The Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol

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Insulin is a major issue for many individuals. While insulin is a natural part of a healthy system, when the body isn’t working perfectly then insulin can become a problem that results in pre-diabetes, diabetes, and weight loss, among many other issues. The rate of diabetes could easily become an epidemic that overwhelms the medical industry, especially as some numbers predict the rate of cases doubling from 190 million to 380 million over the next two and a half decades [1].
The good news is that in most cases insulin production in the body, and the body’s ability to properly handle it, is most often a dietary issue. This means that a proper eating plan that is carefully followed can be enough for most people to overcome their insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a warning flag for diabetes and can make weight loss extremely difficult even for individuals who shouldn’t have a problem dropping pounds.
This is where the Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol comes into play.
This is a fully detailed eating plan that combines the best types of food to eat as well as rules for what to avoid. That combination can lead to some seriously fantastic results for individuals who follow this protocol to the letter.

What is the Insulin Resistance Diet?

One way to look at the insulin resistance diet is as less of a strict meal plan as it is a set of guidelines that work together for optimal effect. Many people may find that they already do a large number of these but it’s only one or two of these that are tripping them up. The good news is that very few people need to do a wholesale change of eating habits in order to fully comply with this eating plan, but it is important to take each and every single one of these rules seriously.
It’s important to note, that these are just general tips and ideas, and not a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. Consult with your medical doctor before making any changes to your diet or trying the Insulin Resistance Diet protocol. 
Here’s a good visual of exactly how this diet works, and then you can read more about it below:
insulin resistance diet protocol infographic

1: Cut Back on Carbs

This is a huge one, and probably the step that the most people struggle with (other than soda addicts who are going to struggle with #3 further down this list). Carbs are the foods that are most easily converted to sugar, and that leads to issues with insulin resistance and insulin spikes. Low carb diets aren’t just becoming popular because of shedding water weight, but the drop in carbs has many people overcoming insulin resistance, which then leads to healthy weight loss.
There are many different ways to deal with carbs, and making sure that you eat the right carbs. Carbohydrates that come from vegetables are almost always not only forgivable but also healthy. Certain types of fruits, whole grains, beans/legumes, and limited dairy products are also often acceptable sources. These are all certainly better than other sources. Take special care to avoid sugar based carbs, “white carbs,” or carbs that come from heavily manufactured foods. This includes avoiding popular starches like potatoes and sweet potatoes, baking ingredients like flour, and any alcohol.
a table full of bread
Even when it comes to grains, it is still better to eat them in their whole form as opposed to processed or flour. There are good alternatives. Try a cauliflower substitute for mashed potatoes or a different type of flour that isn’t based on ground grains – like a coconut or nut based substitute.
When looking at traditional flour (which unfortunately is made from grains), you need to look at other options. Why? Because when it comes to even healthy grains, it is always best to consume them in a natural form before they are broken down into flour. This is because flour tends to increase insulin resistance. If you need to use flour, choose those made from 100 percent whole grains, or try coconut flour or almond flour for an even healthier option.

2: Eat Good Fiber

There’s no denying that fiber is really good for you, and there are studies that show that the health benefits extend to helping to keep insulin under control and diabetes at bay. While more fiber is better than less, some studies put the magic number at aiming for 50 grams per day, and while fiber can come in many forms it is still best to limit the amount from grains (see rule #1).
Getting this much fiber from veggies, beans, and some other sources are actually pretty easy to do on a daily basis. Don’t hesitate to load up the plate with those leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, and legumes and beans are always a great side choice. Look for other sources of fiber that are low in carbs or have the right kind, like quinoa, chia seeds, flaxseed, avocado, or peas. Mixed veggies are also a solid choice, and will help you keep that insulin down to an acceptable while the fiber also helps keep the plumbing working at a healthy rate.

3: Just Say “No” to Sugary Drinks (Even Juices)

a cold glass of orange juice
Some people will find this one easy while others know this might be the most challenging rule they need to follow. The obvious culprit here is soda pop – and it doesn’t matter whether it is diet or regular, it needs to go! However, many people are surprised to find out how many other drinks also fall into this category.
Most juices that you will find in the store has massive amounts of sugar in it. Does that tea have calories? That means a whole lot of sugar was added since tea naturally should have around 0 calories in it when brewed naturally. Even milk has added sugar in most cases.
In other words, a lot of things out there have added sugar and it can be really hard to figure out which options really are legitimately good ones. Water is always good, true tea is always good, and having milk in limited amounts can all be viable options.

4: Eat Healthy Fats

There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats when it comes to diet, and it is really important to separate the two. Saturated fat is not good, especially in large amounts, and trans fatty acids should always be avoided whenever absolutely possible. However, unsaturated fat can come from a wide variety of sources and individuals who have a solid amount of healthy fat in the diet consistently seem to show more of an ability to properly deal with insulin than those who don’t.
This effect makes sense, especially in individuals who replace sources of saturated and trans fats with foods that are full of unsaturated fats. The types of foods that are fat heavy with healthy fat include olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, etc.). If these foods sound familiar, it’s because they make an appearance in a wide variety of different diets and in cultures that have long had a reputation for old age and solid health.
These foods are loaded with good fats, and the fish are heavy in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to have an incredible number of health benefits in and of themselves. By eating more healthy fats and cutting out the other types, individuals will not only feel better but they will also have a much easier time overcoming insulin resistance in their body.

5: Eat Good Protein

a salmon fillet is ready for the grill
Protein isn’t just a good source of energy and an important nutrient for building muscle, but lean protein also has a major benefit in that it helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. That is an absolute necessity for anyone who needs to get their insulin under control and makes this an obvious rule when it comes to an insulin resistant diet protocol.
When it comes to protein, you not only want to make sure to get enough (which is critical for general health anyway) but also make sure that you are getting your protein from good sources. There’s a huge difference between a beef hamburger loaded with saturated fat and lean chicken breast, fish, yogurt (make sure there isn’t extra sugar added), and eggs.
This is a category where it matters a lot how the protein gets to you. Organic meat is almost always a much better option than not, free caught fish is better than farmed fish, and there are noticeable nutrient differences between eggs that come from free range chickens and those that come from poultry farms.
In addition to this, stronger muscles and bones are just good in any situation and give a better framework for recovering from poor health than not having them. Protein is your friend, but the source definitely matters.

6: Eat Dairy

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While the type matters a lot, eating dairy can have a very positive benefit to helping your body manage insulin and reduce your overall risk of type 2 diabetes. Why is this? While there isn’t a scientific consensus on the main roots of this effect, many believe that a combination of good fat, Vitamin D, calcium, and trans-palmitoleic acid come together to create these positive benefits.
The key is to hone in on a limited number of organic products because the wrong ones are loaded with sugar that will not help with an insulin resistant diet at all. These means focusing on organic products that don’t have any added sugar, and generally, milk from a goat or sheep is considered better than milk from a cow. Raw cheese, raw milk, kefir, butter, and Greek Yogurt (once again, when organic and with no added sugar) are the best options for dairy in this particular protocol.

7: Portion Control is Key

Eating really fast and eating large surges of calories both shoot up the blood sugar (and thus insulin) levels in the body, even when proper foods are being used. This is what makes portion control a key part of any successful insulin resistance diet protocol. Taking a little more time to eat a meal (the difference between 10 minutes and 20 minutes or 20 minutes and 30 minutes is huge), and making sure to have a fair sized plate that doesn’t have 2,000 calories loaded on it is a crucial part to not flooding the system with insulin.
Stopping these spikes throughout the day, or at least minimum helps keep blood sugar in check, reduce insulin resistance, and for individuals who need to lose weight to help get things in check, portion control helps with that, as well. While portion control isn’t necessarily quite as important as most of the other rules on this list, there’s no denying that combining this with those rules will help produce the maximum positive benefits.

How Does Insulin Actually Work?

To be perfectly clear, insulin isn’t the problem. In and of itself, insulin is a natural hormone that is not only found in the body but is necessary for good health, as well. Insulin is the hormone that is primarily responsible for turning blood sugar into actual energy, and also can help with properly storing it in the body for use. Insulin is supposed to rise in the body when blood sugar does, but in some cases, people can become insulin resistant, which is a problem.
This is how type 2 diabetes becomes an issue, and it often comes from the body being bombarded with sugar enough that the body is constantly flooded with insulin, which it then becomes resistant to. This causes all types of problems with blood sugar regulation, liver health, ability to manage weight, and more.

What Are The Different Types of Insulin?

Not all insulin is the same. Within every single person’s body insulin acts on many levels, and not always in the exact same way. When talking about how medical insulin works, the types are even more pronounced. There are a variety of good reasons for this. Whether a person has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes makes a huge difference, in addition to what the blood sugar of the individual is, as well as several other factors.
Because each individual has specific needs and any given situation can be different, it’s important to stay away from pure blanket statements when it comes to insulin and have an understanding about the different types of insulin and when using each is appropriate (or not).

1. Short-Acting Insulin

Short-acting insulin, aka “regular-acting insulin,” is the most common used by diabetics via injection. Generally speaking, on average the insulin from this type of injection will fully reach and absorb into the bloodstream about 30 minutes after injection. Used to correct high blood sugar in certain situations, as well as stabilize blood sugar during meal times or when frequent snacking is expected.
While the injection, in this case, takes about 30 minutes to hit the bloodstream, that doesn’t mean it hits all at once. Quite the contrary, this is effective from 3-6 hours and will normally hit the full strength around the three-hour mark. The time variance most often depends on the individual and how their body traditionally handles the injections.

2. Intermediate-Acting Insulin

Intermediate-acting insulation is just that: a dose of insulin that doesn’t act immediately but takes some time to get into the bloodstream. Not as much as the long-acting insulin, but also taking longer (and lasting longer) than rapid-acting or short-acting options, the intermediate variety will generally reach the bloodstream anywhere from two hours up to four hours after the initial injection.
an insulin syringe perched on top of an apple and sugar cubes
In this case, the insulin will peak anywhere from 4 to 12 hours later and in most patients will be effective in its purpose for anywhere from 12 to 18 hours. Designed to last longer and be absorbed by the body much more slowly than the fast types, this is ideal for controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics while they are sleeping overnight or if they are (or forced to) fasting for any reason.

3. Long-Acting Insulin

Just like it sounds, long-acting insulin is designed to be very long lasting and that also means it must be absorbed into a person’s body at a much slower rate. In this case, the insulin reaches the bloodstream multiple hours after that initial injection and it doesn’t create one major hit, but will help to lower glucose in the bloodstream at a steady and even level over the entire next day (24 hours). There isn’t a strong “peak time” per se, but in this case, the effect of lowering blood sugar is like a long plateau effect.
This can be used for a variety of reasons including general treatment, evening out blood sugar overnight, during fasting, and even between long gaps in between meals.

4. Rapid-Acting Insulin

Rapid-acting insulin is the exact opposite of the long-range ones. Rapid-acting insulin can be thought of is the emergency insulin when adjustment is needed as quickly as possible. In this case, the insulin acts very fast, sometimes as quickly as 5 minutes after the original injection and almost never taking longer than 15 minutes to work. The impact of this insulin peaks after a mere hour, and overall it will work 2-4 hours and is often used to control blood sugar levels during meals and for emergency correction of high blood sugar.

Insulin Resistance Symptoms

Insulin resistance is when an individual has a difficult time naturally adjusting to handle a spike in glucose or blood sugar in their system. This means the usual process of pushing glucose into fat, muscle, and liver cells doesn’t work properly and that can lead to a wide array of health issues. Since insulin helps the body process sugar, becoming resistant to that makes it difficult to function period.
When trying to figure out if a person has insulin resistance or not, one of the most difficult parts is the fact that initially often times insulin resistance doesn’t have any symptoms. At least any easy to spot outward ones, anyway. This is especially true if the resistance is minor. This is why it isn’t unusual for many individuals to have this type of a health condition for many years before finding out.
However, there are tests that are available which can help to identify this problem. At a medical clinic, insulin testing can be done with either a glucose test, a C-peptide test, or even both. Anyone suspecting they might have insulin related issues can get these tests.
While many cases of insulin resistance don’t have any symptoms, there are some signs that may appear in more advanced cases. Just a short list of those potential symptoms include:
  • Hyperglycemia
  • “Acanthosis nigricans” which is a patchy skin condition
  • Uncommon levels of sweating
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Scattered thoughts when hungry
  • Occasional heart palpitations, especially when not hungry
These are potential symptoms that could indicate a person has too much resistance to insulin, but not having any of these obvious symptoms doesn’t mean that an individual gets a clean bill of health. As stated earlier, there are many cases where insulin resistance just doesn’t give any obvious signs or symptoms.
The only way to know for sure is to have your medical doctor diagnose and treat your insulin resistance.

Final Thoughts

The Insulin Resistance Diet offers a strong, broad, and consistent blueprint for being able to get insulin resistance under control so your body can shed Type 2 diabetes and even insulin sensitivity to move to a point of better health – maybe even without the need for insulin injections. Following the rules of this diet protocol will help individuals to get their lives back by rehabilitating their body to once again function the way it was meant to.
Insulin is often an overlooked part of how the body works, but there is no question that it has an enormous effect on many different areas of health. The insulin resistance diet protocol is the best option for the majority of people to use natural means of diet and good eating habits to help drop excess weight and help reset their body to the point where it begins to work properly once again.
Anyone considering this diet should consult with their medical doctor before trying it, to ensure it’s the right plan for you, and that you’re healthy enough to try it.
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