Insulin resistance: 4 foods and products to avoid

Being resistant to insulin is not a good thing. However, in North America we are currently witnessing an epidemic of insulin resistance. Food plays a central role in both the development of this condition and in its treatment.

Insulin resistance: 4 foods and products to avoid

1. Refined sugar and grains

Since products made from white flour, sweetened foods, most rice cereals and other "white" foods are devoid of fibre, they are quickly digested, which raises blood sugar levels and insulin production.

  • Additionally, as they are low in nutrients and are calorific, they encourage weight gain, which increases the risk of insulin resistance.
  • Substitute these foods for whole grain breads and cereals, and juice with fresh fruit.
  • Instead of soft drinks, drink club soda garnished with a slice of lime. And be wary of packaged snacks.

2. Fatty foods

Eat less fatty meat, whole dairy products and foods that contain trans fats.

  • The trans fats found in many processed foods, as well as saturated fat in meat and cheese, increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, which is already high among those with insulin resistance.
  • They can directly contribute to this condition and prevent the production of sufficient amounts of insulin in the body as they are stored in cells in the form of triglycerides, which are very harmful fats. When these accumulate in the insulin-producing cells, they can destroy them.
  • Swedish researchers have demonstrated that we could improve insulin sensitivity by replacing saturated fats with olive oil or similar fat, provided however that the calories they provide do not represent over 37 per cent of total intake.

3. Junk food

in a 15-year study of 3,000 young adults conducted at the University of Minnesota, researchers found that those who ate junk food more than twice a week gained an average of 4.5 kilograms and their insulin resistance increased by 104 per cent.

  • Fast food products are usually high in hydrogenated oils, refined starches or sugar.
  • In addition, the portions are excessive, so avoid consuming these foods, which experts consider to have no nutritional value.

4. Sodium

Reducing your sodium intake is not that difficult. It is not, in fact, the salt used in cooking that's the real problem, but that contained in processed foods, which provide nearly 75 per cent of the sodium we ingest.

  • Sodium is hidden where we least suspect it, like in cereals, which sometimes contain more than potato chips.
  • Therefore, the best way to reduce sodium intake is to refrain from consuming these products.
  • You can also follow this simple rule: in the Nutritional Facts table that appears on the packaging of food products, the number that indicates the amount of sodium, expressed in milligrams (mg), should be equal to or less than the number of calories.

An estimated 25 per cent of the population in North America suffers from insulin resistance. In order not to be part of that statistic, be sure to reduce the consumption of these four foods.

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