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Thread: Confusion - Carbs plus fat?

  1. #1


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    Hi, I'm a little confused about something, because both of the options make sense to me so I can't decide!

    On the one hand, some people here (eg in the potatoes thread) and those who talk about the GI diet say that eating fat with carbs will slow the carb absorption and lessen the insulin spike. I.e. if you reeeeally want that potato, just smother it in butter.

    On the other hand, some people say that *any* carb will mean your good fat will get caught up in this insulin response and is itself likely to be converted straight to body fat. (Instead of fat alone being used for fuel and NOT stored).

    Sooo of course it is best not to eat the potato, but if I do, should I add butter etc to act as a buffer; or would doing that just feed the insulin response and make things worse?

    Hope I've phrased that well enough!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Hanford, CA


    I'm also kind of confused about those 2 conflicting "theories"...

    Looking forward to responses!

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

  3. #3
    SullynNH's Avatar
    SullynNH Guest


    If I remember right from reading the forum posts, blog and PB is that you are really just delaying the onset of the insulin spike/response, not really reducing it per se....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    My husband is a vegetarian and he eats a regular Indian meal - primarily veggies + grains. I'm trying to mitigate the effects by making sure I add lots of coconut and ghee. Even if it's not necessarily reducing the insulin spike, I'm hoping the added saturated fats are beneficial. I would love to hear more on this too.

  5. #5


    Hmm well I'm glad it's not just me at least!

    Maybe it's different depending on your goals? I.e. I'm after some weight loss so the fat/calorie/ storage issue is important... As opposed to just getting the beneficial fats into the diet somewhere?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Calling Conan, ATZ and Tarchlac, your expert knowledge is needed here. You guys have been a great source of knowledge on this forum

  7. #7


    We need a Batman / Thundercats-type light.....!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Austin, TX Unfortunately.


    Sully, the fats don't so much delay as spread the response time out. It will take the same amount of insulin to control the blood glucose, it's just happening over a longer period. Thus, no spike. It's the spikes that are literally killers, in the long term.

    Protein requires insulin, too, but there is no spike, just a long, drawn out digestion. Having a lot of fats with the carbs is similar.

  9. #9
    ATZ's Avatar
    ATZ Guest


    Wow, never been called out before for my so called knowledge - its all info readily available on the net!

    This is the thing though. Focusing solely on insulin misses the bigger picture for a host of reasons.

    1. Protein stimulates insulin release, some proteins are far more insulinogenic than carbs - whey protein for example (not truely a primal food but no doubt some PB's use it as part of their exercise regimen), fish is rather insulinogenic.

    2. As I've stated MULTIPLE times on here before, dietary fat will store itself with tremedous efficiency (in the absence of insulin) due to the action of ASP (acylation stimulating protease), this invalidates the whole "Its all about the insulin argument"

    3. GI is an irrelevant index. Read this:

    In the context of a mixed meal (all three macro's preent) the effect of any one of those macro's individually will not apply - its not as if we posess a discreet digestion process which would priorotise fat, carbs or protein first is it? Thus the effect of any one of them in isolation on insulin should never be considered - unless you're eating that food in isolation (rarely if ever happens) and if insulin was the be-all and end all (which it isn't).

    A mixed meal (meal containing protein, fat, carbs and fibre) can take anywhere form 6-8hrs to digest based on the papers I've read. Its effect on insulin are therfore going to be drawn out, this affect will also be agumented by the crossover of digestion in your gut of your next feeding - most people eat anywhere between 3-5hrs after a meal depending on hunger, activity, etc. So again to focus on the insulin response of one meal in the context of the whole diet is missing the point completely.

    As such, I recommend people should focus firstly on total calories consumed over 24hrs, and total macro quantities ther-in dependant on activity levels and stop worrying so much about insulin.

    So, do you eat those potates on their own? or do you have them with butter? My opinion is this: Why drive yourself to OCD about a certain food type when it doesn't matter as long as they fit in with your calorie/macro target for the day? I realise a lot of people come here looking for an easy weight loss diet and improved health from the PB way, and they get this by removing the large amount of carbs they were previously eating. But for someone already on a lower carb plan such as the PB, being as asinine as worrying about the context of single meal's effects on insulin is missing the bigger picture entirely.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Western Australia


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    Potato is horrible stuff. Beside the fact it is a nightshade (contributing to joint pain and probably arthritis) and 92% energy from carbs, it contains anti nutrients (saponins/glykoalkaloids) - solanine and alpha shikonin (which cause leaky gut); .

    From Wikipedia:

    Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family, such as potatoes. It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers. It is very toxic even in small quantities. Solanine has both fungicidal and pesticidal properties, and it is one of the plant's natural defenses.

    Glycoalkaloids are a family of poisons commonly found in the plant species Solanum dulcamara (nightshade).[1] There are several glycoalkaloids (alkaloids + sugars) that are potentially toxic. A prototypical glycoalkaloid is called solanine (sugar [solanose] + alkaloid [solanidine] = solanine), which is found in potatoes. The alkaloidal portion of the glycoalkaloid is also generically referred to as an aglycone. The intact glycoalkaloid is poorly absorbed from the GI tract but causes GI irritation. The aglycone is absorbed and is believed to be responsible for observed nervous system signs. Glycoalkaloids are bitter tasting, and produce a burning irritation in the back of the mouth and side of the tongue when eaten.

    I don&#39;t care what you eat it with, there&#39;s no escaping the problems potatoes cause.

    Skip the potato and the butter and have a steak instead.

    If you are in ketosis, dietary fat will not be stored as body fat.

    Mixing your carbs and fat just means that your body uses the carbs for energy first, raising insulin and making the glucose available for fat storage. At least eating some fat means you will eat less carbs, but it isn&#39;t going to help any more than that.

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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