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Modern Diets, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, and Longevity

Modern Diets, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, and Longevity

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Modern Diets, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, and Longevity

Food has always been more than just sustenance; it's also a marker of culture, wealth, and status. Throughout history, access to certain foods like meat and spices was limited to the privileged few, symbolizing luxury and abundance. However, the dynamics of food accessibility and consumption have shifted dramatically in modern times.

Today, people of all incomes are susceptible to the negative health effects of modern diets, which include highly processed foods made with sugar, additives, trans fats, and refined grains.

Humans' biological evolution has struggled to keep pace with the rapid evolution of our food supply and dietary habits, leaving our bodies ill-equipped to handle this type of gluttony (1, 2).

Pitfalls of Modern Diets

Never before in human history has food been as readily available as it is today. Technological advancements, agricultural innovations, and globalization have led to an unprecedented abundance of food choices—especially those that are cheap to produce, last for a long time on grocery shelves, and lack essential nutrients. 

While it's more convenient than ever to put food on our tables, this type of abundance comes with its own set of challenges and consequences for our health (3). 

Key features of modern diets, which make them so destructive for our quality of life and lifespan, include:

  • Cheap Calories: Technological progress has made calories cheaper and more accessible than ever before. While this accessibility has helped alleviate hunger in many parts of the world, it has also led to overconsumption of calories, increasing rates of obesity, and poor dietary choices.

  • Processed Foods: The rise of processed foods, high in refined sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives, has become a hallmark of modern diets. These foods are convenient and palatable but often lack essential nutrients, leading to more widespread nutrient deficiencies that are linked to various health issues.
  • High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Meals: Many modern diets are characterized by a high intake of calories coupled with a low intake of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and antioxidants. This imbalance contributes to obesity, metabolic disorders, and other chronic health conditions such as heart disease.

  • Irregular Eating Patterns: A fast-paced lifestyle has led to irregular eating patterns, with many people relying on quick, often unhealthy, food choices. These eating habits can disrupt metabolic health and contribute to weight gain.

How Highly-Processed Diets Cause Insulin Resistance

The shift towards modern diets has brought about high rates of insulin resistance, a condition where cells don't respond well to insulin, which is related to pre-diabetes (the stage before someone is considered diabetic).

Insulin resistance is a key feature of metabolic syndrome and a precursor to type 2 diabetes. It occurs when cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels (4, 5).

Left untreated, insulin resistance and pre-diabetes can have serious implications for long-term health and longevity (6, 7). Both conditions increase the risk of developing not only type 2 diabetes but cardiovascular disease, neurological issues, and other chronic health conditions.

Factors contributing to insulin resistance include:

  • Excess Calorie Intake: Insulin resistance often arises in the context of excess calorie intake, particularly from processed foods high in sugar, refined flour and grains, and unhealthy fats.

  • Nutrient Deficiencies: A diet lacking essential nutrients, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, can exacerbate insulin resistance and contribute to chronic inflammation.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity is another significant contributor to insulin resistance. Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, yet many adults fall short of recommended amounts of weekly exercise.

  • Excess Body Weight: Being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, is closely linked to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.

Why Insulin Resistance Is a Gateway to Aging Poor Health

Insulin resistance is a key player in the onset of aging and chronic health conditions. Here's why it's problematic before diabetes even sets in:

  • Inflammation: Insulin resistance triggers inflammation throughout the body, a process linked to aging and chronic illnesses like heart disease and Alzheimer's. High blood sugar levels worsen this inflammation, potentially damaging tissues and organs over time (8).

  • Oxidative Stress: Oxidative stress occurs when there's an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants. Insulin resistance ramps up oxidative stress, leading to cell damage and premature aging (9). 

  • Poor Energy Production and Mitochondrial Function: Insulin resistance messes with how cells produce energy and function. When cells can't properly use glucose for energy due to insulin issues, it affects the health of mitochondria, the cell's energy factories, leading to cellular dysfunction (10).

  • Abdominal Obesity: Insulin resistance often goes hand in hand with excess belly fat, which speeds up aging and boosts the risk of chronic diseases. Visceral fat, the kind that surrounds organs, pumps out inflammatory chemicals, worsening insulin resistance and its effects on health (11).

Strategies for Combating Insulin Resistance

Addressing insulin resistance through dietary and lifestyle interventions is key to preventing the progression from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes. 

First and foremost, consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to undergo necessary tests, receive medication if needed, and obtain a customized diet plan tailored to your personality, specific needs, and health goals.

Here are other strategies to help reduce your risk for insulin resistance:

  • Choose Low-Glycemic Foods: Opt for foods with a low glycemic index to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity.

  • Incorporate Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, in your diet to promote satiety and improve insulin sensitivity.

  • Include Lean Proteins: Ensure your diet includes lean proteins like fish, poultry, tofu, and legumes, which help regulate blood sugar levels and promote a sense of fullness.

  • Prioritize Fiber: Incorporate fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet to aid digestion and support blood sugar control.

  • Limit Refined Carbs and Sugar: Minimize your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates, which can contribute to insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support metabolic function.

  • Consider Intermittent Fasting: Some individuals find success in improving insulin sensitivity through intermittent fasting. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any fasting regimen.

Supplements That Support Glucose Management:

In addition to dietary changes, certain supplements may help improve glucose control and insulin sensitivity. Below are four supplements that have been shown to be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels:

  • Berberine: This plant compound has demonstrated effects similar to prescription medications for controlling blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity (12).

  • White Mulberry Leaf: White mulberry leaf helps to slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates, reducing the overall glucose that enters the bloodstream (13).

  • Chromium: This essential trace element is involved in glucose metabolism and may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation (14).

  • Gymnema Sylvestre: Also known as a "sugar destroyer," Gymnema sylvestre can help reduce the formation of advanced glycation end products, suppress appetite, and delay glucose absorption in the intestines (15).

You'll find all of the ingredients above in Jung+ Glucose Blocker, which is specifically designed to help regulate post-meal glucose levels and support metabolic health.

Glucose Blocker is an all-in-one formula that provides steady energy without severe glucose spikes and crashes associated with carb intake. It's made with ingredients that help decelerate glycation, prevent oxidative stress, and possess anti-inflammatory properties. 

Glucose Blocker helps curtail the absorption of sugar-related calories, aiding in weight management and reducing sugar reliance.

Key Takeaways on Modern Diets, Insulin Resistance, and Longevity

Modern diets have significant implications for insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and longevity. By making informed dietary choices and incorporating lifestyle interventions, it's possible to combat insulin resistance and improve overall health. Taking a proactive approach to dietary health is essential for preventing chronic diseases and promoting longevity in the modern era.

Take Charge of Your Dietary Health

Fortunately, insulin resistance is reversible. Therefore, establishing a nutritional system, adopting a conscious approach to food, incorporating complex nutritional supplements such as Glucose Blocker, and following the right regimen can help both prevent the development of various diseases and slow down age-related processes.


References:

  1. Diet Quality, Saturated Fat and Metabolic Syndrome (2020). Nutrients.
  2. Novel Insights into the Pathogenesis and Management of the Metabolic Syndrome (2020). Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
  3. Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance: Underlying Causes and Modification by Exercise Training (2013). Comprehensive Physiology.
  4. Insulin and Insulin Resistance (2005). Clinical Biochemist Reviews.
  5. The role of lipids in the pathogenesis and treatment of type 2 diabetes and associated co-morbidities (2016). BMB Reports.
  6. Pathophysiological Links Between Diabetes and Blood Pressure (2018). Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
  7. Prediabetes diagnosis and treatment: A review (2015). World Journal of Diabetes.
  8. Inflammation and Insulin Resistance (2008). FEBS Letters.
  9. Oxidative stress, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus (2015). World Journal of Diabetes.
  10.  Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Insulin Resistance, and Potential Genetic Implications (2020). Endocrinology.
  11. Trends in insulin resistance: insights into mechanisms and therapeutic strategy (2022). Signal Transduction And Targeted Therapy.
  12. Effects of berberine on glucose-lipid metabolism, inflammatory factors and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome (2019). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.
  13. Comparison of Glycemic Response to Carbohydrate Meals without or with a Plant-Based Formula of Kidney Bean Extract, White Mulberry Leaf Extract, and Green Coffee Extract in Individuals with Abdominal Obesity (2022). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  14. A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance (2004). Diabetes Educator.
  15.  Suppression of glucose absorption by some fractions extracted from Gymnema sylvestre leaves (1997). The Journal of veterinary medical science
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