8 Easy Insulin Resistance Diet Recipes Ready in Under 1 Hour
Quick, easy insulin resistance diet recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Sticking to an insulin resistance eating plan is easier than ever if you have a collection of simple, quick insulin resistance recipes.
Whether you’re looking to prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these recipes will have you covered. Plus, using the food lists, you'll have everything you need to turn any of your favorite dishes into insulin-resistance friendly meals.
What diet reverses insulin resistance?
An insulin resistance diet restricts carbs and processed foods and recommends protein and whole foods instead. (Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
Research shows this way of eating can reverse insulin resistance. In fact, one review of 19 trials found diet played a profound role in decreasing insulin resistance and weight loss. The research paper, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, shows diet is more effective than prescription medication on some measures:
“Compared with metformin, diet was also advantageous for weight loss (including BMI and weight) and had the same effects on insulin regulation.”
The study specifically cited The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet as effective for reducing insulin resistance. A DASH diet is high in fruits, whole grains, and vegetables, restricting red meats and added sugars.
In The Insulin Resistance Diet Plan & Cookbook: Lose Weight, Manage PCOS, and Prevent Prediabetes, Tara Spencer writes about how she used a diet to overcome her insulin resistance.
Spencer, a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, shares her first-hand experience in the book. After struggling to lose weight, she was diagnosed with insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Spencer set out to fix her health issues, changing her diet and starting an exercise regime.
So, what foods get rid of insulin resistance?
“The ideal diet for someone suffering from insulin resistance is based on whole foods, with large quantities of protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Most importantly, this diet should be low in sugars and white flours, with low glycemic load. This style of eating is simple, and more natural for most people to process and digest,” writes Spencer.
This Glycemic Index Food Guide provides an overview of foods with low glycemic and high glycemic loads.
In The PCOS Plan: Prevent and Reverse Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome through Diet and Fasting Dr. Nadia Brito Pateguana, a naturopathic doctor, and Dr. Jason Fung, explore the impact of a low-carb diet on insulin resistance. Pateguana, who also has PCOS, said some foods, like refined carbs, generate a high insulin response.
Pateguana summarizes the basics of an insulin resistance diet:
- Avoid processed food and added sugars
- Limit refined carbs
- Incorporate low carb non-starchy vegetables
Pateguana also proposes intermittent fasting as a treatment for insulin resistance.
“Eating continually keeps your insulin levels high. In contrast, not eating, called fasting, allows your insulin to fall. Eating raises insulin and fasting drops insulin. Thus, to lower insulin levels to treat PCOS, simply spend more time fasting and less time eating.”
Several studies support this recommendation. In a 2021 paper published in Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology, researchers found intermittent fasting improves insulin resistance.
“The majority of the available research demonstrates that intermittent fasting is effective at reducing body weight, decreasing fasting glucose, decreasing fasting insulin, reducing insulin resistance, decreasing levels of leptin, and increasing levels of adiponectin. Some studies found that patients were able to reverse their need for insulin therapy during therapeutic intermittent fasting protocols with supervision by their physician”.
My personal weight loss journey aligns with these findings. Through a combination of an insulin resistance diet and intermittent fasting, I was able to lose 26 pounds. This way of eating also does an amazing job of clearing my skin.
To ensure you stick with an insulin resistance diet, try these tips:
- Eliminate refined carbs from your day-to-day diet: ditching bread was unthinkable, but then I stopped missing it altogether.
- Find low-carb alternatives to foods you eat the most: sweet potato fries are my go-to, rather than potato chips.
- Incorporate vegetables: I try to include veg in every meal, whether that’s carrots or cucumber.
- Make the decision in the store: I removed sweets and juice from our home - this turned out to be a good decision for limiting my kids’ sugar intake, too.
Insulin resistance diet recipe shopping list
Stock your pantry with low-insulin foods, while barring foods that trigger a higher insulin response.
Here’s an overview of insulin resistance diet staples, via the PCOS Plan and The Insulin Resistance Diet Plan & Cookbook:
- Lean meats: beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and turkey
- Fish: cod, salmon, and sardines
- Legumes: lentils, chickpeas,
- Nuts and seeds: Chia seeds, Flaxseed, walnuts, hazelnuts
- Vegetables: kale, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, pumpkin, tomatoes
- Dairy alternatives: nut milks. A note that if you have PCOS, you may want to avoid soy. According to the PCOS Nutrition Center cookbook, there are mixed findings about soy. One study suggests it reduces testosterone levels, while another found that it could affect fertility.
- Oils: extra virgin olive oil, Avocado oil , Coconut oil
Conversely, avoid these foods on an insulin resistance diet, according to The Insulin Resistance Diet Plan & Cookbook:
- White-flour products: bread, pasta, and cereals
- Processed oils: canola, safflower, corn, and sunflower oils
- High-GI vegetables: corn, potatoes, turnips
- Food containing hydrogenated oil: cakes, chips, doughnuts
- Most dairy products
- Artificial sweeteners: aspartame, saccharin
Of course, you might need to customize this shopping based on your needs. For example, I have IBS and don’t tolerate beans, cabbage, or chickpeas well.
Before making any changes to your diet, speak with your health practitioner. While you can find solid guidance online, it’s no substitute for customized medical advice based on your lifestyle and goals.
Easy insulin resistance recipes
Whether you’re in the mood for meat, vegetarian, poultry, or seafood, these recipes are great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Supercharge your morning with a healthy breakfast.
- Scrambled eggs: this easy scrambled egg recipe is dairy-free and takes just five minutes to prepare.
- Low-carb chia pudding: you only need three ingredients to make this breakfast treat.
- Coconut flour pancakes: this pancake recipe ditches the white flour, milk, and sugar in favor of healthier ingredients.
Manage the afternoon slump with these lunch options.
- Spinach and strawberry meal-prep salad: this make-ahead salad lasts for four days. Great for meal prep. Drizzle a homemade PCOS salad dressing over this dish.
- 4-ingredient avocado chicken salad: try this tasty, simple salad as a weekday lunch.
From 15-minute chicken to one-pan pork chops, these dinners require minimal prep.
- Almond flour pizza crust: an almond flour pizza crust that takes just 30 minutes to prepare.
- Whole30 coconut paleo chicken curry: perfect for a weeknight dinner, this curry is packed with insulin-friendly ingredients like turmeric and bell peppers.
- Lentil stew with salsa Verde: when you’re in the mood for a meatless main, check out this vegetarian stew.
- 15-minute garlic butter chicken: you can swap out butter for light olive oil for this quick weekday dinner. Pair with cauliflower rice.
- Baked salmon dijon: a family-friendly dinner you can pull together in 30 minutes. Serve with roasted carrots or sweet potato fries.
- Sheet pan pork chops with sweet potatoes and apples: you only need one pan to make this pork dish, complete with two sides.
Reverse your insulin resistance with these recipes
If you’re switching to an insulin resistance diet, the last thing you need is to have no idea what you should cook. That’s where these insulin resistance recipes make the world of difference.
Remember to always reach out to your health professional before you start a new eating plan.
When you’re ready to get started, embrace an insulin resistance diet to boost your health and wellness.