Do you struggle to lose belly fat? Have you failed to shed pounds with diet and exercise? New studies suggest that insulin resistance in women may be to blame.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, insulin resistance affects up to 80 million Americans. When left untreated, insulin resistance can be dangerous and lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle, liver and fat cells do not respond normally to insulin. This requires your pancreas to produce more insulin to help blood glucose enter cells to be used as energy. Where does all of this excess glucose build up go? Extra glucose floods into your blood stream, which can lead to diabetes – among other diseases.
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Insulin and Belly Fat
Scientists have learned that abdominal fat cells can disrupt the normal balance and functioning of hormones, like leptin, that play a key role in your body’s response to insulin. Regardless of your overall weight, there is a strong relationship between abdominal obesity and insulin resistance.
Fat accumulated in the abdominal area (think apple shape) is largely visceral. Visceral fats are biologically active, meaning that they produce hormones and other substances that have a direct effect on your health. Excess body fat, especially belly fat, disrupts your hormone balances and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease due to its proximity to your heart. The good news is, these visceral fats are fairly easy to lose through diet and exercise.
Lowering Insulin Levels
To overcome high insulin levels, a healthy balanced diet with plenty of exercise is key. Here are a few changes you can incorporate into your everyday life!
- Eat more blueberries (their bioactive ingredients increases sensitivity to insulin and reduces your risk of developing diabetes)
- Take vitamin D (improves insulin sensitivity and balances hormones)
- Add cinnamon to everything (reduces blood sugar and lowers cholesterol)
- Take zinc supplements (increases insulin sensitivity)
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