Insulin resistance is a silent tsunami. Despite how destructive it is to health, many people have it and don't know it. That's because the damage is happening "under the hood" and may not show up for years. Insulin resistance is a type of metabolic dysfunction that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It occurs when cells stop responding well to insulin, a hormone that helps each cell in your body take up glucose. When you have insulin resistance, your insulin levels rise and your body stores fat more easily. If you don't treat it, it may eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, lifestyle plays a crucial role in whether you develop insulin resistance. There is a genetic component, as insulin resistance runs in families, but lifestyle is more important than genetics for predicting who becomes insulin resistant. Have you ever wondered what lifestyle issues place you at a higher risk of insulin resistance and what you can do to counter those factors?
Consuming Ultra-Processed Foods
Insulin resistance is a health condition of modern society. The easy availability of ultra-processed foods, accessibility of cheap foods, and added sugar contributes to obesity, the leading risk factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
It starts in childhood when kids eat sugary snacks, which sets up a lifelong pattern of eating processed junk. They carry these eating habits into adulthood, leading to adult-sized health problems. Insulin resistance is becoming more common in kids and teens these days.
Eating whole, unprocessed foods helps with weight control. Plus, the soluble fiber in whole foods enhances insulin sensitivity. The take-home message: Punt the junk!
Too Little Physical Activity
When you contract your muscles during exercise, it shifts glucose into cells without the need for insulin. Studies show that exercise improves insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin resistance. You don't have to run marathons to get the benefits. Research shows walking for 10 minutes after meals is an effective way to improve insulin sensitivity and tame the rise in blood sugar you get after a meal.
Even short periods of exercise, 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day, improve insulin sensitivity. How can you put this into practice? Break the sitting cycle by taking frequent movement breaks. Then, take a brisk walk after lunch. For exercise to be effective for improving insulin sensitivity, you must do it consistently. If you stay physically active for a few weeks and then stop, you won't just lose muscle mass and stamina, your insulin sensitivity will decline too.
Poor Sleep Habits
How's your sleep and are you sleeping enough? Studies link poor quality sleep and lack of sleep with increased insulin resistance. Plus, people with a condition called sleep apnea, where they stop breathing off and on during the night, are at higher risk. Sleep apnea increases the risk of insulin resistance by up to 4-fold.
If you're having trouble sleeping at night, snore much of the time, feel sleepy during the day, and are overweight or obese, visit your healthcare provider and make sure you don't have sleep apnea. Even if you don't, adequate sleep is essential for healthy insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. Don't skimp on it.
Not Managing Stress
Chronic stress also increases insulin resistance. Like lack of sleep, chronic stress raises the stress hormone cortisol. Studies show cortisol reduces how responsive cells are to insulin and can disrupt blood sugar control. Plus, chronic stress increases belly fat, and that makes insulin resistance worse. It can become a vicious cycle that's damaging to your health.
Smoking isn't just harmful to your lungs; it increases insulin resistance too. Why? The nicotine in cigarettes alters a cell's ability to respond to insulin. Over time, this increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, smoking increases the risk of diabetic complications, such as cardiovascular disease and peripheral artery disease, by damaging blood vessels and increasing oxidative stress.
The Bottom Line
Managing these five lifestyle factors will help you improve how your cells respond to insulin and improve your health as a whole. Weight loss is the most effective strategy for overcoming insulin resistance, and these lifestyle habits can also assist with weight loss and weight control.
While managing lifestyle is not always so easy in modern times, maybe you can count now with some extra help from the combination of science and nature:
The Good News
The new big thing on diabetes prevention and control has just arrived. A breakthrough supplement made of 100% organic Açai Seed Extract is about to revolutionize the way people can get control of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes type-2.
Studies show that polyphenols derived from fruits and vegetables are key mediators of anti-diabetic effects. They can modulate the digestion of starch and other carbohydrates and, induce satiety, mitigate non-enzymatic glycation, modulate hormonal responses, among several other effects, which are altogether anti-diabetic actions. The plant Euterpe oleracea Mart is widely found in the Amazon region of Brazil, and its fruits, popularly known as “açaí” are rich in polyphenols.
Even more potent, the açaí seed extract (ASE), rich in catechin, epicatechin and polymeric proanthocyanidins, has an endothelium-dependent vasodilator effect, antihypertensive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a hypolipidemic effect.
The new organic supplement was researched for over 10 years by scientists and released in the US market by a team of doctors.
POWER SEED TEAM
Antidiabetic effect of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (açaí) extract https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007924/
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking and Diabetes"