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Thread: Low-carb foods can raise insulin? page

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    Tealia's Avatar
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    Question Low-carb foods can raise insulin?

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    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.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    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
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    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 at 08:57 PM.
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    Tealia's Avatar
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    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 at 08:57 PM. Reason: edit

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    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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    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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    Quote 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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    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

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    Tealia's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    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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