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Why is Insulin Important?
Diabetes prevention has developed into a national health concern. The number of Americans with type 2 diabetes is estimated to increase by “165%, from 11 million in 2000 to 29 million in 2050” (care.diabetesjournals.org). If trends continue at the current rate, there will be a significant increase in the amount of Americans with diagnosed diabetes, placing a considerable burden on the health care system and lowering the healthof millions of individuals. As a preventable disease with considerable consequences, researchers and practitioners are seeking better ways to manage and prevent diabetes.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Prediabetes and type two diabetes is preventable, in part by understanding blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity measures how reactive the body is to insulin. Insulin is used to remove sugar (glucose) from the blood. If one has low insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, they need greater amounts of insulin to control their blood sugar levels (www.diabetes.co.uk). Over time, insulin resistance leads to a buildup of sugar in the blood cells. This can lead to prediabetes or type-2 diabetes (diabetes.niddk.nih.gov). Insulin resistance is believed to affect nearly 1 in 4 adults over 20 years of age and is projected to increase “in prevalence as populations age and become more obese” (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Most individuals do not know they have insulin resistance until they have developed type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance can be a product of a lack of exercise, a diet high in sugar, and/or periods of elevated stress.
How is Insulin Resistance tested?
If you suspect you may have Insulin Resistance or prediabetes, ask your doctor for a blood test ot measure how well your body reacts to sugar. These tests are used to diagnoses pre-diabetes and diabetes and are known as the fasting glucose level and the glucose tolerance test (pcos.about.com).
How is Insulin Resistance Treated?
Increasing insulin sensitivity is achieved through a two-pronged effort: exercise and food choices. These changes should not be viewed as a short term effort, but rather a lifestyle change to promote health and wellness. Exercise has shown to be critical in increasing insulin sensitivity. In fact, according to this peer-reviewed article, “a single bout of exercise can increase insulin sensitivity for at least 16 hours post exercise.” All exercise is beneficial to increasing the efficiency of insulin to control blood sugar levels, however a combination of resistance training and aerobic activities has shown to be the most effective.
Diet is also of major importance. Eating foods with a low glycemic index (low GI) helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Foods that are deemed low GI do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels and are safe for individual with diabetes to consume. A healthy diet l of low GI foods will also increase insulin sensitivity.
Kay’s Naturals believes that as more individuals understood the role of blood sugar stabilization and insulin sensitivity, more will be be able to be proactive in their diabetes prevention. It is our goal to help increase public awareness about insulin sensitivity and stable blood sugar levels for individual health and wellness. Kay’s Naturals was created to provide efficient and affordable snacks and cereals. All of our snack and cereals are high-protein, low-GI and gluten free. It's our goal to assist everyone on their personalized path to optimal health!