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Low-carb foods can raise insulin?

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  • Low-carb foods can raise insulin?

    I recently heard that Whey protein powder raises insulin levels to very high levels. This was a pretty big surprise to me since I attribute carbs and sugar to raised insulin levels.
    Why does whey do this?
    Are there any other foods I should be aware of, that raises insulin?
    I am currently trying to fix a broken metabolism here, and I'm trying to keep my insulin levels down.
    There aren't many problems in life that can't be solved by sleeping it off, or adding more butter.

  • #2
    whey protein powder does raise insulin. I've been experimenting with its affects on my own blood sugar using various fat sources. I use a 0 carb whey protein powder. Pick your poison I guess
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Protein spikes insulin substantially. Yogurt, milk and cheeses can illicit a spike much greater than carbohydrate. Then again, steak has a larger insulin spike than brown whole wheat pasta.

      And it's supposed to.

      How else can you shuttle amino acids into your muscles for growth and repair if protein didn't spike insulin? That's why:

      Nuts spike insulin.
      Chicken spikes insulin more than nuts.
      Beef spikes insulin more than chicken.
      Casein spikes insulin more than beef.
      Whey spikes insulin more than casein.

      Generally, the better quality the protein, the larger the insulin spike - because insulin spikes can quite often be a GOOD thing. Without insulin, you don't grow, you don't heal and you die very quickly.

      For more information, read up on the insulin index:

      http://www.mmcdiet.com/mydocuments/d...?f=insindx.pdf

      Insulin doesn't make you fat. Resistance to leptin makes you fat. Insulin may store fat, but it's leptin that releases it and controls your hunger. In a healthy metabolism, the fat that insulin stores is released in kind with the ensuing leptin response. Spiking your insulin won't make you leptin resistant. Chronically elevated insulin, lots of n6 fats, trans fats and manmade frankenfoods will make you leptin resistant. No one ever got got leptin resistant from a post-workout whey protein shake or a plate of steak and potatoes...unless the steak was marinated in corn syrup and the potatoes were fried in canola oil.

      Whey protein insulin spikes are also followed by a big glucagon spike - insulin's anti-hormone - so it's a much different reaction than eating a bowl of pasta. I doubt it'll raise your blood sugar much, even if it does spike your insulin. Remember, the insulin from whey isn't storing sugar as fat, it's storing animo acids in your muscle for growth and repair.
      Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-17-2011, 08:57 PM.
      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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      • #4
        Hah, googled "why does whey raise insulin" and the first result was Mark's

        Insulin Index | Mark's Daily Apple

        I feel like whey raising insulin isn't so bad after reading this...

        EDIT: Thanks Choco, between you and Mark, I feel much more educated on the role of insulin
        Last edited by Tealia; 10-17-2011, 08:57 PM. Reason: edit
        There aren't many problems in life that can't be solved by sleeping it off, or adding more butter.

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        • #5
          Haha, I used to believe in all the insulin fairy tales and was on the "It's all about insulin" bandwagon. After four months of being staunchly low carbohydrate and pure Primal with no fat loss, I figured out that that is one of the biggest loads of crap you'll ever hear about weight loss. Insulin can be your friend just as much as it can be your enemy. Fat loss is regulated through leptin, not insulin, and real weight loss is achieved through leptin manipulation. I used to eat around 500-600g of carbohydrates in an entire week. Now, I eat around 1,400g of carbohydrate from Friday, Saturday and Sunday alone and I'm finally dropping lots of body fat. It's all about partitioning, hormone manipulation and properly timed underfeeding and overfeeding...and of course, tailoring your workout schedule to your diet. They have to be in sync - you do your low level cardio on higher fat/low carb days and you do your heavy lifting on low fat/high carb days. Why? Because slow jogging burns primarily fat and heavy lifting burns primarily glycogen. Partitioning!
          Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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          • #6
            Insulin spikes are good, it's chronically high insulin that's indicative of metabolic dysfunction (I haven't read enough to determine whether hyperinsulinemia is also causative or just an effect of metabolic damage).

            Tealia, as long as you avoid the egregious offenders (sugar, grains, legumes) and keep carb intake to a reasonable level (100-150g/day is widely agreed to be a good level for sedentary individuals, less if your blood glucose is really out of control), you'll be doing well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
              Whey protein insulin spikes are also followed by a big glucagon spike - insulin's anti-hormone - so it's a much different reaction than eating a bowl of pasta. I doubt it'll raise your blood sugar much, even if it does spike your insulin. Remember, the insulin from whey isn't storing sugar as fat, it's storing animo acids in your muscle for growth and repair.
              I think this is key to remember - while proteins(particularly whey) elicit an insulin spike, they don't move the blood sugar needle nearly as much as carbohydrates, in general, because creation of glucose from protein takes time - and like the above says there's actually a glucagon spike to keep blood sugar from going DOWN too much from insulin without sugar intake.

              Unless you're eating pure fat, there's no way to avoid the occasional insulin spike. As others have mentioned, it's chronically elevated blood sugar/insulin that's the real problem.

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              • #8
                I am extremely confused by some of the things said in this thread.

                From what I understood (and admittedly could be wrong)

                Eat giant piece of bread ==> Blood glucose spikes, Insulin spikes ==> Insulin takes blood glucose and stores it as fat ==> Insulin & glucose gone ==> crash

                Eat big yummy steak ==> Blood glucose & insulin moderately increase over time ==> Insulin stores glucose as energy for muscles ==> insulin & glucose stay at good levels = no crash

                ----- now from what choco said:

                eat big yummy steak ==> blood glucose slowly increases, insulin spikes? ==> insulin then does what? How come I don't get a crash and rollercoaster insulin effect from meat then if it spikes insulin?

                I'm extremely confused
                -Chuck

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                  I am extremely confused by some of the things said in this thread.

                  From what I understood (and admittedly could be wrong)

                  Eat giant piece of bread ==> Blood glucose spikes, Insulin spikes ==> Insulin takes blood glucose and stores it as fat ==> Insulin & glucose gone ==> crash

                  Eat big yummy steak ==> Blood glucose & insulin moderately increase over time ==> Insulin stores glucose as energy for muscles ==> insulin & glucose stay at good levels = no crash

                  ----- now from what choco said:

                  eat big yummy steak ==> blood glucose slowly increases, insulin spikes? ==> insulin then does what? How come I don't get a crash and rollercoaster insulin effect from meat then if it spikes insulin?

                  I'm extremely confused
                  If I'm understanding it right (which I might not, but I'm learning!), the crash is caused by a spike and drop of blood glucose. Big yummy steak = spike of insulin, but not blood glucose.
                  There aren't many problems in life that can't be solved by sleeping it off, or adding more butter.

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                  • #10
                    In some, whey can cause not just a spike, but an elevated blood sugar level that remains high over an extended period. If I drink whey in the morning, my blood sugar will remain 20-40 points above my fasting level all day and into the next. My body is just unable to handle it. I watched my h1ac levels rise steadily for a year until I figured out it was the whey doing it. I quit whey and my blood sugar is optimal now. Really the only way to know what effects you is to test, everyone's reactions are different.

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                    • #11
                      Why not use an egg based protein powder? I would think that it wouldn't have the same spike effect as whey, but still provide a high quality protein.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                        I am extremely confused by some of the things said in this thread.

                        From what I understood (and admittedly could be wrong)

                        Eat giant piece of bread ==> Blood glucose spikes, Insulin spikes ==> Insulin takes blood glucose and stores it as fat ==> Insulin & glucose gone ==> crash

                        Eat big yummy steak ==> Blood glucose & insulin moderately increase over time ==> Insulin stores glucose as energy for muscles ==> insulin & glucose stay at good levels = no crash

                        ----- now from what choco said:

                        eat big yummy steak ==> blood glucose slowly increases, insulin spikes? ==> insulin then does what? How come I don't get a crash and rollercoaster insulin effect from meat then if it spikes insulin?

                        I'm extremely confused
                        The problem with bread is not the glucose and insulin spike (potatoes, yams, other safe, primal starches will do this as well), it's how it disrupts hormone homeostasis through different mechanisms, causing: energy dysregulation through hypothalamic inflammation; glucose dysregulation through hepatic inflammation; glucose dysregulation through pancreatic autoimmunity; abdominal adiposity, intestinal dysbiosis, and nutrient malabsorption through intestinal inflammation (funny how that inflammation word comes up plenty of times, isn't it?).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                          I am extremely confused by some of the things said in this thread.

                          From what I understood (and admittedly could be wrong)

                          Eat giant piece of bread ==> Blood glucose spikes, Insulin spikes ==> Insulin takes blood glucose and stores it as fat ==> Insulin & glucose gone ==> crash
                          Not necessarily. The first thing you need to understand is that dietary fat stored as fat easier than anything else. Carbohydrate is much more difficult to store as body fat than dietary fat is. Not only can empty muscle glycogen stores absorb carbohydrate calories almost completely, but carbohydrate creates a thermogenic effect where 5-10% of the calories are lost just by processing them. Dietary fat only yields a 0-2% thermogenic effect. The reason why people get fat off carbs are chronically elevated insulin levels causing insulin and leptin resistance, and leptin resistance caused my manmade frankenfoods (omega 6 PUFA oils, trans fats, refined sugars, chemicals, artificial sweetners, etc.). The fact is, for us people that IF Leangains style and don't fast, it's tougher to get fat off carbs than dietary fat in most cases. Low carbohydrate diets work best for people with metabolic issues, insulin/leptin resistance and significant weight to lose. Lean people looking to get ripped will probably have better luck on a lower fat/cyclical carbohydrate diet.

                          That being said, white bread won't necessarily cause a blood sugar crash. That only happens in people with metabolic issues. I've been regularly eating 3 lb cornbreads as a massive carbohydrate refeed and I haven't been having any sugar crashes. Healthy people won't get a blood sugar crash off a slice or two of white bread, trust me.

                          Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                          Eat big yummy steak ==> Blood glucose & insulin moderately increase over time ==> Insulin stores glucose as energy for muscles ==> insulin & glucose stay at good levels = no crash
                          The blood sugar increase from a big steak is negligible. The insulin increase is mainly shuttling amino acids to muscles for growth and repair, so that's negligible, too. What you DO need to know is that when you eat that big juicy steak, all that dietary fat you just ate is being very quickly stored as body fat, unlike carbohydrate. Now, if you eat a high fat (>50% total calories) and low carbohydrate (<20% total calories) diet, you're pretty much constantly burning fat as fuel, so while you're storing more dietary fat as body fat, you're burning more body fat as well. If you take in more dietary fat than you're eating, you'll generally gain weight and vice versa, so it's not like you can sit down and eat pounds of butter-soaked ribeye with no consequence. All calories aren't equal, and you have to see what works for you in terms of dietary fat intake to create a fat deficit or fat gain.

                          Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                          ----- now from what choco said:

                          eat big yummy steak ==> blood glucose slowly increases, insulin spikes? ==> insulin then does what? How come I don't get a crash and rollercoaster insulin effect from meat then if it spikes insulin?
                          Because insulin doesn't cause your crash, blood sugar spikes do. Protein gives you an insulin spike without a significant blood sugar spike. This is good because it allows your muscles to grow without having to eat lots of carbohydrate. If protein didn't spike your insulin, you'd waste away to nothing and die on a low carbohydrate diet.

                          Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                          I'm extremely confused
                          That's because it's very confusing Carbohydrate isn't the only thing that spikes insulin. Dairy, thanks mainly to the BCAA's contained in natural whey protein, spikes insulin far more than white bread does, yet it seems to aid in fat LOSS in some occasions and rarely seems to add to weight gain, especially if you avoid the fat free junk. You should read this link:

                          Insulin: An Undeserved Bad Reputation, Part 3…MOOOOO!!!! Weightology Weekly

                          Insulin doesn't cause fat gain. It's a far more complicated process than that. In a properly functioning metabolism, the fat that insulin restores is removed hours later by the ensuing leptin surge. If you're a healthy, normal person, eating potatoes regularly won't make you fat. Now, take those same potatoes and deep fry them at 375*F in a bath of soybean and/or canola oil...and now you have big problems.
                          Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
                            The problem with bread is not the glucose and insulin spike (potatoes, yams, other safe, primal starches will do this as well), it's how it disrupts hormone homeostasis through different mechanisms, causing: energy dysregulation through hypothalamic inflammation; glucose dysregulation through hepatic inflammation; glucose dysregulation through pancreatic autoimmunity; abdominal adiposity, intestinal dysbiosis, and nutrient malabsorption through intestinal inflammation (funny how that inflammation word comes up plenty of times, isn't it?).
                            Correct. White potatoes spike your blood glucose just as quickly as white bread. However, there are far less toxins found in white potatoes. The white potatoes don't cause nearly as much inflammation and are far easier to digest, so your gut functions much better. Over time, the white bread is wrecking your gut bacteria, punching holes in your intestines and inflaming your body, which will lead to lots of fat gain. The white potato, on the other hand, isn't causing that same disruption, so systems continue working properly. The end result: even if you're eating the same amount of high GI carbs, one is keeping you thin while the other is making you pack on pounds.
                            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by john_e_turner_ii View Post
                              Why not use an egg based protein powder? I would think that it wouldn't have the same spike effect as whey, but still provide a high quality protein.
                              Because the whole point of a post-workout protein powder is the insulin spike. It's the extreme insulin spike that quickly and efficiently transports amino acids to your muscles for growth and repair. Egg protein will not do this as quickly or as efficiently. Whey is also a more complete and more bioavailable protein - in fact, I believe it's the most bioavailable protein known with egg ranking in at #2. Consequently, this is why you don't want to use whey protein as a meal replacement shake. It doesn't stick with you and is mostly useless unless it's pre- and post-workout. Egg protein (and casein protein as well), on the other hand, is a much more viable protein source for meal replacement shakes and to take before bedtime thanks to its long-lasting, slow-releasing effect.
                              Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

                              Comment

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