Insulin response to foods
Insulin response to foods , 03-01-2011 12:56 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


As I wade through the copious posts, blogs, web hits etc I started to wonder if the insulin response to food was as important or perhaps more important than the carbohydrate count.

For instance the studies show the large insulin spike with dairy products. So am I better off eating nuts with few grams of carbohydrate and a likely small increase in insulin or a dairy product like cheese that may spike my insulin levels pretty high?

While I am on this topic, is there a comprehensive and reliable list of foods and their respective insulin triggering tendencies?

It seems very hard to find foods that are optimal.
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-02-2011 05:40 PM


Expert Low-Carber


Get a blood glucose monitor and use it. Studies can only tell you about other peoples' insulin responses, and who knows if that's of use to you or not? You can get a Relion Micro monitor at Wal-Mart for $9.00 that comes with 10 test strips, and additional test strips are 50 for $20.00. Walgreen's has their own brand also, and I've seen the True2Go ones several places for about the same price. No prescription is required. The Relion Micro uses a very tiny blood sample, and mine came with lancets, a log book, and a little carrying case.

If you are concerned about your insulin response, this is the best, fastest, and most accurate way to get that information.
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-03-2011 10:47 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


Denise,


Extra strips are £25 for 50, and the lancets are £10 ($16) per 200 (they're rainbow-coloured, too, so you can use a different colour for each day if you want...).

This is mine

You've reminded me that I've been meaning to test my BG before and after eating dairy (particularly cream, obviously, as it's the most carby) but I'm too much of a damned wimp!

Cream is really the only significant source of carbs I eat. Everything else is pretty much carb free (apart from the occasional 1oz serving of nuts). I did calculate that my average daily carb intake is around 15g - WAY below the level needed for ketosis, but I've NEVER got there... (angry smiley needed!)

My intention was to do so immediately before, immediately after, 30 minutes after and 1 hour after, but the thought of stabbing myself 4 times doesn't fill me with great delight...

Sarah
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-03-2011 11:24 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


I listened to a podcast with Matt Lalonde (crossfit) and he talks about this a bit. As I suspected, it does a the least require more investigation. One has to at least wonder if the insulin index of some foods like milk being so high implies that carbohydrates may not be the only issue and perhaps specific foods (and amounts).
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-03-2011 12:46 PM


Expert Low-Carber


http://www.marksdailyapple.com/insulin-index/

I had not heard of the "insulin index" until you mentioned it, so I googled it. The above article seemed the most pertinent to the discussion, but I don't understand your concern with it, unless you suspect you have some metabolic damage. Because to my knowledge there are no home tests for insulin levels in the blood, and because insulin response varies considerably between individuals based on differences in metabolism, I don't see the practical value of worrying about it. Am I missing something?

Also, Wikipedia has a fun little chart comparing the glucose score, insulin score, and satiety score of different foods. Completely useless for me, as my metabolism is not normal, and no amount of white bread is satiating for me, but interesting, nonetheless. I was especially amused by the note at the bottom about the jellybeans, and the fact that there were no satiety scores for potato chips or Mars Bars. Yeah, I can't stop eating them, either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_index
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-03-2011 01:34 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


I will check that out thanks. I don't have a "concern" in as much a curiosity. I am just trying to get up to speed with all this and there is such a wealth of information out there.

My thought again was that the broad vilification is due in large part to the insulin spike and the body's response (store fat, pancreatic issues, insulin resistance etc) may not be to carbohydrates and or may not be an issue at all and carbohydrates are getting a bad rap.
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-03-2011 09:36 PM


Advanced Low-Carber



My thought again was that the broad vilification is due in large part to the insulin spike and the body's response (store fat, pancreatic issues, insulin resistance etc) may not be to carbohydrates and or may not be an issue at all and carbohydrates are getting a bad rap.
You REALLY need to read Taubes, mate! Carbohydrates are the only macronutrient to trigger the pancreas to release insulin, so what on Earth else could it be...?! Fat and protein do not cause an insulin response, only carbs do because carbs = sugar.

I think you're a decent bloke at heart, Stephen, but you REALLY do come out with some bull!

Sarah xxx
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-04-2011 01:28 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


You are misinformed and your cup is full.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/insulin-index/





My thought again was that the broad vilification is due in large part to the insulin spike and the body's response (store fat, pancreatic issues, insulin resistance etc) may not be to carbohydrates and or may not be an issue at all and carbohydrates are getting a bad rap.
You REALLY need to read Taubes, mate! Carbohydrates are the only macronutrient to trigger the pancreas to release insulin, so what on Earth else could it be...?! Fat and protein do not cause an insulin response, only carbs do because carbs = sugar.

I think you're a decent bloke at heart, Stephen, but you REALLY do come out with some bull!

Sarah xxx
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-04-2011 10:25 AM


Advanced Low-Carber



http://www.marksdailyapple.com/insulin-index/





My thought again was that the broad vilification is due in large part to the insulin spike and the body's response (store fat, pancreatic issues, insulin resistance etc) may not be to carbohydrates and or may not be an issue at all and carbohydrates are getting a bad rap.
You REALLY need to read Taubes, mate! Carbohydrates are the only macronutrient to trigger the pancreas to release insulin, so what on Earth else could it be...?! Fat and protein do not cause an insulin response, only carbs do because carbs = sugar.

I think you're a decent bloke at heart, Stephen, but you REALLY do come out with some bull!

Sarah xxx
Touche, my friend.

Think about this for a moment: - if protein really did produce the same IR as carbohydrate, then why is it nigh on impossible to gain weight on a high-protein diet...?

There's a simple answer to this: - protein's IR causes a production of glycogen (I'm NOT going to explain this very well as I had very little sleep last night - AGAIN!)) which is beneficial in the production of muscle tissue. It DOES NOT cause the same kind of IR as carbs.

Read that article you linked to again - CAREFULLY this time. You'll see that Mark concurs with me, not you. The IR to protein is BENEFICIAL to the body, the IR to carbs is NOT. Yes, I concede that I could have worded my response to you yesterday a little better, and for that I apologise, but what we're concerned with here is the detrimental effects of the IR caused by carbs, NOT the beneficial effect of the IR of protein.

Does that make sense...?

Sarah
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-04-2011 10:43 AM


Unregistered

 

My thought again was that the broad vilification is due in large part to the insulin spike and the body's response (store fat, pancreatic issues, insulin resistance etc) may not be to carbohydrates and or may not be an issue at all and carbohydrates are getting a bad rap.
They are. Which doesn't counter the efficacy of low carbing for weight loss and moderate carb intake for overall health. There are some for whom the trade-offs of prolonged VLC are worth it for other health reasons (e.g. epilepsy), but, and this is just my opinion, long term severe carb restriction is not without it's health drawbacks. Insulin serves far more functions in our bodies than simply glucose transport.
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-04-2011 10:59 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


Shrinking Violet, are you practicing to be a politician? I have never seen such a quick and effortless reversal

Low Carb Cheater. Thank you for the very comments. I can't agree more. I am doing a pretty low carb diet now and as an athlete will take in a bit more carbohydrates during the competitive season.
I will however, never, go back to a high carbohydrate diet.

The reason that I posted this is simply to explore the science and truth. I do think the the high IR protein based foods will result in some of the problems that high carb meals do. Milk for instance is has a very high IR. Why shouldn't it? Milk plays the role of taking a newborn through the early stages of life and large scale growth is needed. Milk later in life likely still has this effect.

Art De Vany states that insulin surges are not the issue however. What he does state is that chronic elevated insulin i.e. higher carbs and many feedings is the problem.

I think I need to learn not to snack
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-04-2011 03:40 PM


Senior Low-Carber


I often turn to David Mendoza (http://www.mendosa.com/ who is an expert on the Glycemic Index. I've learned a lot from his site (being diabetic, myself) I haven't read it it quite a while, but he is now controlling his diabetes by the Index. I count carbs only.

=^..^=

[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/w9qwWxo/]
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-04-2011 04:07 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


I will check this out. That is a good thing to understand even for those of us who are not diabetic. We are only a few carbs away anyway!

One thing I heard regarding limitations on the index is that fructose containing foods will typically spike less do them heading to the liver for dismantle. For a diabetic that does not matter as much. However, for general health perhaps it has the effect of keeping insulin higher in average as the sugar is slowly released?

Thanks again.
RE: Insulin response to foods , 03-05-2011 12:37 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


Stephen! Certainly not! When have you ever heard an MP admit they were wrong...?!

I LOVE debating, though - I'm not one to shy away from an argument (and that's got me into trouble many times - I have been a political prisoner - literally; I've been arrested several times on rallies protesting against scum like the BNP (that's the British National Party, formerly the National Front - also known as the British Nazi Party).)

I've often thought I was born about 20 years too late - I'd have been one of those protesting against Thatcher, and the Poll Tax in the '80s! Oh how I MISS being up north where all the action seems to be at the moment!

And, please, call me Sarah....

Kitty, thanks for that, I'll read it, too (though I've always believed glycaemic LOAD to be more useful, because whilst watermelon, for example, has a high GI value, its GL is extremely low, because it's 98% water...)

Peace, dudes!
RE: Insulin response to foods , 06-03-2011 06:32 PM


Expert Low-Carber


Shrinking Violet,

I think you were a little harsh on Stephen.

Before I go on, be aware that I have read GC, BC/TDD in its UK hardback edition and the American paperback (including the update with the "Afterword" ) many times, read WWGF, listened to Gary's interviews and online lectures, read his blog, and corresponded with him somewhat.


I admire what he has done tremendously. Nevertheless, many questions came into my mind as I was reading it, and one of them was about the insulin response to protein. No matter how many times I re-read GC,BC I was still confused by this.

Yes, the insulin response to protein also causes a glucagon response, and this in turn causes glucose to be secreted from the liver into the bloodstream. So not only do we have an insulin response, we've got a glucose response. Are we to take it for granted that under no circumstances some of that might end up as fat in fat cells? However, I'm not so worried about fat storage at this point but what's going on with glucose control and insulin levels.

And we also know that under certain circumstances, glucose can be synthesised from the amino acids in protein. Some argue that this only happens under conditions of starvation, but that may only apply to people with normal metabolisms. Overweight and insulin resistant people by definitions have broken, or at least bent metabolisms, so how do we really know what might happen to some individuals in response to protein?


Let's look at another quote from that link you posted:

Quote:"For people without diabetes, the insulin and glucagon responses mitigate each other, and we’re looking at a healthy picture. For people with diabetes or impaired insulin response, however, this picture is much different. In diabetics, this crucial equilibrium is damaged. The body not only has difficulty compensating for blood sugar spikes from carb intake, it’s also at a disadvantage when it comes to low-carb, protein-based meals with the lack of insulin-glucagon balance. (Another reason to avoid developing diabetes from the outset.) Nonetheless, diabetics fare better with a low-carb diet."

So basically it's no problem for people with perfectly healthy metabolisms.
But that doesn't describe people who are significantly overweight does it?

As to high-protein diets never causing weight-gain, I'd say be careful when you say never. You only need one black swan to prove that not all swans are white.



By the way, like you, I'm a Brit, and know what you are on about with the BNP, etc.

Back in the 1980s, I was marching against Cruise missiles, and my wife was linking hands around Greenham Common.

Nowadays I leave that kind of stuff to you young hotheads :-)

Regards,
Mike



RE: Insulin response to foods , 06-03-2011 06:35 PM


Expert Low-Carber



One thing I heard regarding limitations on the index is that fructose containing foods will typically spike less do them heading to the liver for dismantle. For a diabetic that does not matter as much. However, for general health perhaps it has the effect of keeping insulin higher in average as the sugar is slowly released?

Thanks again.

Well, as Gary Taubes says, Fructose is dangerous in the long-term because of what it does to the liver. You've probably come across Robert Lustig, who is even more damning of fructose. However, Lustig gives fruits, as opposed to fruit juice or HFCS/sugar-sweetened drinks, a clean bill of health. I'm not so sure myself.

Regards,
Mike