A looming danger is ticking inside you like a timebomb without your conscious awareness and laying its foundation only to wreak havoc decades later when it is too late. The threat is Insulin Resistance, which is largely responsible for many complications like type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. About 24% of US grown-ups aged 20 years or 1 in 3 Americans have this condition – otherwise known as metabolic syndrome. However, there is medical and anecdotal evidence that a ketogenic diet can significantly improve or even reverse Insulin Resistance and related medical complications.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance occurs when cells of our muscles, fat, and liver fail to react properly to insulin and can’t utilize glucose from our blood. Insulin is a hormone produced by our pancreas. The main purpose of insulin is to facilitate body cells to absorb glucose and use it as fuel or stored as body fat. When our body can’t utilize the insulin properly, our pancreas makes more insulin as a result. Blood sugar levels soar gradually. If left untreated, the condition may lead to type 2 diabetes.
There are many contributing factors including the following:
- Obesity is a major contributing factor, primarily concentrated fat along the stomach.
- The sedentary lifestyle is closely related to obesity. Obesity is predominant among people with inactive lifestyles. There is ample data that shows obesity heightens the risk of high blood sugar, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.
- High-Carbohydrate consumption in our diet has detrimental metabolic impacts on us.
- Smoking is a significant risk factor for diabetes, essentially due to reduced insulin flow that in turn elevates insulin resistance.
- Some medicines like steroids, antipsychotics, and HIV prescriptions make the matter worse.
Treat Insulin Resistance with the Ketogenic Diet
Study shows that ketogenic diet may considerably improve insulin sensitivity. When we embark on a ketogenic diet, our body learns to use an alternate source of energy and which is fat instead of carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that forces the body to burn fats, rather than carbohydrates, as an alternate source of fuel. Our body turns into a metabolic state called “ketosis” when carbohydrate is in short supply in our diet. In this state, our liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies (energy molecules) that supply adequate energy for the brain. Weight loss, enhanced vitality, and energy are the outcome of the low-carb diet.
The low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet with a reasonable saturated fat creates a conducive environment for the body to reduce insulin resistance. This type of diet regimen forces the body to use fat as energy thereby preventing sugar from entering our bloodstream and therefore, the body doesn’t need to make or use insulin. It likely even to reverse insulin resistance by strictly adhering to the ketogenic diet.
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- Ruled Me. 2021. Insulin Resistance and Keto Diet [Research & Treatment]. [online] Available at: <https://www.ruled.me/the-ketogenic-diet-and-insulin-resistance/> [Accessed 8 May 2021].
- Barnes, A., 2021. Obesity and Sedentary Lifestyles: Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in Women. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384027/> [Accessed 15 May 2021].
- Sciencedirect.com. 2021. High Carbohydrate Diet – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. [online] Available at: <https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/high-carbohydrate-diet> [Accessed 15 May 2021].