Diabetes is a growing concern, even among younger people, and Christina, a naturopathic functional medicine practitioner of Future Health Management, continues to help clients reach their health goals by emphasizing the importance of proper nutrition to minimize the risk of becoming insulin resistant. But what exactly is insulin resistance? It’s when your body’s cells don’t respond properly to the insulin it produces, causing an increase in blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance is commonly associated with those who have excess body fat, are overweight or obese. However, it can also affect individuals who have a healthy weight and BMI. Treating this condition costs the NHS around ten billion pounds annually. To minimize the risk of insulin resistance, we can make certain changes in our diet.
Here are some things to consider:
- Reduce the consumption of foods that contain empty calories, such as sugary fizzy drinks, chocolates, desserts, and sweets that rapidly release sugar into the bloodstream.
- Avoid refined, mass-produced white flour and rice-based foods, including pizza, white rice, pasta, white bread, cakes, and biscuits, which are often high in saturated fats and sugar.
- Be aware that honey, maltose, and dextrose are all forms of sugar.
- Dilute concentrated fruit juices with one part juice and two parts water.
- Pay attention to labels, particularly on fortified cereals, as excessive iron and copper in the body increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Opt for lean meats like turkey, pork, venison, or chicken, and reduce consumption of red meat.
To improve your diet, focus on the following:
- Include unrefined, high-fibre carbs like wholemeal, rye, oat biscuits, amaranth crackers, brown rice, buckwheat, lentils, beans, and pulses.
- Incorporate nutrients that help balance blood sugar, such as fish oils.
- Consume unrefined sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and linseeds, as they contain beneficial oils rich in Omega 3 and 6. Add olive oil to salads.
- Eat foods that support eye health, such as bilberries, blueberries, blackberries, papaya, spinach, watercress, and sweet potatoes, which are all low in sugar.
- Cinnamon is known to help reduce glucose levels, and Native Nutrients chromium is a recommended supplement for support.
No longer an adult health issue
Remember, by making these dietary adjustments and following a balanced approach, you can minimize the risk of insulin resistance and promote better overall health. It’s important to note that diabetes can also affect children. By introducing and encouraging a diet rich in nutritious and wholesome foods from an early age, parents can help their children establish healthy eating habits and reduce the risk of developing this disease later in life.