention that consumed even 50 gm of flaxseed daily did not experience any weight gain.
Include Turmeric in your diet
Turmeric is widely used in the Asian continent, more so in India. It’s one spice that Indians covet immensely. Did you know that the incidence of prostate cancer and some other cancers is very low India? This is thought to be due to widespread use of turmeric as a spice.
Turmeric has anti-cancer properties and also boosts the immune system immensely.
But this piece is not about the cancer fighting properties of turmeric. It is about the blood glucose lowering property and its ability to reverse insulin resistance whilst reversing metabolic syndrome at the same time.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. So anywhere you read about the health benefits of curcumin, that literature is essentially talking about the health benefits of turmeric. They are one and the same.
Is there any evidence in the literature regarding the ability of turmeric to reverse insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome?
Of course, there’s plenty of evidence.
240 people who were already prediabetic were enlisted into a 9-month follow up study to see who develops full-blown type 2 diabetes. The subjects were randomized into 2 groups. One group received turmeric powder supplementation and the other group received placebo.
Remember that prediabetes is the advanced stage of insulin resistance before ultimately advancing further to type 2 diabetes.
After 9 months of follow up of these 240 individuals, 16.4% of the group receiving the placebo went on to develop full-blown type 2 diabetes.
In the intervention group that received the turmeric supplementation, none of them progressed to type 2 diabetes. In fact, the curcumin (turmeric) group, they had lower fasting blood sugar, improved blood glucose tolerance, improved HbA1C, decreased insulin resistance and improved overall pancreatic beta cell functionality.
Another study looked at whether curcumin had any insulin resistance reversal effect on 100 people who were already type 2 diabetics. Not only that, these study participants were overweight and obese. Randomized into 2 groups as usual – 50 of them received curcumin supplementation and the other 50 received placebo.
Even in these overweight, obese type 2 diabetics, curcumin supplementation produced e reduction in fasting blood glucose, a reduction in insulin resistance, a reduction in blood free fatty acids and reduced triglycerides as well.
That research also proves that turmeric curcumin has the ability to reverse insulin resistance and the ability to reverse metabolic syndrome too.
That study was a follow up to an earlier one that had proven that curcumin in turmeric does reduce free fatty acids by increasing the burning of fats inside skeletal muscle cells.
> When you burn fat stored inside any body cell, you improve the insulin signalling pathway mechanism that promotes the transport of glucose into the cell where the glucose is ultimately needed for metabolism.
That’s how you reverse insulin resistance and reverse metabolic syndrome in the process.
What I have done in this article is provide you with 4 concrete practical steps that you can use today to start the process of reversing insulin resistance and of course reversing metabolic syndrome if you have that as well.
My friend, Mike has an article that talks about some other dietary sins that some health “experts” and even the government may be promoting. Without sounding alarming, these recommendations may be harming your health.
The article is well worth a look. Read Full Story Here.