Understanding Insulin Resistance
What is Insulin Resistance? With Insulin Resistance, the body doesn’t know how to properl y deliver sugar to the cells that need it. As a result, you’ll find way too much sugar (aka glucose) in their blood. This causes pre-diabetes. When people have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Most people with insulin resistance don’t know they have it for many years—until they develop type 2 diabetes, a serious, lifelong disease. The good news is that if people learn they have insulin resistance early on, they can often prevent or delay diabetes by making changes to their lifestyle.
The most notable way that PCOS affects the way your body processes food is through insulin resistance. Insulin resistance just means that your body doesn’t process sugars in what might be considered a “healthy” way. Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to help control the amount of sugar in your blood.
When your body is “resistant” to this hormone sugar can’t be absorbed by the cells, creating a build-up of the sugars in your blood. When this happens, you’ll notice a spike in blood sugar and you might be diagnosed as “pre-diabetic”, depending on the foods you eat. Learn More about the Science Behind Insulin Resistance
3 Eating Tips for Fighting Insulin Resistance
- AVOID SWEETS: The more sugar you take in, the more difficult you make it for your body to function. Eating less sugars (especially less REFINED sugars) will not only help you feel better, but it will help you drop excess fat! Ween yourself off the hard sugar by slowly replacing those “guilty pleasures” with fresh fruits and sweet veggies.
- AVOID WHITE CARBS: Fake carbs like white bread, white rice, pizza, rolls, and pasta were some of my favorites back in the day. It’s super important that you start cutting down on these hard carbs. Once they get into your system, they break down into sugars, creating a spike in blood sugar that not only leaves you exhausted and cranky, but also makes you gain weight.
- ADD VEGETABLES: Despite what the fad-diets are so quick to say, it’s not JUST about cutting things out. Adding more leafy greens into your diet gives you boosts of vitamins that help your body process sugars WAY more effectively.
4 Ways to Improve Insulin Resistance Immediately
- EXERCISE: I get it, you’ve heard it too much. Exercise is KEY because it BURNS OFF the extra blood sugar floating around in your blood stream, keeping your body running way more efficiently.
- INOSITOL + CHROMIUM: These supplements literally changed my life. You probably noticed them on the supplement chart. These are the ones I take (you can read more about it in the product vault later in this book). Inositol and Chromium improved my moods, helped the weight basically MELT off, and completely revamped my energy levels.
- DITCH THE SMOKES: Smoking has been associated with more severe insulin resistance in those who are predisposed already. Cutting back or quitting can dramatically improve how your body handles food!
- WEIGHT LOSS: While healthcare professionals typically advise against rapid weight loss, weight loss has been proven again and again and again to drop insulin resistance. It almost feels UNFAIR that insulin resistance makes it hard to lose weight.
Most Common Hormone Disruptors in Your Kitchen
You can’t talk about PCOS and nutrition without stopping to take a look at how the foods you eat could be helping or hurting your situation. Unfortunately, the western diet (particularly in the U.S.) is riddled with foods that scream hormone disruption.
HORMONE DISRUPTORS HIDING IN YOUR KITCHEN
Shockingly enough, non-organic chicken is a sure-fire way to throw your hormones out of whack when it comes to your kitchen. In nature, a chicken’s diet consists of what you and I might imagine; bugs, grass, and vitamin-D soaked plants.Sadly, in today’s modern day chicken-farms, you’ll find very little of any of those things. What you WILL find are things like corn and soy that are much cheaper food sources for corporate chicken farmers to feed their livestock. Unfortunately for us, these are usually DRENCHED in GMO’s and processed oils, creating a hormonal nightmare once the chicken reaches our table.
If you’ve ever noticed that you feel a little queasy after having dairy, you might be surprised to know that it’s NOT just lactose intolerance. Many PCOS women found that cutting out their dairy not only improved their gut, but improved their acne too!This goes back to the care of the animals we’re getting that dairy from. Most dairy cows are kept pregnant way more than natural so that they will keep producing milk + keep producing baby cows to be raised as livestock. This means that mama cow is flooded with unhealthy levels of estrogen, that estrogen has to go somewhere – and the most common place you might encounter it is in our milk and beef. Ever since I’ve cut out dairy, I’ve noticed WAY less breakouts (see the photos below), but that’s not all. When I do make the choice to splurge and enjoy dairy, you’ll find me in the bathroom around 3am keeled over in IMMENSE cramping and pain.
- BPA :
Assuming you’ve walked through the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed a LOT more products offering “BPA-Free” options, maybe you’ve asked yourself, “What’s the big deal?” – Well, BPA is a synthetic hormone linked to everything from breast cancer to obesity and of course, with no surprise, BPA exacerbates PCOS.Most commonly found in canned goods and plastic containers, the best way to avoid BPA all together is to skip the canned veggies (opt for frozen organic or fresh instead!) and check for a “BPA Free” icon on any plastic containers you might pick up.
- Fertilizers, Like Atrazine:
Think the produce aisle of your grocery store is safe? Stay savvy. Many foods these days are drenched in fertilizers, like Atrazine. These deadly fertilizers have been banned in other countries, but find their way all over our produce here in the U.S. – You can protect yourself by buying organic. If that’s too expensive, I highly recommend hitting up your local farmers market. If neither of those are an option, be sure to wash your produce as well as you possibly can. You can find a list here of foods most necessary to buy organic.