About 32% of the US population has insulin resistance — a condition that means your body can’t control blood sugar levels as well as it should.
When left unchecked, insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes.
However, insulin resistance can be managed, and in some cases, reversed through a healthy diet and exercise.  
Insulin resistance is often caused by repeated spikes in blood sugar due to poor diet and nutrition. Therefore, to reverse insulin resistance, you must manage blood sugar levels and prevent them from rising and falling quickly. 
The easiest way to do this is to avoid foods that cause blood sugar spikes in the first place. One of the biggest culprits is simple carbohydrates because your body converts these to glucose, aka blood sugar, faster than any other food. That’s why low-carb diets are some of the most highly recommended when it comes to reversing insulin resistance. 
In fact, a small 2016 study found eating three low-carb meals within 24 hours reduced insulin resistance by over 30% in postmenopausal women of a healthy weight.
Important: Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Refined carbs like white rice, bread, and pasta cause blood sugar and insulin to rise faster, causing blood sugar spikes, than complex carbs like steel-cut oats, quinoa, and whole-grain bread.
Meanwhile, some doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet because, in addition to being low in simple carbs, it’s also high in fiber and protein. If fiber and protein is paired with carbs, the body converts it to glucose more slowly, thereby minimizing blood sugar spikes. This can help explain why research has found a high dietary fiber intake is associated with a 20% to 30% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you have insulin resistance, Jonathan Clinthorne — director of nutrition at Simply Good Foods — recommends eating more:
According to Clinthorne, if you have insulin resistance avoid foods that can cause blood sugar spikes like:
Below is a sample meal plan designed by Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, RDN, a certified nutritionist at NYC Eat Well, specifically for people with insulin resistance. 
Important: Always consult with your doctor before trying a new diet, particularly if you have any preexisting conditions, to ensure that you can make these changes safely. Additionally, portion sizes will vary depending on your personal calorie needs
Breakfast: 100-calorie whole-wheat English muffin with two poached, scrambled, or hard-boiled eggs.
Lunch: Turkey burger on a whole-wheat bun accompanied by a side salad with vinaigrette.
Dinner: Grilled or roasted salmon with ½ cup brown rice and a side of broccoli.
Breakfast: Parfait with ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt, ⅓ cup keto granola, 1 cup berries.
Lunch: ½ grilled cheese sandwich with 1 cup tomato soup.
Dinner: Skillet shakshuka with two eggs.
Breakfast: One whole-grain waffle, ½ cup whipped cottage cheese, ½ cup berries, one egg on the side.
Lunch: Chicken lettuce wraps with hoisin sauce and water chestnuts.
Dinner: 1 cup crockpot turkey and bean chili.
Breakfast: 1 cup cottage cheese with 1 cup berries (and optional ⅓ cup keto granola).
Lunch: Tuna salad on a low-carb wrap.
Dinner: Two small ground chicken tacos on low-carb tortillas with black beans, corn, salsa, and avocado.

Breakfast: Low-carb wrap with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 medium sliced apple
Lunch: Two Asian-style glazed chicken drumsticks with a side of broccoli.
Dinner: 2 ounces soy, chickpea, or lentil pasta with tomato sauce and two chicken meatballs.
Breakfast: One slice sprouted grain toast topped with avocado and one or two soft-boiled eggs.
Lunch: Mixed green salad with sliced turkey or tuna salad.
Dinner: Rotisserie chicken with roasted green beans, mushrooms, and broccoli.
Breakfast: Crustless spinach quiche.
Lunch: Shrimp stir fry with mixed vegetables.
Dinner: Tomato-based meat sauce with ground chicken over ½ cup brown rice.
Insulin resistance is a common and serious condition, which, if left unchecked, could develop into prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. However, with a proper diet, you can manage the condition or even reverse it. 
As a general rule, stick to lean protein and high-fiber foods like whole grains, vegetables, and nuts. You should also avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. If you’re unsure how a food will impact blood sugar levels, check its GI index online via Harvard Health or The University of Sydney’s database.
The best way to determine which specific dietary changes will be most beneficial for you is to talk with your doctor.


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