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Is It Good To Be Insulin Resistant?

Insulin Resistance: The Real Reason Why You Aren’t Losing Weight

Insulin Resistance: The Real Reason Why You Aren’t Losing Weight

Many people have weight loss as one of their key resolutions. Sadly, 35 percent of people also give up on that goal before the month even ends. It’s not necessarily lack of time or willpower that causes you to struggle with weight loss year after year. The real reason that you may have struggled to lose weight is insulin resistance, or a condition I call metabolism dysfunction. So you may be thinking, “Why is it so hard for me to lose weight?” I’m doing “everything right,” and yet still weight loss is difficult. Perhaps (like many of my patients) you’re already following a strict diet and working out several times a week, but to no avail. The weight still won’t come off — or, worse, you are gaining weight for seemingly no reason at all! You have become resigned to being overweight. Weight problems aren’t a permanent and immovable fixture for the rest of your life. If you’re finding that weight is easy to gain and hard to lose, it’s not your fault! Weight problems aren’t just about overeating or under exercising — they’re about metabolic changes (The MD Factor Diet, 2015) that are collectively known as insulin resistance. Lab tests conducted in my practice have confirmed that over 89 percent of my patients have this real and often undiagnosed issue. So the good news is that the right combination of diet, exercise, and will to succeed you can reverse your MD factor and finally find success in losing weight and keeping it off for good. In a nutshell, insulin resistance is the inability of your body to properly convert the food that you eat into energy to fuel your cells. People with the MD Factor have difficulty regulating their blood sugar, which is often due to insulin resistance or even diabetes. In both instances, their bodies are unable t Continue reading >>

Weight Loss With Insulin Resistance: Diet Tips And Strategies

Weight Loss With Insulin Resistance: Diet Tips And Strategies

According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of diabetes has risen significantly over the last 30-plus years. In 1980, just 4.7 percent of the world's population had diabetes, but by 2014 this figure had soared to 8.5 percent. This means approximately 422 million people were living with diabetes in 2014. These astounding statistics do not take into account the additional number of people with prediabetes or insulin resistance. In this article, we take a look at what insulin resistance is and what its relationship with body weight is. How might being overweight lead to insulin resistance and what can be done to lose weight? What is insulin resistance? Insulin resistance leads to a condition known as prediabetes, which means that a person's blood sugar level is high, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. Having insulin resistance is a warning that, without intervention and effective lifestyle changes, someone with prediabetes may go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Sugar (glucose) is the body's main source of food energy. People obtain it from the food they eat. After food is broken down in the body, the sugar enters the bloodstream. In order to use it as energy, the body's cells need to "pick up" the sugar. Insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps this happen by moving the sugar out of the blood and enables it to enter the body's cells. Insulin maintains blood sugar levels, ensuring they are not too high or too low. However, when blood sugar levels are persistently high, the body's cells stop responding to insulin as effectively. This is known as insulin resistance. When insulin resistance occurs, sugar is unable to enter the cells as successfully, and too much remains in the bloodstream. Higher levels of sugar in the blood place a de Continue reading >>

How To Reverse Insulin Resistance: An Actionable Guide

How To Reverse Insulin Resistance: An Actionable Guide

If you’ve been in the space of alternative health and wellness for a while, then you’ve likely heard the term ‘insulin resistance’ floating around. But if not, I’m going to do that right now so your brain can stop screeching to a halt every time it reads that word. What Does Insulin Do? Insulin is a hormone. To put it quite simply, you can think of hormones as “body messengers” that communicate and respond to everything from hunger signals to reproduction, to emotions and a heck of a lot more. Because we are an intelligent and integrated feedback loop, some hormones have more than one, and/or, overlapping functions. Insulin is produced in the pancreas (which is part of the endocrine system). Its major responsibility (which is uber important) is to help regulate blood sugar. When you eat foods that contain any form of sugar, that sugar gets broken down into glucose. By the way, when I say that foods containing sugar I’m not just talking about sweet foods. I’m also talking about any carbohydrate (both simple and complex) containing foods. In this case, flavor is secondary to chemical make-up because that’s what ultimately determines how it’s going to be digested. Let me give some examples of foods that will get broken down into glucose: Desserts: ice cream, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, dried fruit… Sweet drinks: gatorade, creamers, soda, koolaid, juices… Simple carbs: bread, pasta, crackers, cereals… Complex carbs: quinoa, oats, brown & wild rice, corn, sprouted wheats, plantains, cassava, turnips, squashes… Fiber-rich: most fruits, most vegetables, peas, beans, legumes Those foods, the ones above and the others I didn’t have space to include, once simplified into glucose molecules (this is what we mean when we say blood sugar) are then esc Continue reading >>

The Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol

The Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol

Understanding the cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance helps us choose more effective therapeutic interventions for the treatment and prevention of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is present in individuals who are obese and those with diabetes mellitus. Several studies have found that an insulin resistance diet protocol and exercise can alter insulin signaling pathways and delay the onset of insulin resistance. It’s estimated that the number of diabetes sufferers in the world will double from about 190 million to 325 million during the next 25 years. (1) It’s obvious that we need to pay more attention to our lifestyle habits and make some changes. An insulin resistance diet, similar to a diabetic diet plan, helps you lose excess weight and regulate your insulin and blood glucose levels in order to reduce your risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes. Insulin Resistance Diet Research suggests that the primary cause of insulin resistance is excess weight, especially excess fat around the waist. Fortunately, weight loss can help the body respond better to insulin. The Diabetes Prevention Program and other large studies indicate that people with insulin resistance and prediabetes can often prevent or delay developing diabetes by changing their diets to follow an insulin resistance diet, along with losing weight. Here are seven ways to start eating an insulin resistance diet. 1. Limit Carbohydrates Research published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity suggests that monitoring carbohydrate intake, whether by carbohydrate counting or experience-based estimation, remains a key strategy in achieving glycemic control. Although all carbohydrates can be incorporated into carbohydrate counting, for good health, carbohydrates from vegetables, Continue reading >>

Insulin Sensitivity: Why You Can't Blast That Fat For Good!

Insulin Sensitivity: Why You Can't Blast That Fat For Good!

Have you ever wondered why, after all the exercise and healthy eating you do, you still can't shift that last bit of fat? You hit the gym four to five times a week or more, you even try to get a run in over the weekend and on top of this you're eating all the healthiest food you can find; despite this your still not super lean like you want to be. I have the answer to your nightmare - Insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity will eventually replace the term "weight loss" and "fat loss" as the new hot topic. Insulin has a powerful ability to prevent fat breakdown by its anabolic (rebuilding) properties. Few health and fitness professionals know or understand Insulin sensitivity (IS) which is why its no wonder that the every day man or woman is finding weight and fat so difficult to lose; it's incredibly hard to win against an obstacle you don't know is there! Let me explain Insulin's role and how it's sensitivity changes depending upon how close you are to your weight and fat loss goals. Insulin Sensitivity You might remember the hormone Insulin from articles referring to muscle gains due to its anabolic properties. Well further research into Insulin action shows that these same anabolic tendencies also affect the fat cells1. What most people don't realize is, Insulin also targets the fat, liver, and muscle cells when it is released1. This is not the only problem, though. A review of the research tells us that IS is actually increased when you lower your weight or body fat percentage2,3,11. It's also important to note that IS gets stronger the more you work out. The catabolic effect of exercise increases IS during a work out and for about 30-45 minutes post workout3. This means as a healthy exercising individual you simply can't eat the same amount of carbohydrate food t Continue reading >>

Diet Tips To Improve Insulin Resistance

Diet Tips To Improve Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb glucose, keeping blood sugar levels in balance. Insulin resistance makes it harder for glucose to be absorbed. This causes problems for muscles, fat, and the liver, as they need glucose (sugar). Over time, insulin resistance can cause high blood sugar levels and damage cells. Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. People with insulin resistance are often diagnosed with prediabetes. They may need extra checks to make sure they don't develop diabetes. Diet and other lifestyle choices can increase the risks related to insulin resistance. Making diet changes can reduce insulin insensitivity. This reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and the health problems that go with it. Contents of this article: Understanding insulin resistance Glucose is a vital source of energy for the body. However, many of the body's cells can't absorb glucose on their own. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. It joins up with glucose, and travels to the body's cells, where it attaches to insulin receptors. Insulin allows the cells to absorb glucose, making sure that: blood sugar levels remain at a safe level muscle, fat, liver, and other cells are able to get energy Insulin resistance makes cells less sensitive to insulin. This means the body has to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar levels healthy. If the pancreas is unable to keep up with the increased demand for insulin, blood sugar levels go up. When this happens, cells can't use all of the excess glucose in the blood. This leads to type 2 diabetes. Diet tips Following a healthful diet plan, such as the Mediterranean Diet, can improve insulin sensitivity. This diet recommends eating lots of seasonal plant-based foods, having fruit as a dessert, and olive oil as the main Continue reading >>

Why Insulin Resistance Is Good

Why Insulin Resistance Is Good

We’re always told that insulin resistance is the root cause of diabetes type 2. But that may be wrong. Insulin resistance could be a GOOD thing. Dr. Fung explains it well in this insightful new post. Basically, insulin resistance is the way the cells protect themselves from excess insulin and glucose in the blood (the real problem): Dr. Fung: Insulin Resistance is Good? I love Dr. Fung’s take on inflammation in this post as well. It has bothered me for quite some time when people claim that inflammation is the cause of X (i.e. heart disease). Inflammation is usually a symptom of a problem, it’s the body’s default response to damage. The cause is something else. In the case of heart disease the cause is damage to the interior of the blood vessels. This damage results in inflammation – but that’s just a symptom. The cause of the damage? Many things. High blood sugar. High blood pressure. Toxic chemicals (e.g. from smoking). And probably oxidized small dense LDL particles. Excess bad carbs can be behind all these causes of heart disease, except perhaps smoking. The thing is that we can’t solve the problem by attacking a symptom of the problem. Diabetes type 2 can’t be cured by targeting insulin resistance. Heart disease can’t be cured by targeting inflammation. We need to take away the cause, which in many cases is eating too many bad carbs, too often (a normal Western diet). More How to Cure Diabetes How to Lose Weight Continue reading >>

Signs Of Insulin Resistance

Signs Of Insulin Resistance

What is insulin resistance? Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas. It allows your cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy. People with insulin resistance have cells throughout their bodies that don’t use insulin effectively. This means the cells have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a buildup of sugar in their blood. If your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes, you have a condition called prediabetes caused by insulin resistance. It’s not entirely clear why some people develop insulin resistance and others don’t. A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight increases the chance of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The effects of insulin resistance Insulin resistance typically doesn’t trigger any noticeable symptoms. You could be insulin resistant for years without knowing, especially if your blood glucose levels aren’t checked. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that nearly 70 percent of individuals with insulin resistance and prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if significant lifestyle changes aren’t made. Some people with insulin resistance may develop a skin condition known as acanthosis nigricans. This condition creates dark patches often on the back of the neck, groin, and armpits. Some experts believe it may be caused by a buildup of insulin within skin cells. There’s no cure for acanthosis nigricans, but if caused by a specific condition, treatment may allow for some of your natural skin color to return. Insulin resistance increases the risk of being overweight, having high triglycerides, and having elevated blood pressure. Since insulin resistance increases your risk for progressing to diabetes, you may not notice right away if you develop Continue reading >>

How To Diagnose, Prevent And Treat Insulin Resistance [infographic]

How To Diagnose, Prevent And Treat Insulin Resistance [infographic]

What You Need to Know about Sugar and Insulin Resistance In today’s post our fructose journey comes to a sweet conclusion, with answers to the questions that really matter: How much sugar is safe for you to eat? How much fructose and glucose is in your favorite foods, drinks, and sweeteners? How can you tell if you have insulin resistance (damaged carbohydrate metabolism)? What are some of the common clues? What tests can you ask your doctor to run? What can you do to take control of your health? I’ve included an infographic of 10 simple strategies that go beyond cutting added sugars, to improve your metabolism and prevent/treat common diseases. Earlier in this series we discovered that fructose is not scarier than glucose. In fact, consuming too much glucose is even riskier than consuming too much fructose because glucose is a more powerful trigger for “insulin resistance.” It is excess glucose that raises blood sugar and insulin levels, turns off fat burning, shifts fat and cholesterol production into overdrive, feeds cancer cells, and sets the stage for inflammation throughout the body.1) People with insulin resistance are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future, so insulin resistance is often referred to as “pre-diabetes.” So, should you focus on reducing the amount of glucose-y food you eat and lean towards fructose-y foods instead? Good luck with that…people talk about fructose as though it’s a separate sugar from glucose, but practically speaking, it’s not. In real foods, fructose never exists alone—wherever fructose is, glucose is right there beside it, so it’s not easy to separate them in your diet. Even the vast majority of manufactured foods and beverages contain a mixture of fructose and glucose, as you’ll see in the Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance? While the metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance with abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure; several other medical other conditions are specifically associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may contribute to the following conditions: Type 2 Diabetes: Overt diabetes may be the first sign insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance can be noted long before type 2 diabetes develops. Individuals reluctant or unable to see a health-care professional often seek medical attention when they have already developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fatty liver: Fatty liver is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. Fatty liver associated with insulin resistance may be mild or severe. Newer evidence suggests fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver and, possibly, liver cancer. Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis) is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for: Other risk factors for arteriosclerosis include: High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol Diabetes mellitus from any cause Family history of arteriosclerosis Skin Lesions: Skin lesions include increased skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigerians (AN). Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin, especially in folds such as the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. This condition is directly related to the insulin resistance, though the exact mechanism is not clear. Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly Continue reading >>

Increasing Insulin Sensitivity

Increasing Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone that is normally released by the beta cells of the pancreas. When a person’s pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to sustain good health, insulin can be injected into the body with a needle, inhaled with an inhaler, or infused with a pump. One of the main functions of insulin is to lower blood glucose levels by enabling glucose to enter the cells of the body, where it is used for energy or stored for future use. A person who is insulin-sensitive needs only a relatively small amount of insulin to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range and to keep the body’s cells supplied with the glucose they need. A person who is insulin-resistant, on the other hand, needs a lot more insulin to get the same blood-glucose-lowering effects. Insulin resistance is associated with numerous health risks. For one thing, it causes hyperinsulinemia, or high circulating insulin levels, which may be directly damaging to blood vessels. Hyperinsulinemia is also associated with high blood pressure, heart disease and heart failure, obesity (particularly abdominal obesity), osteoporosis (thinning bones), and certain types of cancer, such as colon, breast, and prostate cancer. In contrast, having low circulating insulin levels is associated with greater longevity; most centenarians without diabetes have low circulating insulin levels. Insulin resistance is a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, but it can occur in Type 1 diabetes as well. In fact, there is a growing number of people who are said to have “double diabetes” because, in addition to having Type 1 diabetes, they also have the insulin resistance characteristic of Type 2. The good news is that you can lower your level of insulin resistance — and raise your level of insulin sensitivity — by modifying your lifes Continue reading >>

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets. Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin plays a major role in metabolism—the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates—sugars and starches found in many foods—into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Insulin's Role in Blood Glucose Control When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to cells throughout the body. Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. In a healthy person, these functions allow blood glucose and insulin levels to remain in the normal range. What happens with insulin resistance? In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the bet Continue reading >>

I Reversed Insulin Resistance And You Can Too

I Reversed Insulin Resistance And You Can Too

It was 2014 and I was looking at a lot of red in my most recent blood work results. What’s all this red?” I asked my Doctor. “Well,” she said, “It shows your cholesterol is on the higher side and you have some insulin resistance.” I know high cholesterol was bad, but “what is insulin resistance, exactly?” I wasn’t quite sure. I’m pretty up on all the latest health information. I’m an athlete, I eat whatever I want, but I burn it all off, don’t I? That’s what I thought, anyway. Turns out that’s not the case. Insulin Resistance is also referred to as Pre-Diabetes! What?!! Thankfully my doctor told me I hadn’t progressed to the point of no return and with a few lifestyle changes we could reverse the trend. I took a much deeper dive into my blood work and more importantly, my diet. As an endurance athlete, I’ve participated in marathons, triathlons, the famed Leadville 100 mountain bike race, multi-day Adventure Races, and more. I always watched what I eat, I don’t drink alcohol, but used to enjoy my chips and dessert. For many years, I bought into the “carbohydrates are your fuel” motto for years and years. My first marathon was in 2000. I planned my intake like a scientist. I knew when I was supposed to take my gels, eat my bars, and drink my drinks. That first race led to my first triathlon, then to my first Adventure Race. And for the first 5-6 years of that decade I was literally off to the races. I loved it. I would train for hours each day, sometimes I’d go out for a 6 hour bike ride, then a 2 hour run, and maybe even mix in a 3 hour paddle on the ocean. It was so much fun, it unlocked the kid in me. What I didn’t realize, however, is that I was over stimulating my pancreas. It wasn’t until years later, 2014 to be exact, th Continue reading >>

What Is The Perfect Diet For Weight Loss And Diabetics? What Is Insulin Resistance?

What Is The Perfect Diet For Weight Loss And Diabetics? What Is Insulin Resistance?

Have you heard but don’t understand what is insulin resistance? Are you gaining weight no matter what you try? Are you pre diabetic or been diagnosed as a diabetic (T1 or T2)? Has your appetite always been out of control? Well watch this fabulous Tedx talk by Dr Sarah Hallberg and see how insulin resistance can be playing a part in all the above conditions. Everyone can benefit from cutting carbs. Not only will it reduce your risk of T2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular risk factors and more importantly, your inflammatory markers are reduced which has huge implications for cancer prevention. Why are the guidelines still recommending for diabetics to consumes carbohydrates when they are intolerant to them? The message for so long has been “eat whatever you want, then medicate for it”. This is such nonsense. None of us should be eating so many carbs, let alone diabetics. We can have the beginnings of insulin resistance for years, even decades, before we are classed as pre diabetic or T2 diabetic. Having such high circulating levels of insulin is the problem. High insulin levels leads to insulin resistance. Our cells start to require more and more insulin to function. Click To Tweet So now you have watched the talk, lets look again at what insulin resistance is. We are all advised to eat far too many carbs, whether it is ‘healthy wholegrain’, sweets, ice cream, ‘natural’ muesli bars, cereals, bread or potatoes. This constant high level of circulating glucose (which all carbs are converted to) requires more and more insulin to push that glucose into your cells as glycogen. We can only store so much glycogen in our body so the remainder is stored as fat. Insulin is our fat storing hormone. Remember that again, insulin is our fat storing hormone. So whilst our b Continue reading >>

25 Ways To Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

25 Ways To Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

114 Comments Insulin does a lot of important things for us. It pulls glucose from the blood and fritters it away into our cells to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen. It prevents hyperglycemic toxicity to neurons, pancreatic cells, the arterial walls and the generation of excessive levels of reactive oxygen species. It even promotes muscle protein synthesis and helps augment muscular hypertrophy, especially following resistance training. Clearly, we need insulin. Without it, we’d die, as type 1 diabetics readily do without an exogenous source. But insulin has other effects, like inhibiting the breakdown of body fat into free fatty acids for energy production. Although locking fatty acids into body fat sounds terrible, it isn’t evidence of insulin being malicious. Lipolysis is temporarily blunted so that we can burn or sequester the glucose coming in. Once the glucose is handled, lipolysis resumes. We oscillate between fat burning and glucose burning, seamlessly switching fuel sources when needed. Sure, we’re not burning any fat when insulin is elevated, but once our insulin levels normalize we’ll be back on track. When you’re insulin sensitive, this is pretty much how it works. You secrete enough insulin to get the job done, but not so much that you gain weight and stop burning fat. What if a person secretes too much insulin in response to a glucose load? What if, for whatever reason (and there are dozens of possible culprits), a person’s cells are resistant to the effects of insulin? What if, to remove the same amount of glucose from the blood, a person secretes twice or thrice the amount of insulin? What happens when insulin stays elevated? Lipolysis is inhibited to an even greater degree. Body fat becomes even harder to burn. Susceptible brain, ar Continue reading >>

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