Good foods to fight insulin resistance and overweight

By Cat, March 27, 2018

If you’ve read my health articles, you will know that I have insulin resistance and am overweight. I’ve known about the former since I was in my 20s, but back then (1970s), medical docs didn’t recognize it as a problem, and even if they did recognize that, they did not know how to treat it.

But now it is known that insulin resistance is a metabolic problem that is the main cause of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver and other problems, including obesity. There are many factors that lead to insulin resistance but the biggest/most important of these is diet: Change from a high-carb/low fat diet and you can reverse insulin resistance and its consequences. (Though I note that unfortunately, nutrition experts cannot agree on what those changes should be).

See also: 1. Miscellaneous Menu; 2. Cat’s Health Articles on Disease & Symptoms: Insulin Resistance and Causes of Insulin Resistance [NOTE: I will be moving these articles to a wordpress blog, so if you get a 404 error, check the Miscellaneous pulldown for link to the Health Topics blog home page.]

What causes insulin resistance? It all boils down to your diet

Insulin resistance is rampant now, ever since fats became demonized and carbs were promoted. We switched to processed carbs which are basically sugar/starch which is quickly digested and absorbed, overwhelming our bodies’ ability to deal with them. Cells turn off their insulin receptors, so most of the simple carbs are converted to storage fat by the liver.

I’ve only become overweight in the last 10 years (since my retirement). Being overweight has long been blamed on lack of will-power, which is devastating to your self-esteem, which in turn leads to bad dietary habits. But lack of will-power is not the problem; the insatiable cravings caused by insulin resistance is a problem.

The good news is that when you flip the coin – go from high-carb/low-fat to high-fat/low carb, everything changes. Your body begins to burn fat (as ketone bodies) instead of sugar, reducing or even eliminating the sugar cravings, and lowering blood sugar and blood insulin levels to normal. Your shed body fat from your midsection, and your risk for diabetes,  high blood pressure and heart disease decreases significantly.

The “good” and the “bad” foods for reversing insulin resistance

The kind and amount of fats, carbs and protein you consume is the major player in insulin resistance. A processed food, “junk food” or “comfort food” diet is not recommended.

Don’t get me wrong, not all carbs are “bad.” Whole food fruits/vegetables and whole grain products are “good” carbs because they have far more fiber than sugar/starch and take longer to digest.

On the other hand, not all fats are “good.” Cooking/salad oils like soy, corn and canola are pressed from the seeds using very high pressure, which produces heat that rancidities the fats, turning them into harmful free-radicals. Man-made fats such as hydrogenated and partially-hyrogenated fats are also problematic. On the other hand, natural fats like butter/ghee, and coconut oil are good for you. Animal fats from livestock raised/finished naturally on pasture (chicken, goose, duck, beef, lamb, goat, bison, venison and even pork fats) are good for you.

Implementing dietary changes to reverse insulin resistance

The kind and amount of fats, carbs and protein you consume is the major player in insulin resistance. A processed food, “junk food” or “comfort food” diet is not recommended.

  • Prepare your own meals from scratch (refer to the many recipes on Cat’s Kitchen for examples;
  • Do not shop the interior isles of your local grocer. Instead, shop in:
    • Fresh foods (produce) section, with a preference for Organic;
    • Fresh meat and dairy sections (but choose products only from pasture-raised/finished animal products).
  • AVOID GMOs; common GMO products include (unless Organic or pastured and free-range): corn, soy or canola oil ; cornmeal, corn starch, corn syrup; sugar from sugar beets; breakfast cereals; grocery-store beef, chicken, turkey (because they are raised/finished on a GMO corn and/or soy diet); fresh eggs, mayonnaise; most salad dressings; most butter (because made from milk/cream from livestock fed a GMO diet).
  • If possible, grow your own produce using organic, regenerative and/or permaculture methods;
  • Make your own cultured milk products such as plain yogurt, If desired, separate the whey for use in beverages, smoothies, etc;, or for fermenting other foods. See Yogurt Cream Cheese & Liquid Whey for details.

One author (Simple Fat Fix) suggests the following* in each category to reverse insulin resistance and burn the fats stored in your fat cells (1):

* The author is trying to sell you his protein powder which contains his recommended foods; there are many other good foods in each category as well, some of which are listed in “Cat’s notes” in each category.

  • Good Fats: medium chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil or manufactured MCT oil (note: I’d much rather eat natural coconut oil, than manufactured MCT oil).
    • Cat’s notes: Another source of MCTs is dairy milk. I also note that short-chain fatty acids such as those found in butter and ghee, are also good for you, but you don’t generally burn those for energy; instead, the microbiome in your gut converts them to other healthful substances.
    • Other good fat sources include pure olive oil, cod liver oil, wild-caught salmon and sardines, duck and goose fat, butter and ghee, avocados, flax seeds (freshly-ground), dairy cream (not ultra-pasteurized), eggs, and nuts (preferably sprouted).
  • Good Proteins: wild caught salmon or dairy whey. The latter is found in dairy and mother’s milk. The former is far better than farmed salmon for many reasons, including the type of fat in the meat.
    • Cat’s notes: Other excellent sources of good protein are bison, lamb, venison, goat, and beef from cattle raised and finished on pasture.
    • Also dairy milk (not ultra-pasteurized), eggs from pastured hens, and sprouted dried beans/peas.
  • Good Carbs: sweet potatoes, brown rice and black beans are examples of good high-carb foods.
    • Cat’s notes: Greens such as kale, broccoli, spinach, chard, arugula, and parsley are excellent carbs because they provide good fiber and very little starch/sugar.
    • Root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes and beets are excellent, provided they are not overcooked. Beets are especially good, especially when fermented.
    • Because brown (and white) rice are high in toxic arsenic, I recommend wild rice. In addition to black beans, other sprouted dried beans are excellent source of good carbs.



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