Reducing Insulin Resistance

Here are some tips on how to reduce insulin resistance in order to avoid or even reverse diabetes and to keep your blood sugar level healthy.

How to improve insulin resistance

The most important aspect about reducing insulin resistance is not just to eat foods that magically decrease your resistance against insulin. Instead, the best way to lower the resistance is to change your eating habits in a way that insulin is needed a lot less - we are talking about probably more than 50 per cent less.

It all comes down to how your eating habits are right now. If you are used to eating a lot of noodles, rice, potatoes, fries and bread products (even if they are slow carb foods like wholemeal),  you are giving your pancreas a huge workload to deal with.

Give your inner organs a break at permanently fighting high blood sugar levels. There are some simple ways in which you can decrease the insulin release for years to come:

  • Eat less often (for example, every four hours)
  • Eat only or mostly low carb foods
  • Drink a lot of water to dilute substances high in sugars inside your stomach
  • Get very long and high-quality sleep at night
  • You can exercise to further reduce your insulin resistance
  • Always seek the advice of professionals, like your doctor

These tips come long before you think about fancy individual food sources, which we are going to look at next. I am just telling you that the basic changes need to come first, and then you can think about specific foods that reverse insulin resistance.

More specific instructions on how to reduce insulin resistance


Foods high in chromium can help lower insulin resistance. Great sources of chromium are brewer's yeast, corn, broccoli, grape juice, animal organs and seafood. I once read that even honey has a good amount of chromium. Improve the insulin sensitivity level by adding chromium to your diet. Not in an exaggerated way, just by deliberately adding foods you might usually forget about.

The role of low carb

I would like to go more into detail about why low carb will help against insulin resistance. At first, it seems counterintuitive. Why would you reduce sugars in your daily eating plan if you are in danger of becoming diabetic, a disease that sometimes involves having too little sugar in your blood? Well, the idea behind a low carb lifestyle (besides losing weight) is to return to a way of life in which sugars play a minor role.

This is the way it was before people invented pasta, bread and other manufactured foods. Although many people across this globe have had many different foods in the history of mankind, foods extremely high in carbs were rather rare. This has become part of our genetic program. Bodies are not used to deal with high amounts of carbohydrates.

So, once you reduce carbs, less insulin is needed, the blood sugar level is at an already acceptable range, and if insulin is needed, then at least not too much will be released. You won't go from being hyperactive to almost fainting.

The logic of reducing ups and down of sugars in order to keep the blood sugar level balanced is so simple that even a child can understand it. Think of your blood sugar level as waves in the ocean, as I already described in "Weaning Off Sugar".

The bottom line: The lower carbs you eat, the less insulin is needed. The less insulin is needed, the less resistance is built up. So simple.

Drinking water

Let's say you drink a glass of orange juice. It tastes very delicious. As you probably know, juices are healthier than soft drinks, but in terms of sugars, they are almost the same. What you can do is drink any juice you want to drink with a lot of water. The simple rule of thumb: Try to drink one third of juice and two thirds of water. You can even drink them separately: First a glass of water, then a (half full) glass of orange juice. Or first the juice. Some juices don't contain that many carbs, like carrot juice or green vegetable juices. Just make sure to drink a lot of water. Even solid substances dissolve more slowly in your body when you add water.

Sleep and exercising

A lack of sleep and diabetes can form a self-perpetuating circle where one symptom causes the other and you begin spiraling down into both sleep deprivation and diabetes. Try to follow all the pieces of advice on how to reduce insulin resistance, and focus on a good night's sleep in order to keep the chances of diabetes low.

Also, it has been shown that exercising can decrease the risk for diabetes. So this is one more thing you can do. By the way, exercising does not always have to be difficult and feel like a chore. Going for a walk is better than not doing anything at all when you are on the brink of developing diabetes. So make sure you are active in one way or another.

There is no fate

Image courtesy of pat138241 /

The last piece of advice I want to give you is about your mental attitude. I have spoken to many people (many of them being smokers) who have a very fatalistic attitude towards life. They claim that cancer, diabetes and heart attacks are just fate. They even go as far as saying that it's not worth taking care of one's health because diseases can hit anyone at anytime, and you could even be run over by a bus tomorrow.
I find this attitude very lazy, defensive and irresponsible. Whatever happens, these people never have to take the blame for anything and never have to confront their inner demons if they actually fall ill. Even on their deathbeds, these people will cling to the idea that everything is fate, that it's in the genes. And we, the normal people, will have to pay the costs of our health system providing cancer treatments.

Don't be like these foolish people. Yes, you might be run over by a bus tomorrow. Does that mean you should sell your house today and throw all your money out of the window? No. You are still planning for a long life, I'm sure. So have the decency to also prepare for the possible negative effects of a long life. Live healthy. It really is in your hands. Forget genetics. Most of what happens in terms of diabetes is really up to what kind of lifestyle you live. You may not be able to reduce risks to zero, but you can minimize risks by hundreds of per cents.

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