Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body requires increasing quantities of insulin to manage blood sugar levels due to age, weight gain or chronic illness. More than one in three people over the age of 65 suffer from insulin resistance, leading to prediabetes or diabetes. If you’re one of these people, you don’t have to be resigned that your health is doomed. There are ways to fight against it and reduce your risk for disease. Here are steps that will help you take charge of your health.
Weight loss is a common goal for those with insulin resistance. But getting healthier can be as simple as taking up an exercise routine. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This will help you lose weight, reduce your risk for chronic illness and strengthen your heart.
Eat a Diet High in Whole Grains
Whole grains are rich in fiber, making them satiating and filling. Although they’re high in calories themselves, they fill you up without adding much to your daily caloric intake. Whole grains also contain vitamins, minerals, B vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals (plant chemicals), protein and other nutrients, all of which provide us with numerous health benefits. Whole grains are also great for regulating blood sugar levels because they don’t typically spike insulin themselves like refined starches. This aspect of whole grains is one of the reasons they are recommended for people with diabetes.
While some stressors are inevitable, lifestyle changes can improve your response to them. This is especially important if you’re overweight. Chronic stress may increase appetite, resulting in weight gain and insulin resistance. Reduce your stress by exercising more, getting enough sleep, reaching out to loved ones for support, practicing meditation or yoga and doing deep-breathing exercises.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep can help you reduce stress, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. It also reduces the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. The best way to get enough sleep is to make a commitment to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Also, try not to look at screens or read before going to bed— these activities can interfere with your sleep.
Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
There aren’t many reasons for you to drink alcohol if you have insulin resistance since it doesn’t contain any nutrients and it has been linked to weight gain. Moderate alcohol consumption may protect against heart disease in some people, but only if the person stays slim as well. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s just not worth it.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Eating too much sodium (salt) can raise blood pressure and increase insulin resistance. To reduce your sodium intake, cook with fresh foods and herbs instead of canned foods, processed meats and canned soups with a lot of salt. You can also reduce the amount of salt in many packaged foods by rinsing them off with water before cooking or eating them.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, which is excellent for managing blood sugar levels. Plenty of fiber also lowers the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes. If you have insulin resistance, you want to consume more fiber-rich foods that are low in sodium. Dietary guidelines recommend that our daily fiber intake be at least 21 grams per day, although most people eat far less than this.
Learning how to fight insulin resistance as you age is simple. There are many ways to improve your health that don’t need to cost any money, just a few minutes of your time every day. As you can see, all of these methods are very healthy for you and lower your risk for various diseases, not just those directly linked to insulin resistance.