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June 26, 2008

Reader Response: Insulin Index

By Worker Bee
83 Comments

I Can Has Insulin?Reader Pete asked for some thoughts on the “Insulin Index,” a measurement chart similar to the glycemic index. While the glycemic index calculates the relative blood sugar rise induced by given foods, the insulin index evaluates the insulin response generated by 38 different foods.

The insulin index, which first made its appearance in a 1997 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article, was primarily the creation of Susanne Holt, a graduate student at the time and now a doctor. Interestingly, Holt, her supervisory co-authors, or other researchers haven’t chosen to conduct further research to update the “preliminary” results of their insulin index study since its creation eleven years ago now.

While Holt and her co-authors found a high correlation between glycemic index and insulin index measurements, they stumbled upon an intriguing exception. High protein, virtually no-carb foods like meat and eggs, while low on the glycemic index, measured high on the insulin index. In other words, while the meat and eggs didn’t cause a spike in blood sugar the way most carbohydrates do, they did result in an unexpectedly significant rise in insulin. (Baked goods, with their high levels of refined carbs, elicited a very high rise in insulin as well. Of course, this comes as less of a surprise.)

Obviously, the index has some eyebrow-raising potential, especially in those of us who choose a high protein diet. But there’s more to the story here. First off, let’s remember that the protein-rich foods didn’t result in the physical stress of blood sugar spikes. But what about that rise in insulin? Why? Should I be concerned about that omelet I ate for breakfast?

Insulin, in and of itself, is a good and necessary thing. It promotes the storage of nutrients after all. In our natural, primal state, this was an essential process. Even in our modern lives, this storage process is still vital. (We just have a nasty habit of flooding the system these days.) In the case of high protein foods, it makes perfect sense that the body recognizes the need to store amino acids. (Primal life wasn’t a perfect set schedule of three square meals a day after all.)

The insulin helps drive amino acids into the muscle cells where they’re needed. At the heart of this process, one thing is for certain: the body knows what it’s doing.

But there’s another dimension to the protein-insulin issue. When we eat protein-rich food, another chemical is released by the body that actually has a contrary effect to insulin. Protein-rich foods also result in a release of glucagon. (Carb-rich food does not.) Glucagon raises blood sugar levels in part to allow for absorption of amino acids in the liver and their subsequent transformation there to glucose. In our evolution, we developed the capacity to make what we required out of what was available. If dinner was going to be part of a mammoth carcass, then the body could enjoy the protein it needed and use insulin response to store essential amino acids. Simultaneously, it had the glucagon to keep blood sugar stable in the absence of carb-based foods.

What does this tell us? It underscores the fact that we don’t need to (and shouldn’t) include extra carbohydrates in our diet. The carbs we get from vegetables and the glucose that can be made even from protein-based foods offer plenty of the right fuels our bodies need.

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.

In short, while the insulin index raises some intriguing points, I don’t think it undermines the Primal Blueprint or unravels existence as we know it. It’s another bit of research that illuminates the natural interaction of our body’s systems with the diet we feed it. The index highlights the need for responsible food choices based on our inherent physiological functioning.

Now, pass the bacon.

Thoughts? Comments? Insights?

Mr. Gunn Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

The Importance of Blood Sugar Level

The Definitive Guide to Grains

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes (and You’ll Understand It)

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83 Comments on "Reader Response: Insulin Index"

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kady
kady
8 years 3 months ago

so wouldnt this mean that when u eat a high protein high fat meal, that the fat will get stored due to high insulin? if fat + carbs results in a synergistic insulin response, might fat and protein result in the same thing?

Bob
Bob
5 years 5 months ago

No, because the fat slows down the digestion of the protein, slowing down blood sugar rise and thus causes LOWER insulin secretion than if you were to eat just protein alone.

Tom
Tom
4 years 4 months ago

http://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/ub/citation/8561067/Differential_effects_of_saturated_and_monounsaturated_fat_on_blood_glucose_and_insulin_responses_in_subjects_with_non_insulin_dependent_diabetes_mellitus_

Actually not quite true. I can’t seem to find any studies about combining proteins and fat, but studies combining carbs and fat (potato) have found that it is actually the TYPE of fat that affects insulin reaction, and that the saturated fat in butter for example actually INCREASES insulin response.

Eric
Eric
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, some dietary fat will get stored during the absorptive period (3 to 4 hours after eating) due to the insulin. But because the molar ratio of insulin to glucagon is LOWER than a typical high carb meal with protein (which has a synergistic insulin effect whereas protein plus fat does not), you will enter a full-on lipolytic state faster (in fact you might not leave it at all, it may just slow down while the aminos in the protein are stored.)

Arthur
Arthur
8 years 3 months ago
What I would really like to find out is whether eating fat really corresponds into storage as fat. From what I gather – eating protein and fat help to repair the body as the body is essentially made up as amino acids and fatty acids. Carbs (glycogen) is actually used by the body as fuel. So, if you eat excess carbs, then you store it as fat. But apparently if you eat fat, unless you eat more than your caloric expenditure, you don’t store it as fat, because fat is used by the body for structural and repair reasons… I… Read more »
Jill
Jill
6 years 8 months ago

Read “Good Calories Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes. He explains it all. Basically you can eat all the fat you want, in fact fat is the only thing that doesn’t raise insulin. Carbs and Protein raise insulin (protein less than carbs of course). If you keep carbs very low you can eat all the fat you want and your body fat will decrease and decrease. Read the book! We’ve been told WRONG!!!

LowCarborator
LowCarborator
6 years 8 months ago

Jill,
This is exactly what I believe… and this (in my opinion) is why the French Paradox makes sense. They eat meat in modest portions and most definitely fat (sauces, gravies, cheese).

So, meat, in small portions generates smaller amounts of insulin (I would assume it’s a volume-related thing).

Fat, generates no insulin (to my knowledge) and is satiating; plus, one can only eat so much fat until one feels full.

tamara
tamara
6 years 8 months ago

If you take in a normal amount of calories (what would maintain a healthy weight), then diet composition probably doesn’t matter very much. Wasn’t there some study that demonstrated this?

If you’re obese and trying to lose weight, I have no doubt that diet composition DOES matter. Obese people have malfunctioning metabolisms and cannot process foods the same way as healthy weight people.

tamara
tamara
6 years 8 months ago

Sorry, but it’s ridiculous to claim that you can “eat all the fat you want” and not get fatter if you keep the carbs low. If you eat 3000 calories of fat per day, you’re going to be fat, possibly obese, AND you’re going to increase your risk of CHD.

Mark Sisson
6 years 8 months ago

Tamara, it’s not ridiculous. You may not lose weight on 3,000 calories of fat a day, but studies have shown you won’t necessarily gain weight on it as long as carbs are very low. And studies continue to show that sat fat has no correlation with increased risk for heart disease.

Pablo Klopper
Pablo Klopper
5 years 10 months ago
You are describing what is technically known as the thermodynamic theory of weight control. Thermodynamic because it talks entirely about calories, which are a unit of energy, specifically, the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kg of water one degree Celsius. The model does not work because it treats the human body as an incredibly simple static system, which it is not. The body is an amazing homeodynamic system that actively works to maintain an internal environment irrespective of environmental shocks. As a very simple example, consider involuntary shaking ( ie shivering ) in order to… Read more »
Jody
Jody
5 years 8 months ago

In ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ Gary Taubes mentions an obese man who was eating 7000 calories of fat / day, all the while losing weight.

scott
scott
4 years 3 months ago
@Pablo – good information and good read. Insulin is fat storage trigger. However, I don’t think the first diet is a good comparison. Ofcourse if all one was to do is eat simple sugars they would gain weight more quickly. How about comparing a balanced diet vs. a low carb one. In that case I think you would find they are nearly the same. The Atkins diet proved successful ultimately because it was simply another LOW Calorie diet. Not because of the high protein and fat. There was nothing special in the diet. No magic. People could eat as much… Read more »
Bryan
Bryan
3 years 11 months ago

It does indeed seem ridiculous. And in fact, for some people, it may be. But calories in/calories out is not the thing. For 38 years I thought it was. Then I read Taubes (Why We Get Fat) and yeah, it’s hard to undo that much wrongness over so many years. I implore you to read the book.

Nuwanda
Nuwanda
2 years 5 months ago

Here’s the book, “Handbook of Physiology”, online that Pablo references:

https://archive.org/details/handbookofphysio0102amer

Ross without half his digestive tract
Ross without half his digestive tract
2 years 21 days ago
Tamara, that’s why Jill said to read Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories; Bad Calories.” If you read it, you’ll be much less confused and much less doubtful. Through March this year I spent at least 8 years studying nutrition and health for personal reasons. I controlled my fat and protein intake and exercised regularly. However, for some strange reason I didn’t lose weight and wasn’t able to “cure” certain ailments as they appeared. Since I was in my late 30s to 44-years-old during this period, I was certain that my inability to lose weight was due to age. However, while investigating… Read more »
Eric
Eric
1 year 7 months ago

Apparently she’s never seen Sam at Smash The Fat… ectomorph who crammed 5000 calories a day for 21 days to see what would happen. Google it.

Bryan
Bryan
3 years 11 months ago

I, too, am a Taubesian acolyte. Just finished Why We Get Fat, and have been following the advice. Protein, greens, and and fat, and I’ve been losing weight. Exercise is a non-factor. Believe me, it still seems as weird to me as it does to you. I’m just trying to lose about 20 lbs. I lost eight and sort of hovered, trying a lot of exertion and calorie counting. I went to the meat/greens/fat diet with a significant restriction on carbs, and I’ve been losing about 1-2 pounds a week. It’s anecdotal, but Taubes appears to be on to something.

Mark L.
8 years 3 months ago
If protein creates a large insulin response, it gets kind of complicated to understand how to maximize the natural release of growth hormone. Exercise (especially anaerobic exercise) stimulates an extra release of growth hormone. I am among many exercisers who try to eat some protein right after exercising to take advantage of a “window of opportunity” to replenish muscles and to minimize muscle soreness; and some research has shown that eating protein stimulates an extra release of growth hormone. Insulin supposedly dampens the release of growth hormone so many people advise against eating carbs right after exercising. I plan to… Read more »
Correctness
Correctness
6 years 7 months ago

You’d be better off consuming a 4:1 (carb:protein) mixture after your workout. Regardless of understanding the mechanisms behind it, results from numerous studies indicate that the mixture is better than protien alone. Refer to the book, “The Future of Sports Nutrition; Nutrient Timing”.

Pablo Klopper
Pablo Klopper
5 years 10 months ago
A couple of points that need to be made here: Although insulin has been vilified in many circles, it is fundamental to the survival of the organism. If a given food does not produce an insulin response, then it cannot be assimilated by the body. The extreme example of this is Type I diabetes where the pancreas, due to a congenital defect is unable of producing insulin. Unless treated, type I diabetics literally will starve to death irrespective of the quantities of food that they ingest. So, when you diligently take your whey protein after your workout, you are explicitly… Read more »
Mark Sisson
8 years 3 months ago

Kady and Arthur,

Interestingly, we know that higher fat mitigates the insulin response, so a high fat/high protein meal will likely elicit a lower insulin response than just high protein. It was the “trimmed beef” tested alone and the almost-non-fat fish that had the relatively higher insulin responses among the high protein groups. I think this all falls in line with the Primal Blueprint.

marc s.
marc s.
8 years 2 months ago

Does whey protein isolate powder, one without any carbs, cause an insulin spike? If so, does the rise in blood sugar give way to any excess protein consumed being converted to fat for storage? Thanks for the help.

Mark Sisson
8 years 2 months ago

Marc,

The people who did the insulin index only tried it on a few foods. Whey powder wasn’t one, so we don’t know if it causes a spike. If it did, it probably wouldn’t by itself promote fat storage.

Jane
Jane
1 year 1 month ago

I know this is very late in response, but Dr. Brian Mowell (who specializes in diabetes and eating low carb diets) says that whey DOES increase insulin responses, so it is not the ideal protein source for a diabetic. I dont know how it affects a non-diabetic though.

Reader Pete
Reader Pete
8 years 2 months ago

Mark-
Belated thanks for this post. Interesting stuff. It looks like acute insulin spikes are probably not as detrimental as chronic ones, and happen for different reasons.

jimmy
jimmy
8 years 25 days ago
Researchers tell us that milk is insulinogenic. That is, it causes an insulin spike that cannot be explained merely by its concentration of carbs. Some people attribute this to the whey protein. But what does this all this mean for health? Is this good or bad? I have heard that it can be helpful for diabetics to prevent blood sugar spikes. What about everybody else? And what if you drink milk without any additional carbs, wouldn’t that theoretically cause short-term low blood sugar? And finally, I’m curious to find out how milk compares with milk-derived products, like cottage cheese (which… Read more »
Russ
Russ
8 years 24 days ago
Jimmmy: There are many explations for the insulinogenic nature of milk. Here are some ideas for you: 1) Lactose is converted to galactose (a blood sugar similar to glucose) which causes insulin spikes just like glucose. 2) Protein also causes a lesser insulin response so the whey protein is certainly a contributing factor. Casein protein (also found in milk) causes a very low response because it takes a long time to digest. I remember reading that casein protein doesn’t always digest fully and might even cause health problems because of this. Other things to think about when it comes to… Read more »
Bonnie G
Bonnie G
4 years 5 months ago
“Lactose is converted to galactose (a blood sugar similar to glucose) which causes insulin spikes just like glucose.” Actually, lactose is a disaccharide composed of 1 glucose and 1 galactose unit, so lactose is converted to glucose and galactose. It’s the glucose that would affect the blood glucose levels, not the galactose. Also, people should be aware that drinking pasteurized milk is the problem. On the other hand, raw milk from pastured dairy cows (brown Swiss, Jerseys, and, Guernseys (not Holsteins bred for large quantities of milk) provides good nutrition, including good butterfat. Weston A. Price traveled widely in the… Read more »
Erica
Erica
3 years 4 months ago

Galactose is converted to glucose by the liver, unless you are lactating. Galactose is not stable enough to be left in the body. So, technically, it eventually contributes to energy. It is just a lot slower than the glucose component :).

Mark Sisson
8 years 24 days ago

Russ, great reply to Jimmy’s question. My jury is still out on dairy.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years 6 months ago

FYI, there have been several studies done on dairy and I suggest you guys to check them out. The studies indicated that milk does, in fact, raise insulin but it doesn’t raise your blood sugar from the glucose.

That being said, it is not possible for the glucose’s presence in the blood stream to cause the high secretion of insulin. My assumption would also be similar to the author here in that the levels of amino acids from the milk caused the spike in insulin.

trackback

[…] All proteins release insulin but Robb Wolf mentions in the Paleolithic Solution Episode 9 (about 28 mins in) that dairy proteins produce much higher levels of insulin. […]

Gordy
Gordy
5 years 11 months ago
In a study released earlier this year, researchers suggested the following. “Protein increased insulin but had no effect on C-peptide or the insulin secretion rate, which suggests decreased hepatic insulin extraction or increased C-peptide clearance.” In other words, protein may cause increased insulin levels not by stimulating increased release of insulin by the pancreas, but by decreasing the rate at which the liver removes insulin from the blood. That might explain why eating protein after working out wouldn’t have a detrimental affect on the release of other hormones such as GH. The suppression of GH release might be associated with… Read more »
monkeyadded
monkeyadded
5 years 11 months ago

This study also implicates whey as the problem in milk:

“Milk proteins have insulinotropic properties; the whey fraction contains the predominating insulin secretagogue.”

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/80/5/1246

trackback

[…] isn’t new. I’ve written about protein’s insulinogenicity before, but dairy goes above and beyond Primal protein […]

Tess
Tess
5 years 8 months ago

I’m following this discussion with interest. I’m puzzled as to the response I get to some high fat food. I’m hypoglycaemic. I don’t understand why when I eat high fat food, especially for example chicken thighs or beef, stewed or roasted, for dinner, I wake up at 4am with a hypo. I have tested the effect of whatever I’ve eaten with the meat, eg carb/veg, and this doesn’t seem to be the problem-ie the common food for these hypos are the chichen thighs or beef. Any thoughts? I’d really love to know the answer?

trackback

[…] isn’t new. I’ve written about protein’s insulinogenicity before, but dairy goes above and beyond Primal protein sources […]

reamz
reamz
5 years 8 months ago

if you want to maximize HGH after an intense cardio workout, would it be best to avoid consuming whey protein due to it’s insulinogenic properties?

trackback

[…] isn’t new. I’ve written about protein’s insulinogenicity before, but dairy goes above and beyond Primal protein sources […]

SaveMe
SaveMe
5 years 3 months ago
Type 2 diabetes is what you refer to in your article as impaired glucose response. It is also referred to as Insulin Resistance. The effect of having high insulin levels results in insulin resistance. Therefore, your advice is dead wrong!! Bringing up insulin levels by eating more protein is far worse of a diabetic than eating carbs! Insulin resistance is a result of the liver being unable to break down the protein insulin after it is used. In order to survive, cells become resistant to insulin. Adding more proteins to the mix just worsens the ability of the liver to… Read more »
Alex
Alex
4 years 11 months ago
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas in response to high levels of glucose in the blood. The primary purpose of insulin is to clear blood sugar spikes and push the energy from the consumption of glucose rich foods into the cells. Consumption of carbohydrates causes blood sugar spikes, the pancreas responds by pumping out the hormone insulin, insulin stores this fuel into your fat cells. People who have high body fat have chronically elevated blood sugar and consequently chronically elevated insulin which is perpetually cramming triglycerides into their fat cells. Fructose is an especially nasty sugar that causes… Read more »
david
david
5 years 3 months ago

“A diabetic should avoid proteins far more than avoiding carbohydrates!! I can’t believe you advised to eat after being well aware that proteins raise insulin levels!”

Where do you get this from? I’d love to see your reference because this totally turns on its head everything I know about food.
Carbohydrate raises insulin much much more than protein. Ever tried eating carbs to stabilise insulin levels? – you’d just end up on a bit of a yoyo there- and how to get insulin resistant- well its not through eating protein!

trackback

[…] now, you can check out this cool chart comparing GI and insulin index ratings and an interesting blog post from a few years back (I don’t know about the accuracy of […]

Julie
Julie
5 years 2 months ago

Did I get it right, that for example, if tomorrow I’ll be eating only high fat cheese I won’t gain any weight?
What about protein, in high amounts it’s used like “carbs”, won’t it spike the insulin levels?:)
Calories are in the past?

monster supplements
5 years 1 month ago

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sugar meter
5 years 1 month ago

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Peter
Peter
4 years 8 months ago

So protein breaks down into amino acids, signals glucagon raise, which releases stored glycogen as glucose, which raises blood glucose levels, which raises insulin levels, which then directs the glucose and amino acids into muscles and fat cells.

Correct? Yes? No?

trackback

[…] parts of your body. This includes protein. Insulin helps to move protein to muscles. Check out this article by Mark Sisson on the insulin inducing effects of […]

kd-rex
kd-rex
4 years 7 months ago
My brother, 21 was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I tend to follow the a more paleo/perfect health diet. However, if my brother eats dinner based on more of a meat and veggies meal his blood sugar usually crashes (below 60)two hours afterwards and he is forced to eat some fast acting carbs like orange juice and bread to bring his sugars back up into the low 100’s. I’m wondering if a type 1 can really follow a low carb diet. He is thin and active and has a tough time eating enough calories without extra carbs- so what… Read more »
Ralph, Cleethorpes, UK
Ralph, Cleethorpes, UK
4 years 6 months ago

I’m surprised no-one has answered yet.
Avoiding the blood glucose slump in the first place would negate the need for high glycaemic carbs.
It’s a matter your brother needs to iron out with his primary care provider.
Lowering carb intake requires a lowering of insulin to prevent blood glucose slumps.

SarahB
SarahB
4 years 3 days ago
I agree with what Ralph mentioned in his reply. I am a Type 1 diabetic and since I do not produce any insulin, my blood sugar levels would become extremely high no matter what I ate. There is no way for me to go too low on my own. It’s the amount of insulin your brother is taking before eat that is too high (also possibly his basal insulin rate is too high if he bolused correctly for the amount of carbs in his meal). And to SaveMe who said, as a diabetic, I would be better eating more carbs… Read more »
scott
scott
4 years 2 days ago
As SarahB indicated, the amount of insulin he doses needs to be adjusted. He needs to discuss this with his doctor, and if his doctor doesn’t provide sound advice, find a new one (unfortunately most Dr’s still completely misunderstand the insulin relationship – my father in law is a well respected primary with a degree in nutrition and still advises his patients to eat “plenty of whole grains”). I don’t have it with me unfortunately, but in the book Wheat Belly he cites a study/dr who has his patients dramatically cut their insulin dose within a very short period after… Read more »
Emory
Emory
3 years 4 months ago

I wonder if a portion of cooked oat bran would help level out the insulin response.

John
2 years 3 months ago

Type 1 diabetics cannot produce insulin effectively enough to have it usable in the bloodstream. When eating only proteins and fats, the body signals to make keytones (a glucose alternative). When the body starts down the keytone path, it doesn’t stop until it gets a negative feedback signal from a insulin response. In type 1 diabetics, this insulin signal or signal from glucose never arrives and beta-hydroxybutyrate continues to build up in the blood leading toward ketoacidosis.

Susan
Susan
1 year 8 months ago

Although correct John, not quite accurate. You should explain that in “undiagnosed” or untreated Type 1 diabetics the lack of insulin signal leads to ketoacidosis (recognisable by extremely high blood sugars). For those on insulin therapy this is null and void. Ketosis and Ketoacidosis are in fact different. Ketoacidosis only appears where there is NO insulin. I’m T1 for 30 years on LCHF and my BGLs are perfect with no sign of Ketoacidosis (I’d stop immediately if there was). I admit, upon hearing LCHF causes ketosis I panicked and then researched it.

Denise
Denise
4 years 4 months ago
I have read through the comments and they all seem to point to the fact that elevated glucose levels = elevated insulin levels. I am ‘insulin resistant’, so the insulin doesn’t do its job, and I’m finding it extremely difficult to find an eating plan (that I can live with)which will control the insulin. Blood glucose levels DO NOT give me any indication of my insulin levels. My last tests showed a BGL of 5.1 mmol/L (sorry don’t know how to translate that into the American equivalent), which is quite acceptable, and a Serum Insulin level of 29 mU/L (which… Read more »
Pablo
4 years 4 months ago
You may wish to take a look at intermittent fasting. Essentially, you want to vary the intervals between your meals, because every meal will produce an insulin response, unless you are eating pure fat. From what you’ve posted, it seems that you’ve tried varying the macronutrient breakdown of your meals, with mixed results, at best. It may be time to experiment with meal timing instead. In this approach, you are changing your strategy from trying to minimize per meal insulin release, with minimizing the meals, and therefore, the overall insulin release. I’ve posted quite a bit here about this topic,… Read more »
S Morgan
S Morgan
2 years 8 months ago

I suggest you get a blood ketone meter. Take your diet all the way to “Dietary Ketosis”. Generally, this means approximately 5 – 10% carbs, 10 – 15% protein and 75 – 80% fat (as calories). Your meter should always read 0.5 or more AM and 1.0 or more evening. Adjust as necessary to maintain those numbers.

The as far as I know is the best and only scientifically tested (since 100 years ago) way to get insulin down. Oh, and great blood sugars are a definite side-effect.

emory
emory
4 years 3 months ago

Perhaps its not a bad idea to use unsweetened almond milk, some whey protein, and a tablespoon of peanut, cashew or almond butter, as a shake or use lactose reduced milk as the base for a shake.
It would seem that the fat from the nut butter would slow absorption of the protein but not be such a large amount to hurt your fat loss goals as long as total calories don’t exceed your daily goal.

Thoughts?

Michael
Michael
4 years 3 months ago

Although it’s true that glucagon release is increased by two amino acids, namely Arginine and Alanine, it’s not accurate to state that eating protein causes higher levels of glucagon.

Eating protein raises insulin levels, which inhibits the release of glucagon. So eating protein actually achieves the opposite of what the article claims.

Arginine and Alanine only increase glucagon release during exercise when naturally the body requires more fuel.

It’s worth mentioning as well, that anyone on a keto-diet will end up having low Glucagon levels anyway, since ketones and fatty acids inhibit glucagon release.

S Morgan
S Morgan
2 years 8 months ago

Then why have I never heard of anyone going hypo after eating meat? If it triggers insulin release, which would lower blood sugar, what counteracts that such that blood sugar does NOT drop after eating protein?

trackback
4 years 1 month ago

[…] isn’t new. I’ve written about protein’s insulinogenicity before, but dairy goes above and beyond Primal protein sources […]

trackback

[…] we will store less fat!  There’s another chemical at work here called glucagon, and of course another article for those who wish to learn […]

Peter
Peter
4 years 16 hours ago

Why do professional bodybuilders inject insulin?

BradK
BradK
3 years 7 months ago

Insulin is the most anabolic hormone. It shuttles available glucose and amino acids into myocytes to expedite recovery and hypertrophy. It can also shuttle glucose into adipocytes to be stored as triglycerides which increase adipose tissue/fat gain. The latter is mitigated given adequate training and androgens, and assuming the caloric surplus is not unreasonably large. Skeletal muscle fiber damage from training + androgens/non-insulin anabolics + insulin + excess glucose and amino acids in the blood = the milieu for partitioning towards muscular hypertrophy.

Bart
3 years 4 months ago

Body builders do it when they’re using steroids because steroids allow macronutrients to be utilized far more effectively by the body. If fat is being metabolized quicker and protein synthesis is more efficient, it just makes sense for them to use the best storage hormone (insulin) to get the nutrients there faster.

trackback
3 years 6 months ago

[…] TODAY’S BLOG: insulin index […]

trackback

[…] further interesting reading on protein here looks at the “high correlation between glycemic index and insulin index measurements, they […]

Taylor
Taylor
2 years 6 months ago

i believe that the results from the research in the article have been skewed because of the way the foods were prepared.

many of them were cooked, stored, and reheated in a microwave before serving. since microwaving has an effect on the molecular structure of food, shouldn’t we assume the pancreas is going to react differently to it?

Pablo Klopper
2 years 6 months ago
Science doesn’t work on assumptions, rather it looks for evidence. If our hypothesis is that the pancreas responds differently to food that has been warmed in a microwave as opposed to other means, then we can conduct an experiment and derive some data that can hopefully answer the question. To the best of my knowledge, no rigorous test have shown any difference between microwave and conventional cooking. When it comes to heating food, at its most basic level, this is a transfer of energy and when you heat food in a conventional manner, what you are doing is increasing the… Read more »
trackback

[…] Carbs. Elevated blood sugar. Insulin spikes. Glycogen repletion. Basically, we think about starch that we (meaning our host cells) can […]

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[…] Carbs. Elevated blood sugar. Insulin spikes. Glycogen repletion. Basically, we think about starch that we (meaning our host cells) […]

trackback

[…] is extremely promising. If you don’t have diabetes, you can still benefit from the improved insulin sensitivity and AMPK release. Plus, bitter melon is excellent in a stir-fry. It’s a […]

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[…] is extremely promising. If you don’t have diabetes, you can still benefit from the improved insulin sensitivity and AMPK release. Plus, bitter melon is excellent in a stir-fry. It’s a […]

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[…] adiponectin means better fat burning, favorable blood lipids, improved glucose tolerance, and lower insulin levels. Unfortunately, the relationship between body fat and adiponectin secretion isn’t like […]

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[…] alcohols are fairly neutral as far as blood glucose and insulin effects go. Some people may see spikes, as I’ve seen reports on blogs and in comment boards to that effect, but most people won’t. […]

Ben Harrison
Ben Harrison
2 years 1 month ago
Hi, (preamble:)This is my first post to this blog, though I’ve tried to poke around as best I can first to see if this question is already answered. I’m getting a fair amount of my daily protein from whey these days, mostly for reasons of convenience and cost-effectiveness. I recently discovered that whey can spike insulin, which has me thinking that, even if it’s a different beast from the kind of spike associated with ingesting too much glucose, it still might be a little hard on the system if it’s happening multiple times over the course of the day. I’m… Read more »
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[…] glucose uptake, a glycogen-repletion pathway that allows carbohydrate utilization without any insulin at […]

Sofia
Sofia
1 year 6 months ago

I’m a little confused here.

Can the insulin spike from high-protein high-fat foods like meat and eggs, and the insulin spike from dairy products, lead to diabetes? Also, if you’re insulin resistant, could the insulin spike from high-protein foods make matters worse?

Thanks to anybody that can clarify!

Sofia

Marty Kendall
1 year 6 months ago
Recent food insulin index testing data from the University of Sydney suggests that insulin demand is proportional to carbohydrates minus fibre plus about half the protein. Viewed from this perspective I don’t think dairy has any special insulinogenic properties can’t be explained by its carbohydrate, protein and fibre content. The ability to calculate the proportion of insulinogenic properties in a food is an exciting tool that I think can assist us in make wise food choices. I have been developing some ideas around combining the insulinogenic properties for foods with calorie density and a number of other factors to help… Read more »
Kelly
Kelly
1 year 3 months ago

Didn’t Dr. Kempner cure diabetes as well as many other diseases with a diet of unlimited carbs, low fat, low protein (rice, fruit, sugar, and fruit juices)? Later adding just a little protein to the diet. Might the answer be more carbs and not less? Something to ponder.

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[…] That is because your liver is quite competent at converting extra amino acids into glucose. You can only use so much protein to build or replace muscle. After that, the building blocks of protein, amino acids, are easily […]

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