Do you know if you’re insulin sensitive or insulin resistant?
Insulin sensitive people
These are the people who are able to eat to appetite and can control their weight. They usually eat naturally-occurring carbohydrates such as fruits and starchy vegetables and don’t have to worry about how many grams of carbohydrate they eat each day. They could still become insulin resistant if they were to eat refined carbohydrates, and this risk increases the older they become as carbohydrate metabolism tends to worsen with age. To protect themselves from being insulin-resistant with all the associated health issues, they should stick to eating whole foods.
Insulin resistant people
Unfortunately a large percentage of the population are already insulin resistant or on track to develop it. This is because they have eaten a diet which has been heavily biased towards refined carbohydrates. If you have insulin resistance, then your carbohydrate metabolism is badly damaged. Insulin resistance can result in health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Insulin resistant people need to limit ALL types of carbohydrate, even the ‘healthy’ ones including fruits, starchy vegetables, grains and beans, not just the obvious added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Fortunately since carbohydrates are the cause of the problem, then reducing carbohydrate intake can improve the situation and lessen the potential health impacts.
In my experience, many people who participate in endurance sports do so to enable them to ‘eat whatever they want’. This often includes eating lots of refined carbohydrates. On the outside they may look lean, fit and healthy because they are burning up calories by training and racing. Unfortunately, they might be developing an insulin resistance problem without even knowing it until they suffer from an unwanted health issue.
One of the benefits of exercise is a lowering of insulin levels but I would recommend that you don’t rely on that alone to protect you. Make sure that you pay attention to the quantities and types of carbohydrate you eat too.
I made this short video to share 7 ways you can lower your risk of becoming insulin resistant.
For me, the biggest surprise was the sweetener side of things. I always thought that honey was the healthier option! If you use it as a carbohydrate source during a race, it is better than a gel as it contains other nutrients that a gel doesn’t but it’s not a good choice for every day use.
I hope that you have enjoyed this video and that you will be able to use the tips to your benefit 🙂
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