Carbs and thoughts on insulin resistance

Carbs and thoughts on insulin resistance

Hypersomnia after eating, excess body weight in spite of normal diet, difficulties with losing weight, brain “fog”, problems with concentration, irritability, craving for sugar… these are only a few of many symptoms that might indicate INSULIN RESISTANCE.

Insulin resistance is not a disease. It is a carbohydrate metabolism disorder. It is estimated that a half of adult people in Poland might suffer from it. Unfortunately, it is increasingly frequently diagnosed in teenagers and children. It is a rather serious problem. It frequently leads to development of metabolic syndrome[1], it might also cause some cancers – mostly breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Insulin resistance diagram

Insulin resistance – what should you know about it?

  • It is a pre-diabetes condition. It usually develops 10 years before type 2 diabetes.
  • It is characterized by decreased sensitivity of cells to insulin – tissues become “resistant” to insulin [2].
  • Type 2 diabetes develops with approximately 70% people.
  • It leads to accumulation of fatty tissue and increased blood glucose level.
  • It is hard to diagnose in practice (excess insulin might be secreted by the pancreas for years in order to balance the high glucose level).
  • Many diseases can be caused by it aside from diabetes – they include hypertension, non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), osteoporosis, sterility, neurodegenerative diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Insulin resistance – what should you know about it?
hypertension and obesity
Individuals, whose family members suffer from diabetes, hypertension and obesity are most prone to insulin resistance. The reasons of insulin resistance are still not entirely understood, yet the most important include:
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Genetic factors
  • Age
  • Some medicines
  • Rare diseases

Who should have a check-up?

  • Every patient in the high risk group, in particular if they have symptoms of insulin resistance.
  • Each patient unable to lose weight despite efforts.

What tests should be made?

Insulin resistance tests involve setting the so-called “insulin curve and glucose curve”. It is important to know that on an empty stomach blood glucose level should be between 80 – 95 mg/dl, whereas insulin level should be lower than 10 mU/ml. Calculation of HOMA – IR insulin resistance index (relation of fasting glucose and insulin level[3]) can also be a valuable tool. The value of this index should never exceed 2 – while the ideal level is 1. You should consult a doctor, e.g. an endocrinologist, who takes other factors such as age, physiological condition and genetic load into consideration before diagnosing the patient.

Remember! The fact that you once had “good” results does not mean that they are going to remain good forever. Individuals in the high risk group should make insulin resistance tests annually.

The insulin resistance diagnosis is not the end of the world!

Contrary to what one might expect, curing insulin resistance is not very difficult and its results depend on the patient’s knowledge and perseverance. Recommendations focus on changing the lifestyle. You should follow a rational diet based on low IG products, reduce stress, remember about everyday physical activity and, if necessary, taking medicines.

Patients suffering from insulin resistance should consume groats, brown bread, wholegrain pasta, good quality fish and meat, unrefined plant oils and a broad range of vegetables, preferably raw. Reduce use of fruits and, in particular, fruit juices. They contain a lot of sugar. Correct diet in insulin resistance consists in controlling the number of simple carbohydrates. It aims at reducing blood insulin level after a meal and reducing body weight.

Insulin resistance
insulin resistance is ndividual for different people.jpg

Low IG products are recommended as the basic element in diet of patients with insulin resistance.

Avoid sweets, salty snacks, fast foods, stimulants, processed fiber-free products (white flours, pasta and bread) and fruit juices. You should know that glycemic index is decreased when eating a lot of dietary fiber and protein, eating less ripe fruits and cooling (e.g. rinsing pasta with cold water, freezing bread).

Nothing is worse than incidental unhealthy extra meals during the day.

Our Quick Dishes are a perfect solution for busy “insulin resistance” individuals. They are an alternative to a sandwich or an unhealthy lunch at work. Available in five unique flavor varieties, ready in 15 minutes, rich in fiber, iron and B vitamins. You can eat them alone or as an addition to fish or meat. Their recipes have been developed by a dietician specifically for diabetics, patients with insulin resistance and others.

Don’t forget about everyday physical activity

– you should exercise minimum 30 minutes per day! Exercises should be carried out regularly (2-3 times per week at least) with moderate intensity. Swimming, brisk walking, aerobic and nordic walking are perfect choices. Use your common sense choosing the type and intensity of effort. Strenuous exercise might have the opposite effect such as increased insulin level and increased body weight.

Insulin resistance begins in the childhood. It might get a lot worse as a consequence of irrational diet based on refined products, low physical activity and other environmental factors. It is therefore important to promote healthy lifestyle from an early age – it will make us much healthier and happier when we grow up.


[1] Metabolic syndrome – a group of diseases that contribute to development of atherosclerosis.

[2] Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its purpose is to stabilize blood glucose level.

[3] You can find HOMA- IR calculators on the Internet, e.g. www.insulinooporność.com/kalkulator-homa-ir

Recommended by Aneta Korzeniecka, nutritionist