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How Can I Improve Insulin Sensitivity?

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  • Written By: April S. Kenyon
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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Insulin helps convert blood glucose levels into energy. When the body fails to properly use the insulin hormone that is produced by the pancreas, insulin resistance occurs. This can lead to major health complications, including heart disease and diabetes. Increasing insulin sensitivity is often best achieved through a change in lifestyle. This typically includes eating healthier, increasing activity, and reducing stress levels.

The type of foods you put into your body greatly determine your chances for developing or preventing insulin resistance. Processed foods that are low in nutritional value and high in sugar can greatly increase your insulin levels. Try cutting these foods out of your diet and replace them with fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic foods. Substitute foods made with whole grains, such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta, for those created from processed flour.

You should also cut down on the amount of saturated fats you consume. Try replacing meats high in fat with leaner cuts. Fish is also a great source of protein with very little fat. Consuming a diet high in protein and fiber and low in saturated fat is one of the best ways to increase insulin sensitivity.

Another way you can increase insulin sensitivity is to maintain an active lifestyle. Routinely exercise or take part in mildly strenuous activities. Aerobics and resistance training can go a long way toward helping you decrease insulin resistance.

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In addition to making necessary changes to your diet and increasing physical activity, reducing stress levels can also greatly increase your insulin sensitivity. An increase in stress hormones produced in the body can lead to insulin resistance. Learning how to reduce or eliminate high levels of stress is vital to increasing your insulin sensitivity. Make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep each night and maintain a healthy diet. Other methods of decreasing stress levels include deep breathing, yoga, and meditation.

Health supplements can also be taken to help increase insulin sensitivity. Any vitamins or minerals you may not be getting in your diet can be attained through proper health supplements, but they should not serve as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. The best way to fight insulin resistance and increase your insulin sensitivity is through a proper change in diet and a healthy level of exercise. Anyone with a high risk for diabetes and insulin resistance should discuss treatment options and preventative methods with a medical professional.

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