Insulin Resistance Diet Menu
One of the challenges insulin resistance brings is the planning of your meals from day to day. Before I was diagnosed, my meals were very different – cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, main meal at night would pretty much always include rice or pasta or potatoes. I’m sure many of you are the same, and things need to change on a low carb diet! So what is a typical insulin resistance diet menu?
Breakfast on an Insulin Resistance Diet
For many people, breakfast means eggs. I don’t like them much so I’d never want to start my day that way, but I know I’m in the minority! Have them any way you want – they’re nutritious even with the yolks, and we all know there are a lot of different ways to cook them.
If you’re low-carbing the Atkins Way, you can have bacon with them… or make an omelet and add some other ingredients like mushrooms, scallions, a little cheese or bell peppers.
There are low GI cereals you can have (such as All-Bran, coarsely flaked oatmeal and certain brands of muesli/granola), but please be careful to check the sugar content – you could be sabotaging your entire day if you choose a cereal that is going to shoot your blood glucose through the roof.
Better choices are protein based – but don’t skip breakfast! You can have a nice satisfying breakfast and it will set you up for hours without hunger or cravings. Since I am always rushing in the morning, my breakfast preference is for my own quick and easy protein shake – full of protein and fiber.. and if you’re thinking either a) it will be too messy to make or b) it won’t fill you up, you couldn’t be more wrong!
And let’s not forget your morning coffee. You don’t have to give that up. Some people suggest decaffeinated is better, so try that if you think it will help. I like green tea too – and the benefits are well documented – but you can’t beat coffee in the morning! PS: Need I say – do NOT have sugar in your coffee or tea. Try stevia instead if you like it sweet. If you like your coffee white, use milk or cream (full fat is best). Never use those fake creamer powders.
Lunch on an Insulin Resistance Diet
If you’re Linking and Balancing, lunch can still be a sandwich – but just one, and you should choose a high fiber bread, preferably a low GI type such as rye or sourdough. You just need to ensure the filling is good lean protein.
If you have the opportunity to make a salad in the morning, that’s probably the best lunch you can have. Again, add cheese cubes, chicken pieces, turkey, tuna, roast beef – even lean ham is OK. If you’re a little bored with lettuce and tomato, try adding some avocado, pine nuts, mixed beans, or a few sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro) or mint to give your taste buds a fresh treat. You can get bean salads pre-made but you should rinse the beans because they tend to be soaking in starch!
You can always have salad dressing but check those labels! I don’t mean check for fat – I mean the sugar! The majority of salad dressings are way too high in carbohydrates but there are some good ones out there – I like Paul Newman’s and you can get the classic vinaigrette, balsamic or Caesar varieties that have very few carbs. The fat content is higher but that’s not what we need to worry about.
On colder days, you may want to have some delicious warming soup. The best kind is home-made, as you’ll know what has gone into it.
As always, stick to lean protein and non-starchy veggies as the main ingredients. You can use beans to thicken the soup up, but don’t be tempted to use potatoes. Legumes – beans, chickpeas, lentils – are all great choices, or try barley or quinoa.
Insulin Resistance diet Snacks
Almonds are a nutritious snack – the danger is just that you may not be able to exercise constraint.. you should only have a few as a snack, maybe 10. I find it hard to restrict myself if I have a whole packet of them on hand! All nuts are great snack choices.
One of my favorite snacks is cottage cheese – I know many people hate it, but I find a few spoonfuls will take the edge off my appetite between meals. Better than a cookie anyway! Cheese in general is a good choice for a snack. Eat with a celery stick or just on its own – forget the cracker!
And although I have to watch my intake of it (due to the high fat content), I also enjoy peanut butter. Yep, by the spoonful – straight out of the jar! Choose the type that has no added sugar or salt. You can add a bit of salt but you do not want the sugar they usually add. Be careful not to have too much, though – calories still count.
Any of these snacks are low carb and won’t disrupt your insulin production. Drink plenty of water when you feel like snacking.
Dinner on an Insulin Resistance Diet
Evening meals should not be an ordeal for you. You can make the same for yourself as for the rest of your family, just don’t have as much of the pasta, rice or potatoes. You can even try leaving out the starch altogether and you may be surprised how little you miss it. Have more protein and vegetables instead and you’ll be very full. Cauliflower can be cooked till it’s very soft and then mashed up, and that can make a great base for your dish. You can make a cauliflower cheese bake another day if you have some left over.
Other ideas for veggies as meal base alternatives: pumpkin, spaghetti squash, alfalfa or bean sprouts, a medley of zucchini, onions, red peppers, button squash, eggplant… add garlic, herbs, lemon juice for flavor.
If you’re having a delicious Thai curry, just make yourself some extra vegetables instead of rice. Thai coconut soup with chicken (tom kah gai) is definitely allowed and one bowl will be more than enough.
If you don’t have much time for cooking, consider investing in a slow cooker – you can throw meat and veggies into it in the morning before you go to work, and you’ll have a hearty meal ready when you get home. Just don’t make dishes with potatoes! Beans are a better choice. As long as your meals consist of protein and lots of non-starchy vegetables, you’ll be fine.
Or barbecue meat, prawns or fish and have a big helping of salad.
Hungry yet?? As you can see, there is still a LOT of delicious food you can have. I hope I have given you some insulin resistance diet menu ideas. And don’t forget to check out some low-carb cookbooks and you’ll have inspiration for every meal in every season. If you still need some direction and lists of food to choose from, check out my Quick Start Guide to help you make the right choices.
Please note: this is not a diabetes website. The recommendations are for those of you who are INSULIN RESISTANT or possibly PRE-DIABETIC or suffering from METABOLIC SYNDROME. My aim is to help you avoid becoming diabetic in the first place!