5 Ways to Naturally Reduce Insulin Resistance
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Mon 24 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Stefano Pizzo, MD
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which turns the carbohydrates you eat into the simplest form of sugar; glucose.
Insulin sensitivity on the other hand, is the term used to describe how responsive your cells are to insulin or how well they can utilize it for glucose conversion.
If your cells can't work well with the released insulin, then energy production goes down. Since the insulin now stays in circulation, a host of health problems will arise too. That's what insulin resistance is.
And if insulin resistance is left untreated and the condition becomes worse, eventually turning into chronic one, you may soon find yourself with type 2 diabetes.
Here are the 5 ways to naturally prevent this and make your body more insulin sensitive naturally:
#5. Limit your Intake of PUFA
Polyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFA) are hailed as healthy fats, when in reality they're quite possibly the worst type of lipids you can consume.
This is because - due to their long chain of double carbon bonds - they are incredibly sensitive to oxidation by heat, oxygen, and light.
Eating - and storing - PUFA causes increased inflammation through the process of lipid peroxidation, this in turn increases cortisol, and cortisol promotes insulin resistance, aka. reduces insulin sensitivity.
Not to mention the other harmful effects of PUFA, like lowered thyroid gland activity and reduced testosterone and DHT production in men.
In many cases, movement is medicine.
This is very true for improving insulin sensitivity too.
It has been shown through countless of studies that exercise from light walking all the way to heavy weight lifting can be used to significantly improve the cellular sensitivity towards insulin.
The best types of exercise for promoting insulin sensitivity are walking in nature (low-stress, easy to do daily) and heavy weight lifting (which activates the GLUT4 protein in the skeletal tissue, helping the muscle cells utilize carbs and insulin).
NOTE: Walking is a good way to stimulate testosterone production, as is resistance training too.
#3. Get the Micronutrients
You can eat 3000 kcal worth of empty calories per day to slow down your thyroid and metabolic rate...
...Or you can eat 3000 kcal worth of nutritious calories per day and at the same time, increase thyroid activity and metabolism, raise testosterone, and improve your insulin sensitivity.
What makes the difference?
Micronutrients do. The vitamins and minerals your body uses to maintain its reactions on a daily basis. You need good amount of the water soluble vitamins (B complex, C), fat solubles (K2, D, E, A), and minerals (zinc, selenium, magnesium, etc).
If you fail to do this, you can be damn sure that you will have multiple health problems, one of them which is insulin resistance.
Magnesium deficiency is known to cause it, as is chromium deficiency, as is calcium deficiency, choline deficiency...
So how do you get the micronutrients?
You get them by eating nutritious food.
More foods like eggs, liver, mushrooms, berries, tropical fruits and fruit juices. Less foods like Fruit Loops, Chick-fil-A, Kellog's, and you know the rest.
#2. These Supplements will Help
Aside from micronutrients, there are a handful of supplements that can improve insulin sensitivity.
I go into detail about them and the science backing those up in this article...
...But just for quick list, here's some that are proven to improve insulin sensitivity;
Like said, if you want to get the details, go read this article about insulin sensitivity boosting supplements.
#1. Be Lean
This ties in partly to the exercise subheading. As being lean improves insulin sensitivity.
Whereas being fat - well - you know, it correlates highly with insulin resistance.
There are many mechanisms to this, like the systemic inflammation that comes with increased fat percentage, which causes more lipid peroxidation, stress, high cortisol, and trickles down into a plethora of problems that eventually trigger insulin resistance.