October 20, 2016
2 min read

Healthful, unique dietary patterns help prevent, treat insulin resistance

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LAS VEGAS – Though the risk for insulin resistance and associated conditions can be decreased with healthy dietary patterns, what works for one patient will not necessarily work for all, according to a physician nutrition specialist here at the Cardiometabolic Risk Summit.

“There’s more than one way to approach this … You have to meet patients where they are and work with them towards that healthier diet that’s rich in micronutrients and phytonutrients,” Melina B. Jampolis, MD, immediate past-president, National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, told attendees.

The clinician cannot be concerned only about the patient eating better and losing weight; the patient’s interest in the diet and whether it keeps their stomach full is just as important in improving outcomes, Jampolis said.

“Hunger control is one of the most single important variables in long-term successful weight loss. People don’t like feeling hungry and they’re only going to fight it for so long. If [monounsaturated fats] in moderate amounts can actually help on a biomedical level with chemical control, they can be very effective in getting folks to lose weight, but moderation is the key.”Jampolis said studies show consuming avocados, 100 mg of fatty, non-fried fish or another omega-3 source several times a week, substituting nuts and legumes or poultry for red meat once a week and drinking four to seven glasses of red wine a week all decreased the risk for developing metabolic syndrome.

Another strategy for reducing risk of insulin resistance is appropriate fiber intake.

“Fiber is really clinically relevant … [T]he fiber has the most robust association with improvement in diabetes risk. So I think it’s a lot easier for me to tell patients to eat more fiber and naturally occurring fiber … and reduce added sugars, and you will naturally lower glycemic index in your diet.”

Modifying diet is just one strategy for improving glycemic control. The risk for insulin resistance can also be decreased by certain medications, managing stress, not using tobacco, adopting better sleep habits, intensifying exercise intensity and sitting less.

“If you just incorporate more of those healthful things and take out some of the less healthful, you can decrease the risk of prediabetes,” Jampolis said. – by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Jampolis reports being a financial consultant for Prevention Pharmaceuticals, and is a member of the Board of Directors and a stockholder for TerraVia.


Jampolis, M. A dietary approach to insulin resistance and associated conditions. Presented at: Cardiometabolic Risk Summit Fall Conference; Oct. 14-16, 2016; Las Vegas.