Over the years, that kind of diet has taken its toll; as a result, many of us have become less sensitive to our own insulin: a storage hormone produced in the pancreas that drives sugar into the cell to be used or stored as fat.
When the body becomes less sensitive to its own insulin, it compensates by making more insulin in order to control our blood sugars.
Having to constantly add more insulin puts increased stress on the insulin-producing pancreas.
As a result, individuals with insulin resistance need more insulin as the years go by to keep their blood sugars normal.
Insulin levels that are constantly elevated can lead to Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X): a combination of serious health problems that increase the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Some of those health problems include:
- Significant inflammation of the arteries, which can cause heart attack and stroke
- Elevated blood pressure
- Elevated triglycerides- the other "bad fat" in the blood
- Lower HDL (good) cholesterol
- Increased LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Development of significant uncontrolled weight gain which is usually around the waist
- Increased waist-to-hip ratio
- Increased blood sugar levels, often resulting in type 2 diabetes
There's also a risk in damaging the pancreas as it constantly tries to produce enough insulin.
Some warning signs of Metabolic Syndrome are:
- Fatigue after eating, especially after eating carbohydrates
- Constant hunger and increased cravings of carbohydrates
- Increased abdominal fat and "love handles"
- High blood pressure
- Hypoglycemia symptoms such as headaches, irritability without eating every 3 to 4 hours, shakiness and general weakness
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
The solution? Eat a diet high in good carbohydrates like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains Eliminate the high-glycemic carbs like white bread, white rice, pasta, and sugar.
Avoid all processed packaged foods Get adequate protein and fats in your diet Make sure you eat a source of protein with all meals and snacks.
The best protein and fats come from vegetables and vegetable oils.
Avocados, olive oil, nuts, beans, and soy are some good sources of protein and contain fats that will actually lower your cholesterol.
Other good protein and fat sources include cold water fish: salmon, tuna and sardines.
eggs, yogurt and low-fat milk products are also good sources of protein.
Don't skip meals, especially breakfast Do resistance and cardio training Begin a proven and effective resistance and short-burst cardio interval workout, 3 days a week.