Insulin Resistance: How The Ketogenic Diet Helps
I am sure you heave heard about the connection between keto and insulin resistance: there may be may be a positive effect between eating a low carb, high fat diet and lowering or even eliminating your insulin resistance.
What exactly is insulin resistance, and how does it work? How can the keto diet help with insulin resistance?
1. What is Insulin Resistance?
Before we get into what insulin resistance is, let's talk about insulin and what it does. Every time you eat high-carb foods like bread, pasta, or fruit juice, those carbs turn into a usable form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses this glucose as fuel (quickly, I might add... glucose burns fast!)
During digestion glucose is released into your bloodstream, causing blood sugar to rise. When your pancreas realizes your blood glucose levels are high, it creates and sends out insulin to balance them out again. Makes sense right? After years of consuming high-carb, high-sugar foods, many people experience a condition in which their cells stop responding, causing what is known as insulin resistant. Another name for insulin-resistance is pre-diabetic, Type-2 Diabetes, and Type-3 Diabetes or Alzheimer's.
2. How It Works
Insulin resistance becomes a problem when the cells in your muscles, liver and fat stop absorbing all the glucose in your blood. At this point all of that sugar has nowhere to go. This means that your blood sugar levels remain high.
While your pancreas can keep things going for a while, eventually it's going to tap out when it can’t make enough insulin to control all the glucose. If your blood sugar levels reach a certain threshold, you may be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes are all linked to:
- Heart disease and high blood pressure
- High cholesterol and elevated triglycerides
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Colorectal cancer
3. What Causes Insulin Resistance?
One of the more obvious causes is eating too many carbohydrates, sugary foods and beverages. Additionally, having a sedentary lifestyle can contribute greatly to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can also be caused by:
- Your age: Insulin resistance can affect people at any age, but it’s estimated that more than 40% of those over the age of 50 may be at risk.
- Your race: If you’re of American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or African American descent, you’re at a higher risk for insulin resistance.
- Already having high blood pressure: Over 50% of adults with hypertension are also insulin resistant.
- Inflammation: Caused by a poor diet or an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria leads to oxidative stress, which encourages insulin resistance.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This condition makes women more prone to insulin resistance and weight gain.
4. Keto and Insulin Resistance
Clinical research finds a very low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet lowers fasting insulin levels, normalizes blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, and aids in weight loss more effectively than low fat diets.
A keto diet generally limits carbohydrate intake to 25-50 grams per day. The body functions well at this low carb intake because the keto diet switches your body's main energy source from glucose to ketones. Ketones are energy molecules your body makes by breaking down fat for energy when your carb intake is low.
When you remove sugar and carbs from your diet, your body will use up all the extra glucose in your blood. You’ll be able to reset your blood sugar and insulin levels since all the extra sugar floating around in your blood will be gone after a few days of restricting carb intake.
As your body starts to run on ketones, it will make less insulin because there will be less glucose to handle. This will make your muscle and fat cells more responsive to that insulin. That's why the keto diet is so great for those with insulin resistance.
The Keto and Insulin Resistance Takeaway
The keto diet is extremely beneficial to those with insulin resistance, and I have personally worked with clients who have successfully reversed their type 2 diabetes. Simple lifestyle changes can help you manage your blood sugar levels and lower your insulin levels.
Want to learn more about the benefits of the Keto lifestyle? Then I encourage you to grab your Free Keto Quick Start Guide Today! My main goal is to take your personal health on a transformative journey from a place of lethargy and carb addiction to that of euphoria and fat-burning. My experience, training and passion are all about educating and empowering women to get results; not just in terms of fat loss, but in improving their overall quality of life, and the lives of those around them. It is my pleasure to serve you and help you find a happy and healthy lifestyle with Ketogenic Living, so let's connect!